The army recognizes the importance of education and therefore runs various educational programs and tuition assistance. In fact many of the youngsters, who join the army, wish to continue with their college education. The Army provides educational assistance to these youngsters via the military colleges and service academies, the ROTC program and the credit and tuition support programs.
All military recruits are offered four main tuition support programs by the army. The main support programs are within the tuition assistance and comprise of the Montgomery G.I bill, Loan Repayment program and the College Fund programs. The tuition support program was created with the intention of helping service personnel with the rising cost of higher education.
Tuition Assistance program: This is one of the best support programs that the army offers to its recruits. The program pays 100% of the tuition expenses, which sums up to $250 per semester, hour credit and a personal maximum of $4,500 per year for one student, the year being a fiscal year. However, only full-time duty members can avail of this program. The program is also extended to selected military reserves and the National Guards unit, though the benefits vary from unit to unit.
The Montgomery G.I Bill: This is another good support program that provides full-time duty members up to $37,224 for tuition, for a three-year commitment. Here, the service members have to contribute $100 a month, for a year and in return they receive $1,034 per month, for three years. However considering the amount of investment, the returns are handsome. The best part of the G.I Bill is that it can not only be used for college degree programs, but also for certificate programs, correspondence courses, apprenticeship or on-the-job training and flight training programs. Reserve members and National Guard members can also avail of the program at reduced rates.
College Fund Program or the Montgomery G.I Bill Kicker: Enlistees, upon honorable discharge from the services, receive $70,000 for college tuition fees along with the Montgomery G.I Bill. Marine Corps or Coast Guard enlistees receive additional funds, along with the total college tuition fee and that makes up for a significant or the total of the required funds.
Loan Repayment Programs: This particular army program was created to assist army service personnel in paying off their debts. On duty service men can get 1/3 of their loan paid every year, for each year of full time duty served, up to a maximum of $70,000. And all those soldiers who avail of educational loans can also enjoy a pay-back, provided they attend the schools approved by Perkins, Stafford or any other Department of Education guaranteed Student Loan.
In addition to the army, the other armed forces also help recruits by offering various educational programs. Full-time naval recruits are entitled to a $65,000 Loan Repayment Program and the qualifications do not include prior military service, but they do need a high school diploma and a loan guaranteed under the Higher Education Act, 1965. Similarly, the Air force provides its recruits a College Loan Repayment program or CLRP for all those full-time service men enrolled into college and in debt. The servicemen signed under CLRP get a repayment of up to $10,000, per recruit.