Veterans, what better time than now to head to college? There are many online programs available which, in the current state of things, is becoming an increasingly popular option. But how are you supposed to pay for it?
There are a few ways that you can get help with tuition if you are a veteran. Depending on where you plan to attend, you might qualify for quite a few assistance programs. This can take some digging around online though, so let’s make this a bit easier for you.
Here are a few ways you can go about seeking tuition assistance.
States with Free Tuition
Some states have laws that allow certain colleges and technical schools to waive tuition fees for veterans. For example, if you want to attend school in Illinois, the Illinois Veteran Grant Program gives Illinois vets free tuition and covers selected fees. You can apply if you have served for a year, have an honorable discharge, have Illinois listed as the home of record, and go home to Illinois within six months of your discharge.
Each state has different programs with their own stipulations. Therefore, program requirements will vary.
Tuition Assistance and TA Top-Up
Many colleges—including online colleges for military vets—offer tuition assistance (TA) on a vast scale. But it still might not be enough. The VA offers a Top-Up program that can help cover more costs.
If you qualify for the Montgomery GI Bill Active Duty (MGIB-AD) or Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits and have excess course costs and fees not covered by TA, you can apply for the Top-Up program by applying on their website.
Fastweb is a website that features a ton of links to assistance programs, including those for veterans. You might also find some that are program/degree-specific. There is a huge variety of assistance available from this website, which can also help you locate part-time work if you are in search of a job that can be flexible with your schooling.
Yellow Ribbon Program
Have you completed at least 36 months of active duty, received a Purple Heart on or after September 11, 2001, are a Fry Scholar, or served 30 consecutive days on or after 9/1/01 and were discharged after 60 days with a service-related disability?
If so, you might qualify for the Yellow Ribbon Program offered by the VA. This can help pay for a higher-cost, out-of-state private school or cover the costs of grad school not taken care of by the Post-9/11 GI Bill. Not all schools are eligible, so you will need to check and see if yours is eligible.
As a veteran, you have a lot of opportunities available to you if you know where to look. Pursue some of the leads given above, but be sure to check with your intended institution to see what kinds of programs they offer or are qualified for.