Whether you’ve been discharged from the military or you’ve never been in the service, recent recruitment efforts offer new educational incentives and scholarships if you’re willing to enlist or re-enlist now.
Only a recruiter can fill in the complete details, but you’ll most likely be required to complete at least a three-and-a-half year commitment in one of the following areas: the armed forces, Selected Reserve, Individual Ready Reserve, Peace Corps, Americorps, or another national service program approved by the Secretary of Defense.
Eligibility requirements for this military financial aid
There are three things you will be required to complete before you can be eligible for incentives such as scholarships: your initial training, at least 15 months of duty in an approved service area, and an additional two years of active duty in a service branch or of active status in the Selected Reserve. These requirements must be completed consecutively, with no breaks in service.
After these obligations have been fulfilled, you still need to complete any additional required service that was included in your enlistment agreement — again, without a break in service. (This is why we recommend you see a recruiter if you’re interested in pursuing this option.)
You can combine service in any of the approved areas, as long as it’s been pre-approved by the Secretary of the military department concerned and by the Secretary of Defense — and specified in your agreement.
Benefits may include money for college
In exchange for a few years of active duty under this short-term program, you will have a choice of several incentives, some of which may serve as essentially college scholarships:
- A cash bonus of $5,000
- Repayment of a qualifying student loan not to exceed $18,000
- An allowance equal to the three-year monthly chapter 30 rate for 12 months ($1,004 effective Oct 1, 2004)
- An allowance equal to 50 percent of the less than three-year monthly chapter 30 rate for 36 months (50 percent of $732 effective Oct. 1, 2004)
For more information about the program or other scholarships for college and particulars about qualifying, contact a recruiter or visit www.gibill.va.gov for further details.