Does the Military Offer Financial Incentives for Attending College Online?
There are several financial programs in place to help military servicemen and women get a college education. These benefits can be applied to college courses both on-site and online.
Military Incentives for Online College Education
The U.S. military doesn't offer any financial incentives specifically for attending college online rather than on campus; however, the military does offer tuition and college loan repayment programs that can be applied to courses taken online. There are also distance-learning services in place to help those in active duty, who may move around too often to attend a single school. Below are two of the ways the military can help you attend college online.
Important Facts About Military-Sponsored Online College Programs
|Degree Levels||Associate's, bachelor's and master's degrees available|
|Prerequisites||High school diploma, or equivalent is needed for enrollment in undergraduate programs|
|Fields of Study||Management studies, business administration, business law, human resource management, digital media and web technology|
|Possible Careers||Yeoman, quartermaster, operations specialist, master of arms, information technology specialist, fire controlman|
|Median Salary (2018)||$53,470 (for all computer support specialists)|
|Job Outlook (2016-2026)||11% growth (for all computer support specialists)|
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Military Financial Aid for College
There are several types of financial aid offered by the military to those interested in attending college. Which program is right for you will depend on your particular needs. Options include:
- Post-9/11 GI Bill
- Montgomery GI Bill - Active Duty
- Montgomery GI Bill - Selected Reserve
- Reserve Educational Assistance Program
- Veterans Educational Assistance Program
- Tuition Assistance
- College Loan Repayment Program
In most programs, the benefit amount is fixed. In the Post-9/11 GI Bill, the benefits you receive will be based on the amount of time spent in active duty. Financial assistance can consist of tuition payments, a housing allowance and a stipend for class materials, such as books. Those attending college entirely online will not be eligible for the housing allowance, but those attending partially online and partially on-site may still qualify.
Each branch of the military also offers a tuition assistance program. These programs can cover 100% of tuition fees up to a certain amount. In the event that a course costs more than what tuition assistance will pay, those who are eligible for the Montgomery GI Bill - Active Duty benefits can use the Top-Up Benefit, which results in reimbursement by the veterans assistance program for any costs not covered by tuition assistance.
Distance Learning Programs
Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support, or DANTES, is an agency in the Department of Defense that issues catalogs that list accredited distance learning college courses and degree programs that meet the needs of military personnel. This information is offered for the benefit of service members who don't have access to traditional college options because they are stationed overseas or on a ship, or who must travel frequently.
Individual branches of the military may offer further online college options. For example, sailors can earn degrees related to their ratings, such as Intelligence Specialist, Special Warfare Operator or Yeoman, through the Navy College Distance Learning Partnership. Online degrees are available to Army personnel through eArmyU.