Scholarships for veterans are designed to help support the war veterans or their families. These have enabled thousands of war veterans to complete higher education and get better educational qualifications. There are millions of tax free dollars available through various means for the veterans. The Department of defense, the Department of Veteran Affairs and various states offer scholarships for veterans.
One of the most well known programs of financial assistance for veterans is the Montgomery GI bill (MGIB). This bill provides money worth 36 months of education which could be up to a $40,000 value. The bill became law in 1944 and provides benefits to active duty service members, reservists and veterans. Eligibility criteria include a high school diploma (or equivalent) and at least two years of military service. What is best about the GI bill is that it is not considered to be a type of financial aid because the money is given directly to the veterans. This means that the veterans can avail this opportunity and still be eligible for other scholarships, students loans and grants. Availing the GI bill will however reduce the amount of financial aid available through other programs. The money can be used for anything ranging from independent study programs to on the job training. Furthermore, the post 9/11 modified form of the bill offers 100% tuition fee assistance, a monthly housing allowance and a monthly amount of $1000.
Another example of scholarships for veterans is the Armed Force Tuition Assistance. This is paid directly to the school and eligibility criteria for the different divisions of the armed forces vary. This also provides 100% of the tuition fee.
In addition to the above mentioned scholarships, there are a number of private scholarships for veterans that have an estimated worth of up to $300 million. There are a number of categories as far as these scholarships are concerned. These may include scholarships for foreign war veterans, scholarships for disabled veterans, etc. It is a great idea to apply for these scholarships because these can compliment other availed opportunities such as the GI bill and can help pay for living expenses, books, etc.
War experience of the veterans can get them exemption from a few or more credit hours of study at college. This will enable them to indirectly save some money which would otherwise have been spent on study. Scholarships for war veterans can enable in service and out of service soldiers to pursue higher education or a better standard of life.
I have heard people complain that the military and military families get a lot of things “for free.” Of course, this is far from true. I am the wife of a junior enlisted Navy sailor. My husband’s take home income is below the National Poverty Average, many of my contemporaries rely on WIC and food stamps just to feed their families, and we must live in government housing in order to ensure that we can afford to put a roof over our heads. Our spouses are serving our country, we’re separated at least a few months every year from one another… is a sacrifice that our spouses and us, as families, do willingly for our country. The members of our military join with promises of benefits, to see the world, to leave their hometowns, adventure, steady income and the promise of funding for their education. But once they have gone through bootcamp, it’s easy to discover that none of the promises recruiters made are without strings attached.
One of the biggest reasons people join the military today is to receive money for a college education. This funding is in the form of Military Tuition Assistance, the Montgomery G.I. Bill and the Post 9/11 G.I. Bill. The Military Tuition Assistance promises to pay 100% of tuition costs. However, the fine print is a little bit more revealing. The Army guarantees only $4,500 a fiscal year and most branches will only pay $250 a credit hour. Most state institutions charge more than $250 a credit hour for their tuition, leaving the service member either having to use Federally Insured Financial Aid or having to dig into their G.I. Bill (which would more than likely extend their service contract by at least a few years).
If a member of the active duty military were to go on to the numerous scholarship search engines, their particular branch’s educational website or do a general Google search, they will quickly discover that simply being active duty does not justify scholarships. They have to be a member of a particular group within the branch (e.g. Seabees in the Navy) or they have to have been injured in the War. My children, even I, could receive more scholarship opportunities than my husband.
There should be a federal grant or private scholarship funds for our active duty military to supplement the cost of tuition. Cost of living is enough as it is and our military members should be awarded the opportunities they were promised by their recruiter or the military should stick to their promise of paying 100% tuition. In the civilian world, this would be considered false advertisement. But to the military? Well, apparently, it’s okay to do this to members of our military, who serve to protect our freedoms, perform their duties without question (or the ability to do so), are separated from their loved ones for such long periods and endure more strain and stress than most civilians could understand.