The National Guard’s college benefits can allow guardsmen to obtain a higher education and pursue a career without carrying a heavy financial load. This is just one of the benefits of being in the military.
Types of National Guard College Benefits
The following are some of the college benefits that could be available to reservists:
- Tuition assistance: Up to $18,000 of tuition assistance over a four-year period;
- Montgomery GI Bill: A monthly allowance for items like books and supplies;
- Army National Guard Kicker: A supplement to Montgomery GI Bill, it helps pay for living expenses;
- Post-9/11 GI Bill: Covers tuition and provides annual stipend for those with 90 days active service on or after September 11, 2001;
- ROTC scholarships: May pay up to full collection tuition along with additional funds for books and other supplies; and
- Student Loan Repayment Program: Can pay up to $50,000 for certain jobs for Soldiers or officers with an existing student loan.
Additionally, State Tuition Waivers may apply in some states for members of the National Guard. Not only does this mean earning an education, but it could also put some extra cash into a reservist’s pocket.
Each of these programs has certain requirements that must be met. Some are based on enlistment date, enlistment timeframe, and status.
In addition, each state may have its own laws as to the educational benefits available. These are subject to change, however, so a reservist should also check on the most current legislation.
For instance in North Carolina, tuition is limited to $2,000 per year, applicable to state-approved universities and colleges. The total benefits available are $8,000.
Eligibility for Tuition Assistance
General requirements stipulate that the guardsmen must use the benefit to pay for tuition or other expenses at an accredited school. Reservists must also be part-time in active drilling status and must remain enlisted while completing the courses. This and other programs offered may have additional stipulations and requirements that may apply.
There are many programs and services that are offered in the reserves. For instance, VA benefits for disability could also be available for service-related injuries or conditions, and retirement benefits could be available for qualifying guardsmen in addition to National Guard college benefits.