With college tuition on the rise every year, parents and students are finding it difficult to pay for college.
Educational support from military programs entices college students to join by offering financial help for school. According to U.S. department of Education, there is an increasing amount of students who are now looking into the military as a means to pay for college.
Second Lieutenant Christopher Smith, a Florida A&M University graduate, said, “Military tuition assistance is a benefit paid to eligible members of the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, and Coast Guard. The military has the ability to pay up to one hundred percent of your tuition expenses as a members.”
Generally, you commit to serving for a period of time and in exchange the military pays for your education. The average commitment is four years on active duty and four years in the individual ready reserve.
Private First Class Courtney Lofton, a graduating criminal justice student at FAMU, said if you’re interested in joining the military you should start off in the Reserve Officers' Training Corps program.
“If you're an incoming college freshman the best thing to do is to join the ROTC program,” PFC Lofton said. “ROTC offers many scholarships that pay for student’s college education in full. Additionally, ROTC graduates receive higher pay, more responsibility and better benefits than enlistees who do not have a degree.”
In addition, the military offers different loan repayment programs.
“The loan repayment programs are basically there to help enlisted personnel pay off college loans accrued prior to service,” PFC Lofton said. “I actually was in college two years before I joined the army so I did occur a few loans that the army is now helping me get rid of.”
While each program has unique processes and requirements, they’re all enlistment incentives designed to help recent college graduates manage education debt. Make sure to ask a recruiter about eligibility requirements to see if you qualify.
Kareem Lawrence, an army veteran, explained one of the benefits of becoming a veteran and receiving financial help for school.
“The military has the Montgomery G.I. Bill, which pays college tuition for military veterans,” Lawrence said. “This program also covers housing and books for qualified members of the armed services who have been on active duty. “I took full advantage of this opportunity once I left the army. I thought it would be a could move to go back to school especially for free.”
The Military provides a vast range of educational opportunities to service members who want to further educate themselves. Members can choose to take advantage of these opportunities before, during or after their military commitment.