Ways Vets and Service Members Can Reduce the Cost of Their Education

Ways Vets and Service Members Can Reduce the Cost of Their EducationGetting an education can feel expensive. It’s an investment in your future, certainly — one that must be made early on, with the returns coming over time. Because the early cost is significant, finding ways to mitigate the costs is important.

Virtually everyone has options, and if you’re serving in the military or have in the past, you likely have more than most. Here are some of the choices available to you.

The G.I. Bill

The first idea that comes to mind should be the Post 9/11 G.I. Bill. For decades the U.S. has offered a range of educational benefits to people who have served in the armed forces or in the Coast Guard. If you have at least 90 days of aggregate active service after September 10, 2001 and are either still on active duty or discharged honorably or with a service-connected disability after 30 days, you may be eligible. For the academic year starting August 1, 2016 and ending in July 2017, students at private and foreign schools can get a maximum of $21,970.46. At vocational flight schools, the top is $12,554.54. Students at correspondence schools can receive up to $10,671.35. That can make an enormous dent in any schooling cost, especially if you can attend at night, or online during your free hours, and hold down a job to cover living expenses.

Check your employer

Many companies offer education benefits. If you have an interest in a degree related to your work, you may find that your employer will cover a certain number of credit hours, possibly up to a fixed dollar amount, per year. Such a benefit is a terrific supplement to your financial plans.

Get credit for military experience

A great way to lower education costs is not to pay for courses that cover what you already know. Your training in the military, particularly if you developed one or more specialties, can be documented and turned into college credits. The Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard use a document called a Joint Services Transcript, or JST. For Air Force personnel and veterans, contact the Community College of the Air Force (CCAF) to obtain its version of a transcript. More than 2,300 universities and colleges accept the documents, although which credits can transfer depends on the policies of the specific institution.

College Level Examination Program

The College Level Examination Program, or CLEP, is another way of getting credit for what you’ve learned, either at jobs or through self-study. CLEP is a set of standardized tests from the same organization that creates and administers such tests as the SAT and PSAT and is administered in 1,800 test centers across the country. The 33 tests measure comprehension and achievement in dozens of different subjects. Schools decide which tests, if any, they accept and what they consider a passing score.

American Sentinel University is proud to have been named as a “Military Friendly School” for the ninth consecutive year. This distinction puts American Sentinel in the top 20 percent of colleges, universities and trade schools nationwide that do the most to embrace America’s military service members and veterans as students, and to dedicate resources to ensure their success both in the classroom and after graduation. Learn more about our military friendly education programs and distance learning courses. 

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