As a Reservist serving your country in any branch, you have access to special educational benefits. These benefits can help you realize a dream to earn your college degree. However, your benefits may differ in whole or in part depending on what Reserve branch you are serving in. Learn how to get the most out of your Reservist G.I. Bill and educational benefits.
In addition to veterans scholarships and benefits for active duty Army personnel, the Army Reserves offers great education benefits for Reserve personnel. The Army Reserves has an extensive range of educational benefits.
- MGIB. The Montgomery G.I. Bill (MGIB) offers you the chance to be a full-time student, receive full Reserve pay and up to $10,000 towards the cost of your college education.
- Tuition assistance (TA). Tuition assistance is offered up to $4,500 annually.
- Loan repayment. The Reserves can help you pay off loans, even if they were begun before you became a Reservist.
- CLEP. College Credits-by-Exam, or CLEP, can help you bypass coursework you have already mastered. Take a test, pass and earn three college credit hours.
- Earned college credit. With this program you can earn college credit for your military training as well.
Becoming a Naval Reservist also offers you great education benefits. These benefits are outlined as follows.
- MGIB. In the Navy, the MGIB program will allow you to keep receiving your full pay plus an extra $272 per month for the period during which you attend classes full-time.
- Tuition assistance. In the Naval Reserve, tuition assistance will reimburse you for up to three-quarters of tuition expenses. You can take up to 15 credit hours per year.
- CLEP. As with the Army program, CLEP tests are free to Naval Reserves personnel. Placing out of any subject also helps you bypass expensive college coursework!
- DANTES. Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Educational Support, or DANTES, is a network of 1,200 institutions that allow reservists to transfer their college credits from school to school as needed and also receive college credit for military training.
Air Force Reserves
The Air Force Reserves educational benefits differ in some significant ways from the other Reserve branches.
- Community College of the Air Force. This unique college offers 66 programs, each providing you with an associate’s degree in applied science upon graduation.
- Air Force ROTC scholarships. AR-ROTC allows you to work your way towards an officer commission at more than 850 schools around the nation.
- MGIB. MGIB is also on hand for full-time students serving in the Reserves. You can qualify for up to $10,000 towards your education.
- Tuition assistance. You get up to $4,500 annually towards your tuition expenses.
- CLEP. You can take the CLEP tests for free and place out of required college classes.
Marine Corps Reserves
In the Marine Corps Reserves, the educational benefits include all of the following.
- MGIB. The MGIB program offers full Reservist education benefits, including full pay and a $272 monthly stipend for any eligible Marine Corps Reservist who is also a full-time student.
- Tuition assistance. Tuition assistance for Marine Corps Reservists includes reimbursement for up to 15 credit hours per year at 75 percent of expenses.
- CLEP. You can place out of college course work by taking free CLEP exams and earn three college credit hours for each exam you successfully pass.
- DANTES. DANTES can help if you move or need to transfer credit hours between participating institutions.
Coast Guard Reserves
If you are currently serving in the Coast Guard Reserves or are contemplating enlisting, it can be helpful to know about the educational benefits you will receive while a Reservist.
- MGIB. The MGIB bill for Reservists allows you to receive full pay, any additional education benefits you qualify for under the G.I. Bill and also an extra $272 monthly stipend as long as you remain a full-time student.
- Tuition assistance. Coast Guard Reservists who wish to attend college or apply for extra training can receive up to $750 per year.
- CLEP. As with other Reservist branches, you can take free CLEP tests. For any test you pass, you can earn three credit hours.
- DANTES. DANTES is also available to help you earn and transfer college credits to any participating college.
About the Author: Ned David completed his bachelor’s of science in nursing while serving in the Army Reserves. He now works as a nurse while continuing to serve as a Reservist.