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Other education benefits programs

Chances are most servicemembers are familiar with the military's primary education benefits, including the Montgomery GI Bill, the Post-9/11 GI Bill and Tuition Assistance. But, what if they aren't enough or don't apply to a servicemember's unique situation? The following represent other education benefits programs that help soldiers or veterans complete high school or college--or help them brush up on their academic skills before transitioning to the civilian workforce.

Army High School Completion Program (HSCP)

The Army's High School Completion Program helps off-duty soldiers and their adult dependents use Tuition Assistance benefits to cover up to 100 percent of the costs associated with earning their high school diplomas or General Education Development (GED) certificates.

Green to Gold Scholarship Program

The Army's ROTC Green to Gold Scholarship was designed to help enlisted soldiers earn the degrees they need to become officers. Scholarships are awarded for two, three or four years, depending on how much school is left to complete.

Benefits. Green to Gold Scholarship winners receive the following benefits:

  1. Assistance with tuition or room and board expenses.
  2. A monthly stipend for 10 months of each school year. This amount increases with your Military Science Class.
  3. Money for books and other supplies.
  4. Payment for participating in the Leader Development and Assessment Course (LDAC), which occurs the summer before your senior year of college.
  5. Montgomery GI Bill or Army College Fund benefits to those who qualify

Eligibility. Green to Gold Scholarship winners must be U.S. Citizens who will be less than 31 years old on Dec. 31 of the year they should complete commission and college baccalaureate degree requirements. They must have a minimum of two years of Active Duty Experience, plus three months for every month of specialized training. Additional requirements:

  1. A cumulative high school or college GPA of at least 2.5
  2. Have a high school diploma or an equivalent
  3. A GT score of at least 110
  4. Must pass the APFT within six months with a total score greater than 180, earning at least 60 points in each event
  5. Letters of acceptance from a college with an Army ROTC program and the PMS of that school's battalion
  6. A favorable National Agency Check
  7. DODMEB Medical Qualification
  8. Eligibility for reenlistment
  9. No more than 3 dependents, including spouse

How to apply. Servicemembers can apply for the Army Green to Gold Program by creating or logging into a MY GOAMY account.

Green to Gold Active Duty Option

The Green to Gold Active Duty Option is a two-year program designed to help active duty enlisted soldiers either complete their bachelor's degrees or earn their master's degrees with the intent to become commissioned officers.

Benefits. According to the Army's official website, Green to Gold Active Duty Option winners receive the following benefits in addition to the leadership training, experience, and mentorship:

  1. Continuance of current pay and allowances for up to a maximum of 24 consecutive months
  2. Montgomery GI Bill and Amy College Fund benefits to eligible soldiers
  3. Normal PCS entitlements

How to apply. Soldiers can apply for the Green to Gold Active Duty Option by creating and logging into a MY GOAMY account.

Green to Gold Non-Scholarship Option

The Green to Gold Non-Scholarship Option is a program for soldiers with at least two years of college under their belt, and who can complete their degrees within the next two years.

Benefits. Green to Gold Non-Scholarship members receive the following benefits:

  1. A monthly stipend for 10 months of each school year
  2. Payment for participating in the Leader Development and Assessment Course (LDAC), which occurs the summer before the senior year of college
  3. Montgomery GI Bill or Amy College Fund benefits to those who qualify

Eligibility. The Army notes that Green to Gold Non-Scholarship members must meet the following four requirements:

  1. Less than 30 years old on June 30 of the year of the servicemember's commission
  2. Favorable recommendation from Chain of Command
  3. Two years of college completed and the ability to enroll as a college junior.
  4. A cumulative college GPA of at least 2.0

How to apply. Interested servicemembers should contact the Recruiting Officer at the college they wish to attend.

Hip Pocket Scholarships

Unlike other education benefits programs, Hip Pocket Scholarships are recommendation-based. Each year, Division Commanders nominate deserving soldiers for two-, three- or four-year Hip Pocket Scholarships, granting them the opportunity to complete their bachelor's degrees and earn commission through participation in the ROTC Scholarship Program.

Benefits and eligibility. Because this is a recommendation-based program, interested soldiers should follow up with their chain of command to learn more. They can also learn more about Hip Scholarship benefits and requirements through the Army's official Hip Pocket Guide.

Veterans Upward Bound (VUB)

Veterans Upward Bound is a Department of Defense program created to help veteran soldiers refresh their academic skills before enrolling in college or entering the workforce.

Benefits. Here are five of the primary benefits VUB participants receive through the program:

  1. Basic skill development for those who want to successfully complete a high school equivalency program or gain college acceptance.
  2. Short-term remedial or refresher courses
  3. Support through the college application process
  4. Help applying for financial aid or other education benefits programs
  5. Career and academic counseling

Eligibility. Veterans Upward Bound participants must meet the following five requirements:

  1. Be a military veteran with at least 282 days of active-duty service
  2. Must have been discharged on or after Jan. 31, 1955
  3. Be considered low-income according to the U.S. Department of Education's annually published guidelines
  4. Demonstrate academic need
  5. Meet any additional local eligibility requirements

How to apply. Visit the official Veterans Upward Bound website site to learn more about the VUB program and how to qualify.

Find info on even more education benefits programs: