An Introduction to Army Reserve Education Benefits
While many of the programs available to members of the Army and Army Reserve are similar, some programs are unique to the Reserve. If you are a reservist, here is a list of programs that could help you complete your post-secondary education.
Army Reserve Tuition Assistance (TA)Army Reserve Tuition Assistance helps you increase your professional and personal development by paying you up to $250 per credit hour to take college courses. TA has an annual cap of $4,500.
Army Reserve Voluntary Education ProgramsAs a reservist, you can use other programs, including GoArmyEd or SOCAD to pursue a post-secondary education.
- GoArmyEd. A virtual electronic gateway you use to sign up for TA, access college courses and reports, and sign up for eArmy courses.
- eArmy. With eArmy, you declare a "home" college, but can take courses from other schools closer to where you are stationed that are transferred back.
- Servicemembers Opportunity Colleges (SOCAD). A network of over 1,950 Army-approved schools offering two and four-year undergraduate degree programs. Schools within the SOCAD network guarantee you will not lose credits if you transfer within their network.
- Concurrent Admissions Program (CONAP). At enlistment, you set up a college plan to use your military education benefits. You can choose from over 1,950 participating SOC schools where you can take classes and earn credits for your military training.
GI Bill ReserveCreated in 1944 by President Roosevelt, the GI Bill is vital to helping servicemembers complete their post-secondary educations. Today, the GI Bill offers educational benefits to Reserve members as well. Montgomery GI Bill - Selected Reserve (MGIB-SR). The MGIB-SR pays you to go to school for up to 36 months. As long as you stay in the Reserves, you have 14 years to use your benefit. Once discharged, however, your benefit ends. GI Bill Reserve eligibility includes:
- signing a six-year enlistment
- obtaining your high school diploma
- completing initial active duty for training (IADT)
- maintaining satisfactory membership in the Reserves
Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) ScholarshipsDepending on how much college you have left, you may qualify for a two, three, or four -year program. You have to agree to accept an officer commission and serve four years in the Reserves. In return, you get a full-tuition scholarship or room and board, plus a monthly living expense.
Federal Student AidYou also have access to federal aid programs as a member of the Reserves. Options include:
- College Loan Repayment Program (CLRP). If you opt for CLRP when you enlist for six years, you can get up to $40,000 of existing student loans paid, however, you can't get the MGIB-SR also.
- Loans. With the common Stafford loan, the money can come from two different programs. Both programs are basically equal, but the repayment plans differ.
- Grants. Pell grants are basic grants to which other federal and non-federal aid is added. They do not have to be paid back.