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Knowledge is power in the Army.

From basic training through retirement, the Army values education and has established many generous education benefits to help make earning a degree within reach.

Educated servicemembers are valuable servicemembers. In today's global environment, the U.S. Armed Forces benefit from having soldiers who speak foreign languages, can analyze data on computers, or have the medical skills to treat injured soldiers. The U.S. Army recognizes this, and fosters the ability for servicemembers to earn an education almost anywhere. In fact, Army members with a college degree may be eligible to enter the service at a higher rank, and once in the Army, servicemembers can earn points toward promotion with the completion of civilian education courses.

Education Benefits and Your Army Career

Now is the time to prepare for your next promotion and for life after the Army. The Army provides education benefits that can help soldiers who are still serving on active duty as well as those who have already left military service. Whether you struggle to fit a degree program in around your deployments or you are having trouble finding the money to pay for school, the Army offers programs and incentives to help you take the next step in your career. If you are looking to move up the ranks, earn up to 100 promotion points by taking classes. At the same time, you'll be setting yourself up with the education necessary to land a promising civilian career.

Earn an Education despite Deployments and Transfers

Army personnel and their families face the challenges of frequent deployments and transfers. Active duty personnel must balance Army duties, periods of deployment, and transfers and re-locations along with trying to complete a degree program.

Acknowledging these difficulties, the Army developed education benefits to help soldiers address these challenges. In addition to providing tuition assistance for a wide variety of online degree programs, the Servicemembers Opportunity Colleges (SOC) consortium is a network of 1,800 military friendly schools that work together to ease credit transfers and grant credit for Army experience. These efforts help Army personnel and their families shorten the time it takes to earn degrees and helps them avoid repeating courses. These schools are working to ensure quality education is available to military members nearly anywhere.

U.S. Army Education Benefits for Veterans

In addition to programs designed to help active duty soldiers, the Army offers a number of education benefits for veterans. Chief among them are the GI Bill and the Yellow Ribbon Program.

Since World War II, military members have benefited from some form of the GI Bill. Today, servicemembers and eligible dependents may receive a virtually free education, both on active duty and after separating from the Army. Many soldiers are eligible for both the Montgomery GI Bill and the New GI Bill. If this is you, consider your options carefully. Depending upon the type of instruction and the location of your education facility, your benefits under the two versions of the GI Bill can vary significantly. For example, the New GI Bill pays for degree seeking education while the Montgomery GI Bill allows for training outside of degree programs like flight school and certifications. Do some research or ask for help from a GI Bill expert who may be able to help you decide which version will provide you with the most benefits.

Yellow Ribbon Schools

The New GI Bill offers a maximum payment equal to the highest tuition rate for an undergraduate degree at a state university. However, many top universities are private, with tuition rates exceeding the amount that's covered by the Post 9-11 GI Bill. Though the Yellow Ribbon program, even some of the most expensive schools in the nation are now within reach.

Private universities value the experience, work ethic, and dedication of soldiers. Working with the VA, these schools agree to pay up to one-half the difference between the GI Bill maximum and their tuition. The VA then matches the school's contribution, allowing military personnel to attend private colleges with little (if any) out-of-pocket tuition expense.

Army-Friendly Schools near Bases

Local colleges and universities near Army bases also offer advantages for Army members and their families. Often, students and instructors at these schools are part of the Army family--active duty, spouse, or retired members--so they understand the challenges you face. A local school may be more flexible when it comes to being confronted with military emergencies and short notice transfers or deployments. Before choosing a college, always consider:

  • Accreditation
  • Ability to transfer credits
  • Whether the school accepts SOC credits
  • The education benefits they accept

Starting Your Search for Schools

No matter the track you wish pursue, take the time to make sure you're taking full advantage of all of the benefits available to you. The first step is to find a school that meets your needs. Use the pages and search results of this section help you find schools participating in various benefit programs like the Yellow Ribbon program or the SOC consortium. Whether you're looking to earn promotion points by completing coursework, or are looking to retrain for a civilian career, a range of benefits are available to help you achieve your goals.

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Comparing GI Bills is like comparing apples and oranges. How do you know which one is right for you? In this article, we sort out and compare the Army GI Bill details.

The Post-9/11 G.I. Bill contains features never before found in previous G.I. Bill, such as the Yellow Ribbon program, a monthly living allowance, and money for supplies and books.

If you are a military spouse, the MyCAA program can help you prepare for employment in a portable career field. With up to $4,000 in financial assistance, MyCAA can get you started on the road to success.

If you are a servicemember looking to complete your post-secondary education, you may want to turn to the Servicemembers Opportunity Colleges. Learn how the SOC can help you complete your education.

Have you discovered the secret to getting a degree while you are in the Army? Mobilizations can put your degree on hold until your return. No more! Discover the secret.

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This is a private website that is not affiliated with the U.S. government, U.S. Armed Forces or Department of Veteran Affairs. U.S. government agencies have not reviewed this information. This site is not connected with any government agency. If you would like to find more information about benefits offered by the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, please visit the official U.S. government web site for veterans’ benefits at

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