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military career guide'sArmy Education Programs

Remain Army Strong with Higher Education.

The powerful legacy of the United States Army is filled with heroism, victory and excellence. America’s gratitude runs deep for military men and women who served, or are serving, with devotion and diligence.

Now, as in the past, America wants to repay a small measure of that service with generous Army education programs, known as Voluntary Education. These programs enable current and veteran Army service members, including reservists, to pursue a college education at little or no cost. Benefits may include tuition assistance, housing allowances, payoffs of previously-acquired student loans, connections with military-friendly colleges, disbursements of computers and printers, and more – depending upon individual eligibility.

If you served honorably in the U.S. Army, or are currently serving, do not miss out on these benefits – they belong to you. As a U.S. Army service member or veteran, you are part of an elite group that has earned major rewards for selfless sacrifices made on behalf of your country. So, enroll now in Army education programs to plan for the future and keep pace with a rapidly changing world.

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Achieve Your Education Goals through Army Education Programs
Whether you are an enlisted soldier or officer, active-duty or reserve, or a veteran, the Army provides options for you to pursue your education goals. The Army Continuing Education System (ACES) is a great place to find the Voluntary Education (Vol Ed) program that best fits your needs.

eArmyU
When traveling from duty station to duty station, either in the U.S. or abroad, there is no need for interruptions in college coursework or loss of college credit. With a focus on distance-learning, the eArmyU program makes the best use of the latest technology.

eArmyU offers online degree and certificate programs to active-duty soldiers through accredited, military-friendly colleges and universities. Army education students who qualify receive 100% tuition assistance. The Laptop Option, which offers applicable technology tools (including a new computer), is not available at this time. However, the popular program could be reinstated at a later date.

Remarkably, eArmyU students may earn online associate’s, bachelor’s or master’s degrees from at least 50 countries around the world. Online certificate programs, which include technical and vocational specializations, are also available and often require fewer courses.

The eArmyU program has been so successful that approximately a quarter of participating soldiers either reenlists or extends military service to complete educational goals. The program helps to improve vital critical thinking and technical skills for a 21st century Army. It also continues to prepare soldiers for a professional career after completion of active-duty Army service.

GoArmyEd
GoArmyEd is the primary online gateway for active-duty and reserve soldiers to access army education information, request Army Tuition Assistance (TA), and complete paperwork for on-campus and online degree programs, certificates and classes. Information provided includes a broad selection of distance-learning programs offered through eArmyU.

Those who are eligible to use the services of GoArmyEd include:

  • Active duty and reserve soldiers pursuing postsecondary educational goals.
  • Army Education counselors who are providing educational guidance.
  • Military-friendly colleges and universities offering higher education degrees, certificates and classes. These schools also report soldiers’ progress through GoArmyEd.

 

Army Tuition Assistance
As an active-duty or reserve Army service member, you may be eligible to receive 100% tuition assistance (TA) for college courses.

Basic eligibility requirements must be met. Some basic information is as follows:

  • You must enroll in an approved college, university or other higher education institution.
  • 100% tuition assistance will be paid up to a specified per unit cost and up to a maximum amount per year.
  • Both undergraduate and graduate college coursework at approved on-campus and online schools are eligible.

Tuition assistance (TA) is fully automated, allowing Army service members to access relevant information, request TA, and fill out application and enrollment forms online. Soldiers may avoid or minimize waiting in long lines at Army Education Centers by taking advantage of the convenient, online services of GoArmyEd.

SOCAD
The Servicemembers Opportunity Colleges (SOC) program is a network of approved military-friendly colleges that work together to serve the education needs of U.S. soldiers around the world.

SOCAD consists of accredited colleges and universities that offer traditional and online associate’s and bachelor’s degree programs. Soldiers may earn their college degrees while serving at Army installations all over the world.

The SOCAD schools are united in their mission to make it easier for service members to earn their college degrees. By interlinking in a way that enables colleges in the network to accept and transfer credits between one another, Army education students and their families are assured that transferring to new duty stations will not delay the achievement of educational goals.

SOCAD schools also offer college credit for military experience and training, based upon criteria established by the American Council on Education (ACE). Army education students may also receive credit for passing CLEP and DSST exams that are relevant to the specific degree program.

Online degree programs through SOCAD are particularly flexible and convenient; since online students are not assigned to campus locations for purposes of establishing academic residency. Army education students may study entirely online with the same college or university while earning their college diplomas, even as they move to new locations.

Please visit the SOCAD website for additional information.

Other Education Resources for the Army

Stateside Spouse Education Assistance Program (SSEAP)
The Stateside Spouse Education Assistance Program (SSEAP) is a scholarship program, based on need, for spouses, widows, and widowers of active duty or retired Army service members. Eligible applicants must reside in the United States and are required to use any monies they receive for education purposes.

Please visit the SSEAP for additional information.

The Army College Fund
The Army College Fund (ACF) is an enlistment incentive that adds additional monies on top of the Montgomery G.I. Bill (MGIB).

Eligibility for the ACF is only available for choosing from a narrow group of Military Occupational Specialties (MOS). A list of eligibility requirements for this benefit includes:

  • Recruit must be a high school graduate.
  • Recruit must have no prior military service.
  • Recruit must score 50 or higher on the Armed Forces Qualification Test.
  • At the time of enlistment, recruit must select a specific MOS designated as eligible for the ACF program.
  • Recruit must enroll and take part in the MGIB.
  • Recruit must include the ACF contract in the enlistment agreement.


The specific amount of the ACF education benefit is dependent upon length of enlistment, along with other calculations that include the amount of the MGIB education benefit. The ACF benefit plus the MGIB benefit will not exceed a specified maximum amount, currently $83,448, for those that meet top eligibility criteria.

Officers are generally not eligible for the ACF program; and enlisted men are no longer eligible to apply once they officially enter active-duty Army service.


College Loan Repayment Program (CLRP)
College students often struggle under hefty student loan debt. However, the Army is willing to pay off a huge chunk of it for those who meet specific enlistment criteria. Enlistees sign away their rights to Montgomery G.I. Bill benefits as a tradeoff for the CLRP.

Similar to the Army College Fund (ACF), the CLRP is only available to those who choose specific Military Occupational Specialties (MOS).

The Army will pay off up to $65,000 of student or parent loan debt for active-duty recruits who enlist for 3 years, or more, and up to $40,000 for Army Reserve recruits who enlist for 6 years.  
Qualifications include:

  • Recruit must decline enrollment in the Montgomery GI Bill in writing.
  • Recruit must include the CLRP paperwork among the enlistment contracts.
  • Recruit must not have prior military service.
  • Recruit must have a high school diploma.
  • Recruit must score at least 50 on the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB).
  • Recruit must select an eligible MOS from the recruiter’s current list.
  • Recruit must have a higher education loan that was acquired prior to enlistment in active duty or reserve service. The loan must be insured or guaranteed under the Higher Education Act of 1965.

Although the Army offers generous education programs that cover a majority of service members, potential recruits should do their own research into Army Education Programs in order to avoid misunderstandings and disappointment once they have enlisted.

Enjoy Your Army Benefits – You Earned Them!

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