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Military Benefits and Programs for Trade Schools and Colleges

Now there is no trade-off between your military duty and a college education. The U.S. government recognizes your service in the armed forces and this recognition comes in the form of tuition assistance. You can choose to further your studies in any program that you want, before, during, or after your military service. Even your spouse is covered in these benefits and can get military educational grants and scholarships. Some colleges specifically provide military education programs.

Special Colleges for Military Personnel
Service members Opportunity Colleges or SOC has over 1,200 universities, colleges, and technical institutes, where military members and their families can study to get a college degree. Every year students who enroll through SOC have the option of choosing between classroom and online education. You can enroll in a two-year or a four-year program. A special version of SOC, called the Concurrent Admissions Program, is available for members of the Army. Another special college for Air Force men and women is the Community College of the Air Force. The CCAF has more than 70 associate degree programs in technical and scientific courses, such as computer science, information management, allied health services, and aircraft system maintenance technology. Also read Why Online Schools are Boomingfor the service member who whishes to earn a degree through an online college.

The G.I. Bill
The G.I. Bill is officially known as the Servicemen's Readjustment Act and was passed in 1944 to provide World War II veterans with opportunities for college or vocational training. The bill also provided unemployment compensation for a year. Other benefits of the Act include varied types of loans for buying property and to start businesses. Now, the Act includes all types of veteran benefit programs for military men from other wars or those from peacetime service to the armed forces. To know more about the G.I. Bill, you can log on to the official site at GIBill.gov.

How does the Bill Work and What are the Benefits?
The G.I. Bill, also known as the Montgomery G.I. Bill, provides education benefits that can be used for certificate or degree programs, for flight training, apprenticeship, correspondence courses, and on-the-job training among others. The benefits can be used for 10 years after leaving active service. However, if you rejoin service for more than 90 days, the 10-year benefit clock will be reset from your new date of leaving. Since the money from the G.I. Bill goes to you and not to the school, it will not be considered by most schools as financial aid. So you will be eligible for student loans, scholarships, and Pell Grants; you will, however, be eligible for a lower amount of student financial aid if you are already a recipient of G.I. benefit. You also have the freedom to use your benefit for a time and then take some time off, only to rejoin later. Your benefits will come to you on a monthly basis and you have to update your status through the Web Automated Verification of Enrollment (W.A.V.E) or by telephone. Your G.I. benefits will not be taxed.

To apply online for the GI Bill Benefits log on to: VABenefits.gov.

Online Programs for Military Personnel and their Benefits
While on active military service it is difficult to join a degree program in a brick and mortar college. Now you can join online colleges. You can search for online colleges at: GetDegrees.com

Some universities, have special privileges for service people in the form of different tuition rates and scholarships. Also look into the option of CLEP examinations to get credits that are transferable. You can take this test at your base station; however, do check with your support center.

Military Benefits - Tutoring Programs and Financial Assistance
The military spends millions of dollars every year on tuition assistance programs that help service men to enroll in universities, colleges, vocational and technical schools, and even high schools. You need to fulfill certain conditions, such as having a minimum number of service years on hand, to qualify for tuition assistance. Both the Army and the Navy also have the College Fund Program, money from which comes in addition to the benefits of the G.I. grants. It amounts to a considerable amount of financial assistance for military students. Though the Air Force does not have a College Fund Program, it has Community Colleges (CCAF) for its men and women.

Transferring Military Credits
When you complete the Initial Entry Training, also known as 'basic training' or 'boot camp', in your service, you automatically earn four semester hours of college credit. The military 'A School' (advanced job training) that follows basic training also gives you college credit, so you go on earning college credit while learning your job in the military. Check if the school that is going to train you for your military job offers college credits. This will usually happen only if your military school is accredited by the American Council on Education.

Military benefits programs do not stop with you but are extended to your family and other dependents. Log on to GetDegrees.com to learn more about this. Some real opportunities exist for military spouses interested in learning about careers that will always be in demand, whatever part of the country they may be in. Check the following site for more information on this: Military.com.

For help in locating scholarships, see the Scholarship Finder at Aid.Military.com.

Some other helpful links are given below:

EducationConnection.com
MilitaryConnection.com
Education.Military.com

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