College Benefits for Military and Veterans - Geneva College
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November 18, 2022

College Benefits for Military and Veterans

Years ago, as a new Navy wife, I discovered I needed a different set of skills, knowledge, and resources to not just ‘survive’ Navy spousedom but to thrive. That moment taught me a valuable lesson, “Knowledge is important, but knowledge applied rightly is power.” That experience set my feet on a path of discovery and sharing of resources, best practices, wisdom, and understanding to be the strong Navy wife my husband deserved.

That lesson stands true for today’s military and veterans. There are resources, information, best practices, and benefits for our amazing servicemembers and veterans that, when applied, help them build their next best chapter of life. There are many resources for our amazing veterans and servicemembers with a focus on education.

Over the years, beginning with WWII, Congress recognized the need and obligation to aid our military as they transition from military service to civilian life. This aid begins before they leave the service with a course called TAP – Transition Assistance Program. This course briefs those soon separating from the military with information, resources, and insight on the transition and benefits they will receive.

Congress reformed the education benefits for the military from the Montgomery GI Bill to the new Post 9/11 (Forever) GI Bill. This new robust benefit enables servicemembers to go to school full-time to complete a degree or training more quickly. Benefits of this Bill include payment of tuition and fees, a housing allowance, and a stipend for books. It can be used at any accredited college, university, or trade school which is assisting veterans in building their future with a degree or training.

There are other benefit programs for our veterans and service members to assist with education. Below is a list with a brief description of the program (or chapter as the VA calls them).

VA Educational Benefits

Chapter 30: Montgomery GI Bill®

The Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB) is available to those who enlist in the U.S. Armed Forces. The MGIB-AD program—sometimes known as Chapter 30—provides education benefits to Veterans and Servicemembers who have at least two years of active duty.

Chapter 31: Vocational Rehabilitation & Employment Vet Success Program (VocRehab).

The purpose of VocRehab is simple: Assist service-disabled Veterans to train for, find, and hold down a suitable job, or achieve independence in daily living. VocRehab is for service-connected Veterans, at least 10% disabled, who want to take their careers in a direction that previous training and current disabilities make difficult.

Chapter 33: Post-9/11 GI Bill®

The Post- 9/11 GI Bill is an education benefit program for individuals who served on active duty after September 10, 2001.

Chapter 35: Survivors’ & Dependents’ Educational Assistance

The Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance (DEA) program offers education and training opportunities to eligible dependents of Veterans who are permanently and totally disabled due to a service-related condition or of Veterans who died while on active duty or as a result of a service-related condition.

Chapter 1606: Montgomery GI Bill Selected Reserves (MGIB – SR)

MGIB-SR program provides education and training benefits to eligible members of the Selected Reserve, including the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, or Coast Guard Reserve, Army National Guard or Air National Guard. Eligibility for this program is determined by the Selected Reserve components and VA makes the payments.

MGIB-SR Kicker

The MGIB-SR kicker is an enlistment or reenlistment education incentive that certain Selected Reserve members can use to increase the amount of money they receive when using their Montgomery GI Bill-Selected Reserve (MGIB-SR) to go to school. Of course, the purpose of a kicker is to encourage quality people to enlist and extend their enlistment in the various Selective Reserve branches.

Chapter 1607: The Reserve Educational Assistance Program (REAP)

The Reserve Educational Assistance Program (REAP) is a recent Department of Defense education benefit program, designed to provide educational assistance to members of the Reserve components called or ordered to
Active Duty in response to war or national emergency (contingency operation) as declared by the President or Congress. This program makes certain individuals who were activated after September 10, 2001, either eligible for education benefits or increased benefits.

Fry Scholarship

The Marine Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry Scholarship (Fry Scholarship), a scholarship for children and dependents of Veterans. If your parent or spouse was an active-duty service member who died in the line of duty on or after September 11, 2001, you may qualify for this benefit.

Chapter 36: Education and Career Counseling Program

  • Career Choice – understand the best career options based on your interests and capabilities
  • Benefits Coaching – guidance on the effective use of VA benefits and/or other resources to achieve education and career goals
  • Personalized Support – Academic or adjustment counseling and personalized support to help remove any barriers to success

Eligibility: Transitioning service members within six months prior to discharge from active duty, veterans within one year following discharge from active duty, any Servicemember or Veteran eligible for a VA education benefit, and all current VA education beneficiaries.

‘GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government website at www.va.gov/education.

To begin using your GI Bill Education Benefits apply at www.va.gov/education/how-to-apply

 

Benefit Overview – DOD Programs

Military Tuition Assistance (TA)

Military Tuition Assistance is a benefit paid to eligible members of the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, Coast Guard and Reservists. Congress has given each service the ability to pay up to 100% for the tuition expenses of its members. For more information and to begin using your benefits apply at:  www.armyignited.com

 

MyCAA – Scholarship for Military Spouses

The My Career Advancement Account Scholarship is a workforce development program that provides eligible military spouses with up to $4,000 in financial assistance for licenses, certifications, or associate degrees to pursue an occupation or career field. For more information: www.militaryonesource.mil/education-employment/for-spouses/mycaa-scholarship

Members of the PA National Guard also receive benefits from the state for their service.

 

Benefit Overview – Pennsylvania National Guard/Air Guard

Education Assistance Program (EAP)

EAP is state-funded program; it provides educational assistance for eligible members of the Pennsylvania National Guard. EAP funding is awarded regardless of financial need. In addition, reductions or adjustments of PA State Grants cannot be as a result of a service member receiving EAP.

Military Family Education Program

House Bill 1324, known as the Pennsylvania GI Bill, was signed into law on July 1, 2019. The Bill authorized the Military Family Education Program (MFEP) which allows spouses and children of Pennsylvania National Guard members to attend college at no or reduced cost.

Under the PA GI Bill, Pennsylvania National Guard members who commit to an additional six years of service can receive five years of higher education benefits for their spouses and children. The program will provide for 10 semesters of tuition-free education for family member(s). The benefit must be used at a Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) approved educational institution,

At Geneva, we are proud of our HERO GRANT which helps military and veteran students who are out of benefits or not at the 100% level in their benefits. The Geneva Hero Grant reduces tuition by $100 per credit for undergraduate studies and $150 off for graduate studies.

For more information on your benefits, deployment policies, and scholarships, please visit: www.geneva.edu/military. If you have any questions, contact Beth Wiruth at 724.847.6534 or biwiruth@geneva.edu.

 

-Beth Wiruth, Military Enrollment Specialist