Paying for School: Financial Aid Options for Military Students
By Ryan Laspina
Senior Specialist, Red Flags and External Reviews at APUS
One of the major benefits of completely online institutions such as American Military University (AMU) is that they can offer currently enlisted military personnel a chance to receive their education while serving our country. Because AMU has a flexible online setting, many military members (both current and veterans) pursue their education through AMU’s online environment. The government offers a handful of payment options for our servicemen and servicewomen to pursue their education, and these options are listed below.
- Tuition Assistance (TA) – This pay type is offered to active duty, National Guard, and reserve members of the five main military branches (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard). For all of the branches except for the Coast Guard, the TA will cover the cost of each credit. Coast Guard members will have a tuition gap they will need to cover with another pay type. When applying at APUS, those using TA should always select the TA payment type first.
- MyCAA – This is a benefit for military spouses, and eligibility is determined by the government. It will also cover the full cost of each credit hour. Those wishing to use this pay type should select the Employer Voucher payment option when applying at AMU.
- Vocational Rehabilitation (Chapter 31) – This pay type is for disabled veterans and is offered through the Office of Veteran’s Affairs (VA). To find out if they are eligible, students should contact the VA to be assigned a case manager. In most situations, full tuition costs are covered. Those wishing to use this pay type should select the Vocational Rehabilitation option when applying.
- Post 9/11 GI Bill (Chapter 33) – This option is for those who served active duty for at least 90 aggregate days after September 10, 2001. Eligibility is determined by the VA, and veterans, Reservist/National Guard, and active duty members can use it. If choosing to use this pay type, students should always choose the VA Chapter 33 payment type when applying.
- Montgomery GI Bill – This is similar to the Post 9/11 GI Bill, this payment type is for active duty, Reservist/National Guard, and veterans and eligibility is determined by the VA. There are numerous, complex scenarios attached to this option, so it is advisable for those wishing to use this payment type to contact the VA for more information. Keep in mind that for this pay type, AMU does require payment or payment arrangements at the time of registration.
The best resource for our servicemen and servicewomen would be the VA. Many schools that have a large military student population should have a team dedicated to helping military members with all of their payment questions. At AMU, the Military Assistance Team (MAT) will be happy to answer any military-related questions. For VA questions and benefits you can email them at VAQuestions@apus.edu, and for TA/Employer Voucher questions you can contact them at TA@apus.edu.