Whether you are currently serving or separated from the service, you may be eligible for certain education benefits.
Education benefits will vary depending on your branch of service, length and type of service, as well as, current military status. Some examples of military education benefits are the GI Bill, Federal Tuition Assistance, State Tuition Assistance and MN GI Bill.
Federal GI Bill
Montgomery GI Bill – Chapter 30:
Service Members who have served on active duty with any branch of the armed forces may be eligible to receive Chapter 30, if they have signed up for and paid into the program. Chapter 30 recipients have 10 years after their date of discharge to use 36 months of payment.
Montgomery GI Bill Selected Reserve – Chapter 1606:
Most Reserve and National Guard members are eligible for Chapter 1606 upon completion of initial training. Recipients of Chapter 1606 retain eligibility for the duration of their active drilling status up to 14 years. Benefit extension available for those with mobilized service.
Reserve Educational Assistance Program (REAP) - Chapter 1607:
Reserve and National Guard members who have served on qualifying active federal service for at least 90 days may have eligibility for Chapter 1607. This benefit is based on a percentage of the active duty GI bill rate. Benefit extension available for those who complete an 8 year service contract in the Reserve or National Guard.
GI Bill "Buy-Up":
Program allows maximum contribution of $600, in $20 increments, which pays up to an additional $150 per month for 36 months. Option may be available on Chapter 1607 and Chapter 30.
Post-9/11 GI Bill – Chapter 33:
Eligibility for Chapter 33 is based on qualifying periods of active duty performed after 9/10/01. Percentage of the benefit you are entitled to is determined by number of qualifying months of service. This benefit consists of three components: tuition & fees paid directly to the institution, a housing stipend and a book & supply stipend paid to the student. This benefit expires 15 years from the last day of active duty separation. With additional qualifying service requirements, Chapter 33 includes an option to transfer the benefit to dependents. Your decision to elect Chapter 33 is irrevocable. We strongly recommend contacting the MDVA Regional Coordinator prior to completing an application for Chapter 33.
Federal Tuition Assistance
Federal Tuition Assistance (FTA) is available to active duty service-members and drilling members of the National Guard and Reserve components. This program will pay up to $4,500 per fiscal year toward tuition expenses including some student fees. In some cases, this benefit can be used in conjunction with other veterans education benefits.
This program has a limited budget and is paid on a first come first serve basis, so it is important to apply early. This benefit is paid directly to the college. You are required to earn a “C” and maintain a 2.0 GPA or better in your classes. Failure to complete classes satisfactorily will require repayment of FTA funds by the soldier.
Army National Guard Enlisted Soldiers must apply for Federal Tuition Assistance (FTA) in order to be eligible to apply for State Tuition Reimbursement.
Application website for Army Active Duty, National Guard & Reserve: www.goarmyed.com
Deadline to apply: First day of class.
Minnesota State Tuition Reimbursement
This benefit is only available to current members of the Minnesota Army and Air National Guard and may be used in conjunction with the GI Bill and Federal Tuition Assistance. The lifetime maximum State Tuition Reimbursement benefit is 208 quarter or 144 Semester credits. The reimbursement rate is 100% of the undergraduate rate of the University of Minnesota -- Twin Cities with a maximum yearly benefit of $12,000.00 per fiscal year (01 JUL through 30 JUN).
To apply for State Tuition Reimbursement you MUST contact your unit full-time representative to obligate funds as soon as you know you will be going to school. Like FTA, STR requires a “C” or better to qualify for reimbursement. Army National Guard Enlisted Soldiers must apply for Federal Tuition Assistance (FTA) in order to be eligible to apply for State Tuition Reimbursement. You can pick up the STR paperwork in the Veterans Resource Center.
To apply, please contact your Unit Administrator.
Minnesota GI Bill
The Minnesota GI Bill program was established in 2007 to provide postsecondary financial assistance to eligible Minnesota veterans who served on or after September 11, 2001. Full-time undergraduate or graduate students may be eligible to receive up to $1,000 per semester or term and part-time students may be eligible to receive up to $500 per semester or term.
You must be a Minnesota resident enrolled at Minnesota institutions who is a:
- Veteran who is serving or has served honorably in any branch of the United States armed forces at any time on or after September 11, 2001, or;
- Non-veteran who has served honorably for a total of five years or more cumulatively as a member of the Minnesota National Guard or any other active or reserve component of the United States armed forces, and any part of that service occurred on or after September 11, 2001, or;
- Spouse or child of a person who has served in the military at any time on or after September 11, 2001, and who has died or has a total and permanent disability as a direct result of that military service.
Veterans benefits and federal and state aid may impact the actual amount received. Students wishing to use the Minnesota GI Bill must first complete a FAFSA. Applications can be found at www.getreadyforcollege.org/military
MN State Statute 197.791
Scholarships for Veterans & Family Members
It is also recommended that all students complete a FAFSA for possible additional financial aid. Federal Tuition Assistance and State Tuition Reimbursement are branch specific benefits.
The MN GI Bill is based on financial need. FAFSA can be used in conjunction with your military education benefits.
Depending on your individual circumstances, you may be eligible for multiple chapters of the GI Bill.
While you are the only person who can choose which program meets your needs, meeting with the Higher Education Veterans Program Regional Coordinator can help you to better understand your options.