College Tuition Waivers and the National Guard

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Wings5
Posts: 39
Joined: Sun Nov 16, 2014 5:17 pm

College Tuition Waivers and the National Guard

Post by Wings5 » Mon Apr 17, 2017 5:04 pm

Has anyone on here used tuition waivers through the national guard to pay for school?

I'm currently serving and I've been out of college for almost 11 years now, so my ship has sailed. Many of the folks I serve with enlisted in the guard (air or army) out of high school, went through basic, and drilled on weekends. After 9/11 many states added the benefit of tuition waivers at in-state universities. Many of my friends earned their degree without tuition and paid only fees and books. They graduated after 4 years with very minimal to no debt, and four years of work experience on their resume. The new blended retirement system will give the added benefit of a very small TSP match to traditional guardsmen who serve while attending college.

I'm certainly not trying to recruit anyone here. The topic of 529s and paying for college came up at work a few days ago. I mentioned to some coworkers that guard members can get full tuition waivers and nobody had heard of it, so I figured I would try to spread the word.

-Wings

ncbill
Posts: 54
Joined: Sun Jul 06, 2008 4:03 pm

Re: College Tuition Waivers and the National Guard

Post by ncbill » Thu Apr 20, 2017 10:58 pm

It can be even better for those choosing ROTC, if that ROTC will accept them into the simultaneous membership program (SMP)

A motivated student could do basic summer after high school. Once accepted into SMP they'd collect drill pay as an E-5, and are not deployable, IIRC, after the first semester is completed. They then would do advanced the next summer, which I believe would make them eligible for the GI Bill.

And they'll have those years of service when they commission.

Took my youngest on an out-of-state college visit this month.
After the AROTC presentation I met the officer in charge of recruiting for that state's Nat'l Guard.

Told him my youngest wanted to fly and he said he had a whole bunch of Blackhawks.

However, the kid currently wants to fly fixed-wing (pilot's license by graduation) so they're mostly looking at schools with NROTC & AFROTC programs (& the academies as well.)

Still, I asked if they would be happy flying rotary. :)

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SpecialK22
Posts: 826
Joined: Tue Sep 01, 2009 3:16 pm

Re: College Tuition Waivers and the National Guard

Post by SpecialK22 » Fri Apr 21, 2017 12:11 am

Did four years active Air Force then switched to the ANG. Education and healthcare are two things that the military does a good job of providing. As those two areas have been some of the fastest increasing costs for most of the population, I think military service has increasingly become a good financial deal. On top of that I think college has become a glorified trade school in several circumstances. Take for example my career field. It's an enlisted career field as far as the military is concerned, but some expensive private/public schools provide bachelor's degrees in it. Considering the military provides paid for job training, that can provide another massive benefit. You do have to be careful with the military though because some training may not translate well to the civilian world. As a generalization, if training or a career is considered/termed "tactical" or "combat" it doesn't translate well to the civilian world. Lastly, veterans' preference gives an eligible veteran a huge leg up with federal hiring. Combine federal service with National Guard/Reserve service and you could have two fairly good sized pensions if you play the game right.

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