Paying for School with Military Benefits

The U.S. government offers financial aid for military service —to those who are interested in entering military service and to those who have already served.

ROTC Scholarships

If serving your country in the military after college appeals to you, check out the availability of Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) programs and scholarships on your college campus. While most of these scholarships are given to eligible students just entering college, a limited number of one-, two-, or three-year scholarships are available for students already in college. 

ROTC scholarships:

  • Are awarded separately by each branch of the military—Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard—and vary by branch in length, value, and terms
  • Pay tuition and other education expenses
  • Provide a living allowance of about $1,500 per year

Scholarships are competitive and based on academic performance, physical fitness, extracurricular activities, and a personal interview.

In return for this financial aid you must agree to join the military as an officer on active duty, in the Reserves, or in the National Guard for a set number of years after graduation. The length of service depends on the military branch you choose and your field of specialty, but four years is a common length. Some services offer health-related or Nursing ROTC programs

Because of the service commitment required immediately following graduation, consider an ROTC scholarship carefully before you accept it. Learn more about ROTC scholarships at

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Education Benefits

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has a long history of providing educational assistance to qualified individuals. Information about the educational benefits offered by the VA for military service members can be found on its website at

Try using the GI Bill comparison tool to calculate your benefits and find an approved higher education program.

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