In addition to military tuition assistance and Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) education programs, there are numerous loan and opportunities available to service members. You can take advantage of the following financial opportunities when funding your continuing education.
Federal grants and loans
Many federal grants and loans are available to assist students in pursuing their educational goals:
- Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA is the required application from the Department of Education to determine eligibility for any form of federal financial aid. More information is available on the FAFSA website.
- Federal Pell Grant. A Federal Pell Grant, unlike a loan, does not have to be repaid. Typically, Pell Grants are awarded only to undergraduate students who have not earned a bachelor's or a professional degree. In some cases, however, a student enrolled in a post-baccalaureate teacher certification program might receive a Pell Grant. More information is available on the Federal Student Aid website.
- Direct Stafford Loans. Direct Stafford Loans are low-interest loans for eligible students to help cover the cost of higher education at a four-year college or university, community college, or trade, career, or technical school. More information is available on the Federal Student Aid website.
- PLUS Loans. Parents of dependent students may apply for a Direct PLUS Loan to help pay their child's education expenses as long as certain eligibility requirements are met. Graduate and professional students may apply for PLUS Loans for their own expenses. More information is available on the Federal Student Aid website.
- Federal Perkins Loans. A Federal Perkins Loan is a low-interest loan for both undergraduate and graduate students with exceptional financial need. More information is available on the Federal Student Aid website.
- Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) Program. The FSEOG Program provides need-based grants to help low-income undergraduate students finance the costs of postsecondary education. Priority is given to those who are also Federal Pell Grant recipients. More information is available on the FSEOG website.
Colleges and Universities
There are numerous colleges and universities that are dedicated to helping service members and their families obtain their college degrees. Servicemembers Opportunity Colleges (SOC) provides educational opportunities to service members and their families who have trouble completing college degrees due to frequent relocations. The SOC website provides helpful information on the consortium of over 1,900 colleges worldwide that provide educational opportunities for members of the military community. More information is available on the SOC website.
For additional financial assistance information and websites, visit the DoD Voluntary Education Portal and check out the information on "Financial Aid" under "Helpful Resources" on the right-hand side.