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Don’t think you can afford college? Think again. In addition to military tuition assistance and Department of Veterans Affairs education programs, numerous loans and opportunities are available to help you fund the next step in your education.
Federal grants and loans
Check out these grants and loans to help cover education expenses:
- Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, is the required application from the Department of Education. It determines your eligibility for any form of federal financial aid.
- Federal Pell Grants, unlike loans, do not have to be repaid. The grant is typically awarded to an undergraduate student who has not yet earned a bachelor’s or professional degree. In some cases, a student enrolled in a post-bachelor’s teacher certificate program may receive a Pell Grant.
- Direct Stafford Loans are low-interest loans to help cover the cost of higher education at a four-year college or university, community college, or a trade, career or technical school.
- PLUS loans are federal loans that eligible graduate or professional degree students and parents of dependent undergraduate students can use to help pay for education expenses.
- Federal Perkins Loans are low-interest loans for both undergraduate and graduate students with exceptional financial need.
- Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunities Grant Program, or FSEOG, provides need-based grants to help low-income undergraduate students finance the cost of higher education. Priority is given to recipients of the Federal Pell Grant.
Colleges and universities
More than 2,600 colleges and universities worldwide offer educational opportunities to military members. Service Members Opportunity Colleges, or SOC, a group of more than 1,900 postsecondary schools, provides opportunities to service members and their families to complete college degrees as they live the mobile military life.
Here are some useful resources to help you plan your postsecondary education:
- TA DECIDE, a new Department of Defense tool, allows you to compare information about education institutions and costs.
- Financial Aid Shopping Sheet helps you compare higher education institutions to make informed decisions about where to attend school.
- GI Bill® Comparison Tool helps you compare Veterans Affairs-approved institutions and review other information to choose the education program that works best for you.
- College Navigator provides a search feature, builds a list of schools for comparison and pinpoints school locations to help you make the best decision about your postsecondary education.
Use the TA DECIDE tool to help you make informed decisions about your postsecondary education. For more information about financial assistance for higher education, call Military OneSource at 800-342-9647 to set up an education specialty consultation.