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Voluntary Education Websites

These resources offer information on federal grants and loans, scholarships for injured service members and other education tools.

  • Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support, or DANTES: DANTES supports the off-duty voluntary education programs of the Department of Defense by helping eligible service members and their families pursue their education goals. DANTES provides programs and services in certification, counselor support, distance learning and examinations, and manages the Tuition Assistance Program.
  • Department of Education: This website provides information for students, parents, teachers and administrators, including links related to student aid, grants, scholarships and education legislation.
  • Department of Veterans Affairs Education Benefits: The VA offers education programs and benefits for veterans of military service as well as education benefits to surviving family members. Find information on education and training, veteran readiness and employment, GI Bill benefits and more.
  • The American Council on Education Military Guide:  The ACE Military Guide is an updated version of the Guide to Evaluation of Education Experiences in the Armed Services, the standard reference for recognizing learning acquired through military experience. The ACE Military Guide allows personnel to search by military occupational specialty or courses and provides the recommended academic credit equivalent.
  • Federal Student Aid: Federal Student Aid is an official website of the U.S. government that provides information and resources for college students and their families to assist them in choosing the right college, applying for financial aid and repaying student loans.
  • Test Site Lookup: DANTES provides a website allowing service providers to search and retrieve contact information for DANTES testing sites by location, service branch, major command and/or by ship name for the Navy and Coast Guard.

Federal Grants and Loans

Various federal grants and loans exist to assist military and non-military students in paying for the costs of higher education:

  • Federal grants – A grant is a form of financial aid that does not need to be repaid by the student. The federal government offers grant programs for eligible students in the form of the Federal Pell Grant, the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, the Academic Competitiveness Grant and the National Science and Mathematics Access to Retain Talent Grant, or the National SMART Grant.
  • Federal Perkins Loan Program – Federal Perkins Loans are similar to Stafford Loans, except that the student borrows (and subsequently repays) the financial aid from the university instead of the federal government. Federal Perkins Loans are low-interest student loans for undergraduate and graduate students with exceptional financial need. The loans have shorter time periods for repayment than Stafford Loans, but Perkins Loans do not require that students are enrolled at least half-time.
  • Free Application for Federal Student Aid – The Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, is the required application for students seeking financial aid from the U.S. government for their education costs.
  • Federal Direct Student Loans – The William D. Ford Federal Direct Student Loan Program replaced the Stafford Loan Program in 2010. These loans consist of both Direct Subsidized Loans and Direct Unsubsidized Loans, both administered by the U.S. Department of Education. The Department of Education pays the interest on Direct Subsidized Loans while students are enrolled at least half-time, for the first six months after students leaves school and during periods of deferment or postponement of loan payments. For Direct Unsubsidized Loans, students are responsible for paying the interest on the loans during all periods of the loan. Both the subsidized and unsubsidized loans do not require repayment until after the student graduates, leaves school or drops below half-time status.

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