If you're looking to return to school once you've completed your enlistment, there are many opportunities available to you.
The following five resources are some of the best options available to help veterans pursue and finance a degree.
1. The Montgomery G.I. Bill
Created in 1940s post-war America, the original G.I. Bill was legislation that guaranteed training, education, unemployment compensation, and business loans to returning veterans. The Montgomery G.I. Bill was the 1985 update to the original bill created by Mississippi Congressman, Gillespie V. Montgomery.
To be eligible for the Montgomery G.I. Bill, you need to have first entered active duty after June 1985 or have remaining entitlement under the Vietnam-era G.I. Bill.
The tuition assistance you're eligible for under the Montgomery G.I. Bill can be used for vocational training, college degrees, and certificate programs, correspondence courses, and licensing and certification tests among other things. See full eligibility requirements here.
2. The Post-9/11 G.I. Bill
Similar to the creation of the original G.I. Bill, the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill was created during a time of great upheaval and, once again, veterans returning home in need of education and employment. Created by a coalition of veterans organizations and a bipartisan congressional group, the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill was signed by then-President George W. Bush on June 30, 2008.
The new G.I. Bill changed the eligibility for its entitlement, requiring potential recipients to spend 90 days on active duty. The amount of the G.I. you'll qualify for depends on the length of time you spent on active duty — 90 total days gives you 90% eligibility and 36 months gives you the full 100% eligibility.
Another change is that the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill will only pay tuition costs for in-state students attending public institutions.
3. The Yellow Ribbon Program
The Yellow Ribbon Program helps fill in gaps left by the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill since it only covers full tuition costs for in-state students attending public institutions.
If you want to attend a private school or out-of-state institution, the Yellow Ribbon program may offer assistance if it's determined the program is necessary for you to accomplish your educational goals.
Schools voluntarily participate in the Yellow Ribbon program and will pay 50 percent of the extra costs associated with attending private or out-of-state institutions. Also, the VA will match the school’s Yellow Ribbon contribution dollar-for-dollar, helping to further decrease school expenses.
4. Veterans Coming Home
Veterans Coming Home is a website that helps veterans transition back into civilian life once they've returned home. The goal is to provide resources that the returning veteran needs to get back into regular life, which includes educational resources.
The website has a section dedicated to educational resources for veterans covering financial aid, veteran-friendly schools, and other information about obtaining a degree or other training.
5. State Level Veteran Benefits
Various states offer different types of education assistance to veterans.
Ohio has veteran-specific benefits like the Ohio Values Veterans program that offers college credit for military experience. Check your State Department of Education and Veterans Affairs for any veteran benefits your state may provide.
6. Army Knowledge Online
Army Knowledge Online (AKO) is a web portal for the United States Army. You can use the service to search for army related information, like potential job openings or education resources.
You can use the portals library and database resources to search for education opportunities and scholarships for veterans. While initially for those in the army only, AKO has been opened to the larger DOD community in recent years.
Returning to school after serving in the armed forces doesn't have to be something you take on alone. Hocking College offers a vast amount of resources for veterans looking to attend college.