As a student from a military family, finding a way to pay for college seemed pretty hard. The army does not pay my dad tons of money, so no matter how much my parents save it only covers a small percent of my sister and my college cost. Fortunately, there are many college tuition programs available for military personnel and their families so they so not have to rely on taking out tons of private loans.
At Boston University there is a small office, managed by Thomas Swift, which handles Veterans affairs for 400 students on campus. Last week I spoke to Thomas Swift and he told me about the various programs that are available to students.
Boston University accepts five different military benefit programs: Tuition assistance, Chapter 33, Chapter 35, Chapter 30, and Chapter 1606.
Tuition assistance: This program is used by active duty military personnel who are attending college. The person using this program has to maintain a certain GPA level, which is reported to the Department of Defense. If students’ grades dip below the GPA level, then they have to pay the money back.
Chapter 33: Also known as the Post 9/11 GI Bill is for veterans who have served at least 90 days on active duty after September 10, 2001. Students under this program receive a tuition and fee payment to their school and a monthly housing allowance. The amount of money that a student receives under this program depends on how long they severed under active duty. If a veteran does not use the Chapter 33 benefits for themselves, they can transfer them to a dependent such as a spouse of child. The dependent does not have to serve anytime in the military.
Chapter 35: These tuition benefits are for dependents of veteran who has been permanently disabled or died in the line of duty, missing in action, or is being currently forcibly detained in the line of duty by a foreign government or power.
Chapter 1606: This tuition program is also known as the Montgomery GI-Bill Selected Reserve is for people who have entered into a six-year contract to serve in the Selected Reserve, completed their initial active duty for training, completed high school or received a GED, and maintained Selected Reserve Status.
All of these programs do have more rules and restrictions, but are pretty straight forward. Swift suggest going to the Veterans Affairs website to find out more information about each program to see if you qualify or not.
After figuring out which program you are qualified for, you have to apply for a Certificate of Eligibility on the VA’s VONAPP website. When you receive your certificate, you send it to the school that you will be attending’s veterans affairs office. From there you are pretty much set.
At BU, Thomas Swift does not only deal with veteran benefit assistance. He works with the career development office to help military personnel and their families find jobs, coping with the transition from military life to college life and many other things.
To find out more about BU’s VA office, email Thomas Swift at email@example.com.