Military Education Benefits Resources for Veterans and Family Members
The Department of Veterans Affairs offers a variety of military education benefits to qualifying veterans and family members. But not all of the education benefits you can use with or in place of the GI Bill come from the VA or the federal government.
While the VA does not endorse third-party services, it does maintain lists of non-VA resources for educational benefits and information on its official site. Many federal, state, and local programs and even some third-party sites offer help to vets and family members looking for help paying for higher education.
Do you need to learn more about your options to pay for higher education with or without using your GI Bill? There are many sources, including those recommended by the VA and our own selections below.
School Resources For Veterans
- VA GI Bill Comparison Tool: Compare schools, programs, and other options.
- Student Veterans of America: An advocacy group “dedicated to creating an environment that fosters a smooth transition into institutions of higher education for student veterans” according to the VA.
- Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA): This organization maintains the CHEA Database of Institutions and Programs Accredited by Recognized United States Accrediting Organizations. This is said to be “the most comprehensive” online list of accredited schools in the U.S.
- College Recon has tools to help veterans locate schools, scholarships, and veteran education benefits.
There are many state and local programs for veterans and family members. You can find veteran benefits by state including education and training benefits, and you can also search VA.gov to find a location near you to get in-person help filling out GI Bill forms or other VA education benefits applications.
Related: Military Bases By State
Financial Aid For Military Members and Families
- U.S. Department of Education Guide to Federal Student Aid Programs: Not limited to military financial aid, this is a crucial resource for anyone looking for student aid.
- Military Scholarship and Grant Finder: A tool to locate scholarships for military veterans, spouses, and dependents.
- Federal Student Aid for Military Families: Offered to military students and military family members.
- National Military Family Association: This site features a scholarship program for spouses of military members.
- DANTES: This site provides a clearinghouse of resources to help military families lower their education costs.
- Guard and Reserve Benefits List: The VA official page for information on Guard/EReserve benefits, including military education benefit programs.
- Survivors and Dependents Education Assistance: A VA Program for surviving family members.
Rules, Resources, and Programs
- Military Spouse Resource Center: Resources on both education and employment for military spouses.
- Troops to Teachers Program: Managed by the Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Support (DANTES). This program offers financial help for those entering approved teaching fields.
- Joint Services Transcript: Depending on your branch of service, you may qualify to receive a transcript that lists military education and job experience, translated into civilian terms. JSF also provides “college equivalent credit recommendations,” according to the VA.
Related: Military Bases By State
About the author
Editor-in-Chief Joe Wallace is a 13-year veteran of the United States Air Force and a former reporter/editor for Air Force Television News and the Pentagon Channel. His freelance work includes contract work for Motorola, VALoans.com, and Credit Karma. He is co-founder of Dim Art House in Springfield, Illinois, and spends his non-writing time as an abstract painter, independent publisher, and occasional filmmaker.