Military Money for College: A Reality Check
57% of Military Personnel Who Signed Up Have Received Nothing
Average Net Payout to Veterans: Less than $2200
This article is based on research done by Peacework Co-Editor Sam Diener and intern Jamie Munro.
The advertisements blare: Join the military and receive $70,000 for college! This bonus program, known as the Montgomery GI Bill - Army/Navy College Fund, is in reality, according to an August 27, 2004 press release from the US Army Recruiting Command, only available to those who qualify with high test scores, sign up for what the military deems “critical” military specialties (critical usually means hardest to fill and least desirable), and enlist for at least six years of active military duty. Approximately 95% of those who enter the military are not eligible for this maximum amount.
In fact, 57% of the veterans who signed up for the Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB) have never seen a penny in college assistance, and the average net payout to veterans has been only $2151. Primarily, the low average net is the result of the many military personnel who the Department of Defense (DoD) declares ineligible, and of the challenges faced by veterans trying to access the promised money even if they are eligible.
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