If you are a veteran or an active soldier and you want to go back to school, you can. Contrary to popular belief, there are ways to continue your education that do not require student loans and crying sessions. As a veteran or an active soldier, you can always apply for the Veterans’ Educational Assistance Program (VEAP). The VEAP is an assistance program that encourages veterans and active soldiers alike to pursue their education. The Department of Veterans Affairs is responsible for funding and managing the Veterans’ Educational Assistance Program. However, the regional Veterans Affairs office is responsible for administering the program.
If you are planning on continuing your education, good for you! You deserve to finish school and close that chapter of your life, once and for all. (Whether it is a high school degree or a PhD, good for you either way.) But, first you should know all about the Veterans’ Educational Assistance Program and how it works. (Oh, and thank you for your service.)
What is the Veterans’ Educational Assistance Program (VEAP)?
The Veterans’ Educational Assistance Program is an assistance program that is funded and managed by the Department of Veterans Affairs. You will be able to apply for the VEAP benefits, which will award you with money that you pay your tuition fee with. You can also use the money for different non-college degree programs; you’re not tied to one educational entity. The Veterans’ Educational Assistance Program encourages veterans and active soldiers alike to pursue their education and continue school. (If you are an active soldier, do not worry about it. The Veterans’ Educational Assistance Program applies to you too, and you can receive VEAP benefits just as much as the next person.)
However, you should keep in mind that there are eligibility requirements that you need to meet to qualify for the Program. You will need to make sure you meet all of the requirements and choose an educational aspect that you want to pursue.
How Does the VEAP Work?
The Veterans’ Educational Assistance Program operates simply and efficiently. After you apply for the VEAP benefits, you have to wait and find out if you are accepted or not. If you are accepted, then you will receive money that would be used for your tuition.
The VEAP will assist in paying for school and other educational programs. This could include: help you pay for these types of training, programs, and fees:
- Undergraduate and graduate degree programs
- Co-op training
- Non-college degree programs (technical or vocational courses)
- Flight training
- On-the-job training and apprenticeships
- Test fees
- Entrepreneurship training
- Correspondence training
However, you will find that you will need to pay for other types of courses. Typically, these courses are considered fundamental courses that you will need to enroll in and continue your education. These courses include: remedial courses, deficiency courses, and refresher courses. Remedial courses are courses that you will need to improve your skills in Math, English, and Reading. Deficiency courses are classes that you might need to enroll in a specific collegiate department. Finally, refresher courses are courses that remind you of the knowledge in a certain subject area. (Refresh courses are important to, you know, refresh your memory.)
Am I Eligible for the Veterans’ Educational Assistance Program (VEAP)?
In order to qualify for the Veterans’ Educational Assistance Program (VEAP), you need to meet certain eligibility requirements. Your current situation will need to apply to all of the following:
– Joined the service for the first time between the years of 1st of January, 1977 and 30th of June, 1985. (This includes for all branches and services of the U.S. Military, except for the Air Force)
– Opened and added funds to your Veterans’ Educational Assistance Program account before 1st of April, 1987.
– Added funds that range from 25$ to 2,700$ of your own money into the VEAP account
– Finished your first period of military service and did not receive at any point a dishonourable discharge.
However, this only applies for other branches of the U.S. Military, except for the Air Force. If you were in the Air Force, there are additional requirements that you need to meet. You need to meet the following requirements to qualify:
– Joined the service for the first time between the years of 1st of December, 1980 and 30th of September, 1981.
– Enlisted in one of the following Air Force Specialities, according to the Department of Veterans’ Affairs: 20723, 20731, 20830, 46130, 46230A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, J, or Z, 46430, or 81130.
– Enrolled in one of these locations: Beckley, WV; Buffalo, NY; Dallas; Fargo, ND; Houston; Jackson, MS; Louisville, KY; Memphis, TN; Omaha, NB; Philadelphia; Seattle; Sioux Falls, SD; or Syracuse, NY.
You should keep in mind that if you are currently in active duty with the U.S. Military, then you must have access to at least three months of contributions. If you have access to these contributions, then you can use your VEAP benefits.
How to Apply for the VEAP?
Applying for the Veterans’ Educational Assistance Program is easy and hassle-free. You will not need to run back and forth to receive your benefits. According to the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, you can apply for the VEAP by following these three steps.
- Confirm that the Veterans’ Administration approved the program you want.
You can go to the nearest Veterans’ Administration regional office in your area. The office will help you, and the school you want to join, understand the eligibility requirements. Also, they can help you with the application process.
- Actually, apply for benefits!
If you have not started training yet, then you should apply for Veterans’ Administration’s Education benefits. You can apply online, in person, send it in by mail, or have a trained professional help you. In the case that you are currently on active duty, then you will need your Education Services Office approve of your enrollment. Additionally, you will need your Commanding Officer to verify your service with the U.S. Military. On the other hand, if you are not on active duty, then you will need to send over a copy 4 of your DD214, Certificate of Release, or Discharge from Active Duty. According to VA, if you have already started training, then you should “take your VA Form 22-1990 application and the member copy of your DD214 to your school or employer. Ask them to complete VA Form 22-1999, Enrollment Certification, and send in all the forms.”
The Last Step
The last step of the application process is that you need to confirm your enrollment. The school or training that you plan to attend will need to verify your enrollment with the Veterans’ Administration. After that, you are done. You just have to sit and wait for whatever comes next.
In conclusion, you should consider going back to school. (Especially, since there are many things that you can accomplish with an education.) The Veterans’ Educational Assistance Program (VEAP) is an assistance program that offers money that you can pay your tuition with. This Program does not just pay for school, but for other educational training programs too! If you are interested in different training programs or non-college degrees, then the VEAP benefits can cover the cost. In order to receive the VEAP benefits, then you should apply for the Program first. (Slow and steady wins the race.) You just have to make sure that you meet the eligibility requirements to qualify for the VEAP benefits. The Program accepts applicants from all branches of the U.S. military, except for the Air Force. With the VEAP, there are additional eligibility requirements for the Air Force branch of the U.S. military.
You can never go wrong with a degree or a diploma hanging on your wall! So, apply and good luck with school!