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Other Financial Assistance Programs

The GI Bill provides great educational support, but maybe your benefits are no longer available or have been exhausted, you could be saving them for a future degree or you are close to completing your degree so you have transferred your benefits to a spouse or child. Depending on your individual circumstances and financial needs, the GI Bill may not cover all of your expenses.

To determine if you qualify for additional sources of federal student aid, you must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®). As stated in the title, the FAFSA is always free to complete. Completing the application will determine your eligibility for grants, scholarships, loans, federal work study (different than VA work study), and more. Many programs can be used in conjunction with the GI Bill. Different programs have different requirements, so it is important to talk to your School Certifying Official and Office of Financial Aid to determine how your GI Bill benefits will work with your specific financial aid package.

Many colleges, universities, and organizations provide student scholarships. The MI Student Aid website offers a list of Michigan based scholarships available based on your county of residence. The U.S. Department of Labor's Scholarship Finder is one place to search for possible scholarship opportunities. Each scholarship will have its own eligibility requirements and criteria for how the funds can be applied. For example, some scholarships can only be used toward tuition, while others can be used for cost of attendance items like books. It is important to understand how each scholarship can be used, especially if you are using GI Bill benefits.

Focusing on your training or education may become a full time commitment. This sometimes means new needs may arise for you and your family. You may be eligible for assistance programs like healthcare coverage, childcare, or food assistance. Visit MI Bridges for more information. If you are experiencing an emergency financial need, and you meet the eligibility criteria, you may be eligible for assistance through the Michigan Veteran Trust Fund or by calling 800-MICH-VET for more information.

Details about other programs to assist our veterans in the educational process can be found below.

  • $600 Buy-up Program


    Some reservists may contribute up to an additional $600 to the Montgomery GI Bill® to receive increased monthly benefits. For an additional $600 contribution, you may receive up to $5,400 in additional GI Bill benefits. You must be a member of a Ready Reserve component (Selected Reserve, Individual Ready Reserve or Inactive National Guard) to pay into the buy-up program. 

    Note: Break (or interval pay) is no longer payable under REAP except during periods your school is closed as a result of an Executive Order of the President or an emergency (such as a natural disaster or strike). For example, if your Fall term ends on December 15 and your Spring term begins January 10, your January housing allowance will cover 15 days in December and your February housing allowance will cover 21 days in January.

    Read more about the $600 Buy-up Program


  • Military Tuition Assistance


    Military Tuition Assistance is a benefit paid to eligible members of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force and Coast Guard. Congress has given each service the ability to pay up to 100 percent of the tuition expenses of its members. Each service has its own criteria for eligibility, obligated service, application processes and restrictions. This money is usually paid directly to the institution by the individual service. Additionally, active duty members may elect to use the MGIB "top up" in addition to their service provided TA to cover high cost courses.

    Read more about Military Tuition Assistance


  • Michigan National Guard State Tuition Assistance Program


    Public Act 259 of 2014 established STAP to provide tuition assistance of up to $6,000 (tuition and fees combined) per academic year to members of the Michigan National Guard attending any public or private college, university, vocational school, technical school or trade school located in Michigan. STAP provides assistance to students in any course of study that is intended to culminate in vocational or technical training, a certificate or the student's first associate's, bachelor's or master's degree.

    Read more about the Michigan National Guard State Tuition Assistance Program


  • Veterans Educational Assistance Program


    VEAP is available if you elected to make contributions from your military pay to participate in this education benefit program. Your contributions are matched on a $2 for $1 basis by the government. You may use these benefits for degree, certificate, correspondence, apprenticeship/on-the-job training programs and vocational flight training programs. In certain circumstances, remedial, deficiency and refresher training may also be available.
    Benefit entitlement is up to 36 months depending on the number of monthly contributions. You have 10 years from your release from active duty to use VEAP benefits. If there is entitlement not used after the 10-year period, your portion remaining in the fund will be automatically refunded.

    Read more about the Veterans Educational Assistance Program


  • Yellow Ribbon Program


    The Yellow Ribbon Program was established by the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2008. This program allows colleges, universities and other degree-granting schools to voluntarily enter into an agreement with the VA to fund tuition and fee expenses that exceed the tuition and fee amounts payable under the Post-9/11 GI Bill.

    Please note, to receive Yellow Ribbon Program benefits you must be enrolled in an approved program offered by a school participating in the Yellow Ribbon Program

    Read more about the Yellow Ribbon Program




    Many organizations dedicate resources to helping currently enrolled military members as well as veterans get the education they want. Often, a master's degree leads to more career options as well as higher salaries. Several scholarship opportunities are available to help fund this pursuit of higher education.