Before You Start
Here are some options that can help you lessen the expense of going
- Finish School Sooner: High school students can
take the College Board's Advanced Placement examinations and/or
concurrent enrollment courses and earn college credit.
- The Military: Educational benefits and
scholarships are available to those who serve in the U.S. Armed
Forces. In some programs, enlistees receive an education first, and
serve an equivalent amount of military time after graduation. Other
programs allow you to accumulate money for an education while
completing an initial enlistment period. Some scholarships pay full
tuition and all instructional fees, and may include a living
allowance. Loan repayment is also available to Army service
personnel. For more information, contact your local Armed Forces
- AmeriCorps: It is a service program
administered by the Corporation for National and Community
Service and allows people of all ages and backgrounds to
earn help paying for education in exchange for a year of
- Work While You Learn: It may not be possible
to earn all your own college costs, but a part-time or summer job
can help reduce the amount you'll need to borrow. School employment
offices can help you find a job on or off campus. On some campuses,
work-study or student assistant programs help students find
career-related jobs. Jobs funded through need-based work-study
programs can also have additional financial aid advantages.
You may also be eligible for additional financial aid if you
fall into some of the categories below:
Veterans and Their Dependents
Native American students who can prove membership in a federally
recognized tribe may receive education grants from the Federal Bureau of Indian
Affairs (BIA). Information about scholarship
or grant programs available to members of your tribe may be
available in your tribe's education office.
Disabled students who meet the academic qualifications for a
college should apply for admission and, if needed, financial aid.
By law, a qualified student cannot be excluded from college solely
because of a disability.
All public schools and colleges and many independent
schools provide disabled student services. Benefits may include
counseling, tutoring, readers, interpreters, note takers, special
parking zones and loan of special equipment. You may also request
that a class be relocated to a more accessible place on
Your student budget, as calculated by the colleges, should
include all educational expenses necessary to accommodate your
disability. Be sure to work with your financial aid offices if you
apply, so they understand your particular circumstances.
For more information, contact the schools' disabled students'
office, the Oklahoma Department of
Rehabilitation Services, or the national
organizations serving your particular disability.
You may want to download Planning Ahead: Financial Aid for Students with
Disabilities, produced by the Heath Resource Center of the George Washington University Graduate
School of Education and Human Development, or you may call
202.973.0904 or 800.544.3284, write George Washington University,
HEATH Resource Center, 2121 K St., NW, Suite 220, Washington, DC
20037, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For information on benefits for service-disabled veterans, call
the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs at 800.827.1000.
Veterans and Their Dependents
Federal Educational Benefits
The Montgomery GI Bill and the Montgomery GI Bill-Selected Reserve
provide educational benefits for individuals entering military
service or the reserves for the first time after June 30, 1985.
Reservists who have enlisted for six or more years after July 1,
1985 may be eligible for the Selected Reserve Education Benefit.
Who is Eligible?
You may be an eligible veteran if you got an Honorable
Discharge, AND you have a High School Diploma or GED or, in some
cases 12 hours of college credit, AND you meet the requirements of
one of the categories below:
- Entered active duty for the first time after June 30,
- Had military pay reduced by $100 a month for first 12
- Continuously served for three years OR two years if that is
what you first enlisted for OR two years if you
entered Selected Reserve within a year of leaving active
duty and served four years ("2 by 4" Program).
- Entered active duty before Jan. 1, 1977.
- Served at least one day between Oct. 19, 1984, and June 30,
1985, and stayed on active duty through June 30, 1988, (or June 30,
1987, if you entered Selected Reserve within one year of leaving
active duty and served four years).
- On Dec. 31, 1989, had entitlement left from Vietnam Era GI
- Not eligible for MGIB under Category I or II.
- On active duty on Sept. 30, 1990, AND separated involuntarily
after Feb. 2, 1991, OR involuntarily separated on or
after Nov. 30, 1993, OR voluntarily separated under
either the Voluntary Separation Incentive (VSI) or Special
Separation Benefit (SSB) program.
- Before separation, had military pay reduced by $1,200.
- On active duty on Oct. 9, 1996, AND had money remaining in a
VEAP account on that date AND elected MGIB by Oct. 9,
1997, OR entered full-time National Guard duty under
Title 32, USC, between July 1, 1985, and Nov. 28, 1989, AND elected
MGIB during the period Oct. 9, 1996, through July 8,
- Had military pay reduced by $100 a month for 12 months or made
a $1,200 lump-sum contribution.
VEAP is the post-Vietnam era Veterans Educational Assistance
Program for those who entered active duty for the first time
between Jan. 1, 1977, and June 30, 1985, and contributed to the
VEAP fund while on active duty or had contributions made for them
by the military.
To qualify you must meet the following
- Entered service for the first time between Jan. 1, 1977, and
June 30, 1985.
- Opened a contribution account before April 1, 1987.
- Voluntarily contributed from $25 to $2,700.
- Completed your first period of service.
- Were discharged or released from service under conditions
other than dishonorable.
If you are currently on active duty and wish to receive VEAP
benefits, you must have at least three months of contributions
Service-disabled veterans may be eligible for vocational
rehabilitation from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
Benefits may include education or training to qualify for
employment, counseling, tutorial assistance, and medical
Educational benefits also are available to veterans' dependents
if the veteran (spouse or parent) died in service, was totally
disabled, or is listed as missing in action or captured in the line
of duty by a hostile force or a foreign government power.
With the Veterans' Work-Study program, eligible veterans are
paid for working at U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs facilities.
They earn the federal minimum or state minimum wage, whichever is
lower. For more information, contact your college's Office of
Veterans Affairs, the local office of the U.S. Department of
Veterans Affairs (in the phone book under U.S. Government Offices),
or call toll free 800.827.1000.
Athletes considering a National Collegiate Athletic Association
college should contact the NCAA for information on college
recruiting rules, grade point average and testing requirements.
Visit www.NCAA.org or write to the NCAA at 700 W. Washington Ave.,
PO Box 6222, Indianapolis, IN, 46206-6222, or call