Air Force Scholarships
If you’re interested in attending college or competing in a graduate program, there are plenty of Air Force scholarships to help you achieve your academic and career pursuits. These scholarships exist in addition to financial assistance that you may receive directly from the Air Force.
The Montgomery GI Bill is for those who have enlisted in the Armed Forces. Under the program, members of the Armed Forces can enroll in up to 36 months of education benefits. These benefits are payable for up to 10 years upon release from active duty, according to the Montgomery GI Bill.
Active duty members can earn up to $1,360 a month in educational training funds for three years or more of full-time service under the Montgomery GI Bill.
The General Henry H. Arnold Education Grant Program provides scholarship opportunities for sons and daughters of active duty, retired, retired reserve, and deceased Air Force members. Also, the grant program is open to stateside spouses of active members as well as surviving spouses.
The General Henry H. Arnold Education Grant Program distributes awards of $2,000 and is based on need in conjunction with cost of attendance and family income. All applicants to the General Henry H. Arnold Education Grant Program are required to fill out an application.
Recipients of an Air Force ROTC Scholarship will win one of three types of scholarships. The first pays for the entire cost of tuition, most fees, and $900 toward textbooks. A second award type pays up to $18,000 in tuition and $900 for books. Finally, the third award grants recipients the cost of in-state tuition as well as $900 a year for textbooks.
In order to apply for an Air Force ROTC Scholarship, applicants must submit an application that includes a physical assessment, high school transcripts, and SAT/ACT scores.
Applying for the Air Force ROTC Scholarship in no way obligates recipients to join the Air Force; however, acceptance of the scholarship does. Upon graduation, recipients must complete at least four years active duty service as an Officer.
The Olmsted Scholar Program seeks to award students seeking a graduate degree in a foreign language or other foreign educational field. To be eligible, applicants must be Officers in either the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps branches. Spouses of Officers chosen to be a part of The Olmsted Scholar Program are also eligible for financial assistance.
As part of The Olmsted Scholar Program, selected Officers and their spouses receive in-country language training grants as well as tuition grants for attendance at a foreign university, given to the Officer only.
The Imagine America Military Award Program is a $1,000 scholarship open to members of the military branches. To qualify, recipients must be active duty, reservist, honorably discharged, or a veteran. As part of the Imagine America Military Award Program, applicants must also be planning on enrolling and completing postsecondary education and demonstrate financial need.
To apply for the Imagine America Military Award Program, simply apply online.
The Captain Jodi Callahan Memorial Scholarship is a $1,000 award available to Air Force, Air National Guard and Full Time Air Force Reserve for use toward a Master’s degree. To qualify, applicants for the Captain Jodi Callahan Memorial Scholarship must submit an application form, a letter of recommendation, proof of enrollment in a Master’s studies program, an essay describing academic goals, and a photo.
Finally, to receive the Captain Jodi Callahan Memorial Scholarship, applicants must have a minimum 3.0 GPA.
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As a member of the Air Force, you’re not only called to serve your country but also improve upon your education. The Air Force provides plenty of opportunities for active duty members to expand their minds and training, creating better citizens and service men and women.
As a member of the Air Force, you’re automatically enrolled in the Air Force Community College. The largest community college in the nation, it allows on-duty and voluntary off-duty members to pursue an education in their free time in one of the following areas:
• Aircraft and missile maintenance
• Electronics and telecommunications
• Allied health
• Logistics and resources
• Public and support services
There are a variety of financial assistance opportunities for enlistees in the Air Force:
Tuition Assistance (TA) – Enables active duty members to pursue off-site voluntary educational opportunities. Pays 100% of tuition up to $4,500 per year.
The Post-9/11 Bill – Educational assistance for undergraduate and graduate programs, vocational and technical training, tutorial assistance, books, housing and supplies. Available up to 15 years after release from active duty and can be transferred to spouses and dependents as well.
The Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB) – Provides up to 36 months of educational assistance for degree and certificate programs, flight training, apprenticeship/on-the-job training and correspondence courses. Payable up to 10 years after release from active duty.
The College Loan Repayment Program (CLRP) – Available to service persons who have accumulated education loan debt prior to enlisting. Up to $10,000 available.
Air Force ROTC - The Air Force ROTC program enables enlistees to attend college with a partial or full tuition scholarship as well as a monthly living stipend. After graduation, ROTC members begin their service commitment as Officers in the Air Force.
For more information on education benefits in the Air Force, visit military.com.
Life in the Air Force
Being a part of the Air Force isn’t just a service to your country, it’s a job. There are so many incredible job benefits for members of the Air Force, including retirement plans once your service is complete.
Pay: In addition to pay increases over time and increased rank, you will also see an increase in cost of living expenses each year.
Housing and Food Allowance: Members who live and eat on base can take advantage of free housing, including utilities and maintenance, and up to four meals a day in the dining hall.
Savings: The Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) functions much like a 401(K), allowing members to invest a monthly sum into a long-term savings account. These savings belong to you regardless of if they serve the 20-year commitment set forth in retirement plans.
Retirement: After 20 years of service in the Air Force, you are able to retire with no payroll deductions.
Insurance: The Air Force offers competitive medical, dental and life insurance. Family members are privy to these benefits as well.
Vacation/Travel: You can receive up to 30 days of vacation every year. Also, Air Force service men and women can travel on military aircraft as well as stay on base for a small fee.
Signing Bonus: There is potential to receive a signing bonus worth up to $13,000.
The Air Force fosters an environment that is healthy and safe for the entire family. Not to mention, there are plenty of family perks to living on base.
• Schools on base
• Child-development centers
• Childcare programs
• Special needs aid
• Medical facilities
• Swimming pools
• Recreation centers
Spouses and dependent children can also take advantage of financial assistance for educational opportunities.
For more information on life in the Air Force, visit military.com.
Research. Just like you would research colleges online or buying a home, it’s important to research the decision to join the Air Force. Online, you can get a comprehensive grasp of what it means to be a member of the U.S. Air Force. Check out www.military.com. It has plenty of helpful content for parents and spouses as well.
Contact. If you’re convinced that service in the Air Force is right for you, get in touch with a recruiter. A recruiter will be your guide to getting in as well as offering up first-hand testimony of how the Air Force directs your education, career and life, in general.
Basic training. Basic training is your first exposure to life as a member of the Air Force. The eight and a half week training takes place at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas.
Location. During your time in basic training, you’re given the opportunity to set living preferences in the state and overseas. While no location is guaranteed, the sheet you’re given to set preferences allows up to eight choices for the continental U.S. and eight for overseas assignments. While married members of the Air Force can preference the same bases, there is no guarantee that they will be stationed together.
For more information on getting started in the Air Force, visit military.com.