Here’s something kids who are thinking of about joining the military should take into consideration. Recruiters will attempt to woo you with, among other things, money for college. (That, of course, is provided you don’t get shipped off to Iraq, and that you come back alive if you do get sent there.) But one anti-war organization, after doing some research, is saying that money for college isn’t always forthcoming.
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.
According to this report, about 57% of eligible veterans have received funds. Aside from eligibility, there are a lot of other qualificaitons that can keep you from receiving it once you’ve completed the required number of years in service.
Just something to think about before you sign away the next few years of your life, or perhaps even the rest of it.