JULY 24, 2018, Shaw Air Force Base, SC – Airmen attempting to acquire credits can receive them through the support of tuition assistance, college credits gained from military training and military scholarships.
“Education benefits are huge,” said Senior Airman Christopher Corbin, 50th Attack Squadron intelligence analyst. “I did college before the Air Force on my own and I paid for it out of pocket. I ended up running out of money and commitment. But the Air Force got me back on track with the benefits, and now I have one degree and going for another.”
Members of the active duty Air Force and other branches of the military can utilize the benefits of tuition assistance to pay up to 100 percent of their tuition cost, with a personal maximum allotment of $4,500 per year, per student.
“When I joined I didn’t know what I wanted to do, but I knew I wanted to go back to school,” said Tech. Sgt. Courtney Dorman, 20th Maintenance Group scheduling noncommissioned officer in charge.
With the education provided from the Air Force, I will be the first person in my family to receive a bachelor’s degree, said Dorman.
Along with the tuition assistance, service members can utilize their Post 9/11 or Montgomery GI Bill to pay for college tuition and fees.
In addition, the benefits gained from the post 9/11 or Montgomery GI Bill can be shared with dependents. In exchange for an extended service commitment, service members can transfer all or a portion of their benefits to spouses and children.
“The GI Bill is crucial to the majority of Airmen transitioning from the military to the civilian life,” said Master Sgt. Kevin Kendrick, 20th Maintenance Group maintenance operation center section chief. “It gives us the opportunity to enhance our skill base or completely change direction from what we have come to know while wearing the uniform. The option of choosing how we use the educational benefits we’ve earned is the best part. Because of the Air Force, my family and I have a chance at a brighter future.”
In order to assist Airmen in acquiring their degrees, numerous resources are available to include, College Level Equivalency Program General Exams, or CLEP, and DANTES Subject Standardization Test, or DSST. These tests, once passed, can provide the student with up to six semester hours of credits.
“The Air Force has been very helpful in getting my degree,” said Corbin. “They provided me the opportunity to complete CLEPS. I got the tests for free and in a quiet, calm environment.”
Taking the right step in education is paramount to the success of an Airman. Whether planning on serving a full-term or separating into the civilian sector, these Airmen can benefit from the resources provided by the Air Force.
Story by Senior Airman Christopher Maldonado
20th Fighter Wing Public Affairs