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School’s In

               Basics
    Beyond the    the Post-9/11
                                Gi Bill.
                e from
    Get even mor           hil Dyer, CFP
                                        ®

    By former Army Capt. P




                         tuition
      navigating          d your way th
                                        rough
      Moaa  helps you fin
                               ing options.
                  college-fund
      the maze of                 SAF-Ret., C
                                m, U
                                              FP®
                     Shane Ostro
       By Lt. Col.


                                        month 2005   Military officer   1
    table of Contents
    Beyond the Basics                                     B
    Get even more from the Post-9/11 Gi Bill.

    navigating tuition                                    G
    Moaa helps you find your way through
    the maze of college-funding options.

    Decision time                                        C
                                                                                                Publisher’s Advertising representatives
    Choose or Lose                                       D
                                                                                                  James G. Elliott Co. Inc.
    tie a Yellow ribbon                                  F                                        New York: (212) 588-9200
    managing Student Loan Debt                           h                                        Chicago: (312) 236-4900
    Alternatives to College                              K                                        Los Angeles: (213) 624-0900
    30-Year roI                                          L                                      Contents of Military Officer articles are the opinions solely
    online resources                                     L                                      of the authors and do not necessarily express the policy or
                                                                                                opinions of the publisher. Similarly, the advertisements do not
    Scholarships for military Kids                       m                                      reflect an endorsement by the association unless so indicated.
                                                                                                Military Officer is a registered trademark of MOAA.
    What's a Degree Worth?                               n                                      Printed in the USA.

2   Military officer   novemBer 2010   M o a a’ s M i l i t a r y e d u c a t i o n G u i d e
                                                         military education guide


                              Beyond the Basics
                                           Moaa experts answer
                                               4 commonly asked
                                              questions about the
                                                 Post-9/11 Gi Bill,
                                        including how to transfer
                                             your benefits to your
                                                  dependents and
                                                 how the housing
                                                   benefit works.                     By former Army Capt. Phil Dyer, CFP®


                                                  ince the Post-9/11 Gi Bill                       months of MGiB benefits, he or she is
                                                      went into effect, many                       entitled to 28 months (36 minus eight)
                                                         have learned the ba-                      of Post-9/11 Gi Bill benefits. However,
                                                          sics of the bill, but                    if a servicemember has completely
                                                           fewer have learned                      exhausted all 36 months of his or
                                                           how to maximize                         her MGiB benefits and separately
                                                           its benefits.                           qualifies for the Post-9/11 Gi Bill, then
                                                              Below are four                       the servicemember is entitled to 12
                                                          common questions                         months of Post-9/11 Gi Bill benefits.
                                                        about the Post-9/11                            this can be a problem if a service-
                                                      Gi Bill, with the infor-                     member has fewer than 12 months of
                                                  mation you need to make                          MGiB benefits remaining and chooses
                                           an informed decision about your                         to transfer to the Post-9/11 Gi Bill. for
                                       benefit. to brush up on the basics                          example, if a servicemember has used
                                       of the Post-9/11 Gi Bill, visit www                         30 months of MGiB benefits, with six
                                       .moaa.org/gibill.                                           months of eligibility remaining, and
                                         Question 1: I have used some of my                        transfers to the Post-9/11 Gi Bill, he or
                                       Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB) benefits.                         she will get only six months (36 minus
                                       Does it make sense to transfer to the                       30) of Post-9/11 Gi Bill benefits, there-
                                       Post-9/11 GI Bill?                                          by losing six months of educational
                                       under current rules, servicemembers                         benefits. servicemembers who have
                                       who have used some of their MGiB                            50 percent or less of their MGiB ben-
                                       benefits must subtract the number of                        efits left might be better off using their
                                       months used from 36 to determine                            remaining MGiB benefits and picking
                                       how many months of Post-9/11 Gi Bill                        up the 12 months of Post-9/11 Gi Bill
                                       benefits they are entitled to. for exam-                    benefits to which they are entitled
                                       ple, if a servicemember has used eight                      after exhausting the MGiB benefit.
PhOtOS: left And COver, ShUtterStOCk      M o a a’ s M i l i t a r y e d u c a t i o n G u i d e    novemBer 2010   Military officer       B
   this creates a dilemma if your            least 50 percent of the way through                    students receive a housing benefit
primary goal is to transfer benefits to      using your MGiB benefits, consider                     equal to the e-5 basic allowance for
your spouse and/or child(ren). you           using those and picking up the 12                      housing (BaH) (with dependents)
must irrevocably transfer any remain-        months of Post-9/11 Gi Bill benefits.                  rate for the ZiP code in which their
ing MGiB benefits to the Post-9/11              n if you plan to transfer the ben-                  college or university is located. this
side to enable transferability, which        efits to your spouse and/or child(ren),                housing benefit is paid directly to a
could result in lost benefits.               you must transfer any remaining                        student at the end of any month a
   review the following:                     MGiB benefits to the Post-9/11 Gi                      tuition benefit is paid to the school.
   n if you have used some MGiB              Bill. if you have less than 12 months                  to qualify for the housing benefit, a
benefits, determine how many months          of MGiB benefits left, you might want                  student must (1) attend a course of
you have remaining (check with the           to use those for yourself, exhaust your                study more than half-time and (2)
Va if you are unsure).                       MGiB benefits, and transfer the 12                     attend at least one course a term at a
   n if you plan to use the benefits         months of Post-9/11 Gi Bill benefits to                physical campus. under the current
for yourself, visit www.gibill.va.gov/       your spouse and/or child(ren).                         rules, distance learners — even if en-
documents/benefit_comparison_                   n once you’ve made your decision,                   rolled full-time — do not qualify for
charts.pdf to determine whether stay-        continue with the benefits’ transfer.                  the housing benefit.
ing with the MGiB makes more sense               Question 2: How does the housing                      in undergraduate programs, full-
for your course of study. if you are at      allowance work?                                        time enrollment is considered 12 or
                                                                                                    more credit hours per term/semes-
                                                                                                    ter, so a student enrolled at seven or

     Decision time                                                                                  more credit hours would receive the
                                                                                                    housing benefit. a student enrolled in
          Are you planning to transfer                                                              an undergraduate program at seven
          benefits to your spouse or kids?
                                                                                                     Housing Benefit Caveat: If you
                                                            no                                       are on active duty and therefore
                         YeS                                                                         already are receiving BAH or gov-
                                            Will the Post-9/11 GI Bill                               ernment-provided housing, you
                                            cover your course of study?                              are not entitled to a second BAH
                Do you have                                                                          through the Post-9/11 GI Bill. How-
                more than 12                                                                         ever, active duty servicemembers
                months left?*                                                                        and their spouses currently have
                                           YeS                                no                     no tuition cap, so the Post-9/11 GI
                                                                                                     Bill can be used for more expen-
        YeS                                                                                          sive graduate programs — such as
                                       How many months                      Stick with
                                                                                                     executive MBAs, medical degrees,
                          no           of coverage do you                   the MGIB.
                                                                                                     and law degrees — without the
                                       have left?*
    Transfer your                                                                                    usual tuition restrictions.
    remaining MGIB
                                                                                                    credit hours per term could stretch 36
    credit to the                   Less than 18                more than 18
    Post-9/11 GI Bill.                                                                              months of benefits out over 60 months
                                                                                                    and receive the full housing benefit for
                                                                                                    each of those 60 months.
                  Exhaust your MGIB ben-                     Could go either way.
                                                                                                       Question 3: What do I enter into the
                  efits and get 12 months of                 Visit www.gibill.va.gov,
                                                                                                    different fields in the transfer portal to
                  Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits.                scroll down, and click on
                                                                                                    transfer the benefits to a dependent?
                                                             Compare the Programs.
                                                                                                    to complete the transfer of benefits in
                                                                                                    the transfer portal (www.dmdc.osd
    *Deduct the number of MGIB months used from 36 (or check with the
                                                                                                    .mil/teB), complete these steps:
    VA) to determine how many months you have left.
                                                                                                       n confirm eligible beneficiaries:
                                                                                                    your dependent must be in the de-
C   Military officer       novemBer 2010   M o a a’ s M i l i t a r y e d u c a t i o n G u i d e        iMAgeS: ShUtterStOCk; fACing PAge, COlin hAyeS
military education guide
e   Military officer   novemBer 2010   M o a a’ s M i l i t a r y e d u c a t i o n G u i d e
                                                              military education guide
                                            transfer status still shows up as “pend-
  If you are part of a dual-military        ing.” What is going on?                                     tie a Yellow
  couple and have children but are
  not their sponsor, your children
                                            it normally takes only a few busi-
                                            ness days for your transfer to be                           ribbon ...
  might not show up in your GI bill         approved after you hit the submit
  transfer portal as eligible benefi-       button. However, many commands                              The Yellow Ribbon program is a
  ciaries. To remedy this, simply           (especially in the sea services) are                        partnership between the VA and
  contact DEERS and perform an              requiring additional paperwork to                           private schools. It allows degree-
  “Admin Add” to have the children          confirm you are eligible to serve                           granting institu-
  recognized as dependents (this            the four-year service obligation in-                        tions in the U.S. to
  doesn’t change the sponsor).              curred when transferring Post-9/11                          voluntarily enter
  Once this is complete, they should        Gi Bill benefits to your spouse and/                        into an agreement
  show up in your transfer portal.          or child(ren). commonly referred                            with the VA to fund
                                            to as a “Page 13,” this document                            tuition expenses
fense enrollment eligibility report-        must be completed and submitted                             that exceed the
ing system (deers).                         through your personnel office to                            highest public
   if you think a dependent is eli-         complete the transfer paperwork.                            in-state under-
gible but you can’t find him or her in          Based on this new potential re-                         graduate tuition
the transfer portal, contact deers          quirement, consider the following to                        rate. About 3,500
to correct any errors. Keep in mind,        ensure your Post-9/11 Gi Bill transfer                      schools participate.
dependent children phase out of             is as painless as possible:                                     You must be
deers at age 23.                                n contact your personnel office to                      eligible for the
   n start date: enter the day you          see whether additional paperwork is                         Post-9/11 GI Bill at
are in the transfer portal making the       needed for transfer eligibility. if so,                     the 100-percent rate. The GI bill
transfer as the start date.                 complete the paperwork asaP.                                pays up to the highest in-state
   n end date: for a spouse, select             n Go to the transfer portal and fol-                    tuition first; the Yellow Ribbon
a date that is 15 years after your ex-      low the process from Question 3.                            program makes up all or part of
pected retirement or separation date.           n check back in seven to 10                             the difference between the high-
for a child, select the date of his or      business days to ensure your trans-                         est in-state tuition and a school’s
her 26th birthday.                          fer status has changed from pending                         actual tuition. Participating
   n number of months transferred:          to approved.                                                schools cover up to 50 percent of
you may split your months up howev-             n if you remain in a pending status                     the gap, and the VA will match
er you see fit, but consider assigning at   for more than 14 business days, check                       the school’s contribution. Ben-
least one month to each eligible ben-       whether your personnel office re-                           efits vary by school, so check
eficiary so you can reallocate benefits     ceived your completed paperwork. MO                         with your school’s financial aid or
after you leave the service.                                                                            veterans' office before commit-
   n agreement with transfer condi-          IMPORTANT NOTE: The rules                                  ting to anything.
tions: When you click “submit,” you          outlined above were current as of                              Make sure the school plays
are surrendering irrevocably any             Aug. 11, 2010. There are several                           by these described rules. Some
benefits under any previous educa-           bills pending in Congress that                             schools have taken the VA’s por-
tion program. you also are accepting         might create significant changes                           tion of the Yellow Ribbon tuition
an additional service obligation of          in the Post-9/11 GI Bill implemen-                         payment and charged the student
four years. (special rules apply for         tation process. Please check www                           the amount that is supposed to be
those retirement-eligible on or be-          .gibill.va.gov and www.moaa.org/                           covered by the school.
fore aug. 1, 2009, or those who will         gibill for up-to-date information.                             Visit www.gibill.va.gov and
become retirement-eligible before                                                                       click on Post 9/11 GI Bill & Other
aug. 1, 2012.) read the disclosures                                                                     Programs to learn more about
                                            — Former Army Capt. Phil Dyer,
carefully before submitting.                CFP®, is deputy director, Benefits Infor-
                                                                                                        the Yellow Ribbon program.
   Question 4: I submitted my Post-         mation and Financial Education. His last                    — MOAA Benefits Information
9/11 GI Bill transfer to my spouse and/or   feature for Military officer was “Refund                    and Financial Education staff
child(ren) several months ago, and my       Game Plan,” May 2010.

iMAge: ShUtterStOCk                            M o a a’ s M i l i t a r y e d u c a t i o n G u i d e   novemBer 2010   Military officer      F
                   navigating tuition
                                                With so many sources
                                                     of financial aid to
                                              consider, understanding
                                                   your options can be
                                               overwhelming. Moaa
                                                  helps you determine
                                             what funding sources will
                                                     work for you and
                                                           your family.                         By Lt. Col. Shane ostrom,
                                                                                                         USAF-ret., CFP®




                                                                       oday, the costs of higher education easily can ex-
                                                      ceed $100,000 for four years at an average private college. even the
                                                      costs at an in-state public school could run you more than $50,000
                                                      for four years. While these numbers are daunting, you do have op-
                                                      tions — whether your child is only a few years old or currently is
                                                      applying to colleges.

                                                        time to save
                                                            according to the college Board, college costs typically in-
                                                             crease between 5 percent and 8 percent a year; if this trend
                                                             continues, the projected four-year cost at an in-state public
                                                             school for a child born in 2010 would be more than $191,000.
                                                           fortunately, there are options to help you start saving early.
                                            529 plans or qualified tuition programs: 529 plans are college-savings ac-
                                         counts offered by state governments. each state has its own plan. these ac-
                                         counts are popular because they use tax-free money to pay for college. these
                                         plans also offer you significant control over your money, including the ability
                                         to change the beneficiary. using your own state’s 529 plan could provide a
                                         state income tax deduction. However, you can shop for plans in any state, and
                                         the money can be paid to a school in any state. Generally, go for an inexpen-
                                         sive plan and keep a conservative allocation. the typical choices are prepaid
                                         college plans, investment programs similar to the thrift savings Plan or
                                         401(k) plans, investment plans based on fixed-age-related asset allocations,
                                         or interest-earning insured accounts.
G   Military officer   novemBer 2010   M o a a’ s M i l i t a r y e d u c a t i o n G u i d e
                                                           military education guide
   you determine how you will con-
tribute funds to the plan — in a lump
sum, systematically, or randomly.
total contributions are limited to a
maximum amount that varies by state,
but you can expect a limit of at least
$300,000 for most plans. contribu-
tions are not tax-deductible. the ben-
eficiary does not assume ownership of
the money at a specific age.
  Coverdale Educational Savings
Accounts (ESA): these plans offer the
tax benefits of a 529 plan. in addition,
coverdale esa funds may be used to
pay for education-related costs from
kindergarten through 12th grade.
there are income limits for contribu-
tors, and you may not contribute more      managing Student-Loan Debt
than $2,000 a year, per dependent,
and contributions must stop at age 18.     Congratulations, America! The aggregate student-loan debt nationally
contributions are not tax-deductible.      now has eclipsed credit card debt — $830 billion versus $827 billion
   coverdale esa assets must be dis-       as of June 2010 (www.finaid.org). According to the College Board, the
tributed no later than a beneficiary’s     average graduating college senior leaves campus with student loans ex-
30th birthday. the assets of the plan      ceeding $30,000; those who pursue a graduate degree easily can amass
can be rolled over to another plan.        student debt totals well in excess of $100,000. So what’s the best way




                                                     1
the beneficiary may be changed to          to manage student-loan debt? Consider the following tips:
a new beneficiary in the same family
by rolling over the plan. there are          Avoid It:        Parents are not required to provide their children
many complicated rules about using         with four years of higher education at the institution of their choice. Ac-
this account in conjunction with the       cumulating six-figure debt for an Ivy League liberal arts degree in a low-
american opportunity, Hope, life-          paying field might not be the best investment. Consider a cost-benefit
time learning credits, and Qualified       analysis of education outlays.




                                                    2
tuition programs.
   *Big changes are in store for these       Create a Debt Repayment Plan Early:
plans starting in 2011, making them        Most students defer student-loan repayment as long as possible, racking
much less attractive. You might want to    up thousands of dollars in additional interest charges. Create a college-
consider spending these accounts down      debt management plan as early as possible. Visit www.finaid.org/loans
or rolling assets over to a 529 plan in    for outstanding tips and checklists on taming student-loan debt.




                                                                                                     3
the near term. To roll into a 529 plan,
the beneficiary must remain the same.        Consolidation:              Loan consolidation can lower interest rates
Only withdrawals for college expenses      and make management easier, but a student usually only gets one con-
will be tax-free. Any other withdrawals    solidation after graduation. For tips on consolidating loans, as well as a
will be taxed as ordinary income and       good calculator, visit www.finaid.org/loans/consolidation.phtml.




                                                       4
subject to a 10-percent penalty. The
maximum annual contribution is being         Loan Forgiveness:                 A number of programs offer full or par-
reduced to $500 from $2,000.               tial loan forgiveness through volunteer, military, and other opportunities.
   Uniform Gifts to Minors Act/Uni-        They might not be dream jobs, but they can be a good option — especially
form Transfers to Minors Act (UGMA/        given today’s job market. Consult www.finaid.org/loans/forgiveness.phtml
UTMA): uGMa/utMas are not                  to research loan-forgiveness options.
specifically education accounts.                                          — By former Army Capt. Phil Dyer, CFP®
they are irrevocable trust accounts
PhOtO: ShUtterStOCk                         M o a a’ s M i l i t a r y e d u c a t i o n G u i d e   novemBer 2010   Military officer   h
                                                                                               Work Study
                                                                                GI Bill                             Savings


          School




that provide a simple way to transfer        excess of $1,900 must be included                     may be worth up to a maximum
money or property to a child for the         on the contributor’s taxes. When the                  credit of $2,000. the american op-
child’s benefit — whatever the ben-          child reaches the age of majority (ei-                portunity tax credit made some of
efit and at any age. a uGMa is for           ther 18 or 21, depending on your state                the rules for the Hope credit more
cash and securities assets, while a          laws), account ownership transfers                    lenient. the u.s. savings bond pro-
utMa accepts other types of prop-            to the child.                                         gram allows tax-exempt interest
erty (real estate, collectibles, etcet-         Tax credits, deductions, and U.S.                  income on series ee and i bonds
era). these accounts offer flexibility       savings bonds: there are income                       purchased after 1989. the savings
in how and when the assets can be            limits with these options. the Hope                   bond program is complicated, so
used. up to $1,900 of unearned in-           scholarship tax credit provides a                     consult a tax specialist before taking
come in these accounts may be taxed          maximum tax credit of up to $2,500.                   action with your bonds. in addi-
at the child’s tax rate; everything in       the lifetime learning tax credit                      tion to these tax credits and savings
I   Military officer   novemBer 2010      M o a a’ s M i l i t a r y e d u c a t i o n G u i d e                     illUStrAtiOnS: nAbeeh bilAl
                                                            military education guide
bonds programs, there also are tax             How Officers Become Indispensable…
deductions available for loan inter-           Combine your background as an officer with a graduate degree
est and educational expenses.
                                               We provide two graduate degree
time to act                                    programs that military officers most often
if your child has started investigating        receive, in business (MBA) and law (JD).
                                               We work with the best schools in both areas
colleges, it’s also time to start looking
                                               of study and have all the resources you need
for scholarships, loans, and grants.           from admissions through employment.
the first — and perhaps most impor-            Please visit us to receive free advisories
tant — step is completing the free             and guides or sign up to network
application for federal student aid            with officers who have their
(fafsa) on or soon after Jan. 1 of             graduate degrees.
your child’s senior year of high
school. the fafsa is the federal ap-
plication for financial aid used to de-        www.militarymba.net
termine how much money you are
expected to contribute to the costs            www.leaderstolawyers.net
of attending a college or university.
it also is used to apply for financial
aid from other sources, such as your                       Supporting you where you Serve...
state or your child’s school. Most col-                  Supporting you when you come home
leges will not give grants, scholar-
ships, or loans unless you complete
a fafsa. to start filling out the
fafsa, go to www.fafsa.ed.gov. for
an early estimate of your qualifying
amount, use the fafsa forecaster at
www.fafsa4caster.ed.gov.                                              Built on a 120-year tradition, Troy University has actively
    after you’ve completed your                                      supported the military community for more than 50 years.

child’s fafsa, consult the college and       Thank you and your families for your service and the sacrifices you have made for
                                             our country.
career counselors at your child’s high
                                             With more than 30 locations on military bases both home and abroad, TROY has
school as well as the financial aid of-      been helping our servicemen and women and their families achieve their career
                                             objectives for over 50 years. TROY is the top ranked public university in the State
fice at colleges your child is consider-     of Alabama according to Forbes magazine and a “Best in the Southeast” university
ing for their advice about narrowing         for six consecutive years by the Princeton Review. In addition, TROY’s eCampus is
                                             named “Best Buy for Online Bachelor’s Degrees in Psychology and Human Services”
down your funding requirements and           and for several online master’s programs by Geteducated.com.

choices. Here are some funding op-           Troy University offers a broad range of online programs and serves its students from
                                             60 locations around the world.
tions to get you started:
    Scholarships and grants: Most                                        800-414-5756 | ecampusenroll@troy.edu | troy.edu

families prefer scholarships and
grants because the money typically          NEED AN INTEREST FREE LOAN?
does not need to be paid back. schol-
                                                                                                 Students (under age 24), who are
arships and grants sometimes have
                                                                                                children of former, active or retired
specific requirements for their ap-
                                                                                                officers or active or retired enlisted
plicants that don’t always pertain to
                                                                                                personnel from the seven uniformed
grades or financial need, so never
                                                                                                    services are eligible to apply.
assume you won’t qualify. Visit
Moaa’s scholarship finder at www                                                                               FIND OUT MORE
.moaa.org/scholarshipfinder or the                                                                            edassist@moaa.org
college Board’s scholarship search
tool at http://apps.collegeboard.com/
cbsearch_ss/welcome.jsp.
                                            M o a a’ s M i l i t a r y e d u c a t i o n G u i d e        novemBer 2010             Military officer   j
                                                                                  travel
                               military
               three-year degrees
                                                                                                  music

                                                                                                  theater

                   internships trade school                                       art              online education
                      work experience
                           community service
                apprenticeships


                                    study abroad
                           certifications

                                                                                                      college prep courses
                                    community college
                                                                                                    volunteering
                                                                     entrepreneurship
                                                                                merchant marines


    Alternatives to College
    Sometimes it seems everyone assumes college is the only correct path after high school. But college isn’t for
    everyone. Some people aren’t ready academically, want to experience some life first, need to save to meet costs,
    want time to consider options, want to pursue interests that don’t re-
    quire college … you fill in the blank.
       Students and their parents might want to consider alternative pro-
    grams. For some career paths, college could be an unnecessary financial
    burden when other forms of training or education would work just as
    well. Trade schools, two-year colleges, three-year degrees, and certifica-
    tion programs can replace the need for full-load colleges in many cases.
       If you are a servicemember with both Post-9/11 GI Bill and Montgom-
    ery GI Bill (MGIB) eligibility, carefully review which form of assistance
    covers the type of educational program you hope to pursue. The MGIB
    tends to provide more options for alternative educational programs, but
    those benefits can't be transferred to your spouse and children.
       High school graduates should develop a vision of where they want
    to be in the future so they don’t lose their way as they deviate from the traditional college path. Wandering aim-
    lessly after high school can be harmful to your future.
                                                                            — Lt. Col. Shane Ostrom, USAF-Ret., CFP®


K    Military officer    novemBer 2010   M o a a’ s M i l i t a r y e d u c a t i o n G u i d e                       PhOtOS/iMAgeS: tktk
                                                           military education guide

                                         30-year Annual Average Return




                       S&P 500           College Education                  30-year Treasuries                          Gold


    Loans: loans are the most com-
mon form of financial aid for higher       online                                                    n www.finaid.org/otheraid/
                                                                                                     grants.phtml
education. loans can be a trap
because they are relatively easy to        resources                                                 n www.finaid.org/scholarships

acquire, debt accumulates in small                                                                   Government education sites:
                                           tuition calculators:
chunks, and payments usually aren’t                                                                  n www.students.gov
                                           n www.moaa.org/financialcenter
due until after graduation. consider                                                                 n http://studentaid.ed.gov
                                           and scroll down to Financial
carefully how loan repayment might                                                                   Post-9/11 GI Bill information:
                                           Calculators
restrict a new graduate’s potential                                                                  n www.moaa.org/gibill
                                           n www.salary.com; click on Educa-
lifestyle and living standard.                                                                       n www.gibill.va.gov
                                           tion and scroll down to College Tu-
    there are two types of loans:
                                           ition Planner (under Quick Links)
private and those backed by the gov-
                                           n www.finaid.org/calculators
ernment. the government recently
                                           n http://studentaid.rutgers.edu/
mandated changes in the college
                                           calculator.asp
loan business. start by filling out a
                                           n www.collegeboard.com/stu
fafsa in the last half of the senior
                                           dent/pay/add-it-up/401.html
year of high school, and submit it to
                                           tax benefits for education:
the schools your child is consider-
                                           n www.irs.gov and search for
ing. if your child is accepted, that
                                           Publication 970
school’s financial aid office will re-
                                           n www.finaid.org/otheraid/
port back on the scholarships, grants,
                                           tax.phtml
and government loans for which
                                           Scholarship/grant search:
your student is qualified.
                                           n www.moaa.org/scholarship
    Private loans usually go to a stu-
                                           finder
dent directly, with his or her parents
                                           n www.collegeboard.com; under
cosigning the loan.
                                           For Students, click on Scholarship
    if the government is involved,
                                           Search under Pay for College
loan interest rates will be lower,
PhOtOS: thiS SPreAd, ShUtterStOCk           M o a a’ s M i l i t a r y e d u c a t i o n G u i d e   novemBer 2010   Military officer   L
there might be more beneficial re-               Generally, the MGiB covers more                     numerous programs to help pay for
payment terms, and financial need             educational and training options,                      school once you are in the service.
probably will be a factor. Govern-            while the Post-9/11 Gi Bill can be                         n talk with your child about start-
ment loans include the Perkins loan           more financially advantageous. the                     ing his or her first two years at a com-
and subsidized and unsubsidized               Post-9/11 Gi Bill’s yellow ribbon pro-                 munity college. check to see whether
stafford loans. the Perkins loan              gram also is a very valuable benefit                   your state has agreements that provide
and subsidized stafford loan are              that provides tuition funding at pri-                  automatic access to four-year colleges
need-based and are in the student’s           vate schools that might otherwise be                   from community colleges. However,
name. the unsubsidized stafford               cost-prohibitive.                                      make sure courses really are as rigor-
loan is not need-based.                          to learn more about the Post-9/11                   ous, particularly in the sciences.
   a federal Parent Plus loan is              Gi Bill, visit www.moaa.org/gibill.                        n check out three-year degree
another loan option that is not need-                                                                plans to eliminate one year of costs.
based and is issued to the parents.           other options                                              n consider work-study programs,
  The Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB)               Here are some other ways to help al-                   which provide part-time university
and the Post-9/11 GI Bill: for service-       leviate higher-education costs:                        employment to students.
members and their families, these                 n don’t forget about the education-                    n Give a direct donation to a
two programs can be primary meth-             al opportunities associated with mili-                 school. consult your tax specialist
ods for paying for higher education.          tary service. the service academies                    first, but this might be a way to earn
depending on how much service                 and rotc programs offer financial                      a tax deduction while helping pay for
time you have remaining, you might            aid and scholarships; the uniformed                    a relative’s education costs. MO
have to make decisions regarding              services university of the Health
                                                                                                     — Lt. Col. Shane ostrom, USAF-ret.,
the MGiB and the Post-9/11 Gi Bill            sciences educates and trains medi-
                                                                                                     CFP®, is deputy director, Benefits Infor-
sooner rather than later so you don’t         cal professionals; and the services                    mation and Financial Education. His last
lose the chance to transfer benefits          select officers to attend law schools.                 feature for Military officer was “Before
to eligible beneficiaries.                    if you join the military first, there are              You File,” February 2010.



    Scholarships for
    military Kids
    Many groups offer post-secondary school scholar-
    ships for children of active duty, former, and retired
    servicemembers. Check out these programs, and re-
    member to apply before the deadline.
       Scholarships for Military Children are available to chil-
    dren of active duty servicemembers or child survivors of
    servicemembers. Each commissary awards at least one
    $1,500 scholarship. Visit www.militaryscholar.org.
        The U.S. Army Scholarship Foundation awards
    $500 to $2,000 scholarships for up to four years.
    See www.armyscholarshipfoundation.org for details.
       The Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation provides
    up to $30,000 over four years to surviving children of
    Marine and Navy corpsmen killed in combat since Sept.
    11, 2001. Learn more at www.mcsf.org.
       Wings Over America Scholarship Foundation pro-
    vides scholarships to dependent children and spouses
    of the Naval Air Forces. They award more than 40
    scholarships each year. Visit www.wingsoveramerica
    .us for details.
                                              — Anita Stone

m    Military officer      novemBer 2010    M o a a’ s M i l i t a r y e d u c a t i o n G u i d e                 PhOtOS: thiS SPreAd, ShUtterStOCk
                                                  military education guide
We WAnt to
heAr From YoU
visit www.moaa.org/
discussion and click on
education Guide or write
to us at moAA, Attn:
editor, 201 n. Washington
St., Alexandria, vA 22314
to share your thoughts on
this new publication.




                      Unemployment rates and earnings for full-time wage and salary
                          workers age 25 and older, by educational attainment




 SOUrCe: dOl                       M o a a’ s M i l i t a r y e d u c a t i o n G u i d e   novemBer 2010   Military officer   n
                                        THE MOAA INFO EXCHANGE®

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               experience. The MOAA Info Exchange® provides guides and reference
               tools to help you navigate the challenges that arise at each stage of life.

                                                     Financial Planning

                                  Post-9/11 GI Bill: Maximize Your Benefits

                                Seven Steps to a Better Military Retirement

                                                      Survivor Benefits

                                   Marketing Yourself for a Second Career

                               Focus on You: A Career Handbook for Spouses

                                                        Family Matters

                             National Guard and Reserve Retirement Benefits

                                                     Auxiliary Checklist


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