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Finance Your Degree as a Veteran

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Financing a graduate business degree as a military veteran means there are some additional resources available.

Financing a graduate management degree as a military veteran does not dramatically differ from the process that civilians go through, except there are additional resources available.

There are two primary steps associated with financing the MBA:

  1. Identifying all relevant costs associated with the program and degree
  2. Determining the resources available to meet those costs

Identifying Costs

The cost to attend business school extends beyond tuition and fees. When building a budget, you must include books, course materials, room & board, health &/or insurance fees and other incidentals. You should build a budget for each school of interest, as the cost of living will vary by location. Finally, if you are thinking about studying abroad, participating in an international study trip / internship during your program, or working in another part of the country or a different country, you should also plan to budget for travel expenses.The tuition and financial aid section on the school's website is a great starting point for researching costs associated with your intended degree.

Determine Resources

  • Post-9/11 GI Bill. The Post-9/11 G.I. Bill provides eligible veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars with funding to attend various higher education institutions. A veteran’s eligibility for funding is determined by how many months of active duty he/she served in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. More information at www.va.gov.
  • The Yellow Ribbon Program. The Yellow Ribbon Program is a provision of the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill that provides additional funding for eligible veterans enrolling in participating schools. Schools provide a specific amount of funding to student veterans, and the Department of Veteran’s Affairs matches that amount. These funds are provided in addition to Post 9/11 G.I. Bill funds. Not every veteran is eligible for the Yellow Ribbon Program. For eligibility visit www.benefits.va.gov
  • Federal Student Loans. Federal student loans are an option to cover expenses not covered by other financial resources. Fixed interest rates and flexible repayment options make these loans more attractive than private ones. Start by visiting www.studentloans.gov.
  • MBA Scholarships, Fellowships and Assistantships. Many schools provide fellowships and/or scholarships available to applicants who meet specific criteria. A number of schools also offer graduate assistantships, which require some type of work (teaching, research or administrative) in exchange for tuition remission and/or a stipend. Talk to the schools to which you’re applying to learn more about various opportunities.
  • Corporate Sponsorships. If you have already transitioned out of the service and are working full-time, talk to your current employer about funding options. Many organizations are willing to fund a portion or all of the education of their employees.