two military servicemembers in uniform talk next to a gray building

Military Benefits and
Funding Options

When making the decision to go back to school, many students have questions regarding how to pay for college. The good news is military-affiliated students have more funding options available than most students. Most funding is dependent on your current military status and specifics of your service. Check out the top ways military-affiliated students pay for college and their frequently asked questions.

Active-Duty Servicemembers Pay for College With:

Veterans Pay for College With:

  • Post-9/11 GI Bill®
  • Montgomery GI Bill®
  • Federal financial aid
  • Grants and scholarships from Yellow Ribbon schools like NU
  • Grants and scholarships from local bases or other military organizations*

*Varies by branch/base

FAQs About Funding Your College Education

Where do I get my military transcripts?

BranchMilitary StatusOfficial TranscriptHelpful Links
ArmyActive Duty, Reserves, National Guard, and Veterans*ACE RegistryJST
NavyActive Duty, Reserves, and VeteransACE RegistryJST
MarinesActive Duty, Reserves, and Veterans*ACE RegistryJST
Coast GuardActive Duty, Reserves, and Veterans*ACE RegistryJST
Air ForceActive Duty, Reserves, National Guard, and Veterans* Air University

*Note for Veterans: Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard Veterans who served prior to 1976 and Air Force Veterans who served prior to 1972 should request their DD 214 or Certificate of Release or Discharge from Activity Duty from the National Archives.

National University waives eBooks and technology fees for active-duty military students.

Yellow Ribbon schools help military personnel and Veterans pay for costs related to their education that the GI Bill® does not cover.

For most new college students, having a set plan to fund their education prior to starting their program is a priority. However, the process and timelines for applying for and receiving funding from the various available sources can be tricky. Though it can vary depending on the time of year you’d like to start class, we recommend doing your research. When you’re ready, apply for Tuition Assistance and GI Bill® benefits first, followed by financial aid, and lastly scholarships (since many of them depend on your financial aid status).

Tuition Assistance Questions

The Armed Forces Active Duty Tuition Assistance (TA) programs are intended for active enlisted military personnel who wish to further their education during off-duty hours. Anyone who is still on active duty, in any branch of the armed forces, is automatically eligible for Tuition Assistance from the federal government (please consult with your education office). Depending on your particular goals, however, there may be certain restrictions. For more information, contact your command Education Officer or email NU military admissions.

Active-duty servicemembers in the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, and Coast Guard can apply for Tuition Assistance by contacting their command Education Officer and completing their WebTA course (this may be different depending on branch of service). Once the course is complete, you should be able to apply for benefits and receive documentation of approval/authorization. It’s recommended to apply for TA up to 60 days in advance of the term start date to ensure you can submit your TA before the class start date.

To use Military Tuition Assistance at NU, you must submit your authorization contract no later than the first night of your class.

Since Military TA is paid to the school directly, it does not count as an income for the student. Therefore, Military Tuition Assistance is not taxable.

GI Bill® Questions

The Post-9/11 GI Bill® is a wide-ranging educational provision for active-duty military based largely on your length of military service. Depending on your situation, it may cover tuition and fees, a monthly housing allowance, and a stipend for textbooks and supplies. To find out if you’re eligible, click here.

The Montgomery GI Bill® serves members of our armed forces who completed a minimum of two years of active service during the 1990s, up through the passage of the Post-9/11 GI Bill® in September 2001. It provides eight semesters, or up to 36 months, of monthly tuition payments at eligible U.S. academic institutions. To find out if you’re eligible, click here.

You can apply online for the Post-9/11 GI Bill® or Montgomery GI Bill® on the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) website. You’ll need your social security number, bank account direct deposit information, and education and military history information on hand. You can also apply in person at your local VA office or with the help of a trained professional. Prospective students should note that the VA takes about 30 days on average to process GI Bill® application requests.

Visit How to Use the GI Bill® to learn more about how to use the GI Bill® to fund your education at NU.

At National University, there is no distinction between in- and out-of-state tuition.

There is no distinction between in- and out-of-state tuition at NU and military spouses receive the same discount as active-duty servicemembers. If the servicemember has transferred their GI Bill® benefits to their spouses, they will still be eligible for the military tuition discount.

Scholarship Questions

NU is a Yellow Ribbon school and offers the following scholarships exclusively for our active-duty military and Veteran students:

Military Tuition Scholarship – Scholarship of up to $2,500 is available to military personnel, including active duty, reservists, National Guard members, their spouses, and their dependents. The scholarship is intended to benefit educationally and economically disadvantaged personnel and their family members who have demonstrated financial need.

Veterans Victory Scholarship – Scholarship of up to $5,000 is awarded to Veterans based on academic or community achievement and financial need. This award is considered a “last money” scholarship and is designed to supplement military GI Bill® Chapter 31 and Chapter 33 educational benefits when those benefits are exhausted during the current National University degree program.

Veterans, Spouses, and Dependents Scholarships – This scholarship is a 25% tuition reduction toward associate, bachelor’s, master’s degrees* for Veterans and their family members who are not using, or do not have access to the Post-9/11 GI Bill® or Fry Scholarship. It may be used by spouses and dependents in conjunction with the Dependents’ Educational Assistance (Chapter 35) or with the Montgomery GI Bill® (Chapters 30, 1606, or 1607) when the servicemember is no longer actively serving (and therefore not eligible for the active service tuition rate).

*Cannot be used toward nursing, doctoral, or credential programs.

Financial Aid Questions

Financial aid is funding provided to students from the U.S. government to help finance their college education or career training. The amount of funding each student receives depends on their unique financial situation. There are several forms of financial aid available, including grants, loans, scholarships, and work-study jobs.

All service members are eligible for federal financial aid, including those who are active duty, in the reserves, or Veterans, as well as those already receiving other military benefits such as GI Bill® funding.

To apply for federal financial aid, you’ll need to:

  • Complete and submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form
  • Review your financial aid offer
  • Work with your school’s office of financial aid to apply your financial aid funding to your account balance

For more information about how financial aid works, click here.

After you’ve submitted your FAFSA, the Financial Aid Office at NU will receive a copy of your FAFSA application from the U.S Department of Education. An email will then be sent notifying students who are selected by the Department of Education that they are required to complete the verification process. Once all verification documents have been received, your eligibility for aid will be determined by the Financial Aid Office and eligible aid recipients will receive an email notification from the University that their aid application has been processed. Please note that you must be accepted into your chosen degree program prior to being disbursed financial aid.

Contact Us

Still have questions? Contact our military admissions team at [email protected].

GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government Web site at