As a current or former member of the military, you are entitled to financial aid opportunities that are not available to other students. These resources can pay for most or all of your school-related expenses. They can also spare you from going deeply into debt just to earn a college degree. You can apply for them by first obtaining certification for veterans benefits from your school's financial aid or fiscal services department.
Proving Eligibility for Services
The certification for veteran benefit services is vital for proving that you are eligible to receive these unique financial aid resources. Without it, you might have to forgo applying for these sources of aid. You would then face having to take out loans to pay for your college tuition.
To assist the financial aid or fiscal services department certify you for this form of financial aid, you may be required to provide proof of your military service. The most obvious source of proof would be your DD-214 that you receive from the military after being discharged.
The DD-214 will also have details about the type of discharge that you received. Most military educational benefits like the G.I. bill is reserved for military members who were honorably discharged. It may not be available to those who received a general discharge. It is also off-limits to people who were dishonorably discharged from the armed services.
After seeing your DD-214, the university's financial aid or fiscal services department can certify that you are in fact eligible to receive the military-specific scholarships, Pell grants and other sources of financial aid. You may find that your entire tuition bill is covered in full. You also might receive stipends from this financial aid to cover part or all of your housing expenses, as well as miscellaneous expenses for books, a parking permit on campus and even a laptop or computer.
When you leave the military, your thoughts turn to how you can integrate back into civilian life and further your career. You may decide to pursue a college education. To access financial aid designed just for current or former military members, you need to obtain certification for veterans benefits. To acquire certification for veteran benefit services, you may be required to provide proof of your active duty military service. The university, such as University of Maryland Global Campus, will want to keep a copy of your DD-214 on file to verify your financial aid eligibility.