As a member of the military reserve, you may be looking for ways to build upon your military career, or to enhance your job prospects in the civilian workforce. Furthering your education by completing a college degree program or undergoing a job training program are often the best options for moving up in the ranks, or getting that next promotion at work.
Fortunately, there are various U.S. Government programs, such as the Yellow Ribbon Program and the Post 9/11 GI Bill, that will help cover the costs of your education. What’s more, if you are a member of the reserve components, you may be eligible for specific educational benefits under the Reserve Educational Assistance Program, also known as Chapter 1607 REAP Benefits.
Keep reading for a simple Q&A breakdown regarding the REAP educational program.
The Reserve Educational Assistance Program (REAP program) is a program that is specifically designed to enable members of the reserve components of the military to further their education. The reap program was created as part of the Ronald W. Reagan National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2005. It provides tuition money for qualified reserve members who wish to complete undergraduate and masters degrees as well as various other training programs.
In order to qualify for REAP eligibility you must be a member of the reserve components who are called to active service due to war or national emergency. As a general rule, if you are a member of the reserves and have served for at least 90 days under active duty on or after September 11, 2001, you will likely qualify for the REAP program. Members of the reserve components include:
There are many VA REAP benefits included in the Chapter 1607 section of the GI Bill. Primarily, you can receive up to 36 months (3 years) of educational assistance in the form of tuition money for school. This means that if you are an eligible member of the reserve you will receive money that you can then use to pay off acceptable education-related costs.
The money can be used for a wide array of various undergraduate and masters programs as well as training programs such as flight training. Even if you served less than 90 days in the reserve, if you had to leave them due to injury you may still be eligible to receive REAP benefits.
Being enrolled in any of the following education or training programs makes you eligible to receive REAP benefits:
Chapter 1607 pay rates are in compliance with the Post 9/11 and Montgomery GI-Bill, and REAP rates are based upon how much time you have served.
Please use the following REAP Benefits Calculator to determine how much Chapter 1607 pay you are eligible to receive:
In order to see if you qualify for Chapter 1607 benefits, you must complete several official forms. You have the option of applying either by mail or online.
You can download the form by navigating to: www.gibill.va.gov. Click on “Education Forms” and then download and print the “Chapter 1607″ form. Mail your completed form to the VA (their address can be found at the same Web page.)
You can apply online by also going to www.gibill.va.gov. Click on the “Electronic Application” link, then fill out and submit the form online. Make sure to write “Chapter 1607″ at the top of the required signature page so that the VA can identify which program you are applying for.
Once you have have confirmed your eligibility for chapter 1607 military benefits and you have completed the forms for the reserve education assistance program, you will be ready to start using your REAP benefits to pay for the education program of your choice.
When it comes to furthering your education, make sure that you’re spending your money at an institution who can support your specific needs. Some schools are better equipped for military members and veterans than are others, so be sure to ask around, do your research, and enroll in a program at a military inclusive school.
To make sure that you’re considering the very best colleges for military students, make sure you visit our post regarding what makes a school military friendly.