Does the National Guard Pay For Private College?

The average amount spent on private colleges was almost $23,000 in 2020. The cost for students who were out-of-state residents meanwhile was $21,629. Even with incentives like scholarships and financial aid, finding ways to fund a college education without declaring bankruptcy has become a cause for concern for most American families. This has ultimately led to the search for unique ways to take care of the cost of a college education. Let us discuss, Does the National Guard Pay For Private College?

Does the National Guard Pay For Private College?

Just like other branches of the military, the National Guard has financial programs and aid to assist with education costs. The National Guard assists its members through college, more than other branches of the United States Military. Members of the National Guard qualify to be assisted with their education. However, each arm of the Armed Force is saddled with determining how they administer their tuition assistance (TA).

Ways By Which the National Guard Can Help Pay for Private College

The National Guard can assist in paying partly for college tuition, room accommodations, and in some cases, graduate school. 

a. College Tuition Assistance:

The National Guard assists with paying for college. This depends on the school you decide to attend. The National will over four years, commit up to $18,000. This gives an average of about $4,500 per year. When tuition costs alone are considered, the National Guard college payment program should cover your whole tuition, if you do not attend a relatively expensive school.

b. Montgomery GI Bill:

The Montgomery GI Bill is usually provided for members of the National Guard along with college TA. The allowance given monthly can amount to almost $340. The total GI bill can approximately attain $11,000 over four years. However, unlike college TA, money in the GI Bill is transferred directly to an account of your choice to be spent on books, supplies e.t.c.

c. Post 9/11 GI Bill:

This is for those who have served for at least 90 days, on or since September 11, 2001. This bill provides up to 100% coverage of tuition based on time spent on active duty. The Post-9/11 GI Bill also assists both graduate and medical schools. An annual stipend of $1,000 for books is given in some cases to take care of books and the amount can be transferred to dependents.

d. Army National Guard Kicker:

The Army National Guard Kicker complements the Montgomery GI Bill to pay up to $350 on monthly living expenses. The kicker can last for close to 2 months and may cover up to $12,600. You first need to qualify for the Army National Guard Kicker before applying. 

e. Other forms:

Programs like the Reserve Officers Training Corps (RTOC) scholarship and the SLRP can help you fund a college education. The SLRP especially directly supports officers and soldiers who have pre-existing student debt.


Depending on the selected program and school, the National Guard can pay for 100% of your tuition. The National Guard can also help with bills associated with the other aspects of college education like books and supplies. Board and room are taken care of by stipends granted to students. If you would like to not have student loans dangling around your neck when you graduate, enlisting in the National Guard can be considered one of the best steps that can be taken to achieve this and instead focus on academics. Although not all states pay money for TA, many states run other programs with money included which can help lessen the burden of student loans. 

Frequently Asked Questions

a. What are some benefits of joining the National Guard? Asides from the stipends and allowances, it is, without stating the obvious, a special honor to serve the National Guard because it allows you to live life on your terms. It is an avenue for people to graduate from a college or university or stay in a civilian job. It is also a better form of active service for those with other pursuits because not much commitment is demanded from the National Guard unlike how much is demanded from the other arms of the U.S military. 

b. Does the National Guard pay for everything? The National Guard cannot pay for everything. However, its financial programs are probably the best around. It would be difficult to find another employer that could match what the National Guard has.

c. How do I qualify for the Federal Tuition Assistance? You must be in service at the ARNG and must have completed either the Advanced Individual Training (AIT), Basic Officer Leader’s Course (BOLC), or the Warrant Officer’s Basic Course (WOBC). You must be willing to pursue an academic degree whilst possessing the credentials to make these academic pursuits.

d. Is there a difference between National Guard and active duty? Yes. Members of the National Guard do not need to be fully committed to their service. Most members of the National Guard hold down other jobs while they serve part-time with their unit.