Do I Still Have To Pay For College Classes I Am Enrolled In If I Am Deployed?

Deployment is something that every soldier faces. When you enlist in the military, you agree to go out whenever the call comes, which might mean putting off your college for a few years. As a soldier, you do your part to protect your country. If you receive the call in the middle of the semester, you can’t put off your deployment, which is why many schools will offer different options to enlisted students.

Military vs. ROTC

The first thing you need to consider is whether you enlist in the military or the ROTC. Cadets enlisted in the ROTC agree to join the military after graduation, and the military agrees to pay for that person’s education. Though you might think this means you won’t need to enlist until after graduation, certain factors can lead to the military calling you up before you finish your degree. Some students decide to enlist in the military early on with the hopes of paying for college later. Before the military deploys you, you can attend college. If the military later sends you to boot camp, you need to leave school.

The GI Bill

Introduced after World War II, the GI Bill offers financial assistance to soldiers interested in attending college. The bill gave money to every soldier who served at least 90 days, and soldiers could use the funds for school, to buy a house or to start a business. Many soldiers today use the GI Bill to pay for college or vocational training. You cannot take advantage of the GI Bill until you serve your duty, and the money is not available to those who receive a dishonorable discharge from the military. You can use the money to pay for online or traditional college classes.

Finishing Courses Online

According to Jan Murphy, more soldiers now finish their courses online after a military deployment. Following 9/11, the government changed the GI Bill to let active soldiers use the funds they would previously only receive after leaving the military. This gives soldiers the option to enroll in online courses, complete those courses and finish their degrees even while serving overseas. If you find that your deployment takes place while still enrolled in college, you have the option of transferring to an online school or taking online classes through your hometown college, and you can use the GI Bill to cover the costs you face.

Other Options

Some schools offer other options for military students. If you’re in the middle of a term when the military deploys you, many schools will let you drop out without facing any fees. The best schools will refund the money you paid out earlier and give you the option to come back at a later date. Other schools make it easy for soldiers to come back after their deployments. These schools with withdraw students from classes or give those students an incomplete grade. When you finish your deployment, you can pick up your classes again from where you left off.

Most colleges and universities do not require that deployed military personnel pay for college when they cannot attend classes. Depending on your school, you can either withdraw, take an incomplete or take courses online, and most schools will refund all of your tuition costs or a portion of the costs that you paid earlier in the term.