How do average cadets/Mids get a graduate degrees?

Discussion in 'Life After the Academy' started by agolson, Jan 4, 2011.

  1. agolson

    agolson Eagle43

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    Is it possible to attend graduate school out of the academy if you are an average cadet/mid? Is it possible to get assistance from military for payment? Online degree versus regular program? Any information would be helpful.:smile:
     
  2. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    I can't speak for anywhere but CGA. At CGA you will not go to grad school straight out of the Academy. I know other academies have exceptions to that general statement.

    For the most part...you can do grad school three ways....

    1. Have your service pay for it. You're competing for a select number of graduate program spots in your service. Nice thing....you don't pay, and you're paid the entire time. Not always nice thing....you have a pay-back tour somewhere that can benefit from your degree.

    2. Use the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill. I believe, CGA grads may be the only ones who fall through that loophole in their first 5 years, but it's an option. While you're active duty, you have 100% of the tuition paid for, but you pay for books. Once you're out, it's a percentage of the highest in-state tuition. You don't owe extra time for receiving a degree with the GI Bill and it can be transfered or used after you separate.

    3. Pay your way. You pay. You owe no one.



    I do night classes, and I'm in a billet that allows me to take that time after the work day. If I was at an operational unit, especially if I was on a cutter, it would be much harder to find time. I use the G.I. Bill and I plan to separate from the Coast Guard in June of this year. I will likely transition to online classes and move out of the DC area.

    A graduate degree will help you in your service, but it will also set you up nicely should you chose to separate.

    Good luck!
     
  3. Mongo

    Mongo Banned

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    Section 102 of the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Improvements Act of 2010 just passed a couple of weeks ago closed that loophole.
     
  4. agolson

    agolson Eagle43

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    Section 102 -
    Replaces the current system of limits on payments to institutions of higher education on behalf of veterans participating in VEAP with a two-tiered payment system, with one tier for payments to public institutions and another for payments to non-public or foreign institutions. Makes such system effective as of August 1, 2011. Provides the monthly living allowance (stipend) under VEAP for: (1) more than half-time study in pursuit of a degree; (2) pursuing a program of education in a foreign country; and (3) more than half-time study solely by distance learning.

    :thumb:
    Please help me to understand the change in the law?
     
  5. Mongo

    Mongo Banned

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    Oops. Section 101:
     
  6. hornetguy

    hornetguy USAFA Cadet

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    For USAFA the only direct to grad school as an assignment will be for those who excelled academically, no one "average." The most "average" opportunity for a grad school assignment are those who track scientist and need the degree (these people usually have ~3.0 GPA on the low side) or attain the slot through their academic department (usually awarded to the highest cadet who can take it, like eagle).
     
  7. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    Oh, you took the summary version. They closed the loophole, glad I got it when I did. I was just talking to a 2009 grad about taking advantage of it while she could. I'm guessing she didn't get it in in time.

    (5) SERVICE IN CONNECTION WITH ATTENDANCE AT COAST GUARD ACADEMY- The amendment made by subsection (c) shall take effect on the date of the enactment of this Act, and shall apply with respect to individuals entering into agreements on service in the Coast Guard on or after that date.
     
  8. agolson

    agolson Eagle43

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    Hornetguy,
    So only cadets and mids who have superior academic records are given assistance to grad school. Is there any other assistance given to academy grads ie: GI bill, veterans assistance etc. I know that academy grads go on to get master degrees and some are average students. Are they all paying there on way?
     
  9. SamAca10

    SamAca10 Ensign - DWO

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    What are the plans after separation LITS? Are you still going to be around on SAF?
     
  10. hornetguy

    hornetguy USAFA Cadet

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    This is only for DIRECT accession into a grad program as a duty assignment.

    I don't know the details of the GI bill or other benefits for doing a degree on the side while doing your job so I can't comment there. Mine was to explain the process for direct accession into a graduate program.
     
  11. raimius

    raimius USAFA Alumnus

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    The AF has tuition assistance, which pays for most classes for active duty airmen.
     
  12. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    Starting to work that out. I'm having some shoulder surgery (ice hockey injury) so hopefully that won't give me too much trouble with the separation physical. I'm also recently engaged. I have a few jobs I'm shooting for, and if I get one of them I'll let you know. I'll still be here, maybe a little more outspoken after June.
     
  13. NorthernCalMother

    NorthernCalMother Member

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    Agolson, it's possible to attend grad school right out of the Naval Academy. I'm not sure if it's for "average" Mids-- let's call them "normal" Mids. The programs I know of are IGEP and VGEP (google them!).

    I don't know much about IGEP except that it's a 1 yr master's program @ Monterey's Naval Post Graduate School. I believe it's for engineering majors, I believe it's highly competitive, and I believe the Navy funds it.

    VGEP sends up to 20 Mids/yr to grad school @ DC-area schools. Mids qualify for in-state tuition, and mine got an unexpected scholarship @ Johns Hopkins that reduced cost considerably (still not clear to me if USNA underwrote that or the college offers it to USNA applicants). Mids can use the very low cost loan (more than $30K) they're offered as 2/C's to help fund the master's, and they're paid while attending classes. Courses are not online -- they're normal, go-to-class programs.

    VGEP is competitive. Mids must be ahead in credits, which means waiving a couple courses or taking summer classes. My 1/C Mid is in the top 20% of the class, although he wasn't h.s. valedictorian as many Mids were, and wasn't even a direct admit (went to NAPS, probably because his test scores weren't as high as USNA likes). So grad school CAN be done by a normal, if extra-hard-working, Mid.

    Good luck to you.

    (BTW, there was much talk on these boards a while back re: whether VGEP extended service time. I only know about the current policy, under which my Mid was definitively told (a) his service obligation did not begin until he'd completed his master's and (b) VGEP did not extend it.)
     
  14. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    LITS congrats on the engagement, but I guess for anyone who has been here as long as me, it was no real shocker.

    Best wishes on the job hunt.

    The TA program for the AF is they will pay 75% of the bill. You of course will go at night or on line.

    Every base has an education office, but the universities differ base to base. For most bases they had UMD and ERAU. They will than have probably 2 other universities...Webster and Troy are usually in the mix.

    These programs are nationally accredited as if you attended their schools on campus.

    The thing to comprehend with TA is that you will owe time back that runs concurrent with your commitment. HOWEVER, the clock re-starts each time you take TA.

    For Ex:

    Take 1st TA 2015...you owe back time to 2018.

    Take last TA 2017...you owe until 2020.

    This is where officers get into trouble because their initial commitment could end in 2019, and because they owe until 2020, they take a PCS or rank which now adds on more time passed the 2020 time frame.

    You need to plot out that commitment if you want to dive as soon as possible when taking TA.
     
  15. Mongo

    Mongo Banned

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    Join the Navy. They pay 100% and only require a two year concurrent payback.
     
  16. agolson

    agolson Eagle43

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    I wish I had know this sooner. But partial is better than nothing.
     
  17. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    TA and payback time is never a reason to join any branch, mainly because life stinks if you only joined that branch for education since your 1st job is to serve in that branch, and not to get your Masters.
     
  18. hornetguy

    hornetguy USAFA Cadet

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    This is what the AF is giving me....
     
  19. Mongo

    Mongo Banned

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    I thought so but I didn't want to correct the AF expert.
     
  20. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    There are 2 ways an AF member can go to grad school, and that needs to be explained.

    1. Full time job is attending grad school...this is what Hornet and Eagle are currently doing.

    The AF picks up that tab, because your job is to attend grad school and nothing else.

    It is highly competitive to get this opportunity and I don't think anyone in the AF would say that is the way the majority get their Masters.

    2. TA.

    This is where you attend on your own time and the AF pays for 75% of the bill.

    Your job is not to attend grad school, but to be XYZ in the AF, thus, it is a bennie for being in the AF.

    This is the way the majority of officers earn their Masters.

    This is the program where your time owed starts when you take the last TA and is concurrent with your payback.

    It is important to differentiate between the 2.

    As far as many AFA cadets determining whether or not to apply for Grad school straight out of the AFA, it becomes a long thought out process since it can be a double edge sword.

    Attending grad school with a follow on for UPT will delay them entering the op flying world up to in Hornet's case 3 yrs. During that time those who went straight to UPT are racking and stacking flight hours and upgrades making them competitive for TPS and WIC. The AF doesn't send sr O3s to these schools, they are traditionally mid O3 IPs.

    That means they have to weigh at a young age, before they even enter the flying world, which means more to them, since there is a high probability that they will not become a patch wearer due to age/rank.

    I am sure Hornet and Eagle will tell you that they really had to think long and hard about their decision and that it was not an easy one to make.

    They will also tell you that it is not a given to get that opportunity out of the AFA, whereas, TA is a given for AD members.

    OBTW, FWIW, I think TA became a topic on this because the OP asked about the avg cadet/mid, and to get the opportunity like Hornet and Eagle were presented did not come about by being the avg cadet. TA as an AF AD member is the more traditional route for the avg cadet.

    Hornet and Eagle are the people at least for the AFA side that you should pm regarding this matter. They can walk you through the process.
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2011

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