USCGA Cadet Pay ?

GeorgiaGus

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Feb 20, 2021
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So I am hoping someone can clear this up for me.
(Please forgive my ignorance, I only recently learned cadets are paid a stipend of sort.)

So I have heard few conflicting things:
* Cadets are paid a e-2 pay rate
* Cadets are paid 35% of O-1 pay grade
* other varied pay grades
(are any of these true?)

I also read that CGAS cadets get paid as well like USCGA cadets. (is this true?)

I read that whatever the pay is, a portion is debited off and allocated to an individual cadet fund to cover the cost of initial intake items, gear, uniforms etc...(Anyone have a list of the items and total rough cost?)
...and that since there is a larger upfront cost at the beginning, some of these initial intake costs are funded by way of a pay advance (loan), (is this true?)

Are the cadet pay rates the same at each of the service academies?

So please clarify?
 
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ProudMom7

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Sep 19, 2019
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My daughter is a 4/c at USCGA. They are definitely not paid at an E-2 rate at USCGA. Based on what my daughter has told me, 35% of an O-1 seems like it is about the right amount, but I don't know if it is that exactly. I don't know about other service academies. I think the first paycheck was after SWAB summer.

Yes, a portion of pay is allocated for the cadet's Initial Clothing Allowance (ICA). There are a lot of up-front costs for uniforms so they just provide a loan and pay-back is automatically taken from each paycheck. Information is here: https://www.cgaparents.org/s/1043/images/editor_documents/Parents Association/3.0_resources/ica_loan_information_2018.pdf?sessionid=2b0cc24e-b6ab-4586-becf-e13d65c2e2c0&cc=1
If you want to use scholarships or 529 plan money toward paying the loan, that is possible. The cadets still have other expenses, but the loan covers many of the expenses over the first semester. This loan is not to cover any expenses for items required for SWAB summer. Those are expenses you would have on your own.
 
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sbbm9901

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Nov 6, 2016
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They make, give or take ~1,000 a month on paper at all SA's. They get a subset of that money each month that increases each year they are there. The rest gets dropped into the SA cadet account world of fuzzy math. I have a 1/c at West Point and a 3/c at USCGA. The money in hand each month is similar across the academies (for the comparable class year), BUT the biggest downside I am aware of at USCGA is that cadets have to pay out-of-pocket for their books. At West Point they get a book stipend each semester, with the game to find the required materials as cheaply s possible, as they get to keep the leftovers.

As for the upfront loan, that is correct. I want to say it was around $10K, so part of the behind the scenes math is paying back that $10K (or whatever the actual amount is).
 
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ekb1398

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Apr 3, 2016
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Cadet pay is listed on the military pay charts, and is about 35% of O-1 base pay. For 2021, it is 1,186 dollars per month (O-1 is $3386/month on 2021 pay charts). CGAS is paid E-2 base pay, which is 2001 dollars per month in 2021. After taxes, it ends up being between 800 and 900 dollars a month for most people. There is indeed the initial clothing allowance that is about 10,000 dollars and covers initial uniforms, computer, etc. That will cut your pay roughly in half for the first 2.5 years of the Academy, so during that time you should expect to see about 400 dollars per month. You will also occasionally have to purchase more uniform items throughout your career, and they can be shockingly expensive, so that should be budgeted for. The official pay rate is the same for all service Academies (except KP, who are unpaid unless I'm mistaken), but exactly how much you see may change because each does their Initial Loan Repayment a little different, and how you pay for things around school a bit different too. For example, at USNA, you pay a monthly fee for the tailor shop, but when you have work done you don't pay any extra. We don't pay that fee, but when we take an item to the tailor shop, we are charged.
 

GeorgiaGus

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Feb 20, 2021
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Cadet pay is listed on the military pay charts, and is about 35% of O-1 base pay. For 2021, it is 1,186 dollars per month (O-1 is $3386/month on 2021 pay charts). CGAS is paid E-2 base pay, which is 2001 dollars per month in 2021. After taxes, it ends up being between 800 and 900 dollars a month for most people. There is indeed the initial clothing allowance that is about 10,000 dollars and covers initial uniforms, computer, etc. That will cut your pay roughly in half for the first 2.5 years of the Academy, so during that time you should expect to see about 400 dollars per month. You will also occasionally have to purchase more uniform items throughout your career, and they can be shockingly expensive, so that should be budgeted for. The official pay rate is the same for all service Academies (except KP, who are unpaid unless I'm mistaken), but exactly how much you see may change because each does their Initial Loan Repayment a little different, and how you pay for things around school a bit different too. For example, at USNA, you pay a monthly fee for the tailor shop, but when you have work done you don't pay any extra. We don't pay that fee, but when we take an item to the tailor shop, we are charged.
I appreciate the info. I looked at the pay charts and didn't see cadet pay, bit saw the update 2021 O-1 pay and just did the math. Anyway, I was just curious...Honestly I would go to the Academy or CGAS without pay. It's a very nice perk, which I guess serves the purpose of covering expenses.
 

Capt MJ

Ancient Mariner, Salt-Encrusted
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I appreciate the info. I looked at the pay charts and didn't see cadet pay, bit saw the update 2021 O-1 pay and just did the math. Anyway, I was just curious...Honestly I would go to the Academy or CGAS without pay. It's a very nice perk, which I guess serves the purpose of covering expenses.
It’s taxable income paid to an active duty member of the armed services.
 

Don't Give Up the Ship

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I appreciate the info. I looked at the pay charts and didn't see cadet pay, bit saw the update 2021 O-1 pay and just did the math. Anyway, I was just curious...Honestly I would go to the Academy or CGAS without pay. It's a very nice perk, which I guess serves the purpose of covering expenses.
It's not a perk...it's pay for your job, which is to complete and graduate the SA with honor and then serve. You're actually an employee of the respective service and will receive a W2. Since it's earned income you can actually contribute to an IRA. Time Value of Money is a powerful thing.
 

GeorgiaGus

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It's not a perk...it's pay for your job, which is to complete and graduate the SA with honor and then serve. You're actually an employee of the respective service and will receive a W2. Since it's earned income you can actually contribute to an IRA. Time Value of Money is a powerful thing.
Indeed it is pay for a job. I need to start looking at it that way. I'm pretty new to all this, with no family having a Military background, so I am learning as fast as I can.
It's a lot to take in There are a lots of things I see many experienced folks discussing that seem to presume a foundational knowledge I am only just now beginning to get. I am grateful for everyone bearing with me with I ask would may seem like really basic questions. I am especially grateful for that "Acronym list" tab above...Wow, I would be so lost without that.
 

Don't Give Up the Ship

BGO Affliliate & USNA 2023 Dad
Joined
Jun 21, 2018
Messages
398
Indeed it is pay for a job. I need to start looking at it that way. I'm pretty new to all this, with no family having a Military background, so I am learning as fast as I can.
It's a lot to take in There are a lots of things I see many experienced folks discussing that seem to presume a foundational knowledge I am only just now beginning to get. I am grateful for everyone bearing with me with I ask would may seem like really basic questions. I am especially grateful for that "Acronym list" tab above...Wow, I would be so lost without that.
Right. I dont like to hear...SA...it's free. No it's not. It's paid by the taxpayers. SA attendees work hard and then serve for typically 5 years. They earn that "Not College" education.
 

Capt MJ

Ancient Mariner, Salt-Encrusted
10-Year Member
Joined
Sep 27, 2008
Messages
10,891
Indeed it is pay for a job. I need to start looking at it that way. I'm pretty new to all this, with no family having a Military background, so I am learning as fast as I can.
It's a lot to take in There are a lots of things I see many experienced folks discussing that seem to presume a foundational knowledge I am only just now beginning to get. I am grateful for everyone bearing with me with I ask would may seem like really basic questions. I am especially grateful for that "Acronym list" tab above...Wow, I would be so lost without that.
One of the best things you can do is go to your SA of interest website, read every page, drop down menu item, link. Take notes of action steps and timelines. That is your primary source.
 

valtroid

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Jan 13, 2017
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The standard base pay for cadets is $1,116 a month, after all the fees, deductions, and taxes it comes out to about $800 a month BEFORE the ICA loan payback. The ICA loan is about ~$10,000 dollars, it varies a bit year to year. So after accounting for the ICA loan payback as well, the cadet paycheck is about $500 a month.

So basically: 4/c get paid about $500 a month and uppclass about $800, but you can pay for your ICA loan upfront and get paid the $800 a month immediately.
 
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