The Army ROTC Green to Gold scholarship option is a relatively unknown scholarship given to qualified active duty enlisted soldiers. This program allows soldiers to leave the Army before their contract is up so they can attend college full-time while enrolled in Army ROTC. Once their degree has been completed in 2, 3 or 4 years, they will rejoin the Army as an officer. There are many financial benefits that come to Green to Gold Scholarship winners that should be pointed out and considered by potential applicants. Once you see the value this scholarship option has, you will likely find that the time spent applying can be well worth the effort.
Pays for Tuition or Room and Board
One of the best financial benefits of the Army ROTC Green to Gold scholarship option is that it will pay for your tuition or your room and board (whichever you choose). This means that if you do not qualify for the GI Bill, you can still get your college paid for. Even if you do qualify for the GI Bill, the costs may not be completely covered because college expenses are constantly on the rise. So, the Green to Gold scholarship can help bridge the financial gap.
Pays for Books
The Green to Gold scholarship program does not just pay for tuition (or room and board) but it also helps cover books. Depending on the number of hours you take, you can receive up to $900 a semester to help cover books. If you are smart with how you spend it, you should be able to purchase all the books you need used for less than that amount and apply the rest of that amount to other school supplies you need. This is just one more benefit to help take money off the mind of the student so they can focus on school.
When you do the Army ROTC Green to Gold scholarship you will be required to sign an ROTC contract at the school you will be attending. This may initially seem like a bad thing, but it is a financial plus. This is because the ROTC will pay you a monthly stipend (up to 10 months a year) based on what Military Science Class you are enrolled in. This stipend starts at $300 a month your freshman year and increases each academic year. Just a little more to sweeten the pot. Just remember, the months you are not in school you will not receive a monthly check. So it may be in your best interest to attend school in the summer.
Earned GI Bill Benefits
Even though the Army ROTC Green to Gold scholarship option will pay for your tuition, books and give a monthly allotment, that does not mean that you cannot use your GI Bill benefits if you have earned them. In other words, if you are 100% qualified for the Montgomery GI Bill and have the Green to Gold Scholarship, the amount of your tuition will be paid twice to the school and any amount that is left over will be sent to you. This could potentially mean that you could attend college without student loans or needing to work because you can easily live on the difference.
In addition to your tuition assistance, you could also qualify for a $1000 book allotment per semester and receive a monthly housing stipend depending on what GI Bill you qualify for. These benefits are in addition to your Green to Gold scholarship benefits. If you are unsure of what GI Bill Benefits you are entitled to, you can find a benefits calculator on the Veterans Affairs website.
Increased Officer’s Pay Upon Completion of Degree
Once you graduate from college with your degree and earn your commission as an Army officer, you will begin to enjoy the increase in pay that being an officer brings. This means an increase in base pay and an increase in BAH. However, if you have more than 4 years of prior service you are actually worth more to the Army than the average lieutenant. So, you will not be classified as the standard O-1 pay. You will actually start out as an O-1E which immediately gives you a higher BAH than an O-1 and can increase your base pay over than an O-1. *See current Base pay chart for more details in pay.
As you can see, there are many different financial benefits that come from the Army ROTC Green to Gold Scholarship option. If you carefully look over the details of the Green to Gold program, you can truly make it a rewarding experience. As with any big decision, make sure you weigh the benefits and downfalls carefully, as well as exploring the other Green to Gold options available to you so you can choose the best plan for your situation.