The Army ROTC Green to Gold non-scholarship option allows active duty soldiers to leave the Army so they can enroll in college full-time while also participating in the ROTC program at their school. Once their degree has been completed, they will be integrated back into the Army as an officer. There are many financial benefits that come with the Green to Gold non-scholarship option that should be considered before you decide to apply. Once you see the value this educational opportunity has, you may decide that the time spent filling out the application is financially worth the it.
Reserve Component E-5 Monthly Pay
With the ROTC Army Green to Gold non-scholarship option, the student has the option to participate in the Simultaneous Membership Program (SMP). With this program, you will be able to enlist in either the National Guard or Army Reserve while also being enrolled in ROTC. Once enlisted, you will receive the E-5 Reserve Component Pay. Though this pay is only a few hundred dollars a month, it can allow you to take on less part-time work during school and focus more on your studies.
In addition to any SMP pay that you may receive, you will also be paid a monthly stipend for being enrolled in the ROTC program. This monthly pay is based on your Military Science Class. For example, a freshman may receive a monthly stipend of $300 a month, while a senior may receive $500 a month. This monthly pay is paid directly to the student and can be used for whatever living expenses they see fit.
GI Bill benefits (if earned)
If you qualify for any form of the GI Bill, you will be able to use it to help pay your tuition, fees and books. With the Post-9/11 GI Bill, students will receive E-5 with dependents BAH to help with living expenses. Before you apply to use your GI Bill benefits, find out which GI Bills you qualify for and determine which one is best for your situation.
Additional Tuition Assistance for Reserve and National Guard
If you choose to participate in the Simultaneous Membership Program, there are likely other forms of tuition assistance that you will qualify for. Check with your school, state and the Reserve/Guard to find out if there are any scholarships available for you to use. If you also qualify for the GI Bill, you will be able to use this tuition assistance in addition to your GI Bill, which can be a great benefit.
Grants and Other Scholarships
Don’t forget to fill out the FASFA as well to find other forms of financial aid. Depending on your financial need, you can qualify for grant money and additional scholarships which is money you will not have to pay back. Though the FASFA may be a time consuming process, the end result could be thousands of dollars of financial aid.
Increased Pay Upon Returning to the Army
Once you finish your degree and go back to the Army, your greatest financial benefit will be the increased pay you will receive as an officer month after month. Even at O1 pay, you will still make several hundred dollars a month more than the average enlisted member. In addition, you will also receive a higher Basic Allowance for Housing. Since this pay increase will continue the rest of your military career, it will add up to literally tens of thousands of dollars that you would never had earned otherwise.
So when you are considering whether or not to apply for the Green to Gold non-scholarship option, make sure to take these financial benefits into account. Depending on your financial needs, these benefits could make your break your decision. So take the time to look over every detail and you might find that this education program is right for you.