Reserve Education Assistance Program (REAP)

Pay for a college degree program with this education assistance program.

March 06, 2014

The Department of Defense and Department of Homeland Security determines who is eligible for this money for college.
Photo: Thinkstock

Service members of the Armed Forces make a number of sacrifices for our country. To reward members of the Selected Reserves who are called into active duty because of a war or the threat of a national emergency, the military has created the Reserve Educational Assistance Program (REAP) to provide college aid.

When you join the Selected Reserves, you’re considered to be in active status. If a national situation requires it, the Department of Defense may require these service members to participate in active duty. As a result, the military created the REAP to reward these service members with money for college, and encourage them to pursue their college education.

The REAP provides selected service members with up to 36 academic months of education benefits, like payment of tuition, toward their college education.

Interested in joining the Selected Reserve? Find out about the college funding available to you.

What Is the Reserve Educational Assistance Program (REAP)?

The REAP provides selected service members with up to 36 academic months of education benefits, like payment of tuition, toward their college education. These members must be called into service by the President or Congress as a result of a national emergency or a war.

Degrees can be taken, and college money can be earned, through college or university degree programs, vocational programs, independent study, flight training, apprenticeships or entrepreneurship courses. You can also take distance learning programs at online schools, instead of traditional colleges and universities.

Who Is Eligible for the Reserve Educational Assistance Program (REAP)?

The Department of Defense and Department of Homeland Security determine who is eligible for this money for college. It is only awarded to service members of the Selected Reserves, Individual Ready Reserve and National Guard. You must have participated on active duty on or after 9/11 for at least 90 consecutive days.

How Much College Aid Can You Receive through the Reserve Educational Assistance Program (REAP)? The amount of college money you can receive is based on a percentage of your Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB) rate, which is based on the number of continuous days you served on active duty.

How Do You Apply for the Reserve Educational Assistance Program (REAP)?

  1. First, find a degree program that is approved for Veterans Affairs training through a Campus Explorer college search.
  2. Complete the VA Form 22-1990, the Application for Education Benefits.
  3. Send your completed application to the regional Veterans Affairs office that serves the state you’ll take courses in.

You can also apply online through the Veterans ON-line APPlication (VONAPP) website.

Reserve Education Assistance Tips & Tactics

  • Some service members can receive increased monthly benefits through the GI Bill by contributing up to $600 per month in the $600 Buy-Up Program.
  • Keep in mind that you can’t receive benefits from more than one VA education program at a time, so do the math and read the fine print to determine the one that offers you with the most benefits.
  • In addition to applying for military aid, don’t neglect to pursue federal aid. Submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form to find out what federal aid grants and college loans you’re eligible for.

People Who Read This Article Also Read:

Military Financial Aid Programs: the Basics
Selected Reserve Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB-SR)
Military Scholarships: The Basics
Are You Eligible for Federal Aid When You are in the Military?

See All Military Financial Aid: The GI Bill and Beyond Articles

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