THE COMMUNITY COLLEGE OF THE AIR FORCE
When you join the Air Force, you’re automatically enrolled in the Community College of the Air Force and will begin earning credits toward a college degree as soon as you begin basic training. It is America’s largest community college and the only degree-granting institution in the world dedicated entirely to Air Force personnel.
Through a unique combination of on-duty and voluntary off-duty courses, you’ll work toward your associate degree in applied science in one of five career areas—aircraft and missile maintenance, electronics and telecommunications, allied health, logistics and resources or public and support services. You’ll earn college credit just by learning and doing your job while you also gain invaluable experience to help your career take off.
THE LEAD PROGRAM
The LEAD program is an ongoing effort to give our best and brightest Airmen the opportunity to earn a college degree with appointments to the Air Force Academy and Academy Prep School.
Each year, unit and wing commanders nominate highly qualified enlisted and reserve Airmen who exhibit officer potential to 170 appointments available for the Academy and the Academy Prep School. The prestigious Air Force Academy gives students a world-class education and cost-free tuition in exchange for their commitment to serve. The Academy Prep School is a 10-month program designed to prepare candidates for the Academy.
SCHOLARSHIPS FOR OUTSTANDING AIRMEN TO ROTC (SOAR)
SCHOLARSHIPS FOR OUTSTANDING AIRMEN TO ROTC (SOAR) Enlisted Airmen who strive to attend or complete college may apply to the Scholarship for Outstanding Airmen to ROTC (SOAR) program. SOAR nominates up to 50 people for two- to four-year ROTC scholarships that cover most tuition and all fees. Scholarships are awarded in a variety of fields, including technical, nontechnical, nursing, pre-health and foreign language areas. Those who are accepted will temporarily separate from the Air Force while completing their degree and rejoin upon graduation.
THE AIRMAN SCHOLARSHIP AND COMMISSIONING PROGRAM (ASCP)
THE AIRMAN SCHOLARSHIP AND COMMISSIONING PROGRAM (ASCP) Active duty, enlisted Airmen may apply for the Airman Scholarship and Commissioning Program (ASCP). This program offers Airmen the opportunity to earn a commission while completing their bachelor’s degree in a variety of fields, including technical, nontechnical, nursing, pre-health and foreign language areas. Those selected temporarily separate from active duty Air Force to join ROTC and become a full-time student at a participating college. Participants receive tuition and fees scholarships for up to $15,000 per year and a textbook allowance of $600 per year.
PROFESSIONAL OFFICER COURSE-EARLY RELEASE PROGRAM (POC-ERP)
PROFESSIONAL OFFICER COURSE-EARLY RELEASE PROGRAM (POC-ERP) Active duty Airmen can take advantage of the Professional Officer Course-Early Release Program (POC-ERP) to receive an early release from active duty Air Force to enter Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFROTC). This program is open to students in all majors who are within two years of completing all bachelor’s degree and commissioning requirements. Those who are selected separate from the active duty Air Force to join ROTC and become a full-time student at a participating college to pursue a bachelor’s degree. Upon graduation and completion of the two-year program, participants will be commissioned as Second Lieutenants and returned to active duty for at least four years. Those selected for POC-ERP will no longer collect military pay and benefits until graduation.
THE NURSE ENLISTED COMMISSIONING PROGRAM (NECP)
THE NURSE ENLISTED COMMISSIONING PROGRAM (NECP) The Nurse Enlisted Commissioning Program (NECP) offers active duty Airmen an opportunity to earn a bachelor’s degree in nursing, an in-demand career in the Air Force. Participating students remain on active duty and continue to receive an income while going to school full time at a college or university that participates in ROTC. Participants receive a tuition and fees scholarships for up to $15,000 per year, as well as a textbook allowance of $600 per year. Those selected may participate for up to three years, depending on their degree program and previous academics. Students will commission upon passing the National Council Licensure Examination, and then attend Commissioned Officer Training and the Nurse Transition Program.
THE PHYSICIAN ASSISTANT TRAINING PROGRAM
Physician’s Assistants are an in-demand and highly respected career within the Air Force. Active duty Airmen can apply to the Physician Assistant Training program. The qualified individuals accepted into the program will receive the advanced training they need to provide expert medical care to military personnel and their families.
THE AIR FORCE TUITION ASSISTANCE (TA)
The Air Force Tuition Assistance (TA) program is designed to help active duty personnel pursue voluntary, off-duty educational opportunities. Currently, the program pays 100 percent (up to $250 per semester hour or equivalent) of the cost of college tuition with a limit of $4,500 per fiscal year. Courses and degree programs may be academic or technical and can be taken from two- or four-year institutions on base, off base or by correspondence.
THE POST-9/11 GI BILL
THE POST-9/11 GI BILL Eligible, active duty Airmen can receive up to 36 months of benefits for education and training opportunities outside of the Air Force through the Post-9/11 GI Bill. These benefits may be used for undergraduate and graduate degree programs, vocational and technical training, tutorial assistance, books, supplies and monthly housing. Generally, benefits are payable for 15 years following release from active duty and may be transferred to spouses or dependent children.
THE MONTGOMERY GI BILL (MGIB)
THE MONTGOMERY GI BILL (MGIB) A veteran benefit program, the Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB) was created to assist military members in paying for college. Eligible, enlisted Airmen may receive up to 36 months of benefits for education and training opportunities outside of the Air Force. These benefits may be used for degree and certificate programs, flight training, apprenticeship or on-the-job training and correspondence courses. Generally, benefits are payable for 10 years following release from active duty.