Education office helps quench thirst for knowledge

  • Published
  • By A1C Jennifer Jackson
  • Public Affairs
There may be no such thing as a free lunch, but for Team Vance blue-suiters, there is such a thing as a free education. For those hungry for a higher education, the base education office has the menu to help quench that appetite.
Readers may be wondering, "How do I get started?" The education office on base can help people find a school that will meet educational goals. Those who already have a school program can get their classes scheduled through the education office. The office will ensure all the expenses are taken care of. "You can't pass up a free education, everyone should take advantage," said SSgt Michael Baxter, of the education office.
The education office has books available that list all the accredited schools the Air Force can pay for. They can help with getting transcripts mailed to the right places and will be happy to help people get turned in the right direction.
There are also classes for everyone. Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University offers many classes on base. Some of the local schools have Internet classes to fit busy schedules or the education office can assist in finding a school with a distance learning program to fit an individual's needs.
Many Airmen and other military members at Vance AFB already take advantage of education benefits. A1C Sara Rutkowski, 71st Operation Support Squadron, attends classes on base with Embry-Riddle. "It's extremely beneficial as a member of the Air Force for us to take advantage of the educational tools offered to us, one being a free education," Airman Rutkowski said.
Another benefit is the Montgomery GI Bill. All military members are offered this program shortly after they arrive at basic military training. It is a one-time opportunity to enroll, according to Sgt Baxter.
A new program available to add to the GI Bill is the MGIB Booster. This will give military members eligible for the GI Bill the chance to add some extra school cash to the program. The member pays out an additional $600, which is deducted the same as the $1,200 was when members first enrolled. After that $600 is paid, there will be an additional $5,400 added to the education money total. That makes the benefit total $41,544 to use for school. The education office has more information on the booster program.
The education office can also explain use of tuition assistance. This assistance, gives all military members a total of $4,500 a year for tuition instead of using their MGIB. There is a cap of $250 per credit hour. If the cost is higher, another program called VA Top Up may pay the difference.
The education office also has programs that can help spouses and military children. For more information, call the education office at 7388 or visit building 314. Appointments are not needed, but can be made for the convenience of the customer.