By Josephine Reid
Dreams of lower monthly payments or a reduced interest rate on student loans can be fulfilled with help from the US military. While a career in health care and other medical services is always in demand, everyone knows that tuition for school can get very expensive, even if you are taking online courses. If you are a medical student, there are several options available for student loan forgiveness.
The Army needs doctors and offers generous financial assistance to attract them. The American Medical Association estimates the average cost of four years of medical school to be more than $250,000 and the Army offers aid to pay for the whole package.
If you choose the Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB), you can use your benefits to go to school for 36 months. Once you have exhausted your MGIB benefits, you can switch to the Post 9/11 GI Bill and get an additional 12 months of benefits.
Yellow Ribbon Program
The Yellow Ribbon GI Education Enhancement Program (Yellow Ribbon Program) is a provision of the Post-9/11 GI Bill that allows veterans to attend private schools and graduate programs costing more than the state tuition cap. Under the program, participating colleges and universities must offer a veterans-only scholarship which the VA will then match up to the full cost of tuition and fees.
The Health Professions Loan Repayment Program
The Health Professions Loan Repayment Program helps doctors, dentists, and other healthcare professionals on active duty or in the Army Reserve. Qualifying borrowers can receive up to $40,000 per year for up to three years. This $120,000 in military loan forgiveness could go a long way toward paying off medical or dental school loans.
Army Reserve soldiers with prior military service can receive up to $50,000 toward student loan payments. You can request more information about student loan forgiveness for veterans through the U.S. Army website.
The thought of the burden caused from student loans can be disheartening. But forgiveness programs like the ones above offer some peace of mind knowing that you can go after that Master’s degree in the medical field and help those in need without the fear of what is to come after graduation.