In 1981, the Educational Assistance Test Program was created to encourage enlistment and re-enlistment in the U.S. Armed Forces.
This program is unique in that the qualifications are quite limited. The Educational Assistance Test Program is available only to individuals who entered active duty after September 30, 1980, and before October 1, 1981. If entry was under a delayed enlistment agreement, that date is extended to October 1, 1982.
Participants must also be secondary school graduates. Other qualifications vary, according to the military branch. For example, Air Force personnel could only qualify for the program by enlisting in one of 17 specialties and in one of 13 enlistment locations, such as Syracuse, Seattle, Houston or Memphis.
The Educational Assistance Test Program is available to service members and veterans. Those eligible for benefits may also transfer their entitlements to a dependent spouse or child. In addition, a surviving spouse or child is eligible to any entitlement remaining at the time of the service member or veteran’s death.
Benefits under this program include one academic year (or nine months) of entitlement for each full calendar year of active duty served during the qualifying enlistment or re-enlistment. For example, four years of service would yield three years, or 36 months, of entitlement. Thirty-six months is also the limit of entitlement under this program.
Assistance allowance covers educational expenses for instruction at a regionally accredited institution. This allowance includes tuition, fees and books. Subsistence allowance is also payable to veterans and their dependents. Service members and their dependents are not eligible for the subsistence allowance.
Under this and other GI Bills, entitlement must be used within a certain period or it will be lost. Veterans must access the program within 10 years of the date of discharge. For surviving dependents, eligibility ends 10 years after the service member’s death, if deceased while still on active duty.