It was disappointing to read the Army and Marines suspended Tuition Assistance funding. Horrible decision. The following are a few options on paying for college courses until TA is reinstated.
First and most important, file the Free Application for Federal Financial Aid also known as the FAFSA. It’s a little complicated and you need your taxes or an estimate of your taxes, but if you can qualify for Pell grant, it is well worth the time. In addition, many schools only offer institutional grants and scholarships to students with a completed FAFSA.
Scholarships: Look, search and look some more. There are a lot of scholarship opportunities, but again, it takes work to receive one. Check your school’s financial aid office web site. Try FastWeb. As an example, here is the list of outside scholarships posted at the GMU website: Outside Scholarships
IAVA also listed VSO resources, such as AMVETS, American Legion and other foundations.
Using the GI Bill is another option, but be aware that every month of part time benefit expends what could be a month of benefits for full time schooling later on.
Loans, last resort, but if choosing a loan, do the FAFSA and elect a Federal Direct Loan. This is Title IV funding and offers rate and other consumer protections. Under NO circumstances should private lending or credit cards be used to pay for classes while on active duty.
As I stated, suspending TA is not a good decision; I think this impacts recruiting, retention and hence, readiness. However, while not ideal, some options to pay for school without going into debt are available.