You don’t have to put college on hold while you pursue a career in the Navy. In fact, much of your on-the-job training and experience can directly translate to college credit. It’s a win-win, as you get paid to work toward your degree while serving your country.
From NROTC, to the Post-9/11 GI Bill there are a variety of ways to fund your education while you serve. For more information and to find out if you can qualify for some of these programs, contact a Navy recruiter.
Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps (NROTC)
The Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps (NROTC) is a scholarship program that provides full tuition, stipends, summer training cruises and more so you can enjoy a traditional college experience while preparing to serve as a Naval Officer.
Specialized College Programs
Civil Engineer Collegiate Program (CECP)
If you are interested in pursuing important civil engineering projects around the world, consider the Civil Engineer Collegiate Program. It provides:
- Up to $139,000 while finishing your degree
- A regular monthly income ranging from $2,900 to $5,800 for up to two years prior to your graduation
- A generous military salary
- A food allowance
- A housing allowance that is based upon the location of the school you attend (the national average is $3,900 per month)
- Comprehensive military health care benefits
There will be no uniforms, no drilling requirements and no service obligation until you graduate. From there, you’ll begin the process of being commissioned as a Navy Civil Engineer Corps Officer. Learn more about Civil Engineering career opportunities in the Navy.
Nurse Candidate Program (NCP)
If you are interested in becoming a nurse in a global health care network that promotes patient-focused care and humanitarian work, look into the NCP program. It offers up to $34,000 to help pay your way through nursing school, which includes an initial grant of $10,000, plus a monthly stipend of $1,000 for up to 24 months while earning your degree.
Similar to CECP, there are no service obligations until after you graduate. From there, you’ll begin the process of being commissioned as a Navy Nurse Corps Officer. Learn more about Nursing career opportunities in the Navy.
Nuclear Propulsion Officer Candidate Program (NUPOC)
If you are interested in being part of one of the top nuclear programs in the world, look into the NUPOC program. In the Navy’s challenging Nuclear Propulsion training program, you can:
- Earn up to $168,300 while finishing your degree*
- Receive a substantial bonus upon selection into the program
- Enjoy military health care benefits while you are a student in the program
- Have your college years enrolled in the program count towards retirement
- Be a full-time student with no military duties while in college
- Gain valuable leadership, engineering and management experience highly sought by civilian employers
- Get the opportunity to earn annual bonuses up to $40,000 for each year beyond your initial service obligation
There are no service obligations until after you graduate and begin the process of being commissioned as a Navy Nuclear Officer. This highly competitive program equips you with the skills to be successful within any of the following career fields. Explore the training, requirements, benefits and more of each below:
- Submarine Officer
- Nuclear Surface Warfare Officer
- Naval Reactors Engineer
- Nuclear Power School Instructor
- Nuclear Power Training Unit Instructor
*Salary, bonus and allowances subject to change. Connect with a recruiter for the latest information.
Navy College Program & Tuition Assistance
If you're interested in earning a college degree while you serve, the Navy offers two options:
- Navy College Program (NCP) – This program enables you to receive academic credit for training you receive and work you perform while serving on Active Duty. This includes classes and coursework completed remotely when you’re deployed, including on ships and submarines.
- Tuition Assistance (TA) – This program pays up to 100 percent of the cost of courses you take at accredited institutions on your own time, while designated as "off-duty."
Both programs are available to Enlisted Sailors and Officers, but they are typically geared toward Enlisted servicemembers who do not yet have a college degree. For more information, go to the Navy College Program site.
Post 9/11 GI Bill
For Navy servicemembers, veterans and their families, paying for a college education is easier than ever thanks to the Post-9/11 GI Bill, which:
- Provides up to 100 percent tuition and fee coverage
- Provides up to $1,000 per year for books and supplies
- Potentially provides a monthly living allowance
- Can potentially be transferred to a family member
- You may use it for up to 15 years after completing your service commitment
To be eligible, you need:
- Qualifying service on or after September 11, 2001
- At least 90 days of Active Duty military service (90 days of aggregate service for Navy Reserve Sailors)
Montgomery GI Bill – Selected Reserve (MGIB-SR)
The Montgomery GI Bill — Selected Reserve (MGIB-SR) program may be available to members of the Selected Reserve. It provides:
- Up to 36 months of educational benefits that may be used for degree and certificate programs
- Flight training
- Apprenticeship/on-the-job training
- Correspondence courses
Reserve Educational Assistance Program (REAP)
The Reserve Educational Assistance Program (REAP) is available to Navy Reserve Sailors who complete a minimum of 90 days of Active Duty service in response to a war or national emergency.
Loan Repayment Program (LRP)
The Loan Repayment Program helps Sailors pay off student loan debt. To be eligible, your loan cannot be in default and you must be serving in your first enlistment. This program is available to Enlisted servicemembers without a college degree who are serving in eligible Navy ratings/programs.
While the Navy is not currently offering student loan repayment for Enlisted rates, there may be other financial benefits and options available to you. Connect with a recruiter for more information.
Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support Program (DANTES)
Comprised of more than 1,200 colleges and universities nationwide, the Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support (DANTES) Program allows you to pursue college and university independent study courses. The DANTES Program allows servicemembers to transfer credits from school to school and receive college credits for military training and experience.
College Level Examination Program (CLEP)
Sailors have the opportunity to take free College Level Examination Program. Along with credit from service schools and work experience, these nationally recognized tests can provide a convenient way for members to earn college credit toward an associate degree.
Other DOD Opportunities
The Department of Defense offers a wide range of STEM opportunities for undergraduate and other students. Explore the links below to learn more about how the DoD can help advance your career:
- Naval Research Enterprise Internship Program (NREIP) – The NREIP program places college and university students in Department of Navy (DoN) laboratories where they will take part in real Naval research for ten weeks during the summer.
- Science, Mathematics and Research for Transformation (SMART) Scholarship Program – The SMART scholarship is open to undergraduate students currently pursuing a degree in one of the 21 STEM disciplines. SMART scholars receive full tuition, annual stipends, internship opportunities and guaranteed employment with the DoD after graduation.
- U.S. Naval Research Laboratory’s STEM Student Employment Program (SSEP) – The SSEP program is a direct hire authority for undergraduate degree-seeking students enrolled in scientific, technical, engineering or mathematics majors.
- DoD STEM Opportunities Database – Use this database to search for STEM opportunities in the Department of Defense by grade level, program type and more.
- NITRD STEM Portal – Explore Federal STEM opportunities in a database from the Networking and Information Technology Research and Development (NITRD) Program. Search by department/agency, education level, program type and more.