Reserve Educational Assistance Program
Reserve Educational Assistance Program (REAP)
After nearly 15 years of activations and rotations to the Middle East, Africa, Southwest Asia and elsewhere, a great many of us are faced with getting back on the life path we were on prior to mobilization. With the current state of world affairs, the number of folks deploying and eventually making that transition home is likely to increase. One of the biggest challenges is returning back to, or starting college. The Department of Veterans Affairs has several programs like Montgomery, Select Reserve and Post-9/11 GI Bills. Those are great programs that have helped millions of people attend college, but there is another important education benefit, specifically meant for Guard and Reserve, that bridges the gap between the existing education benefits you may qualify for and the ever rising costs of going to school.
The Reserve Educational Assistance Program (REAP) Chapter 1607 is an education benefit program designed to provide educational assistance to members of the Reserve Components called or ordered to active duty in response to a war or national emergency (contingency operation) as declared by the President or Congress.
From the Army Human Resources Command:
National Guard members are eligible if their active duty is under section 502(f), title 32 U.S.C. and they serve for 90 consecutive days when authorized by the President or Secretary of Defense for a national emergency and is supported by federal funds. Individuals are eligible as soon as they reach the 90-day point whether or not they are currently on active duty.
AGR personnel, as defined in Section 101 (6)(A), Title 10 U.S.C., may qualify for this benefit but only if their name is listed on an individual or collective by-name list of personnel stating that they have been mobilized and/or deployed to support a qualifying contingency operation. AGR personnel cannot establish eligibility by merely providing support (even in direct support) to a mobilized portion of a unit unless the AGR member is mobilized. An AGR member must possess orders which clearly indicate that they were mobilized.
The amount of assistance an individual qualifies for is based on how much time you spent on active duty, but ranges from as little as $686.00 for 90 days minimum service, to $1373.66 for two years or more. That’s PER MONTH! For up to 36 months!
As with any Federal program, there are a myriad of rules you need to follow to determine eligibility and estimate the benefit. If you just read the REAP website, you may find it tricky or confusing to decipher. The best thing to do is just call the VA or stop by the Veteran’s Outreach person at your school. If you want to take a crack at it, here are some links for further research. Either way, don’t forget about this important benefit when planning for school: