What is the Reserve Educational Assistance Program (REAP)?
Reserve Educational Assistance Program or REAP (Chapter 1607 of title 10, U.S. Code) is a new education program that provides up to 36 months of education benefits to members of the Selected Reserves, Individual Ready Reserve (IRR), and National Guard, who are called or ordered to active service in response to a war or national emergency, as declared by the President or Congress.
Who Is Eligible for the Reserve Educational Assistance Program?
Eligibility will be determined by the Department of Defense (DoD) or Department of Homeland Security (DHS), as appropriate. The DOD will send you a letter when you become eligible. Generally, a member of a Reserve component who serves on active duty on or after September 11, 2001 under title 10, U.S. Code, sections 12301, 12302, 12304, for at least 90 consecutive days under a contingency operation, is eligible for REAP. There is no specific time frame to use REAP; however, your eligibility generally ends when you leave the Selected Reserves.
National Guard members are eligible if their active service extends for 90 consecutive days or more and their service is:
- authorized under section 502(f), title 32, U.S. Code,
- authorized by the President or Secretary of Defense for a national emergency, and
- supported by federal funds.
How Much Does VA Pay?
The educational assistance allowance payable under the Reserve Educational Assistance Program is a percentage of the Montgomery GI Bill-Active Duty (MGIB) rate based on the number of continuous days served on active duty. Persons released before 90 days due to an injury, illness, or disease incurred or aggravated in the line of duty receive the 40 percent rate (current payment rates).
- Members who serve 90 days but less than 1 year will receive 40 percent of the MGIB 3 year rate.
- Members who serve 1 year but less than 2 years will receive 60 percent of the MGIB 3 year rate.
- Members who serve 2 or more continuous years will receive 80 percent of the MGIB 3 year rate.
The amount VA pays is based on the type of training program and training time (i.e. full time, half time, etc). If attendance is less than a month or less than full-time, payments are reduced proportionately.
What Programs Are Available?
The following programs are available:
- College or University Degree Programs
- Flight Training
- Vocational Programs
- On-the-Job Training and Apprenticeship Programs
- Independent Study or Distance Learning Programs
- Entrepreneurship Courses
- Correspondence Courses
Note: VA does not approve schools or programs for benefits. Each individual state approves schools and courses. To find out if your school or program is approved for VA educational benefits under REAP, contact your school’s VA Certifying Official, or call VA at the toll-free number below.
How Can You Apply for the Reserve Educational Assistance Program?
We strongly recommend that you enlist the services of a Veteran Service Officer before you submit your application for the Reserve Educational Assistance Program. They will review your application, helping ensure it has all the information the VA requires. If you do not have a VSO yet, the NVF will help you find one. Simply call us at 888-777-4443.
Once you find a program approved for VA training, complete VA Form 22-1990, Application for Education Benefits, and send it to the VA regional office that serves the state where you will train. Indicate on the form you are applying for REAP. You can also apply online.
For More Information about the Reserve Educational Assistance Program, call the NVF Toll-Free at 888-777-4443.
The VA’s GI BILL Hotline is 888-GIBILL-1, and their web page is https://www.gibill.va.gov.