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What Is the Navy College Fund?

The Navy College Fund, also known as the Montgomery GI Bill, is a valuable educational benefit for sailors. It provides financial assistance for tuition, helping service members pursue higher education and vocational training. With this support, many achieve their academic goals without incurring debt. Wondering how it can transform your future? Let's examine the possibilities together.
K.C. Bruning
K.C. Bruning

The Navy college fund (NCF) is a United States scholarship program that covers college tuition for eligible personnel after the completion of service. It is one of the potential incentives and bonuses associated with service in the U.S. Navy. The program is offered upon enlistment. It is typically combined with the Montgomery G.I. Bill (MGIB), which also helps to pay for tuition.

Due to budgetary limitations, Navy college fund enrollment is not typically offered to every recruit. Though the guidelines can change, typical eligibility requirements for the Navy college fund include that the individual be a high school graduate, be between 17 and 35 years old, and commit to active duty for approximately three years. The recruit must also be accepted for Navy training. Enrollees are also typically required to be categorized as non-prior service enlistees.

Woman holding a book
Woman holding a book

There is no increase for inflation given with Navy college fund enrollment. The value of the amount allotted to recipients of the fund is the price of current average tuition at the time of enrollment. While the amount of disbursement usually changes each year, previously awarded amounts may not cover tuition by the time the student enrolls in school.

Payments for recipients of the fund are received in installments. For example, an allotment of $50,000 U.S. Dollars (USD) would be paid as several hundred dollars each month over the course of the school year. These payments are issued along with MGIB funds. Sometimes part of the Navy college fund amount will be taken out of the MGIB payments if the student is using both sources.

The benefits and incentives offered to a Navy recruit depend upon timing and the job the individual will perform in the service. Each job is classified with a rating, and the benefits a recruit receives will depend upon this score. Some people will receive a cash bonus or will be offered enrollment in the Navy college fund, while others may receive both options. Those who choose both options will typically receive a reduced bonus.

There are some actions which can disqualify an individual from the Navy college fund. In many cases, enrollment in the MGIB is required in order to receive the NCF funds. The fund amount may also be reduced if the individual does not complete active duty. The NCF will be made available to the student for as many months as MGIB payments.

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Discussion Comments


@Markerrag -- I doubt most people join the Navy simply for the educational benefits. My father joined because he wanted to see the world while serving his country and the Navy gave him the chance to do that.

Did he use the G.I. Bill to go to earn a master's degree and then a doctorate? Sure, but he would have pursued those degrees, anyway. The cash from the military was greatly appreciated and helped a lot, however.

And I don't have a problem with other students who join up just because of the eventual educational benefits. If someone is going to put up with following Navy rules, risk giving his or her life for their country and giving up a few years to the Navy, we simply owe them the chance to get an education.


@Vincenzo -- A problem with that is the G.I. Bill and Navy College Fund will go broke if too many people enlist for the sole purpose of putting in a few years and then letting the military send them to college.

Students who are only interested in a college education should be encouraged to not enlist in the Navy. The G.I. Bill and Navy College Fund should be used by those students who are interested in serving their country first and then reaping educational benefits second.


Given the ever increasing costs of college tuition, this is a very good option for high school graduates who can get into college but are worried about paying back student loans after they graduate.

And those student loans are a major concern. It is well established that paying those back after college can be a real problem in spite of attempts to lock payments in with salaries, so giving a few years to defend the country in exchange for a college education is a very good option.

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