Students enlisting

Students enlisting

Ethan Bastis, Author

Plans after high school can vary immensely: some plan to attend  a four year college, a community college, some may take a gap year, or join the workforce. But if that doesn’t interest you, then you could join the less than 0.5% of US citizens in the US armed forces. 

With the growing cost of college, it has put most middle class kids in a jam: either go into tremendous debt or find another avenue. 

Now, to some kids, perhaps college is the way to go. However, others who don’t quite know what they want to do in life or can’t afford school, look at the opportunity of the military as the best bet. In some cases it is: an E1 across the five main branches can earn about $1600.00 a month along with low-cost insurance, base-inclusive room and board, 30 days paid vacation, and educational financial aid up to 100%.

Enlisting in the military doesn’t mean school is 100% out of the question. Many kids use the armed services as a bridge from high school to college with the incentive that up to 100% of your tuition can be paid for those deemed eligible. 

Tuition assistance across the branches may be the biggest draw to the armed services. Students look at this as a better alternative to paying the outrageous amount of tuition to get a degree that does not mean a job is guaranteed.

A job or skill learned in the military can go further than some people’s college degrees can. Businesses know that military training is top tier and it looks great to have on a resume.

The military offers high school graduates amazing opportunities in careers they may have never considered. So, even if you plan to go to college after a quick four year enlistment, you can fall back on what you learned in the military or go back into the service.

For example, a kid can go into the military and go to schooling for aircraft maintenance and serve as little as four years traveling the world for free, doing a job they chose, earning pay and benefits, and after all that they can go to school on the military’s dime. 

The percentage of high school students who enlisted in the military was merely 2% in 2017. Now with tuition rising and the cost of boarding, food, textbooks and the limitation of not being able to work steady hours at a job may cause that percent to climb. Kids now are starting to become aware of how much the money aspect of college can weigh them down and are taking a smarter financial approach to life after high school as well as doing their country proud.