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The Reserve Educational Assistance Program (REAP)

By Bisk
Reserve Educational Assistance Program (REAP)

REAP provides educational financial assistance for members of the reserve components who are called to active service in response to a national emergency or war. Eligible reserve components include the Army National Guard, Air National Guard, Marine Corps Reserve, Air Force Reserve, Army Reserve, Naval Reserve, and Coast Guard Reserve. If you are a member of one of these reserve components you may be eligible for REAP benefits if you were on active duty for 90 consecutive days or more in support of a contingency operation on or after September 11, 2001.

REAP Eligibility

You may also be eligible if you are in the National Guard and performed full-time duty for at least 90 consecutive days or more under section 502 (f) of title 32 for a national emergency operation supported by Federal funds, and declared by the President, and authorized by the Secretary of Defense or the President.

You are not eligible for REAP if you are receiving a SROTC scholarship (Senior Reserve Officers Training Corps section 2107 of title 10). You may become eligible after you stop receiving the scholarship. If you are receiving benefits from the Montgomery GI Bill® Active Duty program and you are eligible for REAP benefits, you must select one program you cannot benefit simultaneously from both programs. In addition, members of the Montgomery GI Bill Active Duty x4 program are prohibited from using the same period of service to determine eligibility for REAP program benefits.

Members serving in the Selected Reserve who are ordered or called to active service remain entitled to benefits as long as they continue to serve in the Selected Reserve. Eligibility for benefits also continues for members called or ordered to active service from the Individual Ready Reserve (IRR) as long as they continue to serve in the IRR or Selected Reserve. A 10-year delimiting period applies to Selected Reserve members who were separated after completing their service contract, as long as separation does not include matters of dishonorable conduct. Benefits will end if a member begins receiving Senior ROTC scholarship financial assistance (section 2107 of Title 10, U.S.C.).  There are exceptions for separations caused by disability.

REAP Financial Assistance

REAP financial assistance for full-time education may continue for up to 36 months. In general, benefits are applicable toward coursework and programs from accredited sources that lead to a certificate or a degree, or specific skills training. This includes the following:

  • Accredited independent study courses or cooperative training programs
  • Training for a certificate or a diploma from a vocational school, technical school, or a business
  • Apprenticeship or on-the-job training programs
  • Overseas educational programs leading to a degree
  • Small Business Development Center (SBDC) classes
  • National Veterans Business Development Corporation courses
  • Testing for approved license or certification
  • Applicable work-study programs
  • Flight training
  • Correspondence courses

Beneficiaries of the REAP program must stay in the education or training program to completion and maintain satisfactory progress and attendance.

REAP offers a wide variety of financial aid for education that can help further career goals. Qualified individuals may receive counseling in order to assess strengths and weaknesses. Aid is available for training that targets a specific deficiency or weakness, or for a remedial refresher course. To understand the full range of benefits (and limitations), contact your local VA office. 

GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government Web site at

Category: Military