Army College Fund (ACF)

Regular Army: Retired

Benefit Fact Sheet

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Summary:

The Army College Fund (ACF) is an enlistment incentive option designed to aid in the recruitment of highly qualified Soldiers for critical or shortage Military Occupational Specialties (MOS). The ACF supplements the basic Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB) entitlement.

The Army College Fund (ACF) has been suspended indefinitely since 1 October 2011 with no immediate plans for reinstatement.

 

Eligibility:

Retired Soldiers may be eligible to receive Army College Fund benefits if they accepted ACF upon initial enlistment for an MOS for two, three, or four years. Soldiers who enlisted for greater than four years with the ACF option receive the four year ACF. The ACF is not a program for which an individual becomes eligible after entry on active duty. The program is not authorized for officers.

As with the MGIB, the ACF will expire 10 years after the Soldier's last discharge or release from active duty.

MGIB Era: Soldiers offered the ACF must meet the eligibility criteria listed below:

  • have no prior service
  • enlisted in the active Army between July 1, 1985 to present
  • have a high school diploma at time of entry to active duty
  • have an Armed Forces Qualification Test (AFQT) score of 50 or higher
  • enlist in a specified MOS designated under the ACF program offered at the time of enlistment
  • enroll and participate in basic MGIB
  • enlist with ACF as part of the enlistment agreement

Service members forfeit ACF eligibility for:

  • Failing to obtain and remain qualified in the MOS for which individual enlisted.
  • Failing to complete the minimum time-in-service requirements.
  • Note: Anyone separating prior to completing his/her initial enlistment, provided that he/she meets the eligibility criteria for MGIB, will receive a pro-rated portion of the ACF

Veteran's Education Assistance Program (VEAP) Era: Soldiers who were offered the ACF as an incentive to enlist must have met the eligibility criteria listed below:

  •  
  • Enlist in the Army as a non-prior service accession.
  • enlist in the active Army during the incentive test program period 1979 - 1981 or during October 1, 1981 - June 30, 1985
  • have a high school diploma at time of entry to active duty
  • have an Armed Forces Qualification Test score of 50 or higher
  • enlist in a specified MOS designated under the ACF program at the time of enlistment
  • enrolled and participated in basic VEAP
  • enlist with ACF as part of the enlistment agreement

Service members forfeit ACF eligibility for:

  • Failing to obtain and remain qualified in the MOS for which the individual enlisted.
  • Failing to participate in VEAP for 12 consecutive months.

Benefit Highlights:

Education programs and schools that are approved by the Department of Veterans Affairs include:

  • College courses
  • Technical/business/vocational schools
  • Tutorial assistance, remedial and refresher training
  • Residence/correspondence courses
  • Apprenticeship and on-the-job training (OJT)
  • Work-study programs
  • Cooperative programs
  • Flight training (Must have private pilot's license first)
  • Licensing and certification testing

ACF is accrued monthly as long as the Soldier obtains and remains qualified for the MOS for which he or she originally enlisted. The ACF will expire ten years, if used with MGIB or 15 years if used with Post 9/11 GI Bill, after the Service member's last discharge or release from active duty.

MGIB Era ACF Benefits

The ACF amounts that are offered during the MGIB era vary depending on the time period in which the individual entered active duty.

  • Effective April 1, 1993, ACF amounts listed on the Soldier's enlistment contract include the MGIB.
  • ACF amounts are fixed at the date of entry to active duty. Any future cost-of-living increases will be added to the basic MGIB portion only.

VEAP Era ACF Benefits

  • Withdrawals of personal VEAP contributions are authorized while serving on active duty. Any earned ACF will be lost with any withdrawal; however, the ACF can be reinstated if the individual re-enrolls. In accordance with AR 621-202, Chapter 4-8b, the lump sum must be used for this purpose.
  • There are many ways to contribute to VEAP that will affect the accrual of ACF and monthly payment rates. Refer to AR 621-202, Table 5-2, or an Army Education Center for examples or counseling.

Additional Information:

For more information, please visit the Army College Fund webpage maintained by the US Army Human Resources Command: https://www.hrc.army.mil/TAGD/Army%20College%20Fund

For more information on the Post-9/11 GI Bill:
http://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill/post911_gibill.asp

For more information on the Veterans Educational Assistance Program (VEAP):

http://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill/veap.asp

AR Governing Army Educational Incentives and Entitlements:
https://armypubs.army.mil/Search/ePubsSearch/ePubsSearchDownloadPage.aspx?docID=0902c85180010e71


Document Review Date: 29 August 2016