If your country appears to be on the brink of war or if you are concerned about your service status, it is only natural to wonder if you can be drafted. You may also be trying to figure out if being a college student can get you out of being drafted.
You can discover the answers to these questions and more, here:
Can College Students Be Drafted?
No, you can’t be drafted as a college student as the US military is on an all-volunteer basis – however, if you have already enrolled in the military, then you can be deployed during your time as a college student if your unit is called for service.
Why Are College Students Not Drafted?
College students aren’t drafted because no one in the US can be drafted. After the end of the Vietnam war, the US decided to implement all-volunteer legislation instead.
This means that to be enrolled in the military, you have to voluntarily do so yourself. If you don’t sign up for any branch of the US military, then you can’t be deployed.
You should be aware that every male – citizen or immigrant – is required to sign up for the Selective Service System. This mandatory registration is meant for every male between the age of 18 and 25.
Thus, in the event that the draft was re-implemented by Congress, then you may be drafted into military service. For this to happen, though, Congress would need to pass a legislative and this is something that you would be made aware of ahead of time.
Understanding the Link Between FAFSA and SSA
As mentioned, once you turn 18, you have to sign up for the Selective Service System or SSS. You have 30 days to do so. In case you were living in another country, you have one month to sign up for the system upon your arrival.
When you apply for federal student aid, you have to mention whether or not you signed up for SSS. In most instances, you will only be approved for aid if you have registered.
It is possible to be approved for financial aid even if you don’t sign up for SSS. However, this means that your financial aid can be pulled at a later time.
It is important to understand that just because you are signing up for federal student aid doesn’t mean that you are volunteering for the draft.
In the event that a war breaks out and the draft is legalized again, then you may be required to join the US military.
Can You Be Deployed If You are a College Student?
If you have already enrolled in the military, then it is possible for you to be deployed while you are still in school. This may not always happen, though.
For one thing, your superiors may choose to allow you to continue your education even if the rest of your team is deployed. This is often considered on a case-by-case basis, though.
If you are on active duty but participating in Long Term Civilian Education, then you are assigned to something that is known as a school house unit. As such, you will be given non-deployable status.
This is something that you will need to work out with your superior offices, though.
Now, this status only applies to those in the military on active duty. If you are a part of the National Guard or are a Reservist, then you can be deployed at any point, even if you are a college student.
This part of the US military doesn’t offer such safeguards.
How Likely Is It to Get Deployed as a College Student?
This depends on the current situation.
In times of peace or when the US isn’t actively engaged in warfare in another country, the chance of you getting deployed is fairly low. As a student, you may have even less of a chance of getting called up.
If you are a part of the National Guard, though, your chances are higher. This is because the National Guard is also involved in state-level affairs.
Therefore, if there is a natural disaster or some other issue, then your unit can be deployed. If so, you would be required to join them as well.
What Happens to Your Education If You are Deployed?
There are many laws in place to protect soldiers who are also students. This means that even if you are suddenly pulled away from school, all of your credits and achievements will remain in place. You will simply pause your education.
What’s more, the school is obligated to hold your position for you. Once you have completed your service, you will be re-enrolled once more.
You also don’t have to start from the beginning but can pick up from where you left off before you were deployed.
Is There Any Way to Avoid Being Deployed as a College Student?
As mentioned, the rule of thumb is that if your unit is called to serve, you are automatically required to go.
If you wish to continue your education, then you will need to reach out to the military department that handles such matters. They may review your case and determine whether or not an exception can be made for you.
This decision often depends on the situation. If the military is actively engaged in conflict overseas, then there will be a greater need for soldiers. Therefore, you may be required to go.
On the other hand, if the situation isn’t as dire, then they may let you stay in school until you have finished your semester or even your year. This will depend on your superior officers, though, and the terms and conditions can vary quite a bit.
Can You Get Drafted as a College Student?
No, you can’t get drafted as a college student as the US doesn’t follow draft protocol anymore – if you are already a member of the military, though, you may be deployed if you are still on active duty and your unit has been called in to serve.