Aerie Backcountry Medicine

This page outlines Aerie's accepted financial aid opportunities through the AmeriCorps and the GI Bill®, as well as the FAFSA. Other financial aid and scholarships may be available for an individual course or program. Please contact us if you have any questions.

Accepted forms of financial aid:

Americorps Segal Education Award

The Segal Education Award can be used for any of our courses that are eligible for college credit. These courses include WFA, WFR, EMT, W-EMT, and the Semester in Wilderness Medicine Programs. Though Aerie is not a Title IV school, our credits are offered through a partnership with the University of Montana. Our credits are processed through their Extended Credit Courses (SELL).

For more detailed information and steps on how to use your awards, follow the steps outlined in this document: Aerie and AmeriCorps Awards

GI Bill®

VA education benefits can be used to pay the tuition for many of our courses and programs, including WFR, EMT, WEMT, and our Summer Semester in Wilderness Medicine.

In order to use your benefits:

  • On our website, complete the course registration form for the specific course you want to take. In the payment section indicate that you will be paying via your VA education benefits. When you submit your registration, please include your social security number/VA file number and a copy of your VA Education Benefits Eligibility letter.
  • Our Certifying Official will contact you to let you know that you have been successfully enrolled in the program. Enrollment in the VA system is digital so there are no longer any forms to fill out.
  • Aerie will receive payment directly from the VA, so you don’t have to worry about getting reimbursed or forwarding any payments.
  • Aerie will write up a contract indicating that you will be responsible for any costs not covered by VA education benefits, which you will sign. For WFRs, you will not receive your certification, and for WEMTs and the Summer Semester Program, you will not be able to take the practical exam until the tuition is paid in full.
  • VA education benefits can not be applied to the Spring or Fall Semester in Wilderness Medicine programs.

A few things to consider:

  • If you are not 100% covered by VA education benefits you will be personally responsible for paying the balance of the tuition.
  • Since the GI Bill® pays a housing stipend, the benefits do not cover food and lodging. You will need to pay these fees out of pocket. These expenses vary per field course, so please contact us to discuss these costs before committing to any of the programs.
  • Please let us know if you will be using your VA education benefits to pay another institution at the same time as our course. A good example of this is enrollment in a degree program or college classes while attending our program on the side. Often your benefits will cover both as long as a guest relationship is possible between Aerie and the other institution. Please contact us for more information.
  • Veterans can take any eligible course for college credit. However, the University of Montana’s $155-per-credit recording fee is unfortunately not eligible for payment through the GI Bill®.

"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"

Federal Financial Aid

Many universities offer their students the ability to temporarily transfer financial aid to a different school, such as with traditional study abroad programs. This process of transferring financial aid is called a consortium agreement.

In order to use your financial aid:

  • Ask the financial aid office at your university if they do consortium agreements; if so, request the paperwork. You may need to meet with your school's financial aid counselor to work out the details of the consortium before proceeding.
  • You will need to verify that the course’s credits will be approved for transfer by your advisor. Request course syllabi from Aerie so that your advisor can read through the course requirements and make a determination for your degree program.
  • If your advisor approves the credits, you will need 3 or 4 signatures to complete the consortium process: your advisor’s (agreeing to the transfer credits); Aerie’s or the University of Montana’s; your financial aid office’s (essentially agreeing to transfer the financial aid); and your own.
  • Next, fill out the consortium agreement paperwork and list the University of Montana as the host institution if you are currently enrolled in a school other than the University of Montana. If you are currently a UM student, please list Aerie as the host institution.
  • Let Aerie know you want to transfer financial aid. We will follow up with UM or your university.
  • The UM Business Office will write a check to your school. Your school will pay you according to their financial aid process.
  • We will write up a contract detailing the amount due and the due date, which you will sign. For WFAs and WFRs, you will not receive your certification, and for WEMTs and Semester Programs you will not be able to take the practical exam until the tuition is paid in full.
  • Current UM students must complete the SELL Agreement with Financial Aid form at

A few things to consider:

  • If your school does not do consortium agreements and you do receive federal financial aid, you may want to fill out an In School Deferment Request Form. You can use this form to show you were actually attending school, so that your loans are postponed at least for the duration of your course.
  • Even if you have University of Montana financial aid, you will need to go through the consortium process to transfer funds to Aerie’s programs.