Post-9/11 GI Bill for Servicemembers and Veterans
A major benefit of serving in the armed forces is the education and tuition assistance provided to service members and veterans through the GI Bill. If you have at least 90 days of active duty service, you could have all or part of your tuition paid for by the U.S. Government.
This program could entitle you to a percentage of tuition and fees due to your school, a monthly housing allowance and a stipend for books and supplies. Eligible veterans have access to these benefits for up to 15 years after their last period of active duty of at least 90 days.
These benefits can be used for college and university education, at trade schools, flight schools and for on-the-job training or apprenticeships.
Eligibility for the Post-9/11 GI Bill
In order to qualify for tuition assistance under the Post-9/11 GI Bill, you must have spent a cumulative total of 90 days or more in active duty service, excluding your time in Basic Training.
However, according to http://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill/docs/pamphlets/ch33_pamphlet.pdf a veteran may also receive GI bill benefits if he/she served only 30 days and was discharged due to a service connected injury or illness.
The amount of tuition assistance you can receive depends upon your time in the service. Here is the list of time spent on active duty (excluding Basic Training) and the corresponding percentage of tuition assistance you can receive:
How Much Aid Will I Receive?
The amount of benefits you will receive depends on the amount of tuition assistance for which you qualify under the GI Bill. Your tuition and fee payments will be sent directly to your school.
Post 9/11 GI benefits are capped by Congress. The maximum amount a veteran may be entitled to is all tuition and fee payments for an in-state student at public school, or up to the National Maximum at a private or foreign school. The National Maximum for 2014 is $19,198.31.
For example, if a veteran who was eligible for 100% of school costs attends a private university which costs $25,000 per year, he or she would be personally responsible for paying the $5,801.69 that the GI Bill does not cover.
You may also be eligible to receive monthly payments for housing, or aid in purchasing textbooks or supplies.
If you have a college, university, trade or vocational school in mind, and want to see how much assistance the GI Bill could give you, use the VA’s GI Bill Comparison Tool to see what benefits you could receive.
How to Apply
If you would like to apply for GI Bill Benefits, you can do so through the VA’s eBenefits site. This site will assist you in completing the forms and applications you need to start receiving your benefits.
To learn more, visit Education and Training on the VA’s website.