Reserve Educational Assistance Program
This program gives education assistance to Ready Reserve members called to active duty on or after September 11, 2001. REAP ended on November 25, 2015.
Montgomery GI Bill®
In 1984, Mississippi Representative G.V. “Sonny” Montgomery proposed new legislation that made the GI Bill® permanent. Today, the Montgomery Bill includes:
- Montgomery GI Bill® – Selected Reserve
- Montgomery GI Bill® – Active Duty
Who Is Eligible for Montgomery GI Bill® Benefits?
In addition to at least two years of active duty service, you must have a high school diploma or GED to use the Montgomery GI Bill® program. The factors used to determine the amount of money you receive monthly include:
- Length of military service
- Types of training you take
- College fund eligibility
- Participation in the $600 Buy-Up program while on active duty
What Benefits Are Available Through the Montgomery GI Bill®?
You can use benefits through the Montgomery GI Bill® to pay for programs like:
- College courses
- Technical courses
- Flight training
- Apprenticeships or job training
Army National Guard Kicker
This is a supplement to the Montgomery GI Bill®. It pays up to a total of $12,600 over 36 months and is for recruits and soldiers who are in critical military jobs and units.
Post-9/11 GI Bill®
Congress passed the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act in 2008 to give veterans who served active duty on September 11, 2001, or after that date increased educational benefits. Additionally, this act allows those service members to transfer unused educational benefits to either their spouse or their children.
Who Is Eligible for Post-9/11 GI Bill® (Chapter 33) Benefits?
You must meet at least one of the following requirements to qualify for Post-9/11 GI Bill® benefits:
- You served at least 90 days on active duty on September 11, 2001, or after that date. The 90 days can be served all at one time or with breaks in service.
- You served at least 30 continuous days (with no breaks in service) on September 11, 2001, or after that date, before being honorably discharged with a service-connected disability.
- You received a Purple Heart on September 11, 2001, or after that date, and you were honorably discharged. Those in this category can have any amount of service.
- You are a dependent child who is using benefits transferred by a qualifying service member or veteran.
What Benefits Can I Get Through Post-9/11 GI Bill® (Chapter 33)?
You can receive up to 36 months of benefits. The benefits covered include:
- Tuition and fees
- Housing money
- Books and supplies
- Money to help move
Can My Family Members or I Get Any Additional Benefits?
You may be eligible for additional benefits like:
- The Yellow Ribbon Program
- Transferring benefits to a spouse or child
- Fry Scholarship (if you’re the child or spouse of someone who died in the line of duty)
What Is the Location-Based Housing Allowance?
Currently, your Monthly Housing Allowance (MHA) is based on the location of the campus where you physically attend the majority of your classes.
Do My Benefits Expire?
If your service in the military ended before January 1, 2013, your benefits will expire 15 years after your last separation date. If your service ended on or after that date, your benefits will not expire thanks to the Forever GI Bill®.
How Do I Get My GI Bill® Benefits?
You will need to apply through the VA To access your GI Bill® benefits. You can do this online, in person at a VA regional office, or by mail. To apply, you will need the following documents and information:
- Social Security Number
- Education and military history
- Information about the school you plan to attend or are attending now
- Bank account direct deposit information
How Do I Know How Much of My Benefits Are Left?
If you’ve already applied and were awarded education benefits, check your GI Bill® Statement of Benefits to see how much you’ve used and how much you have left.
How Can I Use My Benefits?
You can use your benefits to:
- Work toward a degree
- Train for a career, trade or industry
- Work while studying
- Take classes at home
Make sure you identify a program that the VA has approved.
What If I Qualify for Different VA Education Benefits?
If you’re eligible for more than one of these VA education benefits, you’ll need to compare your options and choose which one works best for you. The decision you make is permanent. Payment rates vary depending on your enrollment status and the type of training or education you pursue.
Forever GI Bill®
The Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act was signed into law in 2017. Known as the Forever GI Bill®, the act expanded veterans’ access to educational benefits in a variety of ways, including:
- Getting rid of the 15-year limit on Post-9/11 GI Bill® benefits for veterans or eligible dependents
- Providing more benefits to Purple Heart recipients
- Offering VetSuccess on Campus, which is a vocational rehabilitation program
- Authorizing specific work-study programs
- Giving priority enrollment to veterans seeking educational counseling
- Offering Reservists who lost eligibility when REAP (the Reserve Educational Assistance Program) ended credit toward the Post-9/11 GI Bill® program and allowing Reservists to count more time toward eligibility
- Making more people eligible for Yellow Ribbon
- Allowing for extra time and funding for STEM degrees
- Allowing for benefit transfer after death
- Giving benefits back to users of the GI Bill® whose schools shut down
- Decreasing housing stipends
- Creating different measurements for eligibility for benefits
- Giving surviving family more money (but less time to use benefits)
- Requiring training for school certifying officials
When you’re ready to take the next step in your education and career, the GI Bill® can help get you there. You can use your GI Bill® benefits to start your career in the film industry.