The Post-9/11 GI Bill® is a VA education benefit that helps the latest generation of veterans and service members pay for school or training. Service members and veterans can use these benefits for up to 36 months.
The history of the GI Bill® dates back to 1944. The Servicemen’s Readjustment Act, better known as the GI Bill®, was passed to support veterans of World War II.
Since the WWII era, the GI Bill® has been updated a few times to aid other veterans and service members. This includes the Post-9/11 GI Bill®, which provides benefits to those who served on active duty on or after September 11, 2001.
You are eligible to receive Post-9/11 GI Bill® (Chapter 33) benefits if you meet one or more of the following requirements:
Members of the Reserves who lost education benefits when the Reserve Educational Assistance Program (REAP) ended in November 2015 may now be eligible to receive restored benefits.
Veterans and service members who are eligible for Post-9/11 GI Bill® benefits can receive up to 36 months of benefits. These benefits include:
You may also be eligible for the Yellow Ribbon Program.
Veterans and service members who qualify for the maximum benefit can have the full cost of public, in-state tuition and fees covered by the Post-9/11 GI Bill®. Rates are capped for foreign and private schools.
You must be in school more than half time to receive this benefit. The monthly allowance is then based on the cost of living where the school you attend is located.
Eligible veterans and service members can receive up to $1,000 per school year to pay for books and other supplies.
The Post-9/11 GI Bill® can provide a one-time $500 payment to eligible veterans and service members to help them move from a rural area to attend school.
The Post-9/11 GI Bill® includes a provision to help students pay for out-of-pocket tuition and fees for education programs that exceed the tuition benefit. Participating schools must enter into an agreement with the VA to share the costs.
You or your family members may be eligible for these additional benefits:
Currently, the Monthly Housing Allowance (MHA) is based on the location of the campus where you physically attend the majority of your classes.
The tuition and housing allowance payments you can receive from the Post-9/11 GI Bill® are calculated from the amount of creditable service you have on active duty after September 10, 2001. Active duty time can additionally include Title 10 service and some Title 32 duty for reservists and guard members.
Post-9/11 active duty time and the corresponding benefits follow these tiers:
You can use your benefits to work toward a degree, train for a career, trade or industry, work while you study, or take classes at home. Examples include:
If you left service before January 1, 2013, your benefits will expire 15 years after your last separation date. However, If you left the military after January 1, 2013, your benefits will not expire thanks to the Forever GI Bill®.
If you have already applied for and received Post-9/11 GI Bill® benefits, you can check your GI Bill® Statement of Benefits to see how much of these benefits you’ve already used and how much you have left.
You can use your benefits to pay for school while you’re on active duty, but you won’t get a monthly housing stipend on top of the housing allowance you already receive. Depending on the school you choose, you might be eligible for a housing stipend worth as much or more than your tuition. As a result, using your GI Bill® benefits while on active duty could mean that you end up with much less than what you would get after leaving the military.
If you qualify for more than one type of VA education benefit, then you’ll need to choose which benefit you want to use. This decision cannot be changed.
You can apply for your benefits:
You will need to provide the following information to apply:
If you want to change schools, you’ll need to provide similar information.
Many schools have a member of their Registrar’s office or Financial Aid office who can help you through the application. Check with your school to connect with the school certifying official.
After you apply, the VA will send you a Certificate of Eligibility (COE) that details the benefits that you are eligible for. When it comes time to enroll, you’ll present this documentation to your school. You can also use this certificate as proof that payment is coming in the event that tuition payments are delayed.
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