Veterans who served after September 11, 2001, are eligible for significant educational benefits thanks to the Post-9/11 GI Bill. We will cover all of your educational costs, including accommodation and board for up to 36 months, as well as a stipend for books and supplies.
As a result of the passage of the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act by Congress in the aftermath of World War II, the GI Bill was able to be established as a means by which war veterans could afford to pursue higher education and find stable housing.
This current version of the GI Bill was enacted by Congress and signed into law by President George W. Bush in 2008. It’s been changed several times to better serve military and civilian veterans.
Who is eligible to use the GI Bill?
Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits are available to anyone who has served in the armed forces for at least 90 days after September 10, 2001. This includes those who are currently serving and those who have been honorably discharged. The number of years you spent engaged in the military will influence what share of the overall benefits you receive.
Applications for benefits from the Veterans Administration are currently scored on the following scale:
- Discharged from active duty with a service-connected disability after at least 30 days’ service (or 36 months’ service if discharged earlier)
- Minimum of 30 months, maximum of 36 months; about 90%.
- There’s an 80% chance that the duration is above 24 months but under 30
- 70% in case of duration is a maximum of 24 months, although only 18 months are mandatory.
- 60% in case the period is longer than 12 months and less than 18 months.
- In terms of 50%: The duration is between six and twelve months.
- 40%: Within three months, but no more than six months.
- Under 90 days, all value is lost.
However, there is no need to commit this information to memory, as a new Forever GI Bill provision will alter the specifics as of August 2020. The bulk of bonuses will be handed out between the 90-day and 6-month marks. Those who have served for between six and eighteen months will be eligible for 60% of the whole benefits package.
If a parent or spouse of a military member was killed in action on or after September 11, 2001, they may be eligible for GI Bill payments under the Marine Gunnery John David Fry Scholarship Program. Equally assured of full eligibility for these benefits, with minor children, is a surviving spouse who has not remarried within the preceding 15 years.
Obtaining a GI Bill and how to apply for it
You can submit your GI Bill application either online or at a VA regional office in your area.
Applying is easy, especially if you do it online. Include information about your military service, academic background, and desired school. Do not forget to bring your Social Security number and account number. (The schools receive the funds for your tuition and fees directly, but you receive your housing and book stipends.)
Feel free to get in touch with the relevant certifying official at your institution if you have any queries or concerns. This person usually works in the office of the registrar or the office of student financial aid, and they may help you fill out the application.
Veterans Affairs Benefits Certificate of Verification
A certificate of eligibility detailing the specific benefits to which you are eligible will be mailed to you by the VA once your application has been processed. These items are necessary for enrolment at your preferred school.
If a student is unable to meet a financial obligation to a school due to extenuating circumstances, the school is prohibited from imposing late fees or other restrictions unless the student presents a certificate of eligibility.
It’s important to remember that the VA processing period for your certificate of eligibility can vary.
What percentage of college expenses are covered by the GI Bill?
The Post-9/11 GI Bill is a form of educational assistance that helps pay for things like tuition, housing, textbooks, and supplies.
Veterans attending public universities can have their in-state tuition and fees funded in full by the GI Bill, but those attending private or for-profit institutions are not eligible for this benefit. In 2019-2020, the average funding ceiling for schools like this across the country is $24,476.79. This number usually rises by a small percentage every year.
Find out if your school is a part of the Yellow Ribbon program if the GI Bill isn’t going to cover all of your education expenses. The purpose of this pact between schools and the VA is to reduce or eliminate the student’s out-of-pocket payments for education not covered by the GI Bill. At this time, only veterans and their immediate families can participate in the program, but active-duty service members will soon be welcome to do so as well.
There is widespread support for this among academic institutions, including the Ivy League.
Should I use the GI Bill while I am still serving in the military?
I guess if you’re willing to put in the work. The question is whether or not you really want to.
If you are currently serving in the military and want to use your GI Bill benefits to finance your education, you will not be eligible for a monthly housing stipend from the VA. The housing allowance may be more helpful than the tuition waiver, depending on how much you’ll be paying for college at your preferred school. As a result, the GI Bill benefits you receive will be far lower than the potential benefits you could earn once you leave the military.
Now it’s up to you to decide what to do.
Assistance with Housing Costs through the GI Bill
The amount of money you receive each month to help with rent depends on the number of classes you’re taking and the proportion of the cost that you’re considered eligible to receive rent assistance.
The VA will determine your housing benefit in accordance with Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) rates established by the US Department of Defense. Currently, the average wage for an E5 allows them to provide adequately for a family of four (not your current location). (The amount you get has nothing to do with your social standing.)
The Forever GI Bill’s housing allowance is based on the location of the school where the majority of a student’s classes are held. To better reflect the actual cost of living, a monthly stipend is provided to students attending college satellite schools hundreds of miles or even several states away from the main campus.
The VA has made it easier for you by collecting resources related to various GI Bill programs in a single location. To find out how much a certain school offers in monthly stipends, type the name of the institution you’re considering and click the “search” button.
Keep in mind the following, as they are essential:
Full-time distance learners are only entitled to 50% of the standard BAH rate. For the upcoming 2019-2020 academic year, the price per month would be $894.50. Some teachers advocate for taking at least one course on campus to balance the advantages of online and traditional education without breaking the pocketbook.
This GI Bill benefit is not available to students taking fewer than 12 credits each semester or to dependents of service members who have transferred their benefits to them.
When and how to use the GI Bill to switch schools
The process of transferring your GI Bill benefits to a new school is quite similar to the first GI Bill application. Information such as your Social Security number and bank account data will be sought with the basics such as your military service, educational background, and preferred institution of higher learning. DMDC Military Verification specializes in verifying the status of servicemembers.
You can take care of everything over the phone or online without ever setting foot inside a VA office. A valid eBenefits account is required to track your remaining GI Bill benefits and receive any applicable payments.
Putting Your Family First: A Guide to the G.I. Bill
If you have already completed your undergraduate degree and have no plans to continue your education, you can transfer your GI Bill benefits to a family member.
You need to have served for at least six years before applying for a transfer, and you’ll have to commit to serving for another four years if your transfer is approved by the Department of Defense.
The Department of Defense suggested limiting transfer eligibility to 16 years of service in early 2019. However, language to that effect was included in the yearly defense authorization bill which Congress passed in December, thus killing the plan.
The recipient of the Purple Heart is exempt from the following and may transfer their GI Bill benefits to a family member at any time.
The age limit for a dependent child to receive a transfer of GI Bill benefits is either 18 or 23, depending on the program. Only spouses and children of Veterans are ineligible for the GI Bill because they are under 18 or have not graduated from high school.
To start the process of transferring your benefits, use DMDC milConnect. Start by filling out the “I wish to” form located in the site’s header if you’re ready to get going. When you click the “Transfer my education benefits” link, you’ll be taken to a new page where you may follow the instructions.
Innovative Uses of the GI Bill
The GI Bill can be used at a wide variety of non-traditional colleges and universities as well as at traditional ones. It’s helpful for distance learning situations, such as when a student is taking a course over the internet or a mail-order catalog and the instructor is at a different location.
The resources needed to launch a business are available to everyone who is interested.
Tutoring programs are available for students who could benefit from a little more guidance in the classroom.
Your benefits can be used for any kind of post-secondary education, including vocational schools and even pilot training. Not only the ACT and SAT, but also the LSAT and other comparable exams are included.
Veterans who want to pursue degrees in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) are eligible for expanded GI Bill benefits to accommodate the longer time commitment associated with these majors. To support students pursuing degrees in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), the Forever GI Bill has established the Edith Nourse Rogers STEM Scholarship fund, which can award up to $30,000. Those who have served our country, and their immediate family members, are welcome to apply for this fellowship.