Understanding the GI Bill®

by / Tuesday, 21 January 2014 / Published in Military News

soldiers posing in front of american flag

You’ve served your country proudly and with honor as a member of the United States military. Now is the time to serve yourself by setting up a secure future. A college education provides you with access to new career opportunities with greater job security and higher earning potential. And, your military experience coupled with a solid academic background is highly sought by employers.

A college degree is more affordable for military members with the GI Bill and similar tuition support programs. Use this guide to navigate the many programs and opportunities for financial support and to garner a better understanding of the GI Bill.

Military Education Benefits

There are numerous military education benefits to reduce, and in some instances eliminate, the cost of tuition for active duty, reservist and veteran service members. Below is information on the most commonly used military benefits:

Post 9-11 GI Bill: Military benefits got a push from Congress by passing the Post 9-11 GI Bill in July 2008. This legislation marked the implementation of one of the most robust education programs for military since the WWII Era GI Bill of Rights. The revised benefit package is designed to limit the out-of-pocket expenses associated with college, including tuition, housing, books, supplies and other fees. Service members who have served three years or more of active duty since Sept. 10, 2001 are eligible for up to 36 months of full tuition and fees, a monthly housing stipend and up to $1,000 a year for books and supplies.

Yellow Ribbon Program: The cost of education might exceed what is covered by the Post 9-11 GI Bill. In such cases, the Yellow Ribbon Program, a supplement to the Post 9-11 GI Bill, provides additional financial support for military veterans enrolling in a private college or university or applying for a graduate degree. Your college or university must be an active participant of the Yellow Ribbon Program to receive benefits under this program. Military dependents may be eligible for tuition support under this program.

Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB) – Active Duty: Active duty or veteran military service members can qualify for tuition benefits under the MGIB. The MGIB provides more than $47,500 of tax-free education assistance for eligible members, which can be used toward tuition and fees, housing, books and supplies, and other living expenses while enrolled in a college degree program. Education assistance is allotted based on enrolment status:

  • 12 or more credits: $1,321 per month
  • 9 to 12 credits: $990.75 per month
  • 4 to 9 credits: $660.50 per month
  • 3 or fewer credits: $330.25 per month

Montgomery GI Bill – Select Reserve: The MGIB provides reduced support for members of the Select Reserve and National Guard. This educational assistance program provides more than $11,000 of tax-free financial support to assist with college, vocational training or certification expenses, including tuition and fees, housing, books, supplies and more. Education assistance is allotted based on enrollment status:

  • 12 or more credits: $329 per month
  • 9 to 12 credits: $246 per month
  • 4 to 9 credits: $163 per month
  • 3 or fewer credits: $82.25 per month

Veteran’s Education Assistance Program (VEAP): Veterans are eligible for a benefits program offered to you from the VA. Service members who made contributions to their account will have those funds matched on a $2-for-$1 basis. These funds can be used toward the following:

  • Degree or certificate programs
  • Flight training
  • Apprenticeship or on-the-job training and correspondence courses

Your VEAP benefits can also be used toward remedial, deficiency and refresher courses with approval.

Applying for Your Benefits

Contact the VA when you are ready to enroll in a degree or other education program at Touro University Worldwide. You can apply for your GI Bill benefits using the VA Form 22-1990 upon the VA’s approval. Certain restrictions may apply for some benefits. It is important to remember that all GI Bill programs expire 10 years after the date of your last discharge.

Other Sources of Financial Support

Many arms of the military provide their own military tuition assistance programs, which can provide up to 100 percent tuition assistance to eligible members. Contact your VA to determine your eligibility. You may also be eligible for federal financial student aid, which can offset the remaining cost of college after your GI Bill benefits. Complete the FAFSA form to estimate your financial aid eligibility. You should also consider applying for community-driven scholarships. Many organizations provide military-specific scholarship awards to active-duty service members and veterans.

A college education can be the key to a secure future after the military. Contact the VA for answers to your questions about military benefits. Contact an admissions counselor to get specific information about TUW’s programs and military friendly status.

*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 https://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill.

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