Post 9/11 GI Bill Pays For Education

Veterans now are eligible to receive higher education reimbursement for tuition, housing, books, and other support for 36 months under the new Post-9/11 GI Bill.

The bill went into effect on Aug. 1, 2009. Veterans cannot be reimbursed for education obtained before this date. Veterans can use the benefit until 15 years after their last discharge date.

Individuals who served active duty for at least 90 days after Sept. 10, 2001 (not necessarily consecutive), or those who served at least 30 days and were honorably discharged because of an injury related to service are eligible for the new benefits. Those who served for 36 months or more will be eligible for the maximum benefit. Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits can be used for undergraduate, graduate, or doctoral degrees.

Vets can use money received under this program for public or private schools. As most private schools cost more than the benefit paid, some private institutions voluntarily enroll in the "Yellow Ribbon Program," where the school donates up to 50% of unpaid tuition costs. The VA matches any contributions made by an institution under this program.

A new component of the bill is the ability to transfer benefits to a dependent spouse or child.

To take advantage of this benefit, an individual must:

  • Be eligible for the Post-9/11 GI Bill
  • Have served in the Armed Forces for at least six years
  • Enlist for an additional four years (unless the veteran is eligible for retirement—then no additional enlistment is required)
  • Ensure that dependents are registered in the Defense Eligibility Enrollment Reporting System (DEERS)

If an individual has already served six years, a spouse can use the benefit immediately. Dependent children can receive benefits after the individual has completed 10 years of service.

Visit gibill.va.gov to check eligibility and submit an application online.

 

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