Education Benefits for Service Members
The Post-9/11 GI Bill contains a robust package of educational benefits for eligible service members. The bill authorizes payment for education and housing costs for military service members and veterans who served at least 90 days of aggregate service on or after September 11, 2001, or who were discharged with a service-connected disability after 30 days. Eligible veterans can claim benefits for up to 15 years after leaving the military.
In addition to funding graduate and undergraduate studies, this newest version of the GI Bill covers on-the-job training, apprenticeship programs, flight schools and numerous other non-college degree programs. Benefits include:
- Tuition and fee reimbursement.
- All in-state tuition and fee charges are reimbursed at public institutions.
- For private and foreign institutions, the tuition and fee reimbursement is currently capped at $21,084.89 for the 2015-2016 school year.
- Through the Yellow Ribbon Program, eligible veterans at participating schools may be able to obtain additional funds to help reimburse costs that exceed in-state tuition and fees.
- A stipend for books and supplies.
- A monthly housing allowance based on the Basic Allowance for Housing for an E-5 with dependents at the location of the school.
- Ability to transfer unused educational benefits to spouse and children.
Even if you aren’t sure if you will use your Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits, it’s a good idea to apply and lock in the benefits you are entitled to receive.
Online Resource for Service Members
The Department of Veterans Affairs has a website devoted to educational benefits under the Post-9/11 GI Bill. In addition to information about coverage amounts for tuition, fees and housing, the site includes a road map to help determine which benefit is best for you, a benefits calculator that provides estimates for tuition, fees and monthly housing allowance, and a comparison chart of monetary benefits under the various GI Bills. The site also includes information about other education benefit programs administered by the VA. For specific questions related to educational assistance and the Post-9/11 GI Bill, call toll-free: (888) GIBILL-1.
The Department of Education also has information for service members on its website, including links to sources of financial aid and information on federal student loan benefits.