Education Benefits for Servicemembers—
Post-9/11 GI Bill
The federal government, through the Department of Veterans Affairs, offers educational assistance to servicemembers. The most comprehensive support comes in the form of the Post-9/11 GI Bill. The bill became effective August 1, 2009, and provides financial support for education and housing to individuals with at least 90 days of aggregate service on or after September 11, 2001, or individuals discharged with a service-connected disability after 30 days. Eligible servicemembers can claim benefits for up to 15 years.
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 fees that do not to exceed the maximum in-state tuition and fees at a public Institution of Higher Learning selected by the servicemember.
- A Yellow Ribbon Program that may help reimburse the cost of attending a school with more expensive tuition.
- 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 Servicemembers. 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.