Post - 9/11 GI Bill Overview

The new GI Bill provides financial benefits for educational needs to veterans who have served on active duty since September 11, 2001. Benefits include money for college tuition, books and supplies and living expenses. In order to receive your full benefits, you must have served in the Armed Forces for 36 or more total months or 30 consecutive days with a disability related discharge since September 11, 2001. Veterans who are not eligible for full benefits are still eligible to have lower percentages of their tuition paid based on the following service time:

  • 90%: 30 total months

  • 80%: 24 total months

  • 70%: 18 total months

  • 60%: 12 total months

  • 50%: six total months

  • 40%: 90 or more consecutive days

Veterans who have served active duty for at least 10 years can transfer their GI Bill benefits to their spouse or a dependent child. If you have only served six years but agree to another four, your spouse can receive those benefits sooner. In this instance, only the cost of tuition will be covered which does not include the costs of books or room and board. A veteran has up to 15 years after separating from active duty to take advantage of the GI Bill benefits.

Montgomery GI Bill

Montgomery GI Bill - Active Duty (MGIB-AD): provides up to 36 months of educational benefits for active duty service members. This is not a loan, but a grant that will cover educational expenses meaning you don’t need to pay it back.

  • Accelerated Payment: you would get lump-sum payments for 60% of tuition and fees for certain high-cost, high-tech programs for one term, quarter or semester at a time. If it is not offered in one of those segments, the Accelerated Payment will be paid for the entire program.

  • Buy-Up: active duty service members have the option to contribute an additional $600 to increase their MGIB-AD benefits by as much as $5,400 through the Buy-Up option.

  • Top-Up: allows active duty service members to supplement the Tuition Assistance (TA) offered by their branched of the service. This will cover the costs of a college course that TA does not.

Montgomery GI Bill - Selected Reserve (MGIB-SR): provides up to 36 months of educational benefits for service members in the Reserves. Eligibility for this program ends the day you leave the Reserves unless you are mobilized. If this is the case, your eligibility is extended for the amount of time you are mobilized plus four months.

To apply for either one of the above options, you will need to complete the Application for Education Benefits form and send it to the VA regional office.

Tuition Assistance

Active duty service members can receive up to $4,500 a year for coursework through Tuition Assistance (TA). These funds are paid directly to the schools. All service branches pay 100% of tuition and fees up to $250 a semester credit hour and $166 a quarter credit hour. All branches except the Navy will pay up to $4,500 a fiscal year. The Navy will pay up to 12 semester hours or 18 quarter hours a fiscal year. In some cases, Reserves and National Guard members are eligible.

Other Assistance Programs

  • Veterans Educational Assistance Program (VEAP): offered instead of the GI Bill to service members who served between January 1, 1977 and June 30, 1985. The government matches every $1 you contribute to the program with $2.

  • Reserve Educational Assistance Program (REAP): for Selected Reserve and National Guard members who were called to active service on or after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

  • Survivors & Dependents Educational Assistance (DEA): survivors and dependents of certain veterans and service members are eligible for more than $37,000 in educational benefits through DEA. Dependents of veterans who passed away as a result of a service-connected disability, dependents of veterans who are 100% disabled and dependents of service members who are missing in action or captured by hostile force are all eligible.

  • Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support (DANTES): independent study, distance-learning, credit for eligible active duty service members and certain veterans and reservists through a Department of Defense organization.

National Call to Service

The National Call to Service (NCS) program offers several incentives to enlistees who complete eight years of continuous military service. Incentives range from a $5,000 bonus after completing the active duty component of NCS to paying off up to $18,000 of student loans. NCS requires two years of active duty service up front, after which different combinations of active duty, Selected Reserve, Individual Ready Reserve and other federal service programs may satisfy the eight-year commitment.

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