The New GI Bill FAQ’s
What was wrong with the old GI Bill?
The old GI Bill has failed to keep up with the rising costs of education and many other needs unique to Veterans reintegrating into civilian life. The old GI Bill typically covered 60-70% of the cost of education at a public college or university and a mere two years at a private school. The old GI Bill also failed to grant National Guard and Reservists benefits comparable to those awarded to active duty service members, even if they’ve served multiple tours of duty. Simply put, the GI Bill needed to be updated to more adequately provide for Veterans in the 21st Century.
When will the new GI Bill go into effect?
There will be a two-stage process to implementing the new GI Bill. During the 2008-2009 academic year you will receive a monthly benefit of $1,300. This is $200 more than Veterans are currently receiving. The following year, you will receive your full benefits provided by the new GI Bill. The purpose of this phasing is to allow the VA to make the changes necessary so that the program runs smoothly.
What are the benefits of the new GI Bill compared with the old GI Bill?
Depending on the length of your service, the GI Bill can cover up to 100% of your college tuition. You will also receive a lump sum to assist in paying for books and supplies. Additionally, there is a monthly housing stipend to be used for living expenses. Under the old GI Bill, students simple received monthly payments that were not designated for certain expenses.
What are the eligibility requirements for the new GI Bill?
The new GI Bill, which is also known as the Post 9/11 GI Bill is only available to Veterans who have served on active duty since September 11, 2001. 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 not eligible for the full benefits are still eligible to have lower percentages of their tuition paid.
Percent of Tuition Paid by GI Bill Based on Service Time
- 100% - 36 or more total months
- 100% - 30 or more consecutive days with Disability related Discharge.
- 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
Can my spouse or children use the benefits of the new GI Bill?If you have served active duty for at least 10 years, your benefits are transferable to your spouse or a dependent child. If you have served at least six years and agree to another four years, your spouse can receive these benefits sooner. However, only the cost of tuition is covered. This does not include the cost of books or room and board.
The benefit under the new GI is for 36 months of classes. These 36 months can be divided to fit your personal need. For example, two years could be used for one child and two years for another.
I am a veteran, how does the new GI Bill affect me?Veterans or reservists who have served active duty for at least three years since September 11, 2001 or veterans that have not used their education benefits qualify for the new benefits under the GI Bill. However, if you have already cashed in on your GI Bill benefits, the new GI Bill will not offer any benefits.
If less active time but at least three months was served, you will receive between 40 and 90 percent of the tuition benefit. Under the new GI Bill, benefits can be received up to 15 years after separation from the service.
Do I have to pay an enrollment fee?
No. The old GI Bill required a $1,200 enrollment fee, but there is no enrollment fee required to take advantage of the Post 9/11 GI Bill. If you are still in the process of paying the enrollment fee from before the passage of the new GI Bill, you may stop payment. Unfortunately, you will not be reimbursed for the money you already paid.
How much will I receive for tuition?
Depending on your length of service you can receive up to 100% of your tuition. After 90 consecutive days of service the GI Bill will pay for 40% of tuition costs. As the length of your service grows, the percentage of your tuition that is paid for grows as well. Under the new GI Bill, after 36 months of service 100% of your tuition will be paid.
Will I receive money for books?
Yes. In the first month of each term you will be give a lump sum for books, supplies, and other educational expenses such as class fees. The maximum amount that can be received for the school year is $1,000. The amount you receive each term will be divided by the number of terms in your school year.
How much will I receive for my living expenses?
The average living stipend under the new GI Bill is around $1,400 per month. The amount of the living stipend is determined based on the Basic Allowance for Housing for an E-5 with dependents. Students must be full time or thee-quarter time to qualify for the living expenses benefits. Active-duty students will not receive a stipend as they already receive a housing allowance.
Do these benefits expire?
After separating from active duty, a Veteran has up to 15 years to take advantage of these benefits. When the bill goes into effect, this time limit does not restart for Veterans who have already left active duty. The old GI Bill only allowed for ten years to take advantage of your benefits.