Understanding the benefits of your GI Bill is necessary if you plan to pursue or further your education before or after leaving the military. Executing a plan to attend college or a technical or vocational training program to advance your post-service career is directly related to how you familiarize yourself with your benefits and eligibility.
The GI Bill itself has been revised many times, perhaps even during your own military career. Therefore, what was true five years ago may not be true today. Therefore, it is essential to investigate the benefits you are eligible for, current benefit limits for 2022, and VA-approved schools – and provide additional funding for your benefits.
Similar to the original GI Bill enacted after World War II, the current GI Bill, known as the Post-9/11 Veterans Education Assistance Act of 2008, was created to help war and peacetime veterans to pay their tuition and study fees.
The most notable provision of the law states that it will fund 100% of a four-year public undergraduate education for veterans who served three years of active duty after September 11, 2001. The law also provides for the possibility for the veteran to transfer benefits to a spouse or children after serving (or agreeing to serve) 10 years.
The White House amended the bill in 2017 when it signed into law the Forever GI Bill, which in several cases increased benefits. It also extended the time in which a veteran or service member can use their benefits. In short, the previously held 15-year expiration date has become a thing of the past.
In addition to this and other changes, funds have been made available to cover approved license or certification examination fees. If you qualify, you may be able to use part of your benefit entitlement to cover testing costs up to $2,000 for a career that requires testing or professional certification. Examples include licensing tests to become a CPA, pharmacist, nurse practitioner, contractor, building inspector, insurance agent, and occupational psychologist.
To be eligible for 100% post 9/11 GI Bill benefits, you must meet at least one of these conditions:
- You served on active duty and received a Purple Heart on or after September 11, 2001, or
- You have been on active duty for at least 30 consecutive days and have been discharged due to a service-related disability, or
- You have served on active duty for at least 36 months
Eligibility is based on length of service
Eligibility for benefits after 9/11 GI Bill is based on the length of your active service and other factors. If you served on active duty for less than 36 months, you are not eligible for full post-9/11 GI Bill benefits. the percentage of total benefit to which you are entitled is based on the length of your active service:
- Between 30 months and 36 months: 90% of the full benefit
- Between 24 months and 30 months: 80% of the full benefit
- Between 18 months and 24 months: 70% of the full benefit
- Between 6 months and 18 months: 60% of the full benefit
- Between 90 days and 6 months: 50% of the full benefit
GI Bill Payment Rates for the 2021-2022 Academic Year
Under the 2021 academic year criteria, the current annual benefit covers tuition and fees for in-state students or a maximum of $26,042.81 for private or foreign school students. This maximum amount applies to those eligible for the full benefit or the 100% eligibility level.
Additional benefits include a monthly housing allowance similar to the BAH, money for books and supplies up to $1,000 per year, and even rural benefits to compensate veterans in specific geographic areas.
Choosing the right school or training program
It is important to ensure that the school you have chosen is compatible with the requirements of the GI Bill and to check how the school assesses your contribution to benefits compared to their tuition and fees and tuition additional. In addition, you should also research whether the school has a military or veteran-friendly environment, provides supplemental funding for veterans and active duty military personnel, and participates in supplemental funding programs such as the ribbon program. yellow.
the GI Invoice Comparison Tool can help you with this and compare how your benefits stack up across multiple schools. It provides current tuition and housing costs and how far the GI bill will extend to each specific school. Simply type in the school name or geographic location where you plan to enroll. A wealth of information appears to make comparisons and help you choose the right institution to achieve your personal goals within your specific benefits budget.
The Yellow Ribbon Program
the Yellow Ribbon Program is a program worth checking out when selecting and comparing schools, and the GI Bill Comparison Tool shows which schools participate. The program is a voluntary agreement between individual schools and the VA to split education costs not covered by the GI Bill by partially reducing or eliminating student out-of-pocket expenses.
The Forever GI Bill will expand eligibility for this program to active duty members in August 2022. However, only veterans eligible for the maximum benefit rate (based on service requirements) or their designated assignees may receive this funding.
Your IG invoice
If you have already applied, received a decision, or already received part of your GI Bill benefits, you can find out how much you have left on your GI Bill Statement of Benefits.
You can ask for the GI Bill on the VA website. And remember, benefits can change with the cost of living and tuition, annual registration with the VA is best practice to protect you and your family’s educational opportunities.