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What the Post-9/11 GI Bill Means to You

GI's graduating

Photo by MSgt. Jerry Morrison

On Aug. 1, 2009, the Post-9/11 GI Bill went into effect, creating the most comprehensive education benefits program since President Franklin. D. Roosevelt signed the original bill in 1944. If you served a total of 90 days on active duty after Sept. 10, 2001 or were discharged with a service-connected disability after 30 days (honorably discharged), you are eligible to receive the bill’s benefits.

Taking advantage of the GI Bill’s benefits allows you the opportunity to continue your education. Not only does this refer to gaining new skills, but also being back in the classroom helps to expand your support system of people you can rely on, just as you would have in your military life. It also empowers behavior change by increasing your self-confidence and motivation as you build your knowledge. These values learned from returning to school can benefit your overall well-being and strengthen your ability to be resilient in all aspects of your life and military career.

Overview of the Post-9/11 GI Bill

The Post-9/11 GI Bill covers education that started on or after Aug. 1, 2009. The bill provides many benefits to help those eligible to continue their education and pursue successful careers, such as:

  • No enrollment fee
  • Full tuition and fees covered for an in-state student at a public school
  • Tuition and fees for private or foreign schools capped at $21,084.89 per academic year
  • A monthly housing allowance based on the basic allowance for housing for an E-5 with dependents at the location of the school. Contact the VA at 888-GI-BILL-1 (888-442-4551) to see if you apply.
  • Annual books and supplies stipend of $1,000, paid proportionately based on enrollment
  • A one-time rural benefit payment of $500 if you reside in a county with six people or less per square mile and either physically relocate at least 500 miles to attend an educational institution, or travel by air to physically attend an educational institution

For more details on choosing the right school or training, visit the VA website.

Understand the Benefits

All benefit payments are based on the amount of time served on active duty, including time in the National Guard since Sept. 10, 2001. Refer to the following for the portion of maximum amount payable you will receive:

  • At least 36 cumulative months: 100 percent
  • At least 30 continuous days on active duty and discharged due to service-connected disability (includes entry level or skills training time): 100 percent
  • Between 30 and 36 months: 90 percent
  • Between 24 and 30 months: 80 percent
  • Between 18 and 24 months: 70 percent
  • Between 12 and 18 months: 60 percent
  • Between six and 12 months: 50 percent
  • Between 90 days and six months: 40 percent

Apply Now

There are two ways to apply:

  • Online: refer to the veterans online application
  • Paper application: call 888-GI-BILL-1 (888-442-4551) to have a form mailed to you or you can obtain a form from the VA certifying official at your school

More Options

Active-duty service members, National Guard and reservists and veterans can qualify for other education benefits programs as well. This includes the Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program and the Montgomery GI Bill.

You may have the option to transfer your GI Bill benefits to dependents instead of using them for yourself. As of January 2016, the United States Congress was working on a bill that may include changes to the GI Bill transfer process, service obligations and allowance benefits. 

If you have questions about completing the GI Bill application or any related component of the Post-9/11 GI Bill, contact VA by calling 888-GI-BILL-1 (888-442-4551). If you have concerns about reintegrating into life as a student, contact the trained health resource consultants at the Psychological Health Resource Center by calling 866-966-1020 or visit our “Seek Help, Find Care” page to see a list of 24/7 psychological health resources.

Additional Resources

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