A new benefit may now be available to you to help you pay for your college degree. The Post 9/11 GI Bill provides financial assistance for education and living expenses to individuals who served in the military for at least 90 days after September 10, 2001. Over the next decade, it is expected that this GI Bill will pay out $78 billion in education benefits to servicemembers and their families. In fact, according to a survey taken in 2008, 97% of servicemembers said they intend to use the education benefits provided to them under the New GI Bill. To find out if you're eligible for this exciting new benefit, you can contact the VA at 1-888-GIBILL1.
1. In order to apply for the Post 9/11 GI Bill, you must first determine if this is the best benefit option for you. While this benefit is new and has extraordinary flexibility, it is important to research other options also to see if they will provide a higher amount of financial assistance. Also, keep in mind that the amount of benefit from the New GI Bill varies based on these factors: time on active duty since 9/10/2001, the number of credits being taken, the type of classes (Classroom, Online or Both), the location of the school, and your current duty status. A great way to do this is to check out the GI Benefit Estimator
to determine which GI Bill is right for you. The GI Bill option that you choose will be a permanent decision, so choose carefully.
2. Next you'll need to begin collecting the information you'll need to apply. This includes:
- The dates and service status for each of your periods of military service
- The number of eligible months for benefit remaining under one of the other VA education programs
- Whether you participated in the $600 Buy-Up Program
- Documents including transcripts for education following high school, Kicker Contract, and your most recent DD214 Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty
3. Collect information about the schools in which you are considering enrollment. This will help you determine the amount you'll receive to cover tuition. Find out the maximum in-state tuition for the state where the schools are located. Then find out the cost of attending each school and the amount of your living expenses. This will help you determine if your benefit will cover the cost of your education. The amount of benefit varies based on these factors: time on active duty since 9/10/2001, the number of credits being taken, the type of classes (Classroom, Online or Both), the location of the school, and your current duty status.
4. Once you have decided to use the Post 9/11 GI Bill, you will need to follow these steps:
- Visit the VA online application portal (VONAPP) and follow the instructions to complete the VA Form 22-1990.
- The VA will process your application and notify you if you're eligible for education benefits. You will then receive the Certificate of Enrollment from the VA approximately sic to eight weeks after completing your application.
- Forward your Certificate of Enrollment to your school's veteran's program administrator. The school will then process the Enrollment Verification form VA Form 22-1990. If you have already chosen a school, the Enrollment Verification can be processed at the same time as your VONAPP.
After classes begin, you will begin receiving a monthly housing allowance at the end of each month and a book stipend at the beginning of each term. Payments for tuition and fees will be sent directly to your school.
For more detailed information the Post 9/11 GI Bill, click here