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The Post-9/11 GI Bill

The Post-9/11 GI Bill is for individuals with at least 90 days of aggregate service on or after September 11, 2001, or individuals discharged with a service-connected disability after 30 days. The Post-9/11 GI Bill will become effective for training on or after August 1, 2009. This program will pay eligible individuals:

  • tuiton & fees directly to the school not to exceed the maximum in-state tuition & fees at a public Institution of Higher Learning.
  • a monthly housing allowance based on the Basic Allowance for Housing for an E-5 with dependents at the location of the school.
  • an annual books & supplies stipend of $1,000 paid proportionately based on enrollment
  • a one-time rural benefit payment for eligible individuals.

This benefit is payable only for training at an Institution of Higher Learning. If you are enrolled exclusively in online training, or still in the military, you will not receive the housing allowance or books & supplies stipend. This benefit provides up to 36 months of education benefits, generally benefits are payable for 15 years following your release from active duty.

There are many things to consider before choosing which benefit you wish to receive and whether or not to participate in the Active-Duty or Reserve GI Bill programs.

What type of training do you plan on taking?

Types of training that can be taken under current GI Bill benefits include college (undergraduate, graduate), certificate programs, on-the-job training, apprenticeship training, flight training, and non-college degree courses. The Post-9/11 GI Bill can only be used for programs taken at a college or university.

If you are eligible for the Post 9/11 GI Bill and other GI Bill benefits such as the Montgomery GI Bill you will be required to make an irrevocable choice of which benefit you wish to receive. If, however you switch training programs AND you have eligibility under more than one type of GI Bill you MAY be able to change which GI Bill you draw depending on your eligibility.

For example: you have eligibility under the Post 9/11 GI Bill and the Selected Reserve GI Bill. You can get a degree in electrical engineering under the Post-9/11 GI Bill at a community college, then you can enroll in an apprenticeship program with the electrician's union under the Selected Reserve GI Bill and receive Journeyman certification.

How much money will you get under each benefit?

The monetary issue is most likely a very important factor you will consider before selecting a benefit. While you may think you will receive more money under the Post-9/11 GI Bill, that will not always be the case.

Under the Post 9/11 GI Bill you may receive:

  • a tuition & fees payment (paid directly to the school) not to exceed the tuition & fees at the most expensive state Institution of Higher Learning (IHL)
  • a monthly housing allowance based on the Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) for an E-5 with dependents. This amount is based on the ZIP code of the location of the school you are attending
  • an annual book stipend of $1,000 paid proportionately based on enrollment
  • you may also receive a one-time rural benefit payment of $500.00 if you reside in a county with 6 persons or less per square mile (as determined by the most recent decennial census) and:
    1. either physically relocate at least 500 miles to attend an educational institution or
    2. travel by air to physically attend an educational institution if no other land-based transportation exists.

Under all other GI Bill programs:

  • you will receive a monthly payment at a rate set by Congress that does not vary based on your expenses.

Factors to Consider

  • In some locations the costs of college and housing (which you would receive payment for under the Post-9/11 GI Bill) are less than the payment you would receive under the Montgomery GI Bill.
  • In some states, veterans do not have to pay tuition at selected state colleges. The Post-9/11 GI Bill may then pay only the housing benefit and the book stipend. (Since you have no tuition costs the Post-9/11 GI Bill will not pay the college any tuition.) Your payments under other GI Bill programs such as the Active-Duty GI Bill may be higher in these cases.
  • Individuals eligible for a college fund under other GI Bill programs will continue to receive their college fund as before, unless they are attending classes at ½ time or less.
  • If you participated in the $600 buy-up under the Montgomery GI Bill or REAP you will not receive that additional benefit under the Post 9/11 GI Bill.

Different amounts payable based on time served.

The Post-9/11 GI Bill payment is based on the amount of service completed after September 10, 2001. Your tuition & fees payment, housing allowance, and book stipend are all based on this percentage. You will receive a larger benefit if you served more active duty or mobilization time.

More information about the Post-9/11 GI Bill can be found at the United States Department Of Veterans Affairs website at http://www.gibill.va.gov/GI_Bill_Info/benefits.htm#VEAP

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