The Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2008 also known as Chapter 33, boasts the most comprehensive education benefits package since the original GI Bill® was signed into law in 1944 by providing financial support for education and housing to eligible individuals.
This new education benefit goes well beyond only helping to pay for tuition. Depending on each individual's "rate of pursuit" (full- or part-time study) and situation, veterans may qualify for:
Tuition and Fees: These payments are issued directly to the school on behalf of the individual at the time the certificate of enrollment is processed.
On Active Duty: Individuals on active duty may be allotted the total amount of tuition and fees for all public schools. The amount is not limited to the state maximum; however, effective August 1, 2011, private and foreign school costs are capped at $17,500 annually. Effective October 1, 2011, students on active duty may receive a books-and-supplies stipend.
Not On Active Duty: The amount allotted is prorated according to length of service. The amount is limited to the highest amount of tuition and fees charged for full-time, undergraduate training at a public institution of higher learning in the state in which the student is enrolled. Effective August 1, 2011, private and foreign school costs are capped at $17,500 annually. The Yellow Ribbon Program still exists for out-of-state fees and costs above the cap.
Monthly Housing Allowance: This payment is issued directly to the student at the beginning of each month for education and training pursued the previous month. The amount is prorated based upon rate of pursuit, rounded to the nearest multiple of 10. If a student is training at a rate of pursuit of 75%, he/she would receive 80% of the Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) rate. In prior years, students enrolled exclusively in online training were not eligible for the housing allowance; however, it is now payable to students (other than those on active duty). The housing allowance payable is equal to ½ the national average BAH for an E-5 with dependents. In 2013, the payable rate for a full-time student online was $684.00. Effective August 1, 2011, break or interval pay is no longer payable under any VA education benefit program unless under an Executive Order of the President or due to an emergency, such as a natural disaster or strike. That means that if the semester ends December 15th, the housing allowance is paid for the first 15 days of December only. If the next semester begins January 10th, payment will be made for the remaining days of January.
Note: Students using other VA education programs are included in this change. Monthly benefits will be pro-rated in the same manner.
Books and Supplies Stipend: This payment is issued directly to the student when the school certifies and VA processes the enrollment. This benefit is prorated based on length of service. The books and supplies stipend can also be paid to students attending school while on active duty.
Yellow Ribbon Payments: This program allows degree-granting institutions to enter into a voluntary agreement with VA to fund tuition expenses that exceed the highest public in-state undergraduate tuition rate for individuals eligible for the 100% payment tier. The institution can contribute up to 50% of those expenses and VA will match the same amount as the institution. This payment is issued to the school when the school certifies and VA processes the student's enrollment.
College Fund or "Kicker": These payments are issued directly to the student based on "rate of pursuit" and the education benefits program under which the kicker is payable. These payments are now made on a monthly basis. In the past they were made through a lump sum.
Rural Benefit Payments: This one-time, lump-sum payment of $500 is issued directly to a student who resides in a county with six persons or fewer per square mile (as determined by the most recent decennial census), and who either:
physically relocates at least 500 miles to attend an educational institution, or
travels by air (any distance) to physically attend an educational institution, if no other land-based transportation exists.
Graduate and Undergraduate Degrees: Courses must be offered by a degree-granting institution of higher learning and approved for GI Bill® benefits.
Tutorial Assistance and Reimbursement: Available for more than one "licensing or certification" test reimbursement; however, entitlement is now charged.
National Exams: Reimbursement of fees paid to take national exams used for admission to an institute of higher learning (e.g., SAT, ACT, GMAT, LSAT).
Non-College Degree (NCD) Programs: Pays actual net cost for in-state tuition and fees at public NCD institutions. At private and foreign institutions, pays the actual net costs for in-state tuition and fees or $17,500, whichever is less. Also pays up to $83 per month for books and supplies.
On-The-Job and Apprenticeship Training: Pays a monthly benefit amount prorated based on time in program and up to $83 per month for books and supplies.
Flight Programs: Per academic year, pays the actual net costs for in-state tuition and fees assessed by the school or $10,000, whichever is less.
Correspondence Training: Per academic year, pays the actual net costs for in-state tuition and fees assessed by the school or $8,500, whichever is less.
The period of eligibility for the Post-9/11 GI Bill® ends 15 years from the date of the last discharge or release from active duty.
The Post-9/11 GI Bill® also offers some service members the opportunity to transfer their GI Bill® to their spouse or children. Any member of the Armed Forces (active duty or Selected Reserve, officer or enlisted) on or after August 1, 2009, who is eligible for the Post 9/11 GI Bill®, and:
Has at least 6 years of service in the Armed Forces on the date of election and agrees to serve 4 additional years in the Armed Forces from the date of election.;
Has at least 10 years of service in the Armed Forces (active duty and/or selected reserve) on the date of election, is precluded by either standard policy (service or DoD) or statute from committing to 4 additional years, and agrees to serve for the maximum amount of time allowed by such policy or statute; or
Is or becomes retirement eligible during the period from August 1, 2009, through August 1, 2013. A service member is considered to be retirement eligible if he or she has completed 20 years of active duty or 20 qualifying years of reserve service.
An individual approved to transfer an entitlement to educational assistance under this section may transfer the individual's entitlement to:
The individual's spouse;
One or more of the individual's children;
Any combination of spouse and child.
A family member must be enrolled in the Defense Eligibility Enrollment Reporting System (DEERS) and be eligible for benefits, at the time of transfer to receive transferred educational benefits
Note: After an individual has designated a child as a transferee under this section, the individual retains the right to revoke or modify the transfer at any time.
To apply for the Post-9/11 GI Bill® education benefit, complete VA Form 22-1990 found at www.vba.va.gov/pubs/forms/vba-22-1990-are.pdf or apply online at www.gibill.va.gov.
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs810 Vermont AvenueWashington, DC 20420Phone: (888) GI BILL1 (442-4551)For more information contact your local County Veteran Service Office.
A veteran may be eligible if they have at least 90 days of aggregate service on or after September 11, 2001 or were discharged with a service-connected disability after 30 days. Veterans must also have received an honorable discharge or have been medically discharged to be eligible.
Based upon the length of aggregate active service, veterans are eligible for a percentage of tuition and housing benefits under Chapter 33 that range from 40% to 100%. The following depicts the percentage of benefit ranges:
Note: Qualifying service time excludes service on active duty in entry level and skill training; however, active service performed by National Guardsmen under Title 32 USC for the purpose of organizing, administering, recruiting, instructing, or training the National Guard or under section 502(f) for the purpose of responding to a national emergency now counts towards eligibility.
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