Active duty military personnel and veterans can take advantage of additional educational financial aid through the G.I. Bill. There are various ways to get this assistance and different programs within the G.I.Bill that can be confusing to distinguish. However, you can actually get up to 80 percent of your tuition paid for, and part of your benefits will even cover living expenses on a monthly basis. If you are planning on using your G.l. Bill for your education, then it’s important to contact Veterans Affairs and make sure that you are eligible, as there are a strict allowances for who will get this aid.
Most military personnel who entered service recently have heard about the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill and the benefits that it offers to those who finish active duty and start college. The Post-9/11 G.I. Bill will pay for100 percent of in-state tuition or $17,500 per year for private schools. The Yellow Ribbon Program is another facet of this G.I. Bill, where more expensive schools will offer scholarships to match dollar for dollar up to the full cost of the tuition. You also receive up to $1,000 a year for books and supplies.The best part about going to school with these benefits is the living expenses aid. Even if you go to an online school you can get a monthly allowance for living costs. The amount is based on the Department of Defense’s BAH rate for E-5 personnel with a dependent.
You have up to 15 years to use Post-9/11 benefits. Tuition payments are made directly to the school for the entire quarter, semester or term—whether you go to online or traditional school. There is also no tuition cap, so you can pick any school that you want. There are plenty of military-friendly schools listed. See the military-friendly schools list for 2012. Some online universities were among the top military-friendly schools because of their programs for active duty military personnel. These were proven to be the most beneficial for military servicemen because they were able to access classes from anywhere and turn in assignments on a flexible schedule.
Other military personnel choose the Montgomery G.I. Bill.This money is normally paid directly to a veteran, whereas benefits fromPost-9/11 are paid directly to the school. However with the Montgomery Bill you are also eligible for Pell Grants along with the MGIB. You also have 10 years to use MGIB benefits from your last discharge. If you are eligible for MGIB, you could also be eligible for other benefits to help you go back to school, including Vocational Rehabilitation and Education, Veterans’ Educational Assistance Program, Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance and Reserve Educational Assistance Program. Each of these offers a certain amount of aid per semester for students to go into any kind of education or career training.
These benefits were overhauled in recent years to do away with unfair practices, such as tuition caps and make it easier for veterans to transition back into civilian life. For many families, the Department of Veterans’ Affairs has become a saving grace, because G.I. Bills also offer money to spouses and children to get an education. In addition, President Obama has pledged to focus more on helping veterans with health and education benefits, vowing to increase funding for programs that provide jobs for veterans, and giving incentives to companies to hire military personnel. One thing to note about these benefits is that they are only eligible for military veterans who were honorably discharged in full, meaning there were no penalties or conduct infractions. There are some lenience for those who received other kinds of discharges, but these must pass through the VA before being approved.It’s important to get in touch with the VA before you leave active duty and make arrangements to properly set up your G.I. Bill before getting into a school. This ensures that you are prepared and will have the money for your tuition and fees. Most colleges have programs to help veterans plan their financial aid and tuition, so contacting a college adviser will lead to even greater assistance.