The Different GI Bill Programs & Their Benefits
The United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) site www.benefits.va.gov/gibill is the home for educational benefits provided by the department. A School Decision Resources page (www.benefits.va.gov/gibill/school_decision.asp) has links to:
- GI Bill Comparison Tool to help one find a school and determine his or her GI Bill benefits while attending it
- Guide to choosing a school
- The President’s Principles of Excellence program, and participating schools
- GI Bill Comparison Chart
- College Affordability and Transparency Center College Scorecard, a site of the U.S. Department of Education
- Choosing a College – 8 Questions to ask, a PDF published by the Federal Trade Commission
- Paying for College: Navigate the Noise, a site of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
MAJOR BENEFITS PROGRAMS
Post 9-11 GI Bill; www.benefits.va.gov/gibill/post911_gibill.asp
This program provides financial support for education and housing to eligible individuals with at least 90 days of aggregate active-duty service after September 10, 2001, or individuals discharged with a service-connected disability after 30 days. An individual must have received an honorable discharge to be eligible.
Approved assistance includes correspondence training, entrepreneurship training, flight training, independent and distance learning, institutions of higher learning undergraduate and graduate degrees, licensing and certification reimbursement, vocational/technical training, national testing reimbursement, on-the-job training, tuition assistance top-up, tutorial assistance, and accelerated payments.
The program provides up to 36 months of education benefits, generally payable for 15 years following release from active duty. Some servicemembers may also transfer unused GI Bill benefits to dependents. Post-9/11 benefits are sometime referred to as Chapter 33 benefits because the bill is defined in Chapter 33 of Title 38 of the United States Code. Pamphlet: www.benefits.va.gov/gibill/docs/pamphlets/ch33_pamphlet.pdf
Montgomery GI Bill Active Duty (MGIB-AD; www.benefits.va.gov/gibill/mgib_ad.asp)
MGIB-AD provides up to 36 months of education benefits to veterans and servicemembers who have at least two years of active duty. Assistance may be used for college degree and certificate programs, technical or vocational courses, flight training, apprenticeships or on-the-job training, high-tech training, licensing and certification tests, entrepreneurship training, certain entrance examinations, and correspondence courses. Remedial, deficiency, and refresher courses may be approved under certain circumstances.
Benefits are generally payable for 10 years following release from honorable active service. MGIB-AD is also commonly known as Chapter 30. Pamphlet: www.benefits.va.gov/gibill/docs/pamphlets/ch30_pamphlet.pdf
Montgomery GI Bill Selected Reserve (MGIB-SR; www.benefits.va.gov/gibill/mgib_sr.asp)
MGIB-SR provides up to 36 months of education and training benefits to eligible members of the Selected Reserve, including the Army Reserve, Navy Reserve, Air Force Reserve, Marine Corps Reserve, Coast Guard Reserve, Army National Guard, and Air National Guard.
Assistance may be used for college degree and certificate programs, co-op training, technical or vocational courses, flight training, apprenticeships or on-the-job training, high-tech training, licensing and certification tests, entrepreneurship training, certain entrance examinations, and correspondence courses. Remedial, deficiency, and refresher courses may be approved under certain circumstances.
Eligibility normally ends on the day an individual leaves the Selected Reserve. MGIB-SR is also known as Chapter 1606 because it is defined in that chapter of Title 10 of the United States Code. Pamphlet: www.benefits.va.gov/gibill/docs/pamphlets/ch1606_pamphlet.pdf
Dependents’ Educational Assistance (DEA; www.benefits.va.gov/gibill/survivordependentassistance.asp)
This program provides education and training opportunities to eligible dependents of veterans who are permanently and totally disabled due to a service-related condition or of veterans who died while on active duty as a result of a service-related condition. Benefits may be used for degree and certificate programs, apprenticeship, and on-the-job training. A spouse may take a correspondence course. Remedial, deficiency, and refresher courses may be approved under certain circumstances. DEA is also known as Chapter 35. Pamphlet: www.benefits.va.gov/gibill/docs/pamphlets/ch35pamphlet2.pdf