VA Education Benefits

As a veteran, you qualify for some extraordinary benefits to aid you through education. It is essential that you do your due diligence, and it is in your best interest to use the benefits below to their fullest extent.

Depending on your intended university and field of study, different benefits (or combination of benefits) will better fit your needs. Figuring out which programs to use will require your own personal research, and we suggest consulting with the veterans’ office at your given institution.

Post-9/11 GI Bill (Chapter 33)

“The Post-9/11 GI Bill (Chapter 33) helps you pay for school or job training. If you have served on active duty after September 10, 2001, you may qualify for the Post-9/11 GI Bill (Chapter 33).

You can receive up to 36 months of benefits, including:

• Tuition and fees. If you qualify for the maximum benefit, the Post-9/11 GI Bill will cover the full cost of public, in-state tuition and fees. The Post-9/11 GI Bill will cap the rates for private and foreign schools, and update those rates each year.

•Money for housing (if you’re in school more than half time). The Post-9/11 GI Bill will base your monthly housing allowance on the cost of living where your school is located.

• Money for books and supplies. You can receive up to $1,000 per school year.

• Money to help you move from a rural area to go to school. You may qualify for this one-time payment of $500 if you live in a county with 6 or fewer people per square mile and you’re either moving at least 500 miles to go to school or have no other option but to fly by plane to get to your school.”

Yellow Ribbon Program

The Post-9/11 GI Bill has an annual cap of about $24k for tuition and fees. Yellow Ribbon schools voluntarily match VA funds to cover anything over $24k. Different schools will have different agreements: sometimes the Yellow Ribbon Program will pay for some of the remaining tuition after $24k, and sometimes it will cover everything. It is always school specific (talk to your school’s veteran office).

“The Yellow Ribbon GI Education Enhancement Program (Yellow Ribbon Program) is a provision of the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2008. This program allows institutions of higher learning (degree granting institutions) in the United States to voluntarily enter into an agreement with VA to fund tuition expenses that exceed either the annual maximum cap (of the GI Bill) for private institutions or the resident tuition and fees for a public institution. The institution can contribute up to 50% of those expenses and VA will match the same amount as the institution.”

Montgomery GI Bill

Montgomery GI Bill Active Duty (MGIB-AD): “The Montgomery GI Bill Active Duty (MGIB-AD) can help you pay for education and training programs if you have served at least 2 years on active duty.”

Montgomery GI Bill Selected Reserve (MGIB-SR): “The Montgomery GI Bill Selected Reserve (MGIB-SR) program offers up to 36 months of education and training benefits. If you’re a member of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps or Coast Guard Reserve, Army National Guard, or Air National Guard, you may be eligible for this benefit.”

Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E)

You may receive Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E) services to help with job training, employment accommodations, resume development, and job seeking skills coaching. Other services may be provided to assist Veterans and Servicemembers in starting their own businesses or independent living services for those who are severely disabled and unable to work in traditional employment.”

“The VR&E process is designed to assist Veterans with service-connected disabilities to obtain suitable employment and/or achieve independent living goals. It is comprised of several phases, involving tasks for both VR&E staff and Veterans to complete.” See general process here.