Since its introduction in 1944, millions of Veterans and service members have used the GI Bill to pay for their college tuition.
The latest iteration of the legislation, called the Post-9/11 GI Bill, offers Veterans, service members and their families a number of lesser known benefits that can help towards educational costs.
“The benefits are just unbelievable. While everyone else is working and scraping through college, you don’t have to,” says Curtis, a Marine Corps Veteran, about the Post-9/11 GI Bill. “You can concentrate on your studies and that transition into becoming a civilian again.”
Funds for private schools
The Post-9/11 GI Bill will help pay tuition for a public school, but the tuition and fees associated with private school or an out-of-state school may exceed the amount the GI Bill covers. For Veterans who want to attend a private, out-of-state or graduate school, the Yellow Ribbon Program can help, click here to learn more. Institutions that participate in the Yellow Ribbon Program contribute additional funds for Veterans without affecting GI Bill entitlement, and VA matches it.
Reimbursement for test fees
Veterans using the Post-9/11 GI Bill can get reimbursed for test fees. This means that Veterans or service members can get reimbursed for the fees they pay to take the SAT, ACT, the graduate school exam (GRE), even the LSAT and MCAT for law and medical school admissions.
Transferable educational benefits to a family member
Under the Post-9/11 GI Bill, there is an option to transfer benefits to a service member’s spouse or children, click here to learn more. The request to transfer unused GI Bill benefits to eligible dependents must be completed while serving as an active member of the Armed Forces. The Department of Defense (DoD) determines whether or not the benefit can be transferred. Once DoD approves benefits for transfer, the new beneficiaries apply for them at VA.
Rob, an Army Veteran, said the process of transferring to his son was seamless. “Once [that was complete] VA had accepted the transfer and understood that this was my desire, the money was waiting for him to apply for those funds.”
Scholarship for children of fallen service members
“Every child of every fallen in line of duty receives it,” says Malia, a Marine Corps widow, of the Fry Scholarship. “It’s not based on grades. It’s not based on any qualifications. You have it. It’s yours.”
Named in honor of Malia’s husband, the Marine Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry Scholarship provides Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits to children and surviving spouses of service members who died in the line of duty while on active duty after September 10, 2001. Those eligible may receive up to 36 months of benefits, including full tuition and fees, a monthly housing allowance and a supplies stipend.
Click here to learn more about these and other VA benefits.