Since the end of World War II, the GI Bill has paid for millions of veterans to get further schooling or vocational training. After the events of Sept. 11, 2001, the Bill was revised to better assist modern military personnel who hold an honorable discharge from the armed services.
Today, the Post 9/11 GI Bill pays for as much as 100% of tuition for colleges, universities and technical training institutes, as well as a monthly housing allowance and up to $1,000 annually for books and supplies. Under some circumstances, benefits may be transferred to spouses or dependents of the service member.
How Do You Use the Post 9/11 GI Bill?
The first step in getting education benefits for service members is to apply. The application is available from VA regional offices, by calling 1-888-GI BILL-1 to have a copy mailed to you, or online. Many colleges also have applications available in their financial aid or advising offices.
Filling out the application is usually a simple process. You’ll need to provide basic financial details as well as information about your military service, your education to date and what school you’ll be attending. Once you apply to use your Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits, you’ll receive additional information from the VA on exactly how much and what types of assistance you qualify to receive.
The certificate of eligibility that you get in this packet can be presented to your school at the time of enrollment. This documentation proves that the VA will be paying for tuition. Other benefits, such as for books, will be deposited directly in your bank account.
What Does the GI Bill Cover?
The Post 9/11 GI Bill can pay for a range of educational opportunities, including tuition toward a college degree or vocational training and a book and supply stipend.
If you’ve wondered, “Will the GI Bill pay for trade school?” the answer is yes. Benefits may cover full tuition and fees for trade programs leading to jobs such as computer support specialist, business accounting specialist, electrical technician, automotive service technician, or medical coding and billing. You may also be eligible for money — as much as $1,000 per year — that you can use for books and supplies.
Some people ask, “Can I use my GI Bill benefits for housing?” You will be eligible for a Monthly Housing Allowance (MHA) that is similar to the Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) offered to E-5 service members with dependents. The exact amount depends on the zip code of the school you will be attending.
For more information on the amount of benefits you are able to receive, or to learn how to pass on some of your benefits as an active service member to a spouse or dependent, talk to an advisor at the VA or a knowledgeable financial aid counselor at your school.
Does the GI Bill Pay for Certifications?
Perhaps your future career goals require a specific certification or apprenticeship. Or you may wish to draw on the skills you learned in the service through specific certification programs for military and veterans that prove you are qualified to work in a trade.
You can use GI benefits to get certified. The same education benefits that would apply if you chose a four-year degree program are in place to help pay for certification training. You may also be able to find programs that offer paid-on-the-job training but you need additional costs like licensing and certification tests covered.
One example is the SCI Automotive Service Technician Program, where you learn as you work and earn the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certification when the program is completed. The Post-9/11 GI Bill can pay for these additional costs for certification testing as well any tuition costs you may have for trade school programs.
How Long Does the GI Bill Cover Classes?
As a general rule of thumb, veterans who have served for at least 36 months on active duty are eligible for benefit payments that will cover as much as 36 months of schooling or training in covered learning programs. If you’ve served less than 36 months, you may still qualify for reduced payments.
The VA makes tuition payments directly to your school, while housing and book stipends are paid directly to you. The amount you receive is equivalent to the cost of in-state full tuition and fees at a public university (currently a bit over $22,000), but you can take this benefit and apply it toward private or trade school tuition.
Your eligibility for the funds lasts until GI Bill expiration, which is 15 years after your last separation date. To make this benefit stretch further, you may be able to also receive federal financial aid like Pell Grants or qualify for student loans to cover your college or trade school expenses. Your school’s financial aid office can advise you further.
What are the Benefits of the Post 9/11 GI Bill?
The traditional GI Bill covered schooling and some housing, but there are added benefits under the Post 9/11 GI Bill that impacts service members who were active on or after September 11, 2001. In addition to educational benefits for the active service member or veteran, it is now possible to transfer unused benefits to family members.
This means that military members can help finance schooling for a spouse using transferred benefits, or pay for trade school for a dependent child using transferred benefits.
Under the GI Bill, you can even split the amount between any combination of your spouse and your children or make benefits available to ex-spouses or married children. Eligible military members have served at least 6 years with an additional 4-year commitment or have served 10 years. You must be an active military member to transfer these benefits.
Vocational Training for Veterans
Using the GI Bill is easy with Southern Careers Institute’s military assistance. SCI is a VA-approved school and our counselors have experience with helping you get qualified for benefits that pay for our veteran trade programs.
With a wide range of options that build on skills you may have learned during your service, or give you a new skill set for your future career, SCI can help you achieve your goals. In 2020, we invite you transform yourself and begin a new you with career training programs.
At Southern Careers Institute, military and civilian students to gain valuable new training that can improve earnings and provide increased job satisfaction. Contact us today to learn more and get started.
History of GI Bill. Retrieved from: https://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill/history.asp
Regional VA Offices. Retrieved from: https://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill/regional_processing.asp
GI Bill Online Application. Retrieved from: https://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill/apply.asp
GI Bill Monthly Housing Allowance. Retrieved from: https://www.military.com/education/gi-bill/education-benefits-monthly-housing-allowance.html
Transfer Your Post-9/11 GI Bill. Retrieved from: https://www.military.com/education/gi-bill/post-911-gi-bill-transferability-fact-sheet.html
Blog Disclaimer: Information stated in this blog is for general information purposes only. SCITexas.edu not assume or guarantee income earning potential or salary expectations based on the programs offered at Southern Careers Institute.
This article was published on: 01/14/20 8:30 PM
* SCI does not guarantee employment or a starting salary upon graduation, completion, or withdrawal from SCI. As an accredited post-secondary institution, SCI has various federal financial assistance programs available for students who qualify and are enrolled in SCI programs. This does not apply to seminar students.