Funding Your Future: How Much Does GI Bill Cover For Education?
Career Opportunities

Funding Your Future: How Much Does GI Bill Cover For Education?

The GI Bill has been a cornerstone of support for Veterans and their families, offering financial assistance for higher education and training. As the landscape of education evolves, so do the provisions of the GI Bill, ensuring that Veterans have access to the resources they need to succeed. 

This guide delves into the depths of the GI Bill, exploring its coverage, the types of schools it supports, and the financial aspects that every Veteran should be aware of.

Overview Of GI Bill Coverage

The GI Bill is a significant educational benefit provided to veterans and their families by the U.S. government. Established in 1944, the GI Bill aims to assist veterans in covering the costs associated with college, graduate school, and training programs. Over the years, this bill has enabled countless veterans and their family members to pursue higher education and training without bearing the full financial burden. 

If a veteran has applied for and received the Post-9/11 GI Bill education benefits, they can review their GI Bill Statement of Benefits to determine how much of their benefits they’ve utilized and the remaining amount. Additionally, tools like the GI Bill Comparison Tool and various Veterans Service Organizations are available to help veterans explore their options and understand the benefits they’re entitled to.

Types Of Schools Covered By The GI Bill

Education comes in various forms, and the GI Bill acknowledges this by offering coverage for a range of educational institutions. From traditional public and private universities to more specialized training centers, let’s explore the types of schools that Veterans can attend using their GI Bill benefits.

Public Schools

The GI Bill covers education at public institutions, ensuring that veterans and their families can pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees without incurring significant debt. The exact amount covered can vary based on the specific program and the state in which the institution is located. It’s essential for veterans to research and understand the benefits they can avail of when considering public schools.

Private Institutions

Private institutions often have higher tuition fees than public schools. The GI Bill recognizes this and offers various programs to assist Veterans and their families. One such program is the Yellow Ribbon Program, which aids in covering tuition costs that the Post-9/11 GI Bill might not fully cover. 

Additionally, the Tuition Assistance Top-Up program can provide extra funds if college tuition exceeds the amount covered by the Tuition Assistance program. The Edith Nourse Rogers Science Technology Engineering Math (STEM) Scholarship is another initiative that offers added benefits for eligible Veterans using the Post-9/11 GI Bill or dependents using the Fry Scholarship.

Trade Schools

Trade schools, also known as vocational or technical schools, offer specialized training in specific trades or careers. The GI Bill recognizes the importance of these institutions in providing practical skills and training for various professions. Veterans and their family members can utilize their GI Bill benefits to cover tuition and other associated costs at approved trade schools. Whether you’re looking to become a mechanic, electrician, chef, or any other trade professional, the GI Bill can be an invaluable resource in helping you achieve your career goals.

Foreign Schools

Studying abroad can be a transformative experience, offering a unique opportunity to immerse oneself in a different culture and educational system. The GI Bill provides support for those wishing to study at foreign institutions. To utilize VA benefits for education at a foreign school:

  • Ensure you meet the eligibility criteria, including being a Veteran, service member, Reservist, or qualified dependent.

  • The program should be at an institution of higher learning where you’ll earn a standard associate degree or higher, or a degree of equal value at that foreign school.

  • The degree from the foreign school should be similar to those granted by accredited U.S. colleges and universities.

  • Before enrolling, confirm that the program has been approved for VA education benefits.

  • Make necessary arrangements for travel, including passport, visa, and vaccinations.

  • Ensure you have health insurance as required by the school or host country.

It’s essential to plan ahead and ensure all requirements are met to avoid any disruptions in receiving your benefits. The GI Bill Comparison Tool can be used to check the benefits available at the desired foreign institution.

Correspondence Training Programs

Correspondence training programs offer courses that students can complete remotely, typically through mail or online platforms. These programs are ideal for those who need flexibility in their education due to work commitments, family responsibilities, or other reasons. The GI Bill provides coverage for approved correspondence training programs, ensuring that Veterans and their dependents can access quality education from the comfort of their homes. Before enrolling in a correspondence program, it’s crucial to verify that the program is approved for VA education benefits. 

This ensures that you can utilize your GI Bill benefits to cover the costs associated with the program.

Amounts Covered By The GI Bill For Tuition And Fees

The Post-9/11 GI Bill, also known as Chapter 33, is a comprehensive education benefit program designed to support Veterans and their families in their pursuit of higher education and training. Here’s a breakdown of the amounts covered by the GI Bill for tuition and fees:

  • Tuition And Fees: For those who qualify for the maximum benefit under the Post-9/11 GI Bill, the full cost of public, in-state tuition and fees is covered. However, for private and foreign schools, there are capped rates, which are updated annually. It’s essential to check the current payment rates for the Post-9/11 GI Bill to stay informed about the amounts covered.

  • Housing Allowance: If you’re attending school more than half-time, you may be eligible for a monthly housing allowance. This allowance is based on the cost of living in the area where your school is located. The amount is determined using the military Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) for an E-5 with dependents. Various factors, such as your eligibility tier, rate of pursuit, and the location of your school, can influence the final amount.

  • Books And Supplies Stipend: Students can receive up to a maximum stipend per school year to cover the costs of books and supplies. This stipend is a valuable resource, ensuring that students have access to the necessary materials for their courses.

  • Rural Benefit: For those living in rural areas, there’s a provision for a one-time payment. This benefit is available to individuals residing in counties with six or fewer people per square mile. To qualify, you must either be moving at least 500 miles to attend school or have no other feasible option but to fly to reach your educational institution.

  • Duration Of Benefits: Depending on when you were discharged from active duty, the expiration of your Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits may vary. For those whose service ended before January 1, 2013, the benefits will expire 15 years after the last separation date from active service. However, for those discharged on or after January 1, 2013, the benefits won’t expire, thanks to the Forever GI Bill – Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act.

It’s crucial to note that the amount of benefit you receive depends on various factors, including the school you attend, your active-duty service duration post-September 10, 2001, and the number of credits or training hours you’re undertaking. Always ensure to verify your enrollment every month if you’re using the Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits to continue receiving the monthly housing allowance or kicker payments.

Frequently Asked Questions

We’ve answered some common questions about the GI Bill so that you can better understand its coverage.

What is the Post-9/11 GI Bill?

The Post-9/11 GI Bill, also known as Chapter 33, is an education benefit program for Veterans and their families who have served on active duty after September 10, 2001.

Can I transfer my GI Bill benefits to a family member?

Yes, qualified service members can transfer all or a portion of their Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits to a spouse or child. The Department of Defense approves such transfers.

How long do I have to use my GI Bill benefits?

For those discharged before January 1, 2013, the benefits expire 15 years after the last separation date from active service. For those discharged on or after January 1, 2013, the benefits won’t expire due to the Forever GI Bill.

Are online courses covered by the GI Bill?

Yes, the GI Bill provides coverage for approved correspondence training programs, which include online courses.

How is the monthly housing allowance determined?

The allowance is based on the cost of living in the area where your school is located, using the military Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) for an E-5 with dependents as a starting point.

Can I use the GI Bill for foreign schools?

Yes, the GI Bill provides support for those wishing to study at approved foreign institutions. Ensure the program meets the necessary criteria and has been approved for VA education benefits.

Support Your Education With The GI Bill

The GI Bill offers a comprehensive range of benefits designed to support the educational aspirations of Veterans and their families. Whether attending public schools or private institutions, there are resources and programs available to ensure that financial barriers do not hinder the pursuit of knowledge and skills. 

Learn about the Post 9/11 GI Bill by checking out our detailed guide. Visit Go Degree and browse through the available resources to learn more.