Post 9/11 GI Bill Updated
The updated benefits of the Post 9/11 GI Bill, will be in full effect as of October 1st
Story by Lance Cpl. Erin Tansey
The Department of Veterans Affairs has offered service members, veterans and their families chances to continue education through colleges with the GI Bills. On Jan. 4, President Barack Obama signed off on changes to the “Some of these changes will make the GI Bill better for the individuals using it to go through school,” said David Ellard, education officer for Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island. “It is a mixed bag of changes for the Post 9/11 GI Bill.”
Changes to the bill that have already happened include a limit to the cost for tuition and fees depending on how long one has been active duty, ranging from 40 percent with more than 90 days on active duty to 100 percent after three years of service.
This change is also applicable for active-duty service members who transfer the GI Bill benefits to family members.
Effective August 1st, the bill will include:
- a nationwide cap on private school cost
- a change in Montgomery GI Bill “kickers” payments
- change-in-housing stipend allowances and
- reimbursement for certification testing and national testing.
As of Oct. 1, service members will be allowed to use the Post 9/11 GI Bill to pay for non-college degree programs, on-the-job training—including commercial flight training—and correspondence training. Changes to the housing allowance and book and supply stipend eligibility will be effective by Oct. 1 as well.
Changes will affect all service members and veterans using the GI Bill, regardless if they have already begun using the bill – Ellard
For service members looking to elect the Post 9/11 GI Bill once they start school after their end-of-active-service dates, Ellard encourages them to stick with the Montgomery GI Bill while in the military. While the use of “top up”—use of GI Bill money for college classes that cost more than the bachelor’s degree price—for the MGIB takes money out of one month until that set amount is used, the Post 9/11 GI Bill will take away how ever many months the course lasts.
Ellard added that service members should only elect the Post 9/11 GI Bill when they are ready to use it toward a school or transferring it to a family member. Service members can change to the Post 9/11 GI Bill at any time, even after their EAS dates.
When using the GI Bill, service members and veterans should contact the VA with the schools they are applying to and talk to the financial aid office to let them know the VA will pay for the tuition.
Ellard encourages service members, veteran and family members to get scholarships for school but to stay away from student loans. The VA will not reimburse student loans.
Every situation different and Ellard recommends recieving educational advisement from the education office or the VA.