New GI Bill Benefits
The New GI Bill, also called the Post-9/11 GI Bill, replaces the Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB). Servicemembers and veterans may be eligible for New GI Bill benefits if they serve on active duty for at least 90 days after September 10, 2001. The new GI Bill benefits may be used at any approved institution of higher learning that awards at least an associate degree.
The New GI Bill and the Montgomery GI Bill differ as to the benefits they can provide, and the types of education programs they may cover. If you are eligible for both programs, you should do some research to determine which program might best suit your individual situation. The New GI Bill rules state that in most cases, benefits must be used within 15 years of separation from active duty.
What Benefits are Available with the New GI Bill?
New GI Bill benefits are based on the amount of time servicemembers were on active duty after 10 September 2001. If you have 36 months of active duty service, you are eligible for the maximum 36 months of GI Bill benefits.
The New GI Bill rules vary for active duty servicemembers and veterans. Active duty servicemembers who are eligible for the New GI Bill can use the benefits to attend any approved institution of higher learning in pursuit of an undergraduate or graduate college degree -- both traditional and online schools qualify. The New GI Bill may pay 100 percent of the tuition and fees associated with earning that degree. The benefits may be used to attend traditional college classes, or to participate in an online degree program.
Veterans who are eligible for the New GI Bill benefits may qualify for additional educational assistance. The New GI Bill rules for veterans are based on the amount of time they served on active duty after the 10th of September, 2001, the location of the school they hope to attend, their residence, and the type of degree they are pursuing. If you are a veteran eligible for full GI Bill benefits you may qualify for:
- 36 months of tuition and fees in an amount based on the highest tuition cost for an undergraduate degree program at a state supported institution of higher learning in your home state
- A housing allowance based on your school's location
- A book stipend of up to $1000 per calendar year
The Yellow Ribbon Program
The Yellow Ribbon Program is a military education benefits program that eligible veterans may use in addition to the New GI Bill benefits. Approved schools participating in the Yellow Ribbon Program agree to fund a portion of the tuition costs over what may be covered by the New GI Bill. They can fund up to 50 percent of the overage, and the VA matches the school's contribution.
The schools participating in the Yellow Ribbon Program offer a wide variety of degree programs, and many offer the option of pursuing online undergraduate and graduate college degrees. The New GI Bill is generous in what it can provide eligible veterans, but the Yellow Ribbon Program can provide the additional assistance you may need if you:
- attend a graduate school in pursuit of a master's or doctorate degree
- attend a private school with higher tuition than a state supported school
- attend a school outside of the state you live in, and may be paying out of state tuition
The New GI Bill benefits and the Yellow Ribbon Program can provide eligible servicemembers and veterans with the means to reach their educational goals.