Post 9/11 G.I. Bill: A Breakdown of Benefit Changes

The GI Bill, signed into law by Franklin D. Roosevelt on June 22, 1944, has been helping servicemen get an education for over 67 years. It has been revised before, most notably with the Post-9/11 GI Bill, and as of August 1 it has been revised again.

When The Post-9/11 Veterans Education Assistance Improvements Act is implemented this fall, it will lead to changes in the Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits. Active duty members, veterans, and military spouses need to be prepared and understand how these changes will affect their ability to get an education.

Here’s a breakdown of the major benefits changes for veterans, active duty members, and military spouses:

  1. The Post-9/11 GI Bill currently pays up to the highest public in-state undergraduate tuition and fees. But with the Improvements Act, private and foreign school costs will be capped at $17,500 per year and all public school in-state tuition and fees will be paid.
  2. Eligibility for education assistance will be expanded to include service performed by National Guard Members.
  3. Housing allowances will be paid relative to a student’s rate of pursuit and rounded to the nearest tenth. Thus a student with a 45% rate of pursuit would receive 50% of the housing rate.
  4. Break or interval pay will no longer be payable to Veterans. So, for example, veterans wouldn’t receive housing benefits during the period between the end of the fall semester and the beginning of the winter semester.
  5. Allows reimbursement for more than one “license or certification” test and fees paid to take national exams such as the SAT, ACT, etc.
  6. Non-active duty students enrolled in distance learning will be eligible for housing allowances and could receive a maximum of $673.50 per month.
  7. Active duty students will be eligible to receive book and supplies stipends.
  8. Tuition and fees benefits will be tiered for active service members and military spouses based on eligibility. This is similar to the tier system (40%-100%) already in place for veterans.

One major change in the Post-9/11 Veterans Education Assistance Improvements Act, effective this coming October,  will allow students and military spouses to use their Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits for other less expensive and more practical programs. These include:

A. Non-college degree (NCD) programs: Pays the cost of in-state tuition and fees or $17,500, whichever is less. Pays $83 per month for books and supplies.

B. Correspondence training: Pays the cost of in-state tuition and fees or $8,500, whichever is less.

C. Apprenticeship training: Pays a monthly benefit and $83 a month for books and supplies.

D. Flight programs: Pays in state-tuition and fees or $10,000, whichever is less.

While the Post-9/11 Veterans Education Assistance Improvements Act does cut some benefits, it also adds new ones to improve education opportunities for active duty members, veterans, and military spouses. Be aware that some members of Congress are trying to pass new legislation that would repeal some of the benefits in the Improvement Act, citing financial damage. The legislation is currently stalled in the Senate.

Read more about the changes to the Post-9/11 GI Bill here.

When using the Post-9/11 GI Bill to fund their education, servicemen know better than anyone that every dollar counts. When you earn college credit through exam programs like DSST (formerly known as the DANTES exam), not only can you gain credits for the experience you already have (of which our military members and veterans have plenty), but you can also earn these credits at a rate of just $80 per exam. Learn more about DSST and the military.

How do the changes to the Post-9/11 GI Bill affect you and your access to quality education?

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