Barrett Bogue works for the Office of Education Service, which is responsible for paying and administering the GI Bill. He is the team leader for public relations and digital engagement. His team is responsible for raising awareness, as well as educating and promoting the GI Bill benefit program.
Service members can use the GI Bill to help pay for college. For example, Bogue used the GI Bill to earn two degrees from the University of Tennessee!
Post-9/11 GI Bill
The most popular is the Post-9/11 GI Bill:
Post-9/11 GI Bill: This is the most popular bill that most people qualify for. However, it is not a loan, grant, scholarship, or associated with federal financial aid. It is an entitlement program, which means it is an earned benefit. If you have served in the military for three years or more, you qualify for this bill.
What is covered in this bill:
- Active service: Tuition and fees (no cap for public schools; but there is a maximum amount per year of $20,000 for private/for-profit schools), housing allowance (based on location/ZIP code) , and book and supplies stipend (up to $1,000 per year)
- Transfer options available, which means children of veteran can use the GI Bill benefits
- Fry Scholarship: If a service member is killed in the line of duty, children and spouses are eligible for their own Post-9/11 GI Bill.
When you are eligible for the Post-9/11 GI Bill, you generally have:
- 15 years from the last day you separated from the service
- 36 months of entitlement (school year is typically nine months)
Considering the Military
You can serve in any branch of military service for at least three years and any type of job in the military to qualify for the Post-9/11 GI Bill. However, there are some restrictions:
- Reserve time does not count toward GI Bill
- Honorably discharged members do not qualify
Since 2009, about $52 billion has been paid out in education benefits under the GI Bill, and there are more and more people utilizing the GI Bill to transition people from the military into schools. There is a high level of interest from schools and veterans. “We have very good relationships with the institutions across the country,” said Bogue.
GI Bill vs. Financial Aid
The Post-9/11 GI Bill will not actually see the money for tuition and fees. Instead, that money is sent directly to the school. The school then verifies to the VA:
- Who you are
- Number of credit hours
- Charge for tuition and fees; and then any scholarship or other financial aid is subtracted
Funds from the GI Bill are not income, so they do not need to be reported.
The following process occurs when applying for a GI Bill.
- Apply online
- Information is given to the Department of Defense to verify military service
- Application is reviewed
- Determine if applicant is eligible for GI Bill (certificate of eligibility=Golden Ticket!)
- What you are entitled to
- How long you are entitled to benefits
Applicants will be communicating with departments of financial aid, registrar, and/or purser’s office at the VA. Also, they will be in contact with a school’s certifying official responsible for reporting back to the VA.
Uses of GI Bill
There are some main considerations about the use of GI Bills:
- Where you go to school is critical
- You can start and stop using your GI Bill when you want, but you must notify the school
- Verify that every credit earned can be transferred to other schools
- Can be used to get an undergraduate, graduate, doctorate, or law degree
Where do you live?
How do veterans know the state they officially reside in after serving years in the military? There is a new Resident Rate Requirement, which means anyone who has separated within three years will only be charged in-state tuition and fees. For more information, visit the VA site.
Yellow Ribbon Program
There is also another program offered by the VA – Yellow Ribbon Program, which is a matching program where VA and private schools agree to offset costs. For example, if a school agreed to pay $10,000, then the VA would match those funds. Some restrictions may apply. This program applies to children but not spouses of veterans. Visit the VA site for more information about the Yellow Ribbon Program.
GI benefits can be transferred to spouses and children:
- Processed through Department of Defense’s DEERS System
- After you leave military, you cannot move entitlement to another spouse or child
- Prior to separation, allocate specific periods of time to be transferred from one family member to another
- Apply to transfer your GI Bill while still in the military.
- Where you go to school matters. “It is one of the most critical decisions that you are going to make when using the GI Bill,” said Bogue.
- Before you apply for the GI Bill, become an informed consumer first. Use the GI Bill Comparison Tool to estimate how much the GI Bill will cover and cost.
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Brad is not affiliated with Barrett Bogue or the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
CLICK HERE TO WATCH MY “COMPARISON TOOL TUTORIAL VIDEO” AND DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE “GI BILL CHEAT SHEET”