Post-9/11 GI Bill Overview

Gi Bill

In July of 2008 the Post-9/11 GI Bill was signed into law, creating a new robust education benefits program rivaling the WWII Era GI Bill of Rights. The Post 9/11 GI Bill provides education benefits for servicemembers who have served on active duty for 90 or more days since Sept. 10, 2001. These benefits are tiered based on the number of days served on active duty, creating a benefit package that gives current and previously activated National Guard and Reserve members the same benefits as active duty servicemembers.

Once the VA has received your application they will determine your eligibility for the Post-9/11 GI Bill, and issue you a Certificate of Eligibility. You can apply using the VA Form 22-1990. The form includes the instructions needed to begin the process.

Details on the Post-9/11 GI Bill Benefit

The Post-9/11 GI Bill offers benefits for servicemembers and veterans attending education and training programs taken at accredited colleges or universities or accredited non-college degree granting institutions.

Post-9/11 benefit payments are tiered based on the amount of creditable active-duty service you have since Sept. 10, 2001.
(See the table below to determine your benefit tier)

These new education benefits include the following:

Table of Post-9/11 Benefits - Who Gets What?


The following table offers a quick overview of the Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits for each major group of recipients who meet the basic eligibility qualifications listed below.



You Qualify

Tuition and Fees

Monthly Living Stipend

Book Stipend

Transfer Benefits

Yellow Ribbon











Guard or Selected Reserve Member
















NOTE 1: All students on active duty and those pursuing half-time or less, are not eligible for the Housing Stipend. 

NOTE 2: You may only choose to transfer benefits while you are still serving in the military. Learn more about GI Bill transferability.


Tuition and Fees

If you are eligible, VA will pay your tuition & fees payment directly to the school. The tuition & fees rate at a state operated college or university (Institution of Higher Learning) will cover up to the full amount depending on your number of months of active service since Sept. 11, 2001.

Learn more about Post-9/11 Tuition and Fee coverage.

Yellow Ribbon Program (YRP) - The ost-9/11 GI Bill also includes a provision to help students avoid some or all of the out-of-pocket tuition and fees associated with education programs that may exceed the Post 9/11 GI Bill tuition benefit. The YRP is not automatic, schools must enter into an agreement with the VA to share the expense.

To qualify to receive the Yellow Ribbon benefits you must meet the following criteria:

  • Served an aggregate period of active duty after September 10, 2001, of at least 36 months;
  • Were honorably discharged from active duty for a service connected disability and have served a minimum of 30 continuous days after September 10, 2001; 
  • Are a dependent eligible for Transfer of Entitlement under the Post-9/11 GI Bill based on a veteran's service under the eligibility criteria listed above.

Learn more about the Yellow Ribbon Program.

Monthly Living (Housing) Stipend

As an eligible veteran or member of the National Guard or Selected Reserve you may receive a monthly housing allowance (living stipend) based on the ZIP code of the location of the school you are attending - not your home ZIP code. This stipend currently averages $1,509 a month, but can exceed $2,700 depending on where you go to school.

This stipend is based on the DoD's Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) for an E-5 with dependents. This stipend does not require students to live on campus.

NOTE: Servicemembers currently on active duty and veterans (and eligible family members) and those taking courses on a half-time basis do not qualify for the monthly housing stipend.

Students taking 100% of their courses online are eligible for a monthly stipend equal to half of the national average stipend, which is $754.50 for 2015.

Book and Supply Stipend

You may receive an annual book stipend of up to $1,000 if you are a veteran or member of the Guard or Selected Reserve. This stipend will be paid at the beginning of each term. It is paid proportionately based on the number of credits taken by each student at $41 per credit hour.

Active-duty servicemembers and their eligible spouses are also eligible for the annual book stipend.

One-Time Relocation Allowance

You may also receive a one-time rural relocation benefit payment of $500.00 to help cover the cost of relocating from a rural location to attend school.

To qualify you must:

  • Be an otherwise eligible veteran.
  • Reside in a county with 6 persons or less per square mile (as determined by the most recent decennial census) and:
  • Either physically relocate at least 500 miles to attend an educational institution
    - or -
  • Travel by air to physically attend an educational institution if no other land-based transportation exists.

Benefit Transferability

The Department of Defense (DoD) is authorized to allow individuals who, on or after August 1, 2009, have served at least 6 years in the Armed Forces and who agree to serve at least another 4 years in the Armed Forces to transfer unused entitlement to their Spouse. Once the member has reached their 10 year anniversary they may choose to transfer the benefit to any dependent(s) (spouse, children). The Department of Defense may, by regulation, impose additional eligibility requirements and limit the number of months transferable to not less than 18 months.

National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and Public Health System (PHS) personnel are now eligible to transfer their entitlement to eligible dependents.

NOTE: DoD must provide VA with eligibility information before the VA can make payments under this provision. The ability to transfer benefits is limited to those currently serving in the military with some limited provisions for those retiring over the next few years.

Learn more about transferability.

What Can You Use the Post-9/11 GI Bill For?

You can use your Post-911 GI Bill for many types of education programs including:

  • College degree programs including Associate, Bachelor, and advanced degree programs
  • Vocational/Technical Training including non-college degree programs
  • On-the-job/Apprenticeship Training
  • Licensing & Certification Training
  • National Testing Programs such as SAT, CLEP, AP, etc
  • Flight Training
  • Correspondence Training
  • Entreneurship Training
  • Work-study programs

Eligibility Criteria for Post-9/11 GI Bill Benefits

You are eligible if you served a minimum of 90 days on active duty after September 10, 2001.  This covers active duty served as a member of the Armed Forces or as a result of a call or order to active duty from a reserve component (National Guard and Reserve) under certain sections of title 10. 

As of August 1, 2011 active service performed by National Guard members under title 32 U.S.C. for the purpose of organizing, administering, recruiting, instructing, or training the National Guard; or under section 502(f) for the purpose of responding to a national emergency, will count toward Post-9/11 GI Bill eligibility.

However, some periods of active duty service are excluded. Periods of service under the following do not count toward qualification for the Post 9/11 GI Bill:

  • ROTC under 10 U.S.C. 2107(b);
  • Service academy contract period;
  • Service terminated due to defective enlistment agreement;
  • Service used for loan repayment; and
  • Selected reserve service used to establish eligibility under the Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB chapter 30), MGIB for Selected Reserve (MGIB-SR Chapter 1606), or the Reserve Education Assistance Program (REAP chapter 1607).

Further Details From the VA:

At a minimum, you must have served at least 30 days of continuous active duty service after September 10, 2001 and be discharged due to a service-connected disability, or served an aggregate of 90 days of active duty service after September 10, 2001, and:

  • Be honorably discharged from Armed Forces; or
  • Be released from Armed Forces with service characterized as honorable and placed on the retired list, temporary disability retired list, or transferred to the Fleet Reserve or the Fleet Marine Corps Reserve; or
  • Be released from the Armed Forces with service characterized as honorable for further service in a reserve component; or
  • Be discharged or released from Armed Forces for:
    • EPTS (Existed Prior to Service)
    • HDSP (Hardship) or
    • CIWD (Condition Interfered with Duty); or
    • Continue to be on active duty.

Post 9/11 GI Bill Benefit Tiers

All Post 9/11 GI Bill benefit payments are based on the amount of creditable active-duty service each veteran has since Sept. 10, 2001. If you are an active-duty, National Guard, Selected Reserve member, or veterans who has served on active-duty for 90 or more days since Sept. 10, 2001 the following table applies:

Post-9/11 Service

Percentage of Maximum Amount Payable

At least 36 cumulative months
(Includes Entry Level or Skills Training time)


At least 30 continuous days on active duty and discharged due to service-connected disability
(Includes Entry Level or Skills Training time)


At least 30 cumulative months
(Includes Entry Level or Skills Training time)


At least 24 cumulative months
(Cannot include Entry Level or Skills Training time)


At least 18 cumulative months
(Cannot include Entry Level or Skills Training time)


At least 12 cumulative months
(Cannot include Entry Level or Skills Training time)


At least 6 cumulative months
(Cannot include Entry Level or Skills Training time)


90 aggregate days
(Cannot include Entry Level or Skills Training time)


The following links will help you learn more about this exciting new GI Bill program:

Related Topics

Military Benefits GI Bill Transfer

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