Post-9/11 GI Bill Overview

Post 9/11 GI Bill banner.

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. The Post-9/11 GI Bill can pay your full tuition & fees at school, provide you with a monthly housing allowance while you are going to school, and give you up to $1,000 a year to use for books and supplies. If you live in the middle of nowhere the Post-9/11 GI Bill will even provide you with a one-time relocation allowance to move to where your school is located. Another new provision of the Post-9/11 GI Bill allows eligible servicemembers to transfer their unused benefits to family members. You can use your Post-9/11 GI Bill for college and many other types of training. See our list of all the covered learning programs.

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)

The Post-9/11 GI Bill has several facets including:

Basic Eligibility Criteria for Post-9/11 GI Bill Benefits

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 received an honorable discharge..  

For Reservists and Guard members the following active duty qualifies for Post-9/11 GI Bill eligibility:

  • All Title 10 active duty supporting named contingency operations
  • Title 32 service for the purpose of organizing, administering, recruiting, instructing, or training the National Guard
  • Title 32 service under section 502(f) for the purpose of responding to a national emergency
  • All voluntary active duty, with the exception of active duty for medical care and medical evaluation

What You Qualify For

If You Are You Qualify For

Tuition and Fees

Monthly Housing Allowance

Book Stipend

Yellow Ribbon

Relocation

On
Active
Duty

X

 

X

 

 

Veteran

X

X

X

X

X

Spouse Using
Transferred Benefits

X

NOTE 1

X

NOTE 1

X

Child Using
Transferred Benefits

X

X

X

X

X

NOTE 1: A spouse cannot get the Monthly Housing Allowance or Yellow Ribbon benefit if the sponsor is still on active duty. 

Post 9/11 GI Bill Benefit Tiers

Your Post-9/11 GI Bill tuition and housing allowance payments are based on the amount of creditable active-duty service after Sept. 10, 2001. If you are discharged for disability after at least 30 days of active duty you automatically receive the 100% benefit tier. Active duty time for the Post-9/11 GI Bill can also include Title 10 mobilizations and some title 32 duty for reservists & guard members. The following table shows the benefit tiers and corresponding active duty time:

Post-9/11 Service

Percentage of Maximum Amount Payable

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

100%

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

100%

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

90%

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

80%

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

70%

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

60%

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

50%

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

40%

Tuition and Fees

VA will pay your tuition & fee payments directly to the school. Tuition payments are based on the amount of creditable active-duty service after Sept. 10, 2001.

For example, if you have 24 months active duty after September 10, 2001 your GI Bill benefit tier percentage is 80%. If you are attending a public school with tuition of $10,000 per semester, 80% of your tuition and fees or $8,000 would be paid by the Post-9/11 GI Bill.

The GI Bill can pay up to the full resident tuition at any public school, if you are qualified to receive benefits at the 100% rate based on your active service shown above.. Effective January 1, 2016 public schools will have to offer resident tuition to all Veterans who have been out of the military for less than 3 years, and their dependents using transferred benefits. If you are attending a private or foreign school, the VA will pay you an annual maximum of $21,084.89. 

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

Monthly Housing Allowance

The Post-9/11 GI Bill also pays a Monthly Housing Allowance based on the ZIP code of the location of the school you are attending - not your home ZIP code. This stipend currently averages $1,566 a month, but can exceed $2,700 depending on where you go to school. Students taking 100% of their courses online are eligible for a monthly stipend equal to half of the national average stipend, which is currrently $783.00.

Housing allowance payments are based on the amount of creditable active-duty service after Sept. 10, 2001.

For example, if you have 24 months active duty after September 10, 2001 your GI Bill benefit tier percentage is 80%. If you are attending a school which has a Monthly Housing Allowance of $1000/month you would receive 80% of your housing allowance or $800/month.

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, their spouses using transferred benefits and those taking courses on a half-time basis or less do not qualify for Monthly Housing Allowance..

Book and Supply Stipend

You may receive an annual book stipend of up to $1,000/year with the Post-9/11 GI Bill. 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.

Yellow Ribbon Program

The Post-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 Yellow Ribbon Program 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:

  • Qualify for the Post-9/11 GI Bill at the 100% benefit tier
  • Be attending an approved Institute of Higher Learning in the U.S.  

Learn more about the Yellow Ribbon Program.

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. 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 also eligible to transfer their entitlement to eligible dependents.

NOTE: The ability to transfer benefits is limited to those currently serving in the military.

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
  • Independent and Distance Learning
  • On-the-job/Apprenticeship Training
  • Licensing & Certification Reimbursement
  • National Testing Programs such as SAT, CLEP, AP, etc
  • Flight Training
  • Correspondence Training
  • Co-operative Training
  • Entrepreneur Training
  • Work-study programs
  • Tuition Assistance Top-Up
  • Tutorial Assistance

Related Topics

Military Benefits GI Bill Transfer

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GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government Web site at www.benefits.va.gov/gibill
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