GI Bill


Use the GI Bill to help pay for college.

Use the GI Bill to get your college degree

The GI Bill is one of the best benefits of military service. The Post-9/11 GI Bill, Montgomery GI Bill, and dependent GI Bill programs help service members, veterans and families reach their educational goals.

Here’s how you can make the most of those educational benefits.

Related: Explore degree programs from schools honoring veteran education benefits. Get started.

GI Bill Programs

The GI Bill includes several programs that can help you or your dependents pay for tuition, job training and other approved training.

Post-9/11 GI Bill

The Post-9/11 GI Bill will cover your full tuition, school fees, housing and books and supplies. This benefit can also be transferred to family members.

Active Duty Montgomery GI Bill

The Montgomery GI Bill helps service members and veterans with education and training costs with a monthly benefit payment.

Reserve and Guard Montgomery GI Bill 

The Montgomery GI Bill Selected Reserve (MGIB-SR) is available for Military Reserve and National Guard service members.

Veterans Readiness and Employment

Another part of the GI Bill, Veterans Readiness and Employment (VR&E), helps disabled veterans with counseling services, training, education and job placement.

GI Bill Programs for Dependents

GI Bill programs for dependents are available for dependents of disabled veterans and for survivors of service members who died in the line of duty.

  • Dependent GI Bill: Provides education and training benefits to eligible dependents.
  • Fry Scholarship: Pays full tuition to state colleges and universities for surviving spouses and eligible children of deceased service members.

GI Bill Eligibility

For the Post-9/11 GI Bill, you may be eligible if you served a minimum of 90 days on active duty after Sept. 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 or reserve) under certain sections of Title 10 of the U.S. Code.

For Montgomery programs, you may be eligible for benefits under if:

  • For the Montgomery GI Bill Active Duty, if you served at least two years on active duty; you were honorably discharged; you have a high school diploma, GED, or 12 hours of college credit; and you meet the other Montgomery GI Bill requirements.
  • For the Montgomery GI Bill Selected Reserve, you’re a member of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps or Coast Guard Reserves, Army National Guard, or Air National Guard; you have either a six-year service obligation in the Selected Service or you’re an officer in the Selected Reserve who agreed to serve six years in addition to your initial service obligation; and you meet the other Montgomery GI Bill Selected Reserve requirements.

What Will You Get with the GI Bill?

You get 36 months of full-time GI Bill benefits and have no time limit on when you need to use them. If you left the military before Jan. 1, 2013, your benefits expire 15 years from your discharge (if using the Post-9/11 GI Bill). If you are using the Montgomery GI Bill you have 10 years to use your benefits.

What Veterans Get with the GI Bill

If you are a veteran and have an honorable discharge, the Post-9/11 GI Bill will pay your full tuition if you are attending a public school as a state resident; an annual maximum amount to the school if you are attending a private school; a housing allowance; and up to $1,000 a year for books and supplies.

Under the Montgomery GI Bill, you can receive a monthly payment that varies depending on how many classes you take.

What Active Duty Service Members Get with the GI Bill

If you are active duty, you can begin using your benefit after two years of service, although it may be more beneficial to you to wait until you are a veteran, because you generally can expect to get more money then.

If you are using the Montgomery GI Bill, you can get reimbursed only for the actual cost of your classes or the legally determined maximum monthly rate, whichever is less. Considering this, it makes sense to use your GI Bill during active duty only if your tuition costs are very high or you use your “GI Bill Top-up” benefit.

How to Apply for GI Bill Benefits

1. Apply to a school that’s approved for VA benefits. Find schools, employers and testing organizations with the VA School Comparison Tool. For more information, read about how to apply for the GI Bill with the VA.

If you’re active duty, you may need approval from your chain-of-command or Education Service Officer (ESO). If you are a veteran, you may need to provide a copy of your DD214.

2. Certificate of Eligibility. If the VA determines you are eligible for the GI Bill, you’ll receive a COE that you will then give to the school. After the school enrolls you, the next step is to send your enrollment information to the VA. For more information, read about how to download your VA education letter.

3. Attend classes. Start attending classes and use your GI Bill benefits.

What Can the GI Bill Be Used For?

Is the GI Bill just for college? Not anymore. Your GI Bill can be used for many types of education and training.

Types of Training Available With the GI Bill

  • College Degree Programs: GI Bill benefits are available for courses at four year universities, community colleges and advanced degree programs.
  • Vocational and Technical Training: The VA refers to this type of education as non-college-degree training.
  • Apprenticeship and On-the-Job Training: Looking to get right to work? The VA will pay you GI Bill benefits while you receive on-the-job training, such as an apprenticeship program.
  • Licensing & Certification Reimbursement: Get reimbursed for licensing and certification tests as well as approved preparatory courses.
  • National Testing Programs: You can use your GI Bill to pay for nationally approved tests such as the Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT), Law School Admission Test (LSAT), Graduate Record Exam (GRE), Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) and several more.
  • Flight Training: If you have a private pilot’s license, your GI Bill benefits can be used to pay for further flight training.
  • Correspondence Training: Payment amounts are made quarterly after VA receives certification of lessons completed from the school.
  • Work-study Programs: Looking to learn from home? The GI Bill can help pay for coursework completed at home. If you’re a full-time or ¾-time student, you can get paid with a VA work-study allowance.
  • Tuition Assistance Top-Up: Need to make up the difference between the cost of your education and Military Tuition Assistance? The GI Bill Tuition Assistance Top-Up can be used to cover that cost.
  • Tutorial Assistance: If your courses aren’t going as planned, the GI Bill can help pay for tutoring to get you through a difficult course.

Keep Up With Your Education Benefits

Whether you need a guide on how to use your GI Bill, want to take advantage of tuition assistance and scholarships, or get the lowdown on education benefits available for your family, can help. Subscribe to to have education tips and benefits updates delivered directly to your inbox.