VA's Technical Programs GI Bill Is Now Open for Applications

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The Department of Veterans Affairs once again began accepting applications for the Veteran Employment Through Technology Education Courses program, or VET TEC, GI Bill program on Oct. 1.

The program is specially designed to train veterans in high-tech fields that lead to well-paid jobs in fields such as information science, computer programming, data processing, media applications, computer software or the ever-popular "coding boot camps."

Anyone currently eligible to use their GI Bill benefits -- Montgomery or Post-9/11 -- is qualified for the program as long as they haven't passed the time limit to use their benefits and have at least one day of benefits remaining.

Unlike most GI Bill programs, any training received as part of VET TEC will not decrease your GI Bill entitlement in any way. It is essentially free money.

The VET TEC program pays tuition for a high-tech training program, as well as a Monthly Housing Allowance (MHA) while you are enrolled in the program, just like the Post-9/11 GI Bill.

The MHA rules are the same as for the Post-9/11 GI Bill. If you attend your training in person, you receive MHA equal to the monthly military Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) for an E-5 with dependents, based on the location of your training. If your program is designed to be taught totally online, you get half of the BAH national average for an E-5 with dependents, currently $916.50.

VET TEC is a pilot program, designed to last for five years; this is its second year of availability. As a pilot program, there are limited funds available for use. The VA says that it has an initial funding level of $15 million annually. Once that money runs out, the program closes for the year.

Last year, that $15 million ran out within seven months of being made available. Applications will be processed based on the date received by the VA, so you should apply as soon as possible if you're interested.

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