Many Guard and Reserve servicemembers and veterans activated after Sept. 11, 2001 are eligible for the Post-9/11 GI Bill. If you are a Guard or Reserve member or veteran who served at least 90 consecutive days on active duty in the Armed Forces since Sept. 11, 2001, you're eligible.
The new bill goes well beyond helping to pay for tuition; many veterans who served after Sept. 11, 2001, will get full tuition and fees paid directly to their school, a monthly housing stipend, and up to $1,000 a year stipend for books and supplies.
Determining Your Payment Amount - The amount of benefits you receive under this program are determined by the actual amount of accumulated post 9/11 active-duty service you have. To be eligible for the full benefit, you must have 36 months of active duty service since Sept. 11, 2001 or have been discharged due to a service-connected disability. Here is a quick reference showing the percentage of total combined benefit eligibility based on the following periods of post 9/11 service:
- 100% - 36 or more total months
- 100% - 30 or more consecutive days with Disability related Discharge.
- 90% - 30 total months
- 80% - 24 total months
- 70% - 18 total months
- 60% - 12 total months
- 50% - six total months
- 40% - 90 or more days
What Active Duty Time Counts - 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
All forms of inactive duty training (drills and funeral honors), as well as annual training do not qualify for the Post-9/11 GI Bill education benefit.
Tuition Rates - Under the Post-9/11 GI Bill you will be provided full tuition at any public school. If you are attending a private or foreign school, the VA will pay you an annual maximum of $22,805.34 ($23,671.94 effective Aug. 1).
Monthly Housing Stipend - 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 $1,681 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 currently $840.50 (changing to $825 effective Aug. 1).
Book and Supply Stipend - You will receive a lump sum payment the first month of each quarter, semester, or term. The payment will help cover the cost of books, supplies, equipment, and other educational fees for that academic term. The payment amount will be equal to either a quarter or half of the annual $1,000 cap for that academic year, depending on how the academic year is divided - quarter or semester terms.
Extended Benefits Expiration Date - Unlike the Montgomery GI Bill, the new GI Bill will allow you to use this benefit for up to 15 years from your last period of active duty of at least 90 consecutive days.