Post-9/11 GI Bill for Guard and Reserve

Staff Sgt. Walter Ramos, crew chief, 157th Air Refueling Wing, New Hampshire Air National Guard, fields calls for unemployment benefits.
Staff Sgt. Walter Ramos, crew chief, 157th Air Refueling Wing, New Hampshire Air National Guard, fields calls for unemployment benefits at a makeshift call center at the state fire academy in Concord, April 7, 2020. (Staff Sgt. Charles Johnston/U.S. Air National Guard photo)

Many National Guard and reserve service members 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 has served at least 90 consecutive days on active duty in the Armed Forces after Sept. 10, 2001, you're eligible.

The bill goes well beyond helping to pay for tuition. Many veterans who served after Sept. 10, 2001, will get full tuition and fees paid directly to their school, a monthly housing stipend, and up to $1,000 a year for books and supplies.

Determining Your Payment Amount. The amount of benefits you receive under this program is 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 served 36 months on active duty after 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
  • Title 10 service under 12301(h) for the purpose of receiving service-related medical care
  • A reservist who receives a Purple Heart for service occurring on or after Sept. 11, 2001
  • Service under 12304, 12304(a) and 12304(b) orders, mobilization to provide assistance in response to a major disaster or emergency or for preplanned missions in support of combatant commands
  • Individuals ordered to active duty under section 12301(h) of Title 10 to receive authorized medical care, to be medically evaluated for disability or other purposes, or to complete a required Department of Defense health care study

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 up to full tuition at any public school. If you attend a private or foreign school, the Department of Veterans Affairs will pay you an annual maximum of $27,120.05 for the 2023-2024 academic year. That amount goes up to $28,937.09 in 2024-2025.

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 where you attend the majority of your classes -- not your home ZIP code. This stipend currently averages $2,109 a month but can exceed $3,000 depending on where you go to school. This average goes up to $2,355.00 in 2024-2025. Students taking 100% of their courses online are eligible for a monthly stipend equal to half of the national average stipend, which is currently $967.40. It goes up to $1,177.50 in 2024-2025.

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. If you left the service on or after Jan. 1, 2013, you have no time limit on using your GI Bill. If you got out before that date, you have 15 years to use it.

Learn more about the Post-9/11 GI Bill.

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