If you have served your country in the United States military for any period more than 90 days of active duty, you are eligible to receive some sort of education benefits for your service. The new Post 9/11 GI Bill makes it possible for veterans to receive three different benefits to help defray costs of their college education.
Benefit Eligibility Percentages:
For those veterans that have met these active service requirement, they can receive the following percentage of the maximum benefits as outlined here:
- 90 days to 179 days = 40 percent of benefit
- 180 days to 364 days = 50 percent of benefits
- 12 months to 18 months = 60 percent of benefits
- 18 months to 24 months = 70 percent of benefits
- 24 months to 30 months = 80 percent of benefits
- 30 months to 36 months = 90 percent of benefits
- Greater than 36 months = 100 percent of benefit
Tuition and Fees Benefit:
Based on your eligibility percentages above, the GI Bill will pay you up to the highest in-state tuition for a public school education in the state where you plan to attend college.
Example: If the maximum in-state tuition is $6,000 and your service was for 26 months (80 percent), you would receive up to $4,800 for tuition and fees.
You would also qualify to receive a housing allowance on a monthly basis to help offset the cost of room and board or off campus housing. This amount is determined by the basic allowance for housing based on the zip code for the college that you plan to attend.
Example: If the monthly allowance for housing in your zip code is $950 and your service was for 19 months (70 percent), you would receive $665 per month to help offset housing.
Books and Supplies:
As for books and supplies, you can qualify for up to $1,000 annually to help pay for these expenses.
Example: If your service was for 4 months (40 percent) you would receive a check for $400 for books.
As you can see, the education benefits for veterans can add up quickly. There is also the possibility of transferring these benefits to your dependents if you do not plan to use them for yourself. You can find more information about this by visiting the Veterans Administration website or a local VA office.