Federal Education Benefits for Veterans |
Published in the May/June 2012 issue of print Search & Employ® |
The United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has set up a GI Bill Web Site, http://www.gibill.va.gov/, that is the home for all educational benefits provided by the department. Below are brief descriptions of five major benefits programs, taken directly from the site or from federal documents linked to the site. The editors of Search & Employ® encourage all job seekers who have military backgrounds to research the VA site thoroughly.
Post 9-11 GI Bill
This program provides financial support for education and housing to individuals with at least 90 days of aggregate service after September 10, 2001, or individuals discharged with a service-connected disability after 30 days. An individual must have received an honorable discharge to be eligible. Approved training includes graduate and undergraduate degree training, vocational/technical training, on-the-job training, flight training, correspondence training, licensing and national testing programs, and entrepreneurship training. All training programs must be approved for GI Bill benefits. The program provides up to 36 months of education benefits – generally, benefits are payable for 15 years following release from active duty. The bill also offers some servicemembers the opportunity to transfer their GI Bill to dependents. Post-9/11 benefits are sometime referred to as Chapter 33 benefits because the bill is defined in Chapter 33 of Title 38 of the United States Code.
The Yellow Ribbon Program
This program was established by the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2008. The Yellow Ribbon Program allows institutions of higher learning (degree-granting institutions) in the United States to enter voluntarily into an agreement with the VA to fund tuition expenses that exceed the highest public in-state tuition rate. The institution may contribute up to 50% of those expenses, and the VA will match the contributed amount.
Montgomery GI Bill Active Duty (MGIB-AD)
MGIB-AD provides up to 36 months of education benefits. This benefit may be used for degree and certificate programs, flight training, apprenticeship/on-the-job training, and correspondence courses. Remedial, deficiency, and refresher courses may be approved under certain circumstances. Generally, benefits are payable for 10 years following release from active duty. Some servicemembers may contribute up to an additional $600 to the GI Bill to receive increased monthly benefits. For an additional $600 contribution, a servicemember may receive up to $5,400 in additional benefits. The additional contribution must be made while on active duty. MGIB-AD is also commonly known as Chapter 30.
Montgomery GI Bill Selected Reserve (MGIB-SR)
MGIB-SR is available to certain members of the Selected Reserve, which consists of the Army Reserve, Navy Reserve, Air Force Reserve, Marine Corps Reserve, Coast Guard Reserve, Army National Guard, and Air National Guard. Personnel may use MGIB-SR for degree programs, certificate or correspondence courses, cooperative training, independent study programs, apprenticeship/on-the-job training, and vocational flight training programs; and may be entitled to up to 36 months of education benefits. Remedial, refresher and deficiency training are available under certain circumstances. Eligibility normally ends on the day an individual leaves the Selected Reserve. MGIB-SR is also known as Chapter 1606 because it is defined in that chapter of Title 10 of the United States Code.
Survivors and Dependents Assistance (DEA)
This program provides education and training opportunities to a son, daughter, or spouse of a veteran who died or is permanently and totally disabled as the result of a service-connected disability (the disability must arise out of active service in the armed forces), a veteran who died from any cause while the permanent and total service-related disability was still in existence, a servicemember missing in action or captured in line of duty by a hostile force, and certain other servicemembers. The program offers up to 45 months of education benefits. Dependents may use these benefits for degree and certificate programs, apprenticeship, and on-the-job training. A spouse may take a correspondence course. Remedial, deficiency, and refresher courses may be approved under certain circumstances. DEA is also known as Chapter 35.