VA Educational Benefits

Veterans looking into college can look into two bills that provide education benefits: the Post 9/11 GI Bill and the Montgomery Bill.

The Montgomery GI Bill

The Montgomery GI Bill is the older of the two bills.  Introduced in the 1980s, it expanded the original GI Bill — the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944. The Montgomery GI Bill has helped countless numbers of service members attend trade schools, degree programs, apprenticeships, flight training and licensing programs with its reasonable stipend rewards.  Veterans can receive up to $1,365 per month for up to 36 months. Military members are eligible for maximum benefits after three years of service. Some service members may contribute up to an additional $600 to the GI Bill to receive increased monthly benefits, according to the VA. Benefits can be increased up to $5,400.

Post 9/11 GI Bill

The Post 9/11 GI Bill went into effect August 1, 2009. It provides funds for military members’ education and housing to individuals with at least 90 days of cumulative service on or after September 11, 2001, or individuals honorably discharged with a service-related disability after 30 days.  Unlike the Montgomery GI Bill, the Post 9/11 GI Bill only covers costs at Institutions of Higher Learning (IHL) and vocational schools. It can pay for up to 100% of tuition and fee costs. Under the bill, tutorial assistance is also provided as well as money for books and supplies. There is a housing stipend under the Basic Allowance for Housing program that goes along with it.  The housing stipend can be about $1,200 a month, but can go as high as $2,800, depending on the veteran’s pay grade and dependency status. Read more about the bill at the Veteran Affairs website.