Federal Aid Programs for Veterans

There are a variety of federal aid programs for veterans. The programs with eligibility and payments are listed by The Department of Veterans Affairs. Veterans and Active Military can qualify for more than one education benefits program. Their primary educational assistance programs include:

A. Post-9/11 Veterans Education Assistance (Chapter 33)
B. Montgomery G.I. Bill-Active Duty (Chapter 30)
C. Montgomery G.I. Bill-Selected Reserve (Chapter 1606)
D. Reserve Educational Assistance Program (Chapter 1607)
E. Federal & Veteran Work-Study
F. Vocational Rehabilitation (Chapter 31)
G. Veterans Retraining Assistance Program (VRAP)
H. Tutorial Benefits
I. Survivors' and Dependents' Educational Assistance Program (Chapter 35)
J. National Call to Service program
K. Educational Assistance Test Program (Section 901)


Free education and vocational counseling services are available to service members and veterans, for more information CLICK HERE.

A. Post-9/11 Veterans Education Assistance

On June 30, 2008 the President signed into law his final war spending bill that provides
not only one more year of funding for military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, but
also funding to expand veterans education benefits for those who served after September, 11, 2001. This new law will have a significant and positive impact for student veterans and public colleges and universities.
Eligibility


  • The benefits are effective August 1, 2009 and education under the new benefit
    program must be completed after July 31, 2009.
  • Benefits are open to both active-duty servicemembers and reservists called to
    active duty after September 11, 2001.
  • Eligibility lasts for 15 years after discharge (those covered under present MGIB
    still have the 10-year limit). The current “buy-in” to the MGIB will be eliminated
    for the new MGIB.
  • Eligibility calculated on a sliding scale based on length of active-duty service:
    • Active-duty service for at least 36 months = 100% eligibility
    • Active-duty service for at least 30 continuous days with discharge due to service-connected disability = 100% eligibility
    • Active-duty service for 30–36 months = 90% eligibility
    • Active-duty service for 24–30 months = 80% eligibility
    • Active-duty service for 18–24 months = 70% eligibility
    • Active-duty service for 12–18 months = 60% eligibility
    • Active-duty service for 6–12 months = 50% eligibility
    • Active service for 90 days–6 months = 40% eligibility

Tuition and Fees Benefit

  • Benefits cover 36 months of tuition and fees at public colleges and universities, as
    well as additional stipends for housing and books.
  • Private institutions have the option to sign on to the “Yellow Ribbon G.I.
    Educational Advancement Program,” where they agree that if the VA provides up
    to 50% of any remaining tuition and mandatory fees left uncovered by the terms
    of new MGIB, the institution will provide an equal matching percentage. The
    Secretary will make a list of institutions available on their Web site with
    information on the agreements.
    Non-tuition Benefits
    • Book stipend of up to $1,000/academic year (prorated for part-time enrollment).
    • Monthly housing stipend for veteran students attending on-campus
      classes (online and correspondence students are not eligible, and
      active-duty military students are not eligible) equal to the Basic
      Housing Allowance (BAH) for an E-5 with dependents. The average
      stipend is expected to be $1100 per month.
    • Tutoring assistance (which must be certified as essential and required) of $1,200 maximum.
    • Payment for one licensure/certification test, maximum of $2,000.
    • Relocation assistance of $500 for those who reside “in a county (or
      similar entity utilized by the Bureau of the Census) with less than,
      seven persons per square mile, according to the most recent decennial Census” and who physically relocate at least 500 miles or “travel by air to physically attend an institution of higher education because the individual cannot travel to such institution by automobile or other established form of transportation due to an absence of road or other infrastructure.”
    • Tuition benefits only may be transferred by the VA to spouses or
      dependent children if the service member has completed 6 years of service and signs up to serve for 4 more years (for spouses) or has completed 10 years of service (for dependent children).
    • Tuition benefits can be divided between the veteran and his or her dependent or spouse as long as the 36 month limit is not exceeded.
    • Operational Issues
    • Payment will be sent directly to institutions, not the veterans. It is
      estimated that it will take the VA one year to get a computer system up and running.
    • Residency status (out of state tuition).

Effective August 1, 2009, but not payable until October 1, 2011

  • Certain National Guard members mobilized on Title 32 orders on-or-after
    September 11, 2001 are now eligible for the Post-9/11 GI Bill and any qualifying
    Title 32 mobilization may be used to increase your percentage of eligibility.

Effective August 1, 2011

  • The Post-9/11 GI Bill will now pay all public school in-state tuition and fees; this
    includes graduate training, etc.
  • For students attending private institutions of higher learning or foreign schools, the tuition and fee reimbursement is capped at the lesser of net out-of pocket cost or $17,500 annually - however the Yellow Ribbon Program still exists.
  • MGIB-AID & MGIB-SR College fund payments will now be paid on a monthly basis
    instead of a lump-sum at the beginning of the term.
  • Reimbursement is now available for multiple Licensing and Certification Tests.
  • Reimbursement is now available for fees paid to take national examinations used
    for admission to an institution of higher learning (e.g. SAT, LSAT, ACT, GMAT,
    etc).
  • Vocational Rehabilitation participants may now elect the higher housing allowance offered by the Post-9/11 GI Bill if otherwise eligible for the Post-9/11 GI Bill.
  • If you are training at greater than 1/2 time your housing allowance is now
    prorated according to the training time you are enrolled in (rounded to the
    nearest tenth), i.e. full housing allowance for you is $1000, you are attending
    3/4 time - your housing allowance would be $800 (80% of $1000).
  • Break or interval pay is no longer payable under any VA education benefit
    program unless under an Executive Order of the President or due to an
    emergency situation such as a natural disaster or strike. Entitlement which
    previously would have been used for break pay will be available for use
    during a future enrollment.
    • This means that if your semester ends December 15 your housing allowance is paid for the first 15 days of December only. Your benefits will begin again when your new semester begins (e.g. January 15) and you will paid for the remaining days of that month and term.
    • Students using other VA education programs are included in this
      change. Monthly benefits will be prorated in the same manner.
  • NOAA and PHS personnel are now eligible to transfer their entitlement to eligible
    dependents.

Effective October, 2011

  • If you are training at greater than 1/2 time your housing allowance is now
    prorated according to the training time you are enrolled in, i.e. full housing
    allowance for you is $1000, you are attending 3/4 time - your housing allowance
    would be $750 (3/4 of $1000).
  • Housing allowance is now payable to students enrolled solely in distance
    learning, the housing allowance is 1/2 the national average BAH for an E-5
    with dependents (the rate would be $673.50 for 2011).
  • Non-college degree programs, on-the-job training, and flight training programs
    are now covered under the ost-9/11 GI Bill.
  • The book stipened is now payable to active duty members.
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B. Montgomery G.I. Bill- Active Duty (Chapter 30)-

Active Duty Veterans who have not used any of their Montgomery GI Bill- Active Duty Educational Assistance (Chapter 30) benefits, will need an original or certified copy of their Member 4 of their DD Form 214 to send to the VA.
Application Procedure: Application forms are available at all VA offices, the Office of Veteran Affairs on campus, room Namm 104, active duty stations and American embassies as well as online.

GI Bill Educational Training-  Persons who served over 180 days between January 31, 1955 and December 31, 1976, and:

  • Continue on active duty
  • Were released under conditions other than dishonorable, or
  • Who qualify because of service-connected disabilities are eligible for benefits.

Veterans are entitled to benefits for full-time study at an approved post secondary institution for 1½ months for each month of active service, up to 45 months. Eligible veterans who served 18 continuous months are entitled to benefits for 45 months of full-time study. In each case, the equivalent in part-time study may be authorized.
Monthly Verification- Veterans receiving benefits under Chapter 30 or Chapter 1606 must verify their enrollment each month to the VA in order to receive payment for that month. This monthly verification can be done in either of these ways:

  • The telephone system, using Interactive Voice Response (IVR), by dialing 1-877-823-2378 and following the instructions provided, or
  • Online through the VA website Web Automated Veteran’s Enrollment WAVE, Web Automated Verification of Enrollment), by logging on and following instructions.

Once either system confirms that you are certified for the month, you can expect payment within 10-14 days for checks, or 3-5 days for direct deposit. Veterans and reservists must still notify our College certifying official, Jennifer Serrano in the Office of the Registrar, when their enrollment changes, even though the change has been reported to the VA on WAVE. Current rate charts are available.

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C. Montgomery G.I. Bill- Selected Reserve (Chapter 1606)-

The GI Bill equivalent program for reservists is Chapter 1606 of title 10, U.S.C., Educational Assistance for Members of the Selected Reserve, referred to as the Montgomery G.I. Bill- Selected Reserve. Since July 1, 1985, DVA has held benefit payment responsibility, although the funding of educational assistance payments under this program is provided by the Department of Defense.
Monthly Verification- Veterans receiving benefits under Chapter 30 or Chapter 1606 must verify their enrollment each month to the VA in order to receive payment for that month. This monthly verification can be done by one of two systems:

  • The telephone system using Interactive Voice Response (IVR), by dialing 1-877-823-2378 and following the instructions provided, or
  • Online through the VA website's Web Automated Veteran’s Enrollment WAVE, Web Automated Verification of Enrollment), by logging on and following instructions.

Once either system confirms that you are certified for the month, you can expect payment within 10-14 days for checks, or 3-5 days for direct deposit. Veterans and reservists must still notify our College's certifying official, Jennifer Serrano in the registrar, when their enrollment changes, even though the change has been reported to the VA on WAVE Current rate charts are available.

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D. Reserve Educational Assistance Program(Chapter 1607)(REAP)

REAP was established as a part of the Ronald W. Reagan National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2005. It is a new Department of Defense education benefit program designed to provide educational assistance to members of the Reserve components called or ordered to active duty in response to a war or national emergency (contingency operation) as declared by the President or Congress.  This new program makes certain individuals who were activated after September 11, 2001 either eligible for education benefits or eligible for increased benefits.Monthly Rate Online

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E. Work Study Programs

Federal Work- Study Program (FWSP)- A federal need-based program for eligible students. Application is made through the Financial Aid Office by filing a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or on the FAFSA website.
The applicant must be enrolled in courses totaling at least 6 degree credits. Students may work up to 20 hours per week when classes are in session.

Veterans Work-Study Program-A VA run work-study program for Veterans. Recipients must be receiving full-time GI Bill benefits to be eligible. Up to 750 hours per year are available to eligible veterans. The hourly rate is $5.15. Placements are in areas which directly affect the student population. The Work Study Guide can be downloaded online

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F. Vocational Rehabilitation (Chapter 31)-

This is available to veterans who have at least a 20% disability rating from the Veterans Administration and includes payment for tuition, fees, and a monthly stipend. Full-time and part-time veteran students are eligible. The VA website has complete information

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G. Veterans Retraining Assistance Program (VRAP)

Congress passed, and the President has signed into law, the VOW to Hire Heroes Act of 2011. Included in this new law is the Veterans Retraining Assistance Program (VRAP). VRAP offers up to 12 months of training assistance to unemployed Veterans.

The VRAP offers 12 months of training assistance to Veterans who:

  • Are at least 35 but no more than 60 years old
  • Are unemployed on the date of application
  • Received an other than dishonorable discharge
  • Are not be eligible for any other VA education benefit program (e.g.: the Post-9/11 GI Bill, Montgomery GI Bill, Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Assistance)
  • Are not in receipt of VA compensation due to unemployability
  • Are not enrolled in a federal or state job training program

The program is limited to 45,000 participants from July 1, 2012, through September 30, 2012, and 54,000 participants from October 1, 2012, through March 31, 2014. Participants must attend full-time in order to receive up to 12 months of assistance equal to the monthly full-time payment rate under the Montgomery GI Bill–Active Duty program ($1,564 effective October 1, 2012). DOL will offer employment assistance to every Veteran who participates upon completion of the program.

Participants must be enrolled in a VA approved program of education offered by a community college or technical school. The program must lead to an Associate Degree, Non-College Degree, or a Certificate, and train the Veteran for a high demand occupation.

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H. Veterans Tutorial Benefits-

To be eligible for tutorial benefits, veterans must be receiving monthly benefits on at least a half-time basis. A veteran is entitled to 12 months of tutorial benefits to a maximum of $100.00 per month. Downloadable Guide Online

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I. Survivors’ and Dependants’ Educational Assistance Programs

Please visit the G.I. Bill web site at www.gibill.VA.gov.
Dependents' Educational Assistance provides education and training opportunities to eligible dependents of certain veterans. The program offers up to 45 months of education benefits. These benefits may be used for degree and certificate programs, apprenticeship, and on-the-job training. If you are a spouse, you may take a correspondence course. Remedial, deficiency, and refresher courses may be approved under certain circumstances.

Eligibility

You must be the 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 such service-connected disability was in existence.
  • A service-member missing in action or captured in line of duty by a hostile force.
  • A service-member forcibly detained or interned in line of duty by a foreign government or power.
Period of Eligibility

If you are eligible under the above guidelines and wish to receive benefits for attending school or job training, you must be between the ages of 18 and 26. In certain instances, it is possible to begin before age 18 and to continue after age 26. Marriage is not a bar to this benefit. If you are in the Armed Forces, you may not receive this benefit while on active duty. To pursue training after military service, your discharge must not be under dishonorable conditions. VA can extend your period of eligibility by the number of months and days equal to the time spent on active duty. This extension cannot generally go beyond your 31st birthday, althoughthere are some exceptions.

If you are a spouse, benefits end 10 years from the date VA finds you eligible or from the date of death of the veteran.

How to Apply

You should make sure that your selected program is approved for VA training. If you are not clear on this point, VA will inform you and the school or company about the requirements.

Obtain and complete VA Form 22-5490, Application for Survivors' and Dependents' Educational Assistance. Send it to the VA regional office with jurisdiction over the State where you will train. If you are a son or daughter, under legal age, a parent or guardian must sign the application.

If you have started training, take your application to Monique Smith Blake in the Office of Registrar. Ask her to complete VA Form 22-1999, Enrollment Certification, and send both forms to VA.

Click here for more financial aid information

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J. National Call to Service program

This National Call to Service Incentive program requires a participant to perform a period of national service to be eligible for benefits. It is a Department of Defense program that is administered by VA.

More information is available in our factsheet

Eligibility Requirements for Incentives

There is a three-tiered service requirement to qualify for incentives under the National Call to Service program:

  • First, after completion of initial entry training, individuals must serve on active duty in a military occupational specialty designated by the Secretary of Defense for a period of 15 months.
  • After this, and without a break in service, these individuals must serve either an additional period of active duty as determined by the Secretary of Defense, or a period of 24 months in an active status in the Selected Reserve.
  • After completion of this period of service, and also, without a break in service, the remaining period of obligated service specified in the agreement will be served as follows:
    • On active duty in the armed forces
    • In the Selected Reserve
    • In the Individual Ready Reserve
    • In Americorps, or another domestic national service program jointly designated by the Secretary of Defense and the head of such a program
  • Any combination of the service referred to above may also be approved by the Secretary of the military department concerned pursuant to regulations prescribed by the Secretary of Defense and specified in the agreement.

Choice of Incentives

Individuals who participate in this new program have a choice of incentives as follows:

  • Cash bonus of $5,000
  • Repayment of a qualifying student loan not to exceed $18,000
  • Entitlement to allowance equal to the 3-year monthly chapter 30 rate for 12 months ($1,034 effective Oct 1, 2005)
  • Entitlement to allowance equal to fifty percent of the less than 3-year monthly chapter 30 rate for 36 months (Fifty percent of $840 effective Oct. 1, 2005)
  • Coordination with Montgomery GI Bill Benefits

National Call to Service (NCS) participants who elect to receive an educational assistance incentive are not entitled to additional assistance under chapter 1606 or chapter 30 benefits unless the participant completes the service requirements necessary to establish eligibility.

An individual who receives benefits under the NCS program who also establishes eligibility under chapter 1606 or chapter 30 will have entitlement under chapter 1606 or chapter 30 reduced by the amounts paid under the NCS program.

The effective date of this program is October 1, 2003.

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K. Educational Assistance Test Program (Section 901)

Section 901 is an Educational Assistance Test Program created by the Department of Defense Authorization Act of 1981 (Public Law 96-342) to encourage enlistment and reenlistment in the Armed Forces. Benefits are available to individuals who entered on active duty after September 30, 1980, and before October 1, 1981 (or before October 1, 1982, if entry was under a delayed enlistment contract signed between September 30, 1980, and October 1, 1981).

NOTE: Although Public Law 96-342 established a beginning date for the test program as October 1, 1980; the military service departments did not start offering the test program to new enlistees until December 1, 1980.

Air Force Eligibility Requirements for Section 901. All three of the following criteria must have been met to establish eligibility for this benefit. Must have enlisted between December 1, 1980 and September 30, 1981. Enlistment must have been in one of the following Air Force Specialties: 20723, 20731, 20830, 46130, 46230A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, J, or Z, 46430, 81130 Enlistment must have taken place at one of the following locations: Beckley, WV; Buffalo, NY; Dallas, TX; Fargo, ND; Houston, TX; Jackson, MS; Louisville, KY; Memphis, TN; Omaha, NE; Philadelphia, PA; Seattle, WA; Sioux Falls, SD; Syracuse, NY

Beginning August 1, 2011, break (or interval pay) will no longer be payable under the Educational Assistance Test Program except during periods your school is closed as a result of an Executive Order of the President or an emergency (such as a natural disaster or strike). For example, if your Fall term ends on December 15th and your Spring term begins January 10th, your January housing allowance will cover 15 days in December and your February housing allowance will cover 21 days in January.

More information is available in our pamphlet

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