What are the Post 9/11 GI Bill® Benefits and How Do I Use Them?
The Post 9/11 GI Bill® was introduced to expand educational benefits for those who have served in the U.S. Military following September 10, 2001. Post 9/11 GI Bill® benefits can give veterans substantial assistance in seeking a college education; it's an opportunity for the men and women who have served to pursue their educational goals and work toward the career of their choice.
Am I Eligible For Post 9/11 GI Bill® Benefits?
There are four circumstances in which you are eligible for benefits under the Post 9/11 GI Bill®:
- You have at least 90 days of aggregate active duty service after September 10, 2001.
- You are an honorably discharged veteran.
- You were discharged due to a disability stemming from your military service, after 30 days in the armed forces.
- In some cases, Officers of the Public Health Service and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration may be eligible for benefits under the program.
It is important to note that, should you be eligible for other GI Bill® programs in addition to the Post 9/11 GI Bill®, you "must make an irrevocable election of the Post-9/11 GI Bill® before you can receive any benefits."1 While you may be eligible for multiple Veterans Administration education benefit programs and you may eventually take advantage of all the programs for which you are eligible, you can only receive benefits from one program at a time.2
Overall, you may collect up to 48 months of benefits across any combination of benefit programs for which you are eligible; in most cases, the Post 9/11 GI Bill® allows for up to 36 months of benefits. Your eligibility for the Post 9/11 GI Bill® program will persist for 15 years from your last period of active duty that lasted at least 90 consecutive days.
What are the Benefits of the Post 9/11 GI Bill®?
The Post 9/11 GI Bill® benefits may be used to cover the following education-related expenses:
- Tuition and fees
- A Monthly Housing Allowance, or MHA
- Books and supplies
The amount of benefits payable is dependent upon the period of time spent serving in the United States Military following September 10, 2001. Some benefits begin after 90 days, but after thirty-six months or more of service you are rendered eligible for 100% of the available benefits under the program.3
Post 9/11 GI Bill® benefits also include two programs that are not available under other GI Bill® programs.
Yellow Ribbon Program
The Post 9/11 GI Bill® can cover a portion of tuition and fees depending on what kind of institution you attend – in-state, out-of-state, public or private. The Yellow Ribbon Program provides additional support. Colleges and universities that participate in the Yellow Ribbon program, like Colorado Technical University, do so under an agreement to make additional funds available for veterans' education without making additional charges against your Post 9/11 GI Bill® benefits, thanks in part to matching payments from the VA.4
The Yellow Ribbon Program is only available to veterans who are eligible for the maximum benefit rate under the Post 9/11 GI Bill®.
Transfer of Entitlement Option
Veterans who are eligible for Post 9/11 GI Bill® benefits and are not planning on using them may transfer some or all of their benefits to a spouse, a child, or both. This is subject to approval by the Department of Defense; after that approval is received, the new beneficiary is required to apply for benefits.5
lt is important to note that there are additional criteria that must be met to be eligible to transfer Post 9/11 GI Bill® benefits to another individual. The individual who is seeking to transfer their benefits must have served at least six years (active duty and/or Selected Reserve), with the agreement to serve at least four additional years. It's also necessary to receive approval for transfer requests while the individual is a member of the U.S. Military.5
How Can I Take Advantage of These Benefits?
This blog has covered a lot of information, and requirements for VA benefits can be confusing. Many veterans either don't understand their benefits or aren't sure how to take advantage of them. While talking to fellow service members or an ESO (Educational Services Officer) can yield helpful information, contacting Colorado Technical University is an excellent way of moving forward. CTU has a dedicated military team of financial aid advisors who can educate you on your Post 9/11 GI Bill® benefits
Learn more about CTU's Military commitment: View our Military Education Guide.
1U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, on the internet at http://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill/post911_gibill.asp (viewed on September 7, 2015)
2U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, on the internet at https://gibill.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/523 (viewed on September 7, 2015)
3U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, on the internet at http://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill/docs/pamphlets/ch33_pamphlet.pdf (viewed on September 7, 2015)
4U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, on the internet at http://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill/yellow_ribbon.asp (viewed on September 7, 2015)
5U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, on the internet at http://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill/post911_transfer.asp (viewed on September 7, 2015)
GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government Web site at www.benefits.va.gov/gibill.