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I’m Confused. Can You Explain the Differences Between the Old and New GI Bills?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: Good afternoon, I am doing a policy analysis paper on the GI Bill, and I am slightly confused on how it all works. I was curious to know if veterans could go to any school in the state. I was doing some searching and noticed that only a couple of schools were listed. I was also curious about the differences between the old GI Bill and the new GI Bill. Any help would be great! Thanks for your time.

A: Generally speaking, the GI Bill must be used at a school that has VA approval. And even then, if a school is listed on the VA’s list of approved schools, it does not mean all the school’s programs are approved for the GI Bill nor does it mean that school is approved for all GI Bills. For example, the Montgomery GI Bill may pay for a student to attend a particular program, but the Post 9/11 GI Bill might not pay for that same program.

There are generally two common GI Bills. The Montgomery GI Bill pays students a fixed monthly amount and they can attend either a degree-producing or non-degree course, including licensure and certification programs. The student is responsible for paying their own tuition and other education-related expenses.

On the other hand, the Post 9/11 GI Bill pays a school directly for tuition and fees for a student to attend degree-producing courses and non-degree courses taught at degree producing schools but will not pay for licensure and certifications training programs. Different GI Bills – a different set of rules for each one.  The Post 9/11 GI Bill also pays the student a monthly housing allowance and a book stipend of up to $1,000 per year. With the Montgomery GI Bill, the student receives just one payment per month.

The other big difference is the Montgomery GI Bill has a 10-year delimitation date, meaning its education benefits expire 10 years from the students date of discharge. The Post 9/11 GI Bill has a 15-year delimitation date.

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