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What Are the Post 9/11 GI Bill Rules So That I Can Use My Husband’s Benefits to Pay My Tuition?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: Hi there. My husband is in the Army (Rank E4) and instead of having his student loans paid off, he chose to go with the G.I. Bill when he enlisted. He has been in since November 2011. He recently just finished airborne school and has now PCS’ed to Ft. Bragg, NC (as of March 30th, 2012). My question is, what are the rules for me, his spouse, to use his G.I. Bill towards the remaining tuition for my master’s degree? Does he have to be at his PCS for a certain period of time or do we have to be married for a certain period of time before I can use those funds? Just trying to figure out what the rules are since I will need to fund my upcoming semester within the next few months. Thanks!

A: No, how long you have been married or how long he has been stationed in one place has nothing to do with you being able to use his Post 9/11 GI Bill – it is all about meeting three service requirements – past, present and future.

Under the Post 9/11 GI Bill rules, he has to have served for at least six years, currently serving, and have at least four years left on his enlistment at the time of the transfer request. So if he has only been in since 2011, he has almost five years left to go before he is eligible for the transfer option.

What can be confusing about the Post 9/11 GI Bill is that there are two sets of service requirements. He is 100% eligible to use his Post 9/11 GI Bill after serving three years, but it takes six years of service before he can use the transfer option.

To fund the rest of your master’s degree, I would recommend applying for spousal scholarships and grants. One good source to use is MilitaryFamily.org.

You could also go to the a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) website as it has a wealth of education financial aid information. The point is there is money available for you to use, but it does take some digging to find it.

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