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Does Training Time Count Toward Post 9/11 GI Bill Eligibility?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: Sir, I read that I get 100% of my Post 9/11 GI Bill after 3 years of service, which I have accomplished (active duty). But then heard from another source that it is 3 years after completion of Tech school. Which is true? Also if going Guard do you stop accruing benefits towards it? Thank you for your time.

A: The Post 9/11 GI Bill is unique in many ways and one of its unique features is the way it calculates entitlement eligibility. The way the rules read, with less than 24 months of service, your training time or Tech school time does not count. However once you are over the 24-months-of-service mark, that training time counts.

So if your Tech school is 6 months long, you would jump from having 18 months of eligibility to 30 months in the course of a day – your 24-month mark. Being you have three years of service, you have 100% Post 9/11 GI Bill eligibility. But just what does that mean?

It means that you have 36 months of time where you can go to school and have your tuition paid (at the resident rate) directly to your school by the VA. In addition, you would get a monthly housing allowance based on the zip code of your school and the number of credits you are taking.

Each semester, you would also get a book stipend that calculates out at $41.67 per credit (up to the $1,000 per year cap).

The Post 9/11 GI Bill is the most generous GI Bill in history. You do have enough entitlement to get a four-year degree, if you use your benefits wisely.

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