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I’m Confused, Can You Explain This GI Bill Stuff In Simple Terms?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: I am very confused on a lot of this education stuff, but here it goes. If possible please be patient and explain very thoroughly, PLEASE. I am a retired Navy Veteran. I retired on August 1st 2004. I have a daughter who is 25 years old, who has been going to a Grossmont Community College. She has been paying for this by herself and working full time. She has recently applied and has been excepted to San Diego State University (SDSU). I would like to know, and if possible explained to me in fairly good detail, if I am eligible for the Post 9/11 G.I. Bill. If I am, then may I transfer it to my daughter and if I can transfer it to her, will she be able to use it at SDSU. Also, are there any other choices I have being a retired Navy Vet. in helping her with college education.

A: One of two things will happen when I’m done. Either you will be more confused or you’ll know alittle more about this stuff than you did.

To be eligible for minimum Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits (40%), you need 90 days of active duty service after September 10, 2001. With your discharge in August 2004, you’re short a little over a month of being eligible for the full (100%) benefit which requires three years of active duty service after the same date.

To transfer benefits to your daughter, you would have to be at the 100% level, however, even if you were eligible to transfer benefits, you would had to make the transfer while you were still on active duty. For at least right now, you can’t transfer benefits once you are discharged.

If you would have been eligible to transfer Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits to your daughter, yes she would have been able to use them at SDSU as it is a VA-approved school.

As far as other sources of financial aid for college, don’t overlook the service organizations, such as the American Legion and VFW. Most of these organizations have their own scholarship programs. Also check into the college itself; many either have a scholarship, work/study program or both to help students with expenses. Finally you can always apply for a Pell Grant or Stafford Loan.

The point to keep in mind is that thousands of college students go to school each year and most don’t have the GI Bill, so there are ways to fund education (and yes, it might come down to taking out student loans). The point is if there is a will, there is a way. A college education will pay for itself many times over during the course of a career, so it is worth every penny spent.

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