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When Do West Point Graduates Qualify for the Post 9/11 G.I. Bill?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: I have a friend that was in West Point during 9/11 and served five years once he graduated in 2002. Does he qualify for the Post 9/11 GI Bill?

A: Yes, your West Point friend does qualify for the Post 9/11 G.I. Bill, but maybe not at the 100% tier yet. Let me explain.

West Point cadets incur a five-year service commitment after graduation. If your friend graduated in 2002, his/her commitment would have been fulfilled in 2007.

At that point, your friend would have started acquiring time toward the Post 9/11 G.I. Bill. To meet the minimum requirement, a servicemember needs at least 90-days of service (which your friend has now). To get the full benefit of the Post 9/11 G.I. Bill, your friend needs at least three years (which he/she will meet sometime during 2010).

At the three-year mark, your friend will be fully vested in the Post 9/11 G.I. Bill. The only thing he/she will not be able to do yet is transfer any or all Post 9/11 G.I. Bill education benefits to a spouse or dependent children. To do that, your friend needs at least six years of service and agrees to serve an additional four years.

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