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With My Commissioning Through ROTC, Am I Eligible for the Post 9/11 GI Bill?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: I commissioned into the Army, in 2008 through ROTC, but did not receive a ROTC Scholarship as it conflicted with another undergraduate academic scholarship I already had. My contract with the Army stated 3 years active and 5 years reserve time. I ETS’d approximately 4 years from my commissioning date. Am I eligible for 100% of the Post 9/11 GI Bill? Thanks for your time.

A: Yes you are. And even if you had received a ROTC scholarship you may have been eligible for the Post 9/11 GI Bill with four years of service; it all depends on how much money you received from that scholarship. Usually if you received $3,500 or more in any one year while in the ROTC program, you are ineligible for the Post 9/11 GI Bill or any GI Bill for that matter.

But because you didn’t take the scholarship, and with four years of service, you should be at the 100% tier. That means the VA would pay all of your tuition at the resident rate at a public school or up to $19,198.31 per year to attend a private school.

Also, if a full-time student, you would qualify for 100% of the housing allowance which is based on the zip code of your school. In addition, you would also get the full $41.67 per credit per semester in book stipend money. Just know there is a $1,000 cap per academic year on this money, but it is usually enough for a couple of 12-credit semesters per year.

Another feature of the Post 9/11 GI Bill that you might want to inquire about is the Yellow Ribbon Program. If your school is a part of it, they can pay up to 50% of the tuition difference and the VA will pay an equal amount on top of the tuition amount they already initially paid. This feature is particularly advantageous if you have to pay out-state tuition or attend an expensive private school.

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