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An Introduction to the Post 9/11 GI Bill (New GI Bill)

Army servicemen and women that have accumulated at least 90 days of active duty on or after September 11, 2001 and received an honorable discharge can participate in the Post-9/11 GI Bill (also called the "new GI Bill"). Veterans who served 30 days, but then received an honorable discharge for a service-related disability can also qualify for new GI Bill benefits.

This version of the Bill launched in August of 2009, and provides financial assistance for Army servicemembers to attend approved schools, universities, or vocational centers that offer degree programs. The new GI Bill is a great benefit to active duty servicemembers because it can end up covering the entire tuition and associated fees to attend approved undergraduate or graduate schools. You can use your new GI Bill benefits for degree programs at traditional campus locations or through an online education program.

New GI Bill Rules: What You Need to Know

If you are eligible for Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits, the amount of assistance you receive is determined by the length of your active duty commitment, the area in which you live, the school you plan to attend, and the type of degree program you plan to purse. Veterans eligible for the maximum GI Bill benefits may receive:

  • Up to 100 percent funding for tuition and fees charged by the most expensive public school undergraduate degree program in the state in which the applicant resides
  • Money to pay for housing
  • A stipend of up to $1,000 a year for books and supplies
  • Up to $2,000 for tutorial services or certification exams
  • $500 for veterans relocating from rural areas of 6 or fewer people per square mile to attend college

New GI Bill benefits are paid directly to your school of choice. These new GI Bill benefits can transfer to immediate family members of Army personnel and cover up to 36 months of schooling. To transfer benefits, servicemembers must have served at least six years active duty and commit to another four years. The new GI Bill benefits expire 15 years after separation from the Army.

New GI Bill's Yellow Ribbon Program

The new GI Bill also has a provision called the Yellow Ribbon Program. Colleges and universities participating in the Yellow Ribbon Program are primarily private schools, and agree to pay a percentage of costs above the maximum allowed under the new GI Bill rules. Participating schools may pay up to 50 percent of the costs over the maximum, and Veterans Affairs matches every dollar the school agrees to pay. This program is helpful if you are:

  • Pursuing a graduate degree through classroom attendance or a distance learning program
  • Attending a private school
  • Seeking a degree as an out-of-state student

The new GI Bill predominantly pays for college degree programs, but may also cover flight training, correspondence courses, entrepreneurship training, and co-op training from programs offered by accredited institutions. Certificate programs and diplomas granted by institutions that do not grant degrees are not covered under the new GI Bill.

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