Military veterans who have served since Sept. 10, 2001, can now receive more funding to attend graduate school and private or out-of-state colleges. They also can, for the first time, transfer unused G.I. Bill educational benefits to their spouses and children, as a result of new legislation.
The Post-9/11 G.I. Bill, which went into effect in August 2009, includes several enhancements to the Montgomery G.I. Bill, which provides honorably discharged veterans with funding for higher education. Veterans who have served at least 90 days since Sept. 10, 2001, can qualify for up to 100 percent of tuition and fees (depending on length of service), a monthly housing allowance, a stipend for books and supplies, and other types of assistance. Per the new bill, the government makes payments directly to the college or institution, rather than requiring students to pay up front and wait for reimbursement.
Veterans entitled to the maximum G.I. Bill benefit, based on length of service, can now receive more funding to attend graduate schools or private or out-of-state colleges, under the new Yellow Ribbon Program. Generally, G.I. Bill funding will pay the amount of tuition and fees up to the cost of the most expensive undergraduate public institution in a veteran’s state of residence, which means that students attending graduate school or private or out-of-state colleges – which charge higher tuition and fees − have had to make up the difference in cost. Under the new provision, participating institutions pay up to 50 percent of the additional tuition and fees, and the federal government will match an institution’s contribution.
Veterans can also, for the first time, transfer any unused G.I. Bill educational funding to their dependents. The funding can be applied to the educational expenses of a veteran’s spouse or children or both. Children must be between the ages of 17 and 26. For more information about qualifying for and using this benefit, visit www.defenselink.mil/home/features/2009/0409_gibill/ or www.gibill.va.gov/GI_Bill_Info/CH33/Transfer.htm.
For more information about planning for and paying for college, visit the Your Child section of this site.