01. April 2013 · Comments Off on Post 9/11 GI Bill Basics for the Incoming Recruit · Categories: Military Benefits, Uncategorized · Tags: , , , , , , ,

Obviously, education has become arguably more expensive than it’s actually worth. Contrary to many traditional arguments, a college education seems to be going the way of exceeding it’s marketplace value – at least when you consider student loan interest rates, the cost of tuition, and the likelihood of picking up a job right out of school.

This is undoubtedly one of the most compelling aspects of enlisting in the military – the enormous number benefits associated with education while in the service and after you’re discharged. A great many of the factors that non-military college goers have to consider are minimized or go out the window entirely.

There are quite a few military education programs in place – Tuition Assistance (making an appearance in the news quite recently for being eliminated, then brought back almost immediately), scholarships, Montgomery GI Bill (aka, MGIB), VEAP, and to say nothing of credits for school while you’re in the military – more on all these a bit later.

In short, GI Bill (both the MGIB and Post 9/11) programs pay for you to go to school. Both programs are markedly different from one another, and it’s very important to decide which one is better for you and your education goals. Here, we’ll just glimpse briefly at the most popular GI Bill program known as the Post 9/11 GI Bill, which you may have heard something about – it’s easily one of the biggest recruitment selling points.


The Post 9/11 GI Bill

Easily one of the best things to happen to active duty and veterans in a long time just shy of coming home from a deployment. This program has changed the way we pursue and pay for education, in my opinion, for the objective better. Here are a few facts to keep in mind.

-100% of tuition is paid up to $17,500/year for private facilities. State schools? It’s even better – 100% tuition is covered. If you do attend a private school that will end up exceeding $17,500 a year, though, many are called “Yellow Ribbon” schools, which have opted to continue allowing you to take classes and GI Bill funds even after exceeding the maximum. Which is pretty cool.

-Payments are made directly to the school, so you don’t even have to worry about bothering with much of the administrative stuff. Take it from me, this is a good thing.

-Book and education expenses stipend (i.e. book payments, etc.). This is paid directly to you once you get enrolled and happens several times per year. It caps out at $1,000 each year you’re doing the college thing. (I can’t overstate how helpful this is, as colleges are world renowned for nickel and diming students at nearly every opportunity all in the name of “it’s part of your educational investment!”)

-Living stipend. Possibly one of the coolest aspects to the New GI Bill is the fact that you’ll be paid an additional monthly amount (during months when classes are going on – Christmas time, for example, usually only renders about 50% because classes usually wrap up halfway through the month) to cover rent, meal, time not spent working, etc. This money isn’t monitored and it’s not a loan, so you can spend it wherever it needs to be spent!