Your Free Guide to the GI Bill

gi bill guide cover

Your Free Guide to the GI Bill

You will learn about:
  • The Post-9/11 GI Bill, Montgomery GI Bill and more.
  • Program requirements for veterans and servicemembers.
  • How to apply for education benefits and appeal a decision.

118 min – Estimated reading time

Your Free Guide to the GI Bill

Your Free Guide to the GI Bill

gi bill guide cover

GI Bill Program Contact Information

Federal Contacts

The chart below contains national contact information for GI Bill affairs.

DepartmentAddressPhone Number
Department of Veterans Affairs, GI BillN/AFrom the U.S.: 1 (888) 442-4551
From Overseas: 001-918-781-5678
Regional Processing Office — Buffalo

States under jurisdiction:
Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, U.S. Virgin Islands, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming, Foreign Schools
130 S Elmwood Avenue, Suite 601
Buffalo, NY 14202

Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 4616
Buffalo, NY 14240-4616
1 (800) 827-1000
Regional Processing Office — Muskogee

States under jurisdiction:
Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, Nevada, Oklahoma, Oregon, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Washington, Trust Territories/Philippines
125 S Main Street
Muskogee, OK 74401

Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 8888
Muskogee, OK 74402-8888
1 (800) 827-1000

Approving Agency Contacts by State and Territory

veteran with family gi bill contact information

Note: If your state or territory does not have a state agency office, you may contact the national or regional phone numbers in the section above.

LocationApproving AgencyAddressPhone & Fax Numbers
AlabamaState Approving Agency Community College System135 South Union Street
Montgomery, AL 36104
P.O. Box 302130
Phone: 334-293-4664
Fax: 334-293-4663
AlaskaOffice of Veterans Affairs4600 Debarr Road, Suite 180
Anchorage, AK  99508
Toll Free: 888-248-3682
Phone: 907-334-0874
Fax: 907-334-0869
ArizonaDepartment of Veterans’ Services3839 North 3rd Street, Suite 209
Phoenix, AZ 85012
Phone: 602-255-3373
Fax: 602-297-6675
ArkansasApproving Agency for Veterans Training,
Department of Workforce Education
Three Capitol Mall
Luther S. Hardin Building, Room 308
Little Rock, AR 72201
Phone: 501-324-9473
Fax: 501-324-9610
CaliforniaCALVET1227 O Street
Sacramento, CA 95814
P.O. Box 942895
Phone: 916-503-8317
ColoradoOffice of Veterans Education and Training9101 East Lowry Boulevard
Denver, CO 80230-6011
Phone: 720-858-2814
Fax: 303-595-1621
ConnecticutOffice of Higher Education450 Columbus Blvd., Suite 707
Hartford, CT 06103
Phone: 860-947-1816
Fax: 860-947-1310
DelawareState Approving Agency35 Commerce Way
Dover, DE 19904
Phone: 302-857-3313
Fax: 302-739-1770 
FloridaDepartment of Veterans Affairs9500 Bay Pines Blvd., Room 214
Bay Pines, FL 33744
Phone: 727-319-7402
Fax: 727-319-7781 
GeorgiaDepartment of Veterans’ ServicesFloyd Veterans’ Memorial Building, Suite E-970
Atlanta, GA 30334-4800
Phone: 404-656-2306
Fax: 404-657-6276
HawaiiState Approving Agency2500 Campus Road
Bachman Annex 11-5
Honolulu, HI  96822
Phone: 808-956-2236
IdahoDivision of Veterans Services351 Collins Road
Boise, ID 83702-4519
Phone: 208-780-1334
Fax: 208-780-1331
IllinoisDepartment of Veterans’ Affairs833 South Spring Street
P.O. Box 19432
Springfield, IL 62794-9432
Phone: 217-782-7839
Fax: 217-524-8394
IndianaDepartment of Veterans Affairs402 W. Washington Street, Room W469
Indianapolis, IN 46204-2738
Phone: 317-232-3910
Fax: 317-234-8744
IowaVeterans and Military EducationGrimes State Office Building
400 East 14th Street
Des Moines, IA 50319-0146
Phone: 515-281-3317
Fax: 515-242-5988
KansasCommission on Veterans Affairs700 Southwest Jackson Street
Jayhawk Towers, Suite 1004
Topeka, KS 66603-3714
Phone: 785-291-3422
Fax: 785-296-1462
KentuckyApproving Agency for Veterans Education300 North Main Street
Versailles, KY 40383
Phone: 859-256-3100
Fax: 859-256-3123
LouisianaDepartment of Veterans Affairs602 North 5th Street
P.O. Box 94095 Capitol Station
Baton Rouge, LA 70804-9095
Phone: 225-219-5013
Fax: 225-219-5590
MaineApproving Agency for Veterans Education147 Water St., Suite 2
Randolph, ME 04346
Phone: 207-582-2100
Maryland Higher Education Commission 6 N. Liberty Street, 10th Floor
Baltimore, MD 21201
Phone: 410-767-3301
MassachusettsOffice of Veterans EducationOne Ashburton Place, Room 1401
Boston, MA 02108
Phone: 617-994-6925
Fax: 617-727-0955
MichiganTalent Investment AgencyVictor Office Center, 3rd Floor
201 North Washington Square
Lansing, MI 48913
Phone: 231-463-6417
Fax: 517-241-9825
MinnesotaDepartment of Veterans AffairsVeterans Service Building, 2nd Floor
20 West 12th Street
St. Paul, MN 55155
Phone: 651-757-1569
Fax: 651-296-3954
MississippiVeterans Affairs600 North Street, Suite 200
Jackson, MS 39202
Phone: 601-576-4867
Fax: 601-576-4868
MissouriVeterans Education & Training Section205 Jefferson St.
Jefferson City, MO 65102-0480
Phone: 573-751-2571
Fax: 573-526-5710
MontanaOffice of Public InstructionP.O. Box 202501
Helena, MT 59620-2501
Phone: 406-444-4122
Fax: 406-444-1373
NebraskaPrivate Postsecondary Career Schools & Veteran Education301 Centennial Mall South
P.O. Box 94987
Lincoln, NE 68509-4987
Phone: 402-326-4519
Fax: 402-742-1161
NevadaCommission on Postsecondary Education2800 E. St. Louis Ave.
Las Vegas, NV 89104
Phone: 702-486-7330
Fax: 702-486-7340 
New HampshireBureau of Veterans Education Services & Career School Licensing101 Pleasant Street
Concord, NH 03301
Phone: 603-271-7861
Fax: 603-271-1953
New JerseyDepartment of Military & Veterans AffairsEggert Crossing Road
P.O. Box 340
Trenton, NJ 08625-0340
Phone: 609-530-6849
Fax: 609-530-7196
New Mexico Department of Veterans Services5201 Eagle Rock Ave. NE, Suite 2A
Albuquerque, NM 87113
Phone: 505-383-2418
New YorkBureau of Veterans Education116 West 32nd Street, 5th Floor 
New York, NY 10001

2 Empire State Plaza, 17th Floor
Albany, NY 12223
Phone: 212-564-8414
Fax: 212-564-8443

Phone: 518-474-7606
Fax: 518-474-5583
North CarolinaState Approving Agency68 TW Alexander Drive
P.O. Box 13628
Research Triangle Park, NC 27709
Phone: 919-237-7932
North DakotaDepartment of Veterans Affairs4201 – 38th Street South, Suite 206
Fargo, ND 58104-7535
Phone: 701-298-4667
Fax: 701-239-7166
OhioDepartment of Veterans Services77 South High Street, 7th Floor
Columbus, OH 43215
Phone: 614-466-9287
Fax: 614-387-7317
OklahomaDepartment of Veteran Affairs2132 NE 36th
Oklahoma City, OK 73111

Mailing address:
P.O. Box 53067
Oklahoma City, OK 73152
Phone: 405-522-8076
Fax: 405-523-4008
OregonDepartment of Veterans Affairs700 Summer St NE
Salem, OR 97301
Phone: 503-373-2085
Fax: 503-373-2392
PennsylvaniaDivision of Military & Veterans Education333 Market Street, 12th Floor
Harrisburg, PA 17126-0333

301 Fifth Ave, Suite 204
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
Phone: 717-787-2414
Fax: 717-772-3622

Phone: 412-565-5364
Fax: 412-565-5312
Puerto RicoDepartment of EducationP.O. Box 190759
San Juan, PR 00919-0759
Phone: 787-773-3484 ext. 3609
Fax: 787-773-1427
Rhode IslandOffice of the Postsecondary Commissioner560 Jefferson Blvd., Suite 100
Warwick, RI 02886
Phone: 401-736-1164
Fax: 401-732-3541
South CarolinaStudent Services Commission1122 Lady Street, Suite 300
Columbia, SC 29201
Phone: 803-737-2260
Fax: 803-737-3610
South DakotaDepartment of Veterans Affairs425 East Capitol Avenue
Pierre, SD 57501-5070
Phone: 605-773-3648
Fax: 605-773-5380
TennesseeHigher Education Commission312 Rosa Parks Blvd., 9th Floor
Nashville, TN 37243
Phone: 615-741-7569
Fax: 615-741-6230 
TexasTexas Veterans CommissionP.O. Box 12277
Austin, TX 78711-2277
Phone: 512-463-3168
Toll-Free: 877-898-3833
Fax: 512-463-3932
U.S. Virgin IslandsState Approving Agency50 Road 165
Guaynabo, PR 00968-8024
Phone: 787-772-7354
UtahDepartment of Military and Veterans Affairs700 Foothill Blvd.
Salt Lake City, UT 84113
Phone: 801-584-1973
Fax: 801-584-1964
VermontOffice of Veterans Affairs118 State Street, Drawer 20
Montpelier, VT 05620-4414
Phone: 802-828-1082
Fax: 802-828-5932
VirginiaDepartment of Veterans ServicesJames Monroe Building 101
North 14th Street, 17th Floor
Richmond, VA 23219
Phone: 804-225-2298
Fax: 804-786-0809
WashingtonStudent Achievement Council917 Lakeridge Way
P.O. Box 43450
Olympia, WA 98504-3430
Phone: 360-753-7821
Fax: 360-704-6239
Washington, D.C.Higher Education Licensing Commission1050 First Street, NE 5th Floor
Washington, DC 20002
Phone: 202-727-6436
West VirginiaOffice of Veterans Education & Training Programs1018 Kanawha Blvd, Suite 901
Charleston, WV 25301
Phone: 304-558-0263
Fax: 304-558-0089
WisconsinDepartment of Veterans Affairs2135 Rimrock Rd
Madison, WI 53708-7843
Phone: 608-261-8771
Toll Free: 800-947-8387
Fax: 608-267-0403
WyomingVeterans Commission5410 Bishop Blvd
Cheyenne, WY 82009
Phone: 307-777-8161
Fax: 307-777-8105

What is the GI Bill program?

The GI Bill program provides financial assistance to help veterans pay for college, graduate school or career training. Depending on an applicant’s credentials, the GI Bill may cover all or most of the expenses related to post-military service education.

The goal of the program is to help veterans establish a career when readjusting to civilian life in the United States.

The GI Bill program has several different components, all of which provide specific education and training benefits to eligible veterans.

Depending on the particular GI bill for which military members qualify, they are eligible to receive all or some of the following education and career training benefits:

  • College degree 
  • Non-college degree training
  • On-the-job training
  • Apprenticeships
  • Job licensing and certification
  • Flight training
  • Correspondence courses
  • National testing programs
  • Work-study programs
  • Tuition assistance 

The various specific GI Bill programs that offer some or all of the above components are:

  • Post-9/11 GI Bill
  • Montgomery Bill – Active Duty
  • Montgomery Bill – Selected Reserve
  • Veterans’ Educational Assistance Program (VEAP)
  • Survivors and Dependents Educational Assistance Program (DEA)
  • Fry Scholarship

To learn more about these programs, including eligibility requirements, the benefits of each bill and application procedures, continue reading the sections below and/or contact the regional office nearest to you listed above.

For a comparison of the bills and their requirements and benefits, refer to the table under the section GI Bill Program Compare and Contrast.

Post-9/11 GI Bill

military woman with child gi bill program

This GI Bill is available to veterans who served on active duty after September 10, 2001. It provides financial assistance up to the full cost of tuition and fees as well as money for books and supplies, housing and relocating to attend school. It also helps veterans pay for non-college degree programs, vocational schools and other industry-specific career training programs.

Montgomery GI Bill – Active Duty

This GI Bill is available to active duty members of the military and provides monthly stipends that can be used to pay for education and training expenses. Unlike the Post-9/11 bill, it does not pay for related expenses like housing, books or relocation.

Montgomery GI Bill – Selected Reserve

This GI Bill is available to members of Selected Reserve units. Like the Active Duty Montgomery GI Bill, this program also provides monthly payments toward education and career training expenses.

Veterans Educational Assistance Program (VEAP)

VEAP is a VA-matching educational payment program that helps veterans pay the cost of their tuition. VEAP participants pay into their VEAP accounts throughout and after their military service. The VA matches the contributions up to 50 percent. 

Survivors and Dependents Educational Assistance Program (DEA)

This program is available to children and spouses of veterans and service members who have died, were captured or missing or have service-connected disabilities. DEA participants receive monthly payments that can go toward college tuition, educational or career counseling, apprenticeships, on-the-job training or certificate courses.

Fry Scholarship

This program is available to children and surviving spouses of service members who died in the line of duty after 2001. It distributes Post-9/11 GI benefits to qualified participants, covering the cost of tuition up to 100 percent as well as providing financial assistance for housing, books and supplies.

GI Bill Program Compare and Contrast

man in computer gi bill compare

Use the tables provided below to compare the different GI Bills to determine which program is right for you. 

You can also use the GI Bill Comparison Tool provided by the VA to search for benefits provided at particular schools, companies and employers.

Eligibility and Program Specifics

Post-9/11 GI BillMontgomery Bill — Active DutyMontgomery Bill — Selected ReserveVEAPDEAFry Scholarship
Minimum Length of Service90 days aggregate, or 30 days continuous if discharged for disability2 years continuous enlistment6 year commitment181 continuous days active service N/AN/A
Maximum Months of Benefits363636364536
How Payments Are MadeTuition – paid to school
Housing stipend – paid to student
Books and supplies – paid to student
Paid to studentPaid to studentPaid to studentPaid to studentTuition – paid to school
Housing stipend – paid to student
Books and supplies – paid to student
Duration of Benefits 15 years from the last day of active duty10 years from last day of active dutyEnds on the last day of service commitment10 years from last day of active dutySpouse: 10 – 20 years
Children: Ages 18-26
15 years from date of veteran’s death
Children are eligible between ages 18-33

Program Benefits

Post-9/11 GI BillMontgomery Bill — Active DutyMontgomery Bill — Selected ReserveVEAPDEAFry Scholarship
Post-9/11 GI BillMontgomery Bill – Active DutyMontgomery Bill – Selected ReserveVEAPDEAFry Scholarship
College Degree
Monthly Housing Allowance (MHA) 
Books & Supplies Stipend
Non-College Degree Training
On-the-Job Training
Apprenticeship Training
Flight Training
Licensing
Certification
Correspondence Courses
National Testing Programs
Work Study
Tutorial Assistance

Eligibility Requirements for GI Bill Programs

military man with wife meeting another woman GI Bill eligibility requirements

The various GI Bill programs each have their own eligibility requirements. However, there are a few standard criteria that all individuals must meet in order to qualify for one of these programs. 

General Eligibility Requirements for All Bill Programs

  • Must have served as, or be a spouse or child of:  
    • an Active Duty member
    • a Selected Reserve member
    • a National Guard member
  • Must have received one of the following types of discharges from service:
    • Honorable
    • Under honorable conditions
    • General

Learn more about specific eligibility requirements for each GI Bill program in the sections below.

Post-9/11 GI Bill Eligibility Requirements

To qualify for educational and training benefits provided through the Post-9/11 GI Bill, individuals must meet one of the following requirements:

  • Served at least 90 days on active duty (continuous or otherwise) on or after September 11, 2001
  • Received a Purple Heart* on or after September 11, 2001 and were honorably discharged after any amount of service
  • Served for at least 30 continuous days on or after September 11, 2001 and were honorably discharged with a service-connected disability
  • Are a dependent child using Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits transferred by a qualifying Veteran or service member

*Service members and veterans who were honorably discharged are eligible for full Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits when they receive a Purple Heart, one of the highest merits awarded to members wounded by enemy action. 

The total amount of benefits a service member receives depends on his or her length of duty. The chart below details the percentage of benefits and corresponding lengths of active duty. 

Length of DutyPercentage of Maximum Benefits
At least 36 months or a Purple Heart100%
At least 30 consecutive days of active duty AND be discharged due to service-connected disability100%
At least 30 months, but less than 36 months90%
At least 24 months, but less than 30 months80%
At least 18 months, but less than 24 months70%
At least 6 months, but less than 18 months60%
At least 90 days, but less than 6 months50%

Eligibility to Transfer Post-9/11 GI Bill Benefits to Spouses or Children

Some veterans and service members may be eligible to transfer unused Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits to their spouses or dependent children. When a transfer happens, the veteran or service member chooses not to use the benefits and instead allows an eligible family member to use them for tuition assistance, housing, books and supplies. 

Active duty and Selected Reserve members are eligible to transfer their unused benefits if they meet all of the following requirements:

  • They have completed at least six years of military service on the date the transfer request is approved
  • They commit to four more years of military service
  • The family member getting benefits is enrolled in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS)

Spouses receiving transferred benefits are eligible to use them as soon as the transfer is approved by the Department of Defense (DoD). They can use them regardless of whether the military member is still on active duty or after they have separated from service. However, spouses cannot receive the monthly housing allowance when members are serving on active duty. Once members separate from active duty, spouses have 15 years to use transferred benefits before they expire.

Children receiving transferred benefits can only start using them once the military member finishes at least 10 years of service.

Children who qualify are always eligible to receive the monthly housing allowance. They can use transferred benefits until reaching 26 years of age.

Montgomery GI Bill – Active Duty Eligibility Requirements

military service members Montgomery GI Bill

To qualify for educational and training benefits provided through the Montgomery GI Bill – Active Duty, individuals must have served at least two years on active duty and have received an honorable discharge.

Additionally, they must meet the eligibility criteria in one of four categories, as outlined below. 

Category I Eligibility Requirements

All of the below must be true:One of the below must be true:
All of the below must be true:One of the below must be true:
  • Have a high school diploma, GED, or 12 hours of college credit
  •  
  • Began active duty military service for the first time after June 30, 1985
  •  
  • Have had at least $100 docked from military pay for the first 12 months of service
Served continuously for three years
Served continuously for two years IF member was in a two-year commitment at the beginning of his or her military service
Served a total of four years IF member entered the Selected Reserve within one year of leaving active duty

Category II Eligibility Requirements

All of the below must be true:

  • Have a high school diploma, GED, or 12 hours of college credit
  • Entered active duty before January 1, 1977 (OR before January 2, 1978, under a delayed enlistment program contracted before January 1, 1977)
  • Served at least one day between October 19, 1984, and June 30, 1985, and stayed on active duty through June 30, 1988 (or through June 30, 1987, if the member entered the Selected Reserve within one year of leaving active duty and served 4 years total)
  • Had at least one day of entitlement left under the Vietnam Era GI Bill (Chapter 34) as of December 31, 1989

Category III Eligibility Requirements

All of the below must be true:One of the below must be true:
  • Have a high school diploma, GED, or 12 hours of college credit
  •  
  • Do not qualify under Category I or II
  •  
  • Have had at least $1,200 docked from military pay before separation
Were on active duty on September 30, 1990, and involuntarily separated (not by your choice) after February 2, 1991
Involuntarily separated on or after November 30, 1993
Voluntarily separated under the Voluntary Separation Incentive (VSI) program OR the Special Separation Benefit (SSB) program

Category IV Eligibility Requirements 

All of the below must be true:One of the below must be true:
  • Have a high school diploma, GED, or 12 hours of college credit
  •  
  • Have had at least $100 docked from military pay for 12 months OR made a $1,200 lump sum contribution
Were on active duty on October 9, 1996, had money left in a VEAP account on that date AND chose the Montgomery GI Bill before October 9, 1997
Entered full-time National Guard duty under title 32 USC between July 1, 1985, and November 28, 1989 AND chose the Montgomery GI Bill between October 9, 1996 and July 9, 1997

Montgomery GI Bill – Selected Reserve Eligibility Requirements

military reserve member with family montgomery gi bill

To qualify for educational and training benefits provided through the Montgomery GI Bill – Selected Reserve, individuals must meet the criteria in the table below.

All of the below must be true:One of the below must be true:
  • Complete initial active duty for training (IADT)Receive a high school diploma, High School Equivalency Diploma or GED before finishing IADT*
  •  
  • Remain in good standing while serving in an active Selected Reserve unit**
Have a six-year service commitment in the Selected Reserve
Be an officer in the Selected Reserve with an agreement to serve six years in addition to the initial service commitment
*Individuals cannot use 12 hours toward a college degree to meet this requirement.
**Individuals will still qualify if they are discharged from Selected Reserve service due to a disability that was not caused by misconduct.

Veterans Educational Assistance Program (VEAP) Eligibility Requirements

To qualify for educational and training benefits provided through the Veterans’ Educational Assistance Program (VEAP), individuals must meet all of the following requirements:

  • Entered service for the first time between January 1, 1977 and June 30, 1985 (for all branches other than Air Force)
  • Opened a VEAP account and made deposits before April 1, 1987
    • Deposits must be between $25 and $2,700
  • Finished their first period of service without a dishonorable discharge

Members of the U.S. Air Force must meet all of the following requirements:

  • Entered service for the first time between December 1, 1980 and September 30, 1981
  • Enlisted in one of the following Air Force specialties
    • 20723
    • 20731
    • 20830
    • 46130
    • 46230A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, J, or Z
    • 46430
    • 81130
  • Enlisted in one of the following locations:
    • Beckley, WV
    • Buffalo, NY
    • Dallas, TX
    • Fargo, ND
    • Houston, TX
    • Jackson, MS
    • Louisville, KY
    • Memphis, TN
    • Omaha, NE
    • Philadelphia, PA
    • Seattle, WA
    • Sioux Falls, SD
    • Syracuse, NY

Survivors and Dependents Educational Assistance Program (DEA) Eligibility Requirements

To qualify for educational and training benefits provided through the Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance Program (DEA), applicants as well as the veteran or military member must meet certain criteria. 

To qualify, one of the following statements regarding the veteran or service member must be true:

  • The veteran or service member is permanently and totally disabled due to a service-connected disability
  • The veteran or service member died while on active duty or as a result of a service-connected disability
  • The veteran or service member is missing in action (MIA) or was captured in the line of duty by a hostile force
  • The veteran or service member was forcibly detained or interned in the line of duty by a foreign entity
  • The veteran or service member is in the hospital or getting outpatient treatment for a service-connected permanent and total disability and is likely to be discharged for that disability 

Children of veterans or service members are eligible to receive DEA benefits between the ages of 18 and 26 regardless of whether they are married. If they decide to join the military, they cannot use DEA benefits while serving on active duty.

If they plan to use benefits after leaving service, they must not have a dishonorable discharge. Children who serve on active duty in the military can receive an extension of DEA benefits up to their 31st birthday.

Spouses of veterans or service members are eligible to receive DEA benefits beginning on the day that the VA determines they qualify OR on the date of the veteran’s death.

Benefits last for a period of 10 years unless the VA rates the veteran as permanently and totally disabled with an effective date of three years after the veteran is discharged. In this case, benefits do not expire for 20 years. If the service member died on active duty, benefits do not expire until 20 years from the date of death.

Fry Scholarship Eligibility Requirements

service member with books fry scholarship

To qualify for educational and training benefits provided through the Marine Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry Scholarship, individuals must be the children or spouses of active duty service members who died in the line of duty after September 10, 2001. Spouses are only eligible for benefits if they remain unmarried, but children are eligible regardless of their marital status. 

Children who turned 18 years of age or graduated from high school before January 1, 2013 are eligible to receive benefits until they reach 33 years of age. Children who turned 18 years of age or graduated from high school after January 1, 2013 are eligible to receive benefits at any age over 18 or after they graduate (whichever comes first).

Children whose parents died in the line of duty before August 1, 2011 may qualify for both the Fry Scholarship and the Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance (DEA) program. However, they can only receive benefits from one program at a time. 

Resident Rate Requirements

Veterans, service members and their qualifying family members seeking benefits through the Post-9/11 and Montgomery Active Duty GI Bills are eligible to receive full tuition reimbursement when they attend a public college or university in their state of residence. They are classified by the VA as “residents” for tuition purposes when they live in the state where the institute of higher learning (IHL) is located regardless of their formal state of residence. 

The VA requires all colleges and universities who participate in the GI Bill program to charge in-state tuition and fees to all covered individuals, which are defined as:

  • Veterans living in the state where the IHL is located who are enrolled within three years of being discharged from a period of active duty service of 90 days or more
  • Qualified dependents using transferred benefits who live in the state where the IHL is located who are enrolled in the school within three years of the transferor’s discharge from a period of active duty service of 90 days or more, OR where the transferor is on active duty
  • Recipients of the Fry Scholarship living in the state where the IHL is located

Although public colleges and universities are required to provide in-state tuition to these covered individuals, they are also permitted to have additional requirements for residency. The only way to guarantee in-state residency rates is to contact the school in question.

Refer to the How to Choose a School to learn more about schools that participate in the GI Bill program.

What if I qualify for more than one GI Bill program?

If you qualify for more than one GI Bill benefit program, you must choose only one program you would like to use. Your decision is final and cannot be changed. You cannot receive benefits from multiple GI Bills at the same time. 

If you qualify for the Post-9/11 GI Bill and two or more additional education benefits, you must only give up one of the additional education benefits. You may remain eligible for the benefit or benefits you did not give up.

If you are the child of a service member who died in the line of duty before August 1, 2011, you are eligible to receive benefits from both the DEA program and the Fry Scholarship. While you cannot use them at the same time, you are eligible to receive a total of 81 months of education and training from the combination of the programs.

If the above does not apply to you but you still qualify for more than one GI Bill program, you can receive a maximum of 48 months of benefits under any combination of VA education programs for which you are eligible. 

GI Bill Benefits

servicemember smiling gi bill benefits

Depending on the GI Bill program for which you qualify, you are eligible for several types of education and training benefits. Continue reading the sections below to learn more about each type of benefit.

Tuition Assistance

All GI Bill programs offer some type of tuition assistance, which is money that you can use to lower or eliminate your out-of-pocket costs for receiving an education. Tuition does not only refer to the charges for attending a college or university. It can also refer to the cost of attending a vocational or technical school or the cost of enrolling in a training program.

The Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) determines the rate of assistance on an annual basis. The total amount of tuition that can be paid by the GI Bill program changes each year to reflect changes in the cost of living and the cost of education. These GI Bill rates also vary depending on enrollment status, the type of school and the type of GI Bill program. Continue reading the section below to learn more about GI Bill rates.

GI Bill Rates

servicemember piggy bank gi bill rates

Post-9/11 GI Bill Rates

The total amount of money you can receive in the Post-9/11 GI Bill program depends on whether you attend a public or private school. The current rates of payment are listed in the table below.

All payments shown are applicable to those who are eligible for 100 percent of the maximum benefits. You can learn about the eligibility requirements by using the chart listed in Post-9/11 GI Bill Eligibility Requirements.

Payment Rates for Institutes of Higher Learning (IHLs) and Other Schools

Type of SchoolTuition Rate
Public School100 percent of in-state tuition (for in-state students)
Private or Foreign SchoolUp to $26,381.37 per academic year
Non-College Degree Granting Institution Up to $26,381.37 per academic year
Vocational Flight SchoolsUp to $15,075.05 per academic year
Correspondence SchoolsUp to $12,831.78 per academic year

Payment Rates for Apprenticeships and On-the-Job Training Programs

The rates for these types of training programs are based on your calculated monthly housing allowance (MHA) rather than tuition. The MHA is generally the same as the military Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) for an E-5 with dependents, with some exceptions.

For more information, see Monthly Housing Allowance

Training PeriodMonthly Benefit Rate
First six months of training100 percent of your MHA
Second six months of training80 percent of your MHA
Third six months of training60 percent of your MHA
Fourth six months of training40 percent of your MHA
Remaining pursuit of training 20 percent of your MHA

Montgomery GI Bill – Active Duty Rates

couple of military members with books active member rate

The total amount of money you can receive toward your training in the Montgomery GI Bill Active Duty (AD) program depends on your enlistment commitment, the length of your training and, sometimes, the total number of dependents. The current rates of payment are listed in the tables below. 

Payment Rates for Enlistment of Three Years or More (Effective 10/1/2022)

Institutional Training

Training TimeMonthly Benefit Rate
Full Time$2,210 per month
¾ Time$1,657.50 per month
½ Time$1,105 per month
Less than ½, but more than ¼ time$1,105* per month
¼ Time or Less$552.50 per month
* Rate only applies to the program’s tuition and fees.

Apprenticeships and On-the-Job Training

Training PeriodMonthly Benefit Rate
First six months of training$1,657.50 per month
Second six months of training$1,215.50 per month
Remainder of training$773.50 per month

Correspondence, Flight and Cooperative Training

Eligible service members can get reimbursed for these types of training courses at the rate of:

  • 55% of the approved charges for correspondence training.
  • 60% of the approved charges for flight training.
  • Up to $2,210 for cooperative training.

Payment Rates for Enlistment of Less Than Three Years

Institutional Training

Training TimeMonthly Benefit Rate
Full Time$1,793 per month
¾ Time$1,344.75 per month
½ Time$896.50 per month
Less than ½, but more than ¼ time$896.50* per month
¼ Time or Less$448.25 per month
* Rate only applies to the program’s tuition and fees.

Apprenticeships and On-the-Job Training

Training PeriodMonthly Benefit Rate
First six months of training$1,344.75 per month
Second six months of training$986.15 per month
Remainder of training$627.55 per month

Correspondence, Flight and Cooperative Training

Eligible service members can get reimbursed for these types of training courses at the rate of:

  • 55% of the approved charges for correspondence training.
  • 60% of the approved charges for flight training.
  • Up to $1,793 for cooperative training.

Payment Rates for Individuals With Remaining Entitlement Under the Vietnam Era GI Bill

This category of benefit rates applies to you if you have remaining eligibility for the Vietnam Era GI Bill. If you qualify, you are entitled to higher benefit rates than the basic rates listed in the tables above. To qualify for this category of benefit rates, you must meet the following criteria:

  • Served on active duty any time between October 19, 1984 and June 30, 1985 
  • Remained on continuous active duty for three years after June 30, 1985 OR on continuous active duty for 30 months after June 30, 1985 AND be separated from service

Institutional Training

Training PeriodMonthly Rate
No DependentsOne DependentTwo DependentsEach Additional Dependent
Full Time$2,398$2,434$2,465$16
¾ Time$1,799$1,825.50$1,849$12
½ Time$1,199$1,217$1,232.50$8.50
Less than ½ time but more than ¼ time$1,199*
¼ Time or Less$599.50*
* Rate only applies to the program’s tuition and fees.

Apprenticeships and On-the-Job Training

Training PeriodMonthly Rate
No DependentsOne DependentTwo DependentsEach Additional Dependent
First six months of training$1,760.25$1,772.63$1,783.50$5.25
Second six months of training$1,271.88$1,281.23$1,288.93$3.85
Third six months of training$797.30$803.43$808.15$2.45
Remainder of training$764.40$770.18$775.43$2.45

Cooperative Training

Training PeriodMonthly Rate
No DependentsOne DependentTwo DependentsEach Additional Dependent
October 1, 2021 – September 30, 2022$2,398$2,434$2,465$16

Correspondence & Flight Training

Eligible service members are covered for 55 percent of the approved charges for correspondence training. For flight training courses, eligible service members are covered for 60 percent of the approved charges. 


Montgomery GI Bill – Selected Reserve Rates

The total amount of money eligible service members can receive toward training in the Montgomery GI Bill Selected Reserve (SR) program depends on the type of education or training. The rates of payment as of 10/1/2022 are listed in the tables below. 

Institutional Training

Training TimeMonthly Benefit Rate
Full Time$439 per month
¾ Time$329 per month
½ Time$219 per month
Less than ½ time$109.75 per month

Apprenticeships and On-the-Job Training

Training PeriodMonthly Benefit Rate
First six months of training$329.25 per month
Second six months of training$241.45 per month
Remainder of training$153.65 per month

Cooperative, Correspondence & Flight Training

Qualifying service members are eligible for entitlement charged at the rate of one month for each $439 paid. They can be covered for 55 percent of the approved charges for correspondence training. For flight training courses, they can be covered for 60 percent of the approved charges. 


Veterans Educational Assistance Program (VEAP) GI Bill Rates

VEAP is a $2-to-$1 government matching program, which means the VA will contribute $2 for every $1 you deposit into your VEAP account. As such, the total amount of money you can receive toward tuition assistance depends on the amount of money you choose to contribute.

Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance Program (DEA) GI Bill Rates

The total amount of money you can receive toward education and training in the DEA program depends on the type. The current rates of payment for 10/1/2022 – 9/30/2023 are listed in the tables below. 

Note: The monthly benefit rates listed in the tables include the total cost of the education or training, not just the cost of tuition and fees. However, rates marked with an asterisk (*) only apply to the program’s tuition and fees.

Institutional Training

Training TimeMonthly Benefit Rate
Full Time$1,401 per month
¾ Time$1,107 per month
½ Time$812 per month
Less than ½ time but more than ¼ time$812* per month
¼ Time or Less$350.25* per month
* Rate applies only to the program’s tuition and fees.

Apprenticeships and On-the-Job Training

Training PeriodMonthly Benefit Rate
First six months of training$890* per month
Second six months of training$669* per month
Third six months of trainings$439* per month
Remainder of training$223* per month
* Rate applies only to the program’s tuition and fees.

Farm Cooperative Training

Training TimeMonthly Benefit Rate
Full Time$980* per month
¾ Time$737* per month
½ Time$489* per month

Special Restorative Training

This benefit is only available to individuals with a physical or mental disability. Training in this category includes speech correction, language retraining, lip reading, auditory training and Braille instruction.

Training PeriodMonthly Benefit Rate
Full Time$1,401 per month

Fry Scholarship GI Bill Rates

Public School100 percent of in-state tuition (for in-state students)
Private or Out-of-State SchoolUp to  $26,381.37 per year

Monthly Housing Allowance

happy family in front of house monthly housing allowance

The Post-9/11 GI Bill and the Fry Scholarship each provide a monthly housing allowance (MHA), which is a set amount of money paid directly to you that you can use to offset the cost of living in the area you attend school. Your MHA is calculated by the school, campus or institute where you attend most of your courses or classes and is based on its ZIP code.

Generally, the MHA is the same as the military Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) for an E-5 with dependents.

You will need to enter your ZIP code and your pay grade (enter E-5). 

However, there are a few exceptions to how the MHA is calculated. The chart below outlines these exceptions.

Type of SchoolMHA Rate
Foreign School$1,833 per month
School in a U.S. TerritoryThe same as the OHA (Overseas Housing Allowance) for an E-5 with dependents. You can use the OHA Calculator to find this figure: https://www.defensetravel.dod.mil/site/ohaCalc.cfm 
Fully Online Courses (no physical classes)$916.50 per month

If you fall into any of the categories listed below, you are not eligible to receive an MHA:

  • You attend courses at ½ time or less.
  • You are an active duty trainee.
  • You are a spouse who is receiving transferred benefits. 

Money for Books and Supplies

If you qualify for the Post-9/11 GI Bill or the Fry Scholarship and enroll in a college program, you are eligible to receive a stipend to help pay for your books and supplies. The money is sent directly to you at the time of your enrollment certification, generally at the beginning of the term. The amount of the stipend is prorated based on enrollment with a maximum of $1,000 per year. 

If you participate in on-the-job training or an apprenticeship, you are also eligible to receive money toward books and supplies. The VA will pay you a maximum of $83 per month.

Tutorial Assistance

Depending on your course load and student status, the VA may pay to help you find a tutor. To qualify for tutorial assistance, you must meet the requirements below:

  • Receive VA educational assistance 
  • Be enrolled at the half-time status or higher
  • Be taking mandatory courses for your educational program
  • Be enrolled in a course that is considered difficult
  • Have the teacher or instructor write a letter verifying your need for a tutor

If you are eligible, you may receive up to $100 per month toward tutoring. The VA will not pay more than $1,200 total. 

If you are receiving benefits through the Montgomery GI Bill, you can get up to $600 of tutorial assistance before the VA charges your tutorial benefits. 

Reimbursement for Tests

The VA may reimburse you for national tests, certification tests and licensing exams. The amounts for which you can be reimbursed are prorated based on the actual amount of the fees for tests. 

The maximum amount for which you can be reimbursed for licensing and certification tests is $2,000. 

There is no maximum reimbursable amount for national tests.

How to Choose a School

school gi bill

To use any of your GI Bill benefits, you must find a GI Bill-approved school or institution. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is responsible for approving these schools. Not all GI Bill-approved schools will provide the same benefits. It is important to browse potential schools before enrolling to learn more about the benefits you will receive at each one. If you have any questions, contact your regional office listed above or use the search tool below.

Find GI Bill-Approved Schools

Before applying for any GI Bill benefits, you will need to provide information about schools you are interested in attending. These schools must be approved by the VA in order to use GI Bill benefits. 

The VA has a search tool you can use to find approved schools across the country, including in U.S. territories. You can use the Web Enabled Approval Management System (WEAMS) to search for approved schools by location, the name of the school or by program type.

Find Benefits at Approved Schools

You can use the Bill Comparison Tool to search for approved schools as well as find out the specific benefits offered at each one. The Bill Comparison Tool allows you to search by benefit type, military status, length of service, institution type, learning method and school name. 

In the results page, you will see a bulleted list of all the benefits that particular school offers in regards to the GI Bill program you qualify for. For example, if you are searching for a Post-9/11 GI Bill-approved school, the results page will return a list of approved schools and include the total cost you can receive toward:

  • Tuition
  • Housing
  • Books & supplies

How to Apply for GI Bill Benefits

military servicemember apply for gi bill benefits

After finding a GI Bill-approved school, you must apply for GI Bill benefits. The application process is the same for all GI Bill programs. After applying, the VA will determine the programs for which you qualify. Applications are typically processed within 30 days.

Documents and Information Needed to Apply for the GI Bill

During the GI Bill application process, you will need to provide the following documents and information:

  • Social Security Number (SSN)
  • Bank account direct deposit information
  • Education and military history or that of a spouse or parent
  • The following information about the school or training facility you want to attend (or are currently attending)
    • Full name and address
    • Type of education or training (college, apprenticeship or on-the-job training, vocational flight school, correspondence program, licensing or certification test reimbursement, national test reimbursement or tuition assistance top-up)
    • Degree or career program of interest

Application Methods

You can apply for a GI Bill program online, by mail or in person.

Apply Online

You can apply for the GI Bill online regardless of whether you are a service member, dependent or applying to use transferred benefits.

  1. Visit the online application portal on the VA website here: https://www.va.gov/education/apply-for-education-benefits/application/1990/introduction 
    • If you have a VA.gov account, you can choose to sign in so you can save your application as you go. You can sign in using your DS logon provided by the Department of Defense (DoD), an ID.me account or a MyHealtheVet account.
  2. Gather all required information and documents.
  3. Enter all information as prompted.
  4. Receive a Certificate of Eligibility (COE) in the mail. 

Apply by Mail

You can apply for benefits by mail using a paper application. The application form you need depends on who you are. 

Or, call (888) 442-4551 between the hours of 8 AM and 7 PM Monday through Friday to request to receive an application form in the mail. Once you have the correct application form, follow the steps outlined below to apply by mail:

  1. Complete the form.
  2. Mail it to the VA regional claims processing office in the same location as your school of interest.
  3. Receive a Certificate of Eligibility (COE) in the mail.

Apply in Person

  1. Find a VA Regional Office near you.
  2. Complete the necessary application with help from an office employee. 

Enrollment Certification

If you are applying for the GI Bill using the Montgomery GI Bill Selected Reserve benefit and you have already started your training, you will need to have a school/program official or your employer verify your enrollment. 

To do this, they will need to complete the VA Enrollment Certification. Once this form is complete, you can send it along with your completed VA Form 22-1990 included below.

What happens after I submit an application?

After applying for the GI Bill, you will receive a decision typically within 30 days. If you are approved for any GI Bill programs, you will receive a Certificate of Eligibility (COE) in the mail. The COE outlines the GI BIll programs for which you qualify and contains information about your specific benefits. 

You will need the COE to use your benefits at your school or program of choice. Contact the school to inquire about how they would like to receive the COE (for example, whether they accept faxes or copies). 

If you are denied benefits or do not agree with a decision outlined in the COE, you may request a decision review and may be eligible for an appeal. To learn more about this, refer to Appealing a Decision below. 

Appealing a Decision

upset man reading letter appealing a gi bill decision

If you disagree with a decision that the VA makes regarding your eligibility for the GI Bill, you have the right to request a decision review with the VA. 

The VA appeal process changed in 2019 from the legacy appeal process to the decision review process. You must follow the decision review process if the VA decision you wish to appeal was made on or after February 19, 2019

In most cases, you will follow the decision review process, as the timeline for using the old legacy appeal process was one year from the date of expiration. The last acceptable day to file a claim dated for the old appeal system was February 18, 2019. However, if you are in the middle of an appeal that was initiated before the system changed, you can continue following the old system.

GI Bill Appeal Options

You have three options for appealing a VA decision.

Supplemental Claim

Choose this option when you have new, relevant evidence to present to overturn a decision. Evidence is considered new when the VA did not have it prior to making the decision, and relevant when it can prove or disprove something in your claim. 

  1. Select a benefit type.
    In Part I of the form, choose the benefit type you are appealing. Your VA decision letter will advise you of the benefit type, but in most cases, you will choose “education.” You can only select one benefit type.  
  2. List the issue you want the VA to review.
    In Part II of the form, include the decision that you disagree with and the date that the decision was made.
  3. Gather new and relevant evidence to submit.
    Attach any and all supporting documents that you have. Or, identify any evidence that you would like the VA to collect on your behalf. 
  4. Submit the form in one of the following ways.
    • Mail it to the address that matches the benefit type listed in Part I of the form. You can find the address in your VA decision letter.
    • Bring the form to a VA Office near you. Search for an office here: https://www.va.gov/find-locations/ 

Higher-Level Review 

Choose this option when you do not have any new evidence to submit. With this option, a senior reviewer will speak to you and analyze your case for a difference of opinion or to find possible errors. 

  1. Select a benefit type.
    In Part I of the form, choose the benefit type you are appealing. Your VA decision letter will advise you of the benefit type, but in most cases, you will choose “education.” You can only select one benefit type.  
  2. Request an informal conference with the reviewer.
    This is an optional step if you wish to speak with the reviewer over the phone to discuss why you think the decision should be changed and identify errors. To schedule an informal conference, provide a phone number and select the best times for a call in Part II of the form. A reviewer will call 2 to 4 weeks after the VA processes your request.
  3. List the issue you want the VA to review.
    In Part II of the form, include the decision that you disagree with and the date that the decision was made.
  4. Submit the form in ONE of the following ways.
    1. Mail it to the address that matches the benefit type listed in Part I of the form. You can find the address in your VA decision letter.
    2. Fax the form to (844) 531-7818. 
    3. Bring the form to a VA Office near you. Search for an office here: https://www.va.gov/find-locations/ 

Board Appeal 

Choose this option when you wish to have your case reviewed by a Veterans Law Judge. You have three options for your board appeal request:

  • Option 1:  Request a Direct Review
    • A Veterans Law Judge will review your appeal based on evidence already submitted. You cannot submit new evidence and are not eligible for a hearing.
  • Option 2: Submit More Evidence
    • Submit evidence within 90 days of the date the VA receives Form 10182, Decision Review Request: Board Appeal (continue reading to access the form below).
  • Option 3: Request a Hearing
    • You can request a hearing with a Veterans Law Judge and add new and relevant evidence during that time. Evidence can be entered at the hearing or within 90 days after the hearing. You have three options for the hearing:
      • A virtual hearing at your home
      • A videoconference hearing at a VA location near you
      • An in-person hearing at the Board Office in Washington, D.C.
  1. Select a board appeal option.
    In Part II of the form, check off the option you wish to use. 
  2. List the issue you want the VA to review.
    In Part III of the form, include the decision that you disagree with and the date that the decision was made.
  3. Submit the form in one of the following ways:
By mailMail the form to this address:

Board of Veterans’ Appeals
P.O. Box 27063
Washington, D.C. 20038
By faxFax the form to (844) 678-8979
In personBring to form to a VA Regional Office. You can find office locations in the section called GI Bill Program Contact Information.

Steps to Request a Decision Review

servicemember meeting with woman requesting decision review
  1. Choose your decision review option.
  2. Receive a decision packet.
    After the VA reviews your request for a decision review,  you will receive a packet containing the outcome. You can expect to receive the packet within four to five months after filing a Supplemental Claim or requesting a Higher-Level Review. It can take more than a year to receive your decision when filing a Board Appeal.
  3. Continue the appeal (if applicable).

If you disagree with the result of your appeal, you can utilize one of the other appeal options that you did not already use. For example, if you filed a Supplemental Claim first, you may choose to request a Higher-Level Review or a Board Appeal. 

Or, if you have already received a Board Appeal decision (specifically), you can file with the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims.

Follow the steps below to file:

  • Complete a Notice of Appeal (NOA) within 120 days using the form found on the U.S. Court of Appeals website: www.uscourts.cavc.gov/documents/Form_1.pdf
  • Submit payment for the $50 nonrefundable filing fee, paid by check or money order to the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims.
  • Submit the NOA and the filing payment to:
By mailClerk of the Court
United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims
625 Indiana Ave. NW, Suite 900
Washington D.C., 20004-2950
By fax(202) 501-5848
By emailesubmission@uscourts.cavc.gov (for those represented by a lawyer)
self-rep@uscourts.cavc.gov (for those who are self-represented)

Legacy Appeals

If you are in the middle of an appeal that was started before the system changed in 2019, you may follow the old Legacy Appeal process. 

Legacy Appeal Process

  1. File a Notice of Disagreement (NOD).
    Note: For new disagreements about a VA denial dated before February 19, 2019, you must file a Supplemental Claim. This means you are providing new, relevant evidence to support your appeal. Use the steps outlined above to file a Supplemental Claim.
  2. Receive a Statement of Case.
    Your local VA office will send you a Statement of Case explaining the decision. Then, you may submit evidence or request the VA to review evidence of why you disagree with their denial. The VA will send a Supplemental Statement of Case for any evidence reviewed.
  3. File an appeal.
    • For a Statement of Case dated before February 19, 2019, you must continue with the legacy appeals process by completing and submitting VA Form 9 (https://www.va.gov/vaforms/va/pdf/VA9.pdf) to a regional office within 60 days.
    • For a Statement of Case dated on or after February 19, 2019, you may continue with the legacy appeal process or opt into the new decision review appeal process.
  4. Wait for the VA Board of Veterans’ Appeals decision.
    The Board can either grant, remand or deny your appeal. A remand requires more information to make a decision, meaning the appeal process will continue until the Board makes a concrete decision.

If your claim is denied, you have several options:

  • To file a new claim, 
  • To file a motion for a reconsideration, 
  • To file a motion for the Board to review your appeal again, or
  • To file a Notice of Appeals with the United States Court of Appeal for Veterans Claims. 

What happens after I submit a decision review request?

After you submit a decision review request, you do not need to do anything else unless the VA requests that you send more information. 

How can I check the status of my appeal?

You can check the status of your appeal online by logging into your account with your DS Logon, My HealtheVet, or ID.me login information here: https://www.va.gov/claim-or-appeal-status/. If you do not have a VA.gov account, register for one here: https://api.id.me/en/registration/new 

Once you are logged into your account, follow the steps below to see the status of your appeal:

  1. Go to your “My VA” dashboard in the top right corner of the page.
  2. Scroll down to the “Track Claims” section
    • In this section, you will see a summary of the latest status information for any open appeals you have. 
  3. Click the “View Status” button for a specific appeal.
    • You will see the status and any supporting evidence that you submitted.

I was denied due to my discharge status. How can I apply for a discharge upgrade or correction?

servicemember meeting with woman requesting decision review

If you were denied educational assistance due to your discharge status, you can apply to change it so that you become eligible for benefits. Most GI Bill programs require you to have one of the following discharge statuses:

  • Honorable
  • Under honorable conditions
  • General

You may be eligible for a discharge upgrade if your discharge falls into any of the following categories:

  • Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
  • Mental health conditions, including posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Sexual assault or harassment during military service
  • Sexual orientation (including under the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy)

The specific steps you need to follow to apply for a discharge upgrade or correction depend on several factors relating to your military service. Get step-by-step instructions tailored to you by answering a series of questions on the VA’s website. At the conclusion of the questionnaire, you will receive a set of instructions on how to apply for the upgrade. Answer the questions here: https://www.va.gov/discharge-upgrade-instructions/.

How to Get Help With an Appeal

If you need help with any step of your decision review request, it is important to consult individuals with training and experience in VA affairs and who are certified in the appeals process. The VA recommends that you seek assistance from one of the following individuals:

  • An accredited attorney
  • An accredited claims agent
  • A Veterans Service Organization (VSO) representative 

In order to be accredited, representatives are required to pass an exam and background check as well as take continuing-education courses to stay updated on recent procedures. Accredited representatives are also authorized to file appeals on your behalf.

Receiving decision review assistance is free of charge, but some accredited attorneys or claims agents may charge for their services only after the VA makes a decision. 

Find accredited representatives online using the eBenefits portal provided by the VA here: https://www.ebenefits.va.gov/ebenefits/vso-search?_ga=2.123437518.432161254.1549749081-1632380512.1525475597. You can search by state, territory, ZIP code or the organization’s name. 

Or, you can find representatives by searching the VA Office of General Counsel’s list here https://www.va.gov/ogc/apps/accreditation/index.asp. You can search by the representative’s name, city, state or ZIP code. 

Using Your GI Bill Benefits

man studying dna using gi bill benefits

Once you are approved for the GI Bill, you can start using your benefits toward a variety of degrees or degree training programs. 

How can I use my GI Bill benefits?

Depending on the type of GI Bill for which you qualify, you can use your educational and training benefits in the following ways. 

Undergraduate and Graduate Degree Programs

You can use your benefits to work toward securing an undergraduate or graduate degree at an approved institute of higher learning (IHL). An undergraduate degree is the first level of post-secondary education that can be earned at a community college or a four-year university. In most cases, you are considered a full-time undergraduate student if you spend at least 12 hours in classes. 

A graduate degree is a level above an undergraduate degree and can be earned at a graduate school. Your graduate school determines what qualifies as full-time status. 

Non-College Degree Programs

When the VA mentions “training,” it is referring to the specific non-college degree programs, or career paths that do not require you to get a college degree. If you are interested in a career that does not require a college degree, you may be able to use your GI Bill benefits to help pay for tuition, books and supplies. Programs must be approved by the VA in order for you to use GI Bill benefits. Examples of approved programs include HVAC repair, Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) training and truck driving. 

On-the-Job Training and Apprenticeships

Most industry-specific jobs require you to participate in on-the-job training or an apprenticeship in lieu of getting a college degree. Rather than attending courses at a college or university, you will enter into a contract to work in a VA-approved program directly under a supervisor or industry professional and gain valuable hands-on experience. These programs are offered by unions and employers in your field of interest.

Correspondence Training

Correspondence training is coursework that is completed online, by mail or another method that allows you to learn at home. This type of training is ideal if you live far from your school. The VA will reimburse you in full for correspondence classes taken at an in-state school if you receive benefits from the Post-9/11 Bill. Otherwise, you will be reimbursed for 55 percent of the approved costs. 

Flight Training

If you have a private pilot license and are interested in advancing your qualifications, you can use your benefits to lower the cost of flight school. You can receive qualifications in the following:

  • Rotary wing
  • B747-400
  • Dual engine
  • Flight engineer

If you receive benefits from the Montgomery GI Bill Active Duty, the VA will reimburse you for 60 percent of the approved charges. If you receive benefits from the Post-9/11 GI Bill, the total amount of payment you can receive depends on:

  • Your level of eligibility 
  • How much entitlement you have left 
  • The type of school (public, private or Part 141 pilot school) and program (degree or vocational) that you are enrolled in

Work Study

man computer working study

You can earn money from a part-time job while you receive your education or training through a work study program. To qualify, you must meet all of the following requirements:

  • Be enrolled at least ¾ time in a VA-approved college degree, vocational, or professional program
  • Apply for an open job at a nearby VA facility or in a VA-related role at your school
  • Complete the work study contract while you remain qualified for GI Bill benefits

You will earn an hourly wage equal to the federal minimum wage or the minimum wage in your state, whichever is greater. You can choose to get paid in advance for 40 percent of the hours in your work study agreement or for 50 hours, whichever is fewer. Once you have accumulated the hours covered by your first payment, you will receive a check each time you complete 50 hours of work (or every other week, whichever comes first).

You are only allowed to work as many hours as 25 times the number of weeks in your enrollment period. For example, if your school or program term is 15 weeks, you can work up to 375 hours. 

To apply for a work study program, complete the Application for Work Study Allowance (https://www.vba.va.gov/pubs/forms/VBA-22-8691-ARE.pdf) and mail it to the appropriate VA regional office. Find regional office contact information in GI Bill Program Contact Information

Testing Fees

You can use part of your GI Bill benefits to get reimbursed for certain approved testing fees. These tests include licensing and certification exams as well as national tests you need to take to enroll in a college or training course. 

Licensing and Certification Tests

The VA will reimburse you for test fees up to $2,000 for a job that requires a license or certification. You can get reimbursed for tests for as many approved licenses or certifications as you would like. You can even get reimbursed for tests you fail or need to retake. If you need to take a test to get recertified or retain a license you already have, the VA will reimburse you. 

Search for a licensing or certification (L&C) test here to see if it will be covered: https://inquiry.vba.va.gov/weamspub/buildSearchCountryLCCriteria.do 

Once you find a test, you must complete the Application for Reimbursement of Licensing or Certification Test Fees form (https://www.vba.va.gov/pubs/forms/VBA-22-0803-ARE.pdf) and attach proof that you have paid for the test, such as a receipt. Then, submit it in one of the following ways: 

National Tests

The VA will reimburse you for certain tests you need to take to enroll or earn credit in a college or training course. See the list of approved tests below:

College Admissions Tests

  • SAT 
  • ACT (American College Testing)
  • TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language)

College Credit Tests

  • AP (Advanced Placement Examination)
  • CLEP (College-Level Examination Program)
  • DSST (DANTES Subject Standardized Tests)
  • ECE (Excelsior College Examinations)
  • PLA (Prior Learning Assessment)

Graduate School Admissions Tests

  • GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test)
  • GRE (Graduate Record Examination)
  • LSAT (Law School Admission Test)
  • MAT (Miller Analogies Test)

Pre-Health Professional Program Admissions Tests 

  • DAT (Dental Admission Test)
  • MCAT (Medical College Admission Test)
  • OAT (Optometry Admission Test)
  • PCAT (Pharmacy College Admission Test)

You will only get reimbursed for registration fees, administrative fees and the cost of specialized tests. You cannot receive payment toward fees for getting your results early.

Find regional office contact information in GI Bill Program Contact Information. You may need to provide proof of payment, such as a receipt. 

Foreign Schools

To use your GI Bill benefits at a foreign school, you must meet all of the following qualifications:

  • You meet the GI Bill eligibility requirements as a veteran, service member, Reservist, or qualified dependent
  • Your foreign program is approved by the VA
  • Your program is held at an institution of higher learning (IHL) where you will receive a standard associate’s degree or higher, or a degree of equal value at that foreign school

Before enrolling at a foreign school, you must verify that it is approved by the VA. To do this, you can contact the school’s admissions department directly or use the GI Bill Comparison Tool to find approved foreign schools here: https://www.va.gov/gi-bill-comparison-tool.  

Or, you can request more information by contacting the VA’s Foreign School Approval Group at:

Foreign School Approval Group (22-EDU)
VA Regional Office
130 S. Elmwood Avenue, Ste. 601
Buffalo, NY 14202

If you decide to mail in your question, include the name of the foreign school, its complete address and the name of the program in which you want to enroll. 

Setting Up Direct Deposit to Receive Your Benefits

A direct deposit must be set up to receive benefit payments from the VA in the following GI Bill programs:

  • Post-9/11 GI Bill
  • Montgomery GI Bill – Active Duty
  • Montgomery GI Bill – Selected Reserve

You can enroll in direct deposit for the first time in one of the following ways:

You can change your direct deposit information in one of the following ways:

Changing Your School or Program

school gate changing school gi bill

You must request changes to your school or program through the VA in order to remain eligible for GI Bill benefits. If you make changes without first sending your request to the VA, you could lose your benefits and be responsible for paying the cost of your education or training.

When would I need to request changes?

You must request changes through the VA when you:

  • Plan to transfer to a different school
  • Want to change your educational, professional or vocational goal
  • Have already left your school or training program because of poor attendance, progress or conduct and you plan to re-enroll in the same program
  • Were receiving education benefits as a veteran and now want to receive benefits on active duty

Documents and Information Required to Request Changes

To request changes with the VA as a veteran, service member or dependent, you will need the following documents and information:

  • Name, date of birth and Social Security Number 
  • Basic information about the school or training facility you want to attend 
  • Bank account direct deposit information
  • Education history
  • Military history (for veterans and service members only)

How to Request Changes as a Veteran or Service Member

You must submit a Request for Change of Program or Place of Training form (VA Form 22-1995) in one of the following ways.

Online

  1. Visit the Veteran Request for Change portal here: https://www.va.gov/education/apply-for-education-benefits/application/1995/applicant/information.
    You can log into your account before starting the application to save your progress.
  2. Gather all required information and documents.
    Refer to the section above to learn which documents and information you will need.
  3. Enter all required information as prompted.
  4. Wait for the VA to make a decision.

By Mail

  1. Complete the Request for Change of Program or Place of Training (VA Form 22-1995).
    Download it here: https://www.vba.va.gov/pubs/forms/VBA-22-1995-ARE.pdf 
  2. Mail it to your Regional Office.
    Find regional office contact information in GI Bill Program Contact Information.

How to Request Changes as a Dependent

You must submit a Dependent’s Request for Change of Program or Place of Training form (VA Form 22-5495) in one of the following ways:

Online

  1. Visit the Dependents Request for Change online portal here: https://www.va.gov/education/apply-for-education-benefits/application/5495/applicant/information.
    You can log into your account before starting the application to save your progress. 
  2. Gather all required information and documents.
    Refer to the section above to learn which documents and information you will need.
  3. Enter all required information as prompted.
  4. Wait for the VA to make a decision.

By Mail

  1. Complete the Dependents’ Request for Change of Program or Place of Training (VA Form 22-5495).
    Download it here: https://www.vba.va.gov/pubs/forms/VBA-22-5495-ARE.pdf
  2. Mail it to your Regional Office.
    Find regional office contact information in GI Bill Program Contact Information.

How to Check the Status of Your Benefits

man with computer check gi bill benefit status

If you have Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits, you will receive a Statement of Benefits that includes how much of your benefits you have already used and how much you have remaining. You can only view this statement if you have already been awarded GI Bill benefits through the Post-9/11 GI Bill program. 

You can check the status of your benefits online by logging into your VA.gov account with one of the following credentials:

  • DS logon
  • A premium MyHealtheVet account
  • A verified ID.me account

How to View Your Payment History

You can view a summary of your education benefit payments online as long as you have a premium DS Logon account. You can sign into eBenefits here: https://www.ebenefits.va.gov/ebenefits/about/feature?feature=payment-history 

If you do not have a premium account, you can log into eBenefits and upgrade your account here: https://myaccess.dmdc.osd.mil/identitymanagement/authenticate.do?execution=e2s1 

How to Restore Your Benefits

There are certain situations in which the VA may restore (in part or in full) your GI Bill benefit entitlement. If your school closed or your program of choice was disapproved due to a change in law or a dispute in interpretation, the Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2017 allows you to apply for restoration of benefits. There are two types of entitlement restoration.

Regular Restoration Cases

You can have your entitlement restored only for the individual term, quarter or semester during which you were enrolled when the school closed or when the program was disapproved.

To qualify for regular restoration, you must meet the following requirements:

  • You were unable to complete your program due to your school’s closure, OR
  • Your program or school was approved at the time of your enrollment but, due to a recent law change, is now disapproved, AND
  • You did not receive credit or lost training time toward the completion of the program.

Special Application Cases

You can have your entitlement restored for the entire period of enrollment at the closed school. The VA will retroactively restore any entitlement that was previously charged. 

To qualify for a special application case, you must meet the following requirements:

  • You attended the school between January 1, 2015 and August 16, 2017.
  • You last attended within 120 days of the school’s closure, AND
    • You did not enroll in a similar program before August 16, 2017 OR
    • You enrolled in a similar program, but did not transfer any credits from the closed school.

Monthly Housing Allowance Extension

You may be eligible to extend your monthly housing allowance (MHA) payments until the original end of the term or for a period of 120 days (whichever is sooner). This is only available if your school’s closure or program disapproval occurred on or after August 16, 2017.

How to Apply for a Restoration of Benefits

  1. Complete the Education Benefit Entitlement Restoration Request Due to School Closure or Withdrawal form.
    Download it here: https://www.vba.va.gov/pubs/forms/VBA-22-0989-ARE.pdf 
  2. Submit the form in one of the following ways.
    • Mail it to:
      Muskogee Regional Processing Office
      P.O. Box 8888
      Muskogee, OK 74402-8888
    • Or, submit it as a question online here: https://ask.va.gov/

Other VA Education and Training Programs or Resources

group of people getting lessons other va training programs

Yellow Ribbon Program

If you qualify for Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits, you may also be eligible for the Yellow Ribbon Program. This benefit program provides tuition assistance to help lower the cost of out-of-state, private or graduate school tuition that the Post-9/11 GI Bill does not cover. Not all schools participate in the Yellow Ribbon Program. Likewise, not everyone who qualifies for the Post-9/11 GI Bill will be eligible for this program. 

Eligibility

To qualify, you must be eligible for full Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits. This means you must have either:

  • Served at least 36 months of active duty on or after September 10, 2001
  • Received a Purple Heart and an honorable discharge for service of any length on or after September 10, 2001
  • Served at least 30 consecutive days of active duty AND be discharged due to service-connected disability
  • Qualified for the Fry Scholarship

In addition to meeting one of the requirements listed above, your school must meet all of the following requirements

  • Offers the Yellow Ribbon Program
  • Be an institution of higher learning
  • Has not met the maximum number of students participating in the program based on their agreement with the VA
  • Has certified your enrollment with the VA and provided Yellow Ribbon Program information

To determine if your school offers the Yellow Ribbon Program, use the “Find a Yellow Ribbon School” search tool provided by the VA.

How to Apply 

You can only apply for the Yellow Ribbon Program after you receive a Certificate of Eligibility (COE) for the Post-9/11 GI Bill in the mail. Once you receive your COE, follow the steps below to learn how to apply for the Yellow Ribbon Program.

  1. Submit your COE to your school.
    • Give the COE to your school’s certifying official or the financial aid, military liaison or other appropriate office. Request to apply for your school’s Yellow Ribbon Program.
  2. Wait for a decision.
    • If your school has already met the maximum number of students for the program period, you will not be approved. Enrollment is on a first-come, first-served basis.
    • If you are approved, your school will determine the total amount of assistance you will receive.

Rural Benefit

field gi bill rural benefits

The rural benefit may be an additional benefit available to you if you qualify for the Post-9/11 GI Bill. If you need to relocate from a rural area in order to attend school or training, the VA may provide you with a one-time payment of $500 to help you with the moving costs. 

Eligibility

In order to be eligible for this benefit, you must reside in a county with six people or less per square mile (as determined by the most recent census) and either:

  1. Relocate at least 500 miles to attend an educational institution, OR
  2. Travel by air to attend an educational institution if no other land-based transportation is available.

How to Apply

When you apply for GI Bill benefits, if you are determined to be eligible for the rural benefit, you will receive it at the same time through the standard application process. 

$600 Buy-Up Program

If you are using the Montgomery GI Bill (Active Duty or Selected Reserve), you can choose to make additional contributions to receive a higher monthly benefit. This program allows you to make additional payments in $20 increments up to $600. Depending on your additional contributions, you can increase your benefits as much as $5,400 over the 36-month span.

$600 Buy-Up Rates

The table below outlines the amount by which your monthly payment could increase based on your student status and the additional contributions you make through the $600 Buy-Up Program. 

Additional Contribution of:Add this amount to full-time payment:Add this amount to 3/4 time payment:Add this amount to 1/2 time payment:Add this amount to less than 1/2 time but more than 1/4 time payment:Add this amount to 1/4 time payment:
$20$5.00$3.75$2.50$2.50$1.25
$40$10.00$7.50$5.00$5.00$2.50
$60$15.00$11.25$7.50$7.50$3.75
$80$20.00$15.00$10.00$10.00$5.00
$100$25.00$18.75$12.50$12.50$6.25
$120$30.00$22.50$15.00$15.00$7.50
$140$35.00$26.25$17.50$17.50$8.75
$160$40.00$30.00$20.00$20.00$10.00
$180$45.00$33.75$22.50$22.50$11.25
$200$50.00$37.50$25.00$25.00$12.50
$220$55.00$41.25$27.50$27.50$13.75
$240$60.00$45.00$30.00$30.00$15.00
$260$65.00$48.75$32.50$32.50$16.25
$280$70.00$52.50$35.00$35.00$17.50
$300$75.00$56.25$37.50$37.50$18.75
$320$80.00$60.00$40.00$40.00$20.00
$340$85.00$63.75$42.50$42.50$21.25
$360$90.00$67.50$45.00$45.00$22.50
$380$95.00$71.25$47.50$47.50$23.75
$400$100.00$75.00$50.00$50.00$25.00
$420$105.00$78.75$52.50$52.50$26.25
$440$110.00$82.50$55.00$55.00$27.50
$460$115.00$86.25$57.50$57.50$28.75
$480$120.00$90.00$60.00$60.00$30.00
$500$125.00$93.75$62.50$62.50$31.25
$520$130.00$97.50$65.00$65.00$32.50
$540$135.00$101.25$67.50$67.50$33.75
$560$140.00$105.00$70.00$70.00$35.00
$580$145.00$108.75$72.50$72.50$36.25
$600$150.00$112.50$75.00$75.00$37.50

Eligibility

You must be using the Montgomery GI Bill (Active Duty or Selected Reserve) to participate in the $600 Buy-Up Program.

How to Apply 

To enroll in this program, you must first decide how much additional money you would like to contribute. Refer to $600 Buy-Up Program to view the current rates of contribution. 

Once you determine your additional contribution amount, you need to download, print and complete the Montgomery GI Bill Act of 1984 Basic Enrollment form (DD Form 2366 https://www.marforres.marines.mil/Portals/116/Docs/G-1/IPAC/Documents/MGI%20BILL.pdf).  

Once completed, submit the form to your payroll or personnel office. Be sure to keep a copy for your records. 

Tuition Assitance Top-Up 

This benefit can be used while receiving benefits on the Montgomery GI Bill (Active Duty) or the Post-9/11 GI Bill. 

With the former, the VA will cover the difference between what the DoD benefit pays and the total cost of tuition. The benefit will be reduced by one month of entitlement for each payment received that is equal to the full-time monthly GI Bill rate. To see the rates for the Montgomery GI Bill Active Duty, refer to the Montgomery GI Bill – Active Duty Rates.

If you are using the Post-9/11 GI Bill, the VA will refund your school the difference between the DoD payment and the approved maximum tuition and fees. The benefit is charged based on training time no matter how much money you are paid back. Half-time training rates reduce your GI Bill benefit by a half-month for each month you are enrolled. To see the rates for the Post-9/11 GI Bill, refer to Post-9/11 GI Bill Rates.

Eligibility

If you qualify for the Post-9/11 or Montgomery GI Bill Active Duty and your tuition costs more than what is covered, you may be eligible to take advantage of the Tuition Assistance Top-Up program.

How to Apply 

To apply for the Top-Up program, refer to How to Apply for GI Bill Benefits. During the application process, you must check any corresponding boxes denoting your interest in applying for the Top-Up program. There is not a separate application process for this benefit. 

Veteran Readiness and Employment

man working veteran readiness

The Veteran Readiness and Employment (VR&E) program can help you prepare for, find and maintain a suitable career while you are living with a service-connected disability. If you cannot work right away due to a severe disability, VR&E can help you return to independent living. 

Five-Track Employment Process

Depending on your employment needs, you can fall into one of five VR&E tracks. They are:

  1. Reemployment
    • If you plan to return to work for your former employer, your Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor will provide accommodations to continue along the same career path you were on before starting military service.
  2. Rapid Access to Employment
    • If you are looking for employment soon after separating or getting discharged from the military, you can enter this track. You can get help with refresher courses, licensing exams and anything else you need to quickly get you back to work.
  3. Self-Employment
    • If you are interested in becoming self-employed, your Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor will help analyze your proposed business plans and provide training on how to market and operate a successful small business.
  4. Employment Through Long-Term Services
    • If you require additional training or skills in order to secure suitable employment, the VR&E will help you find these services.
  5. Independent Living
    • If your service-connected disability prevents you from working immediately, the VR&E can help you find services that promote independent living. 

Eligibility

To qualify for job assistance through the VR&E program, you must meet all of the following requirements: 

  • Have a discharge other than dishonorable
  • Receive a VA disability rating of 10 percent or more
  • Be within your basic period of eligibility
    • This period ends 12 years from the date you received notice of your:
      • Date of separation from active military service, OR
      • First VA service-connected disability rating

How to Apply

  1. Sign in to your eBenefits account here: https://myaccess.dmdc.osd.mil/identitymanagement/authenticate.do?execution=e1s1 
  2. Click “Apply.”
  3. Click “Veteran Readiness and Employment Program.”
  4. Select the Veteran Readiness and Employment service you are applying for.
  5. If you are eligible, you will receive an invitation to an orientation session at your nearest VA regional office.

Educational and Career Counseling

You may be eligible to receive free educational and career counseling services to help you choose a civilian or military career path, find a suitable training program or help you adjust to academic or civilian life. 

Eligibility 

To qualify, you must apply for the VR&E program (more information about this program can be found in the Veteran Readiness and Employment. When you are approved, you will be invited to an orientation session at your nearest VA regional office. 

How to Apply

In addition to applying to the VR&E program, you can apply for counseling by mail using the following steps:

  1. Complete the Educational/Vocational Counseling Application (Form 28-8832).
    Download it here: https://www.vba.va.gov/pubs/forms/VBA-28-8832-ARE.pdf 
  2. Mail it to your regional office.
    Find regional office contact information in GI Bill Program Contact Information.

Veterans Technology Education Courses (VET TEC)

man reviewing servers vet tec

If you are interested in a career in the technology industry, you can apply for the VET TEC program. Courses are designed to prepare you for a variety of professions and provide you with training in the following areas:

  • Computer software
  • Computer programming
  • Data processing
  • Information science
  • Media applications

Through this program, you can receive the following benefits:

  • Tuition paid for a full-time training program
  • Money for housing during your training
    • If you attend in-person courses, your housing payment will be the same as the military Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) for an E-5 with dependents. To determine your BAH, you can use the BAH calculator provided by the Defense Travel Management Office here: https://www.defensetravel.dod.mil/site/bahCalc.cfm. You will need to enter your ZIP code and your pay grade (enter E-5). 
    • If you take online courses, your housing payment will be half of the BAH average for an E-5 with dependents.

Eligibility

To qualify for the VET TEC program, you must meet all of the following requirements:

  • You are not serving on active duty
  • You qualify for VA education assistance through the GI Bill
  • You have at least one day of unexpired GI Bill entitlement

Documents and Information Required to Apply

To apply for the VET TEC program, you will need to provide the following documents and information:

How to Apply

Online

  1. Visit the Apply for VET TEC online portal here: https://www.va.gov/education/about-gi-bill-benefits/how-to-use-benefits/vettec-high-tech-program/apply-for-vettec-form-22-0994/introduction.
    You must log into your account before starting the application to save your progress. 
  2. Gather all required information and documents.
    Refer to the section above to find required information and documents.
  3. Enter all required information as prompted.
    If you have not yet applied for the GI Bill, you will need to apply using the steps outlined in How to Apply for GI Bill Benefits.
  4. Wait for the VA to make a decision.

National Call to Service Program

The National Call to Service program is an alternative to the Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB). Through this program, you can receive one of the following types of benefits:

  • A cash bonus of $5,000
  • Repayment of a qualifying student loan that is less than or equal to $18,000
  • Educational assistance equal to the 3-year monthly MGIB rate for 12 months
  • Educational assistance equal to 50 percent of the less-than-3-year monthly MGIB rate for 36 months

Refer to GI Bill Rates for more information about monthly rates.

Eligibility

To qualify for benefits through the National Call to Service Program, you must meet both of the following requirements:

  • You completed initial entry training and continued to serve on active duty for a period of 15 months in a military occupational specialty designated by the Secretary of Defense
  • Without a break in service, you served an additional period of active duty as determined by the Secretary of Defense or a period of 24 months in active status in the Selected Reserve
  • Also, you must have spent the rest of your service without a break in service in one of the following:
    • Active duty
    • Selected Reserve
    • Individual Ready Reserve
    • AmeriCorps or another domestic national service program jointly designated by the Secretary of Defense

Documents and Information Required to Apply

To apply for benefits through the National Call to Service program, you will need the following documents and information:

  • Social Security Number (SSN)
  • Information about the school or training facility you want to attend
  • Direct deposit information
  • Education history

How to Apply

Online

  1. Visit the Apply for National Call to Service online portal here: https://www.va.gov/education/apply-for-education-benefits/application/1990N/applicant/information.
    You can log into your account before starting the application to save your progress. 
  2. Gather all required information and documents.
    Refer to the section above to learn which documents and information you will need.
  3. Enter all required information as prompted.
  4. Wait for the VA to make a decision.

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