Created specifically for returning WWII veterans, the GI Bill provides tuition expense benefits for service members to attend a college or vocational/technical school. The Post-9/11 GI Bill went into effect on August 1, 2009, and is the most comprehensive education benefits package since the original bill was enacted in 1944. 

Former President Bush signed the Post-9/11 Veterans Education Assistance Act of 2008, commonly called the new GI Bill or Chapter 33, into law on June 30, 2008, following a year-and-a-half of advocacy, endorsement, and support by US Senators, dozens of US governors, and organizations from the VFW to the American Council on Education.

Adjustments were made to the Post-9/11 GI Bill on January 4, 2011, when former President Obama signed a package of changes into law. Most of the changes took effect August 1, 2011.

Below, we’ve outlined the current GI Bill, as well as other updates and programs that are currently in place to help active duty servicemembers and veterans achieve a higher education.

Post-9/11 GI Bill

All veterans who have served at least 90 consecutive days following September 10, 2001 with an honorable discharge, qualify for the minimum benefit: 50% of tuition, books, and living expenses. The benefits increase proportionately based on time in service, up to 100% of tuition, books, and living expenses for those who have served 36 total months following September 10, 2001. Learn more about the Post-9/11 GI Bill.

Yellow Ribbon Program

If you choose to attend a college or graduate school with tuition greater than the tuition cap, check out the Yellow Ribbon Program, established through the VA. A school must enter into an agreement with the VA, set up a veterans’ scholarship, and the federal government will match whatever funds the school provides to the scholarship.

Forever GI Bill

In 2017, a law was passed called the ‘Forever GI Bill’, officially named the Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2017, which removed any and all time limits on the time span in which veterans are required to use benefits, enabling them to be used at any time - and to be able to be transferred to a dependent - forever, as long as the service member had served at least six years before using the GI Bill benefits. Read more about the changes to the Forever GI Bill here and here.

To learn more about the GI Bill, please visit http://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill/.

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