Chapter 33 of the GI Bill, also commonly called the Post-9/11 GI Bill, is the most recent addition to the GI Bill benefits program. In comparison, chapter 33 benefits are more comprehensive and provide more generous financial assistance than previous iterations of GI Bill programs. However, the program is limited to veterans who served in any branch of the armed services after September 11, 2001.
The Post 9/11 GI Bill provides financial support for veterans with at least 90 days of service on or after September 11, 2001, and who intend to pursue undergraduate or graduate degrees at any college or university in the country. The program also applies to veterans enrolled in vocational and technical training schools. According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), chapter 33 benefits pay as much as the highest in-state tuition and fees charged by public universities in the state where the school of choice is located.
The Post-9/11 GI Bill also provides benefits to recipients with a monthly housing allowance equivalent to that of an E5 (a level of military pay grade) with dependents. The housing allowance varies among locations because the allowance is adjusted for high-cost parts of the country. Full time students also receive a $1,000 stipend to help offset some of the cost of books. These educational benefits are transferable to dependents in cases where veterans choose not to exercise their rights to obtain educational benefits. These benefits will last up to 36 months and are payable for 15 years following discharge from active duty.
Veterans attending a more expensive university can benefit from the Yellow Ribbon Program, which is designed to reimburse the difference in tuition costs and the maximum amount of VA tuition assistance. This is especially important to veterans attending expensive public or private schools. At the time of publication, the Post 9/11 GI Bill pays a maximum $17,500 annually for private schools. Institutions of higher learning that choose to participate in the Yellow Ribbon Program make additional funds available for the veteran’s education program, which the VA matches and pays directly to the institution. This allows the veteran to attend a school of choice without sacrificing further entitlements from the Post-9/11 GI Bill.
Unlike other versions of the GI Bill, chapter 33 benefits are fully transferable to the spouse or children of an eligible veteran. Transferring benefits requires veterans to meet more strict eligibility criteria and submit a transferability request to the VA. According to the VA, only veterans who serve at least 10 years on active military service are eligible to transfer chapter 33 education benefits to a dependent spouse or child. In addition, benefits may be distributed to more than one child or a spouse and a child.