Post 9-11 GI Bill Requirements

The Post-9/11 GI Bill provides educational assistance for military veterans.
The Post-9/11 GI Bill provides educational assistance for military veterans. (Image: Siri Stafford/Lifesize/Getty Images)

The Post-9/11 GI Bill provides education assistance for post 9/11 military service members. For 36 months, the bill provides a full ride to all public, in-state institutions or up to $17,500 tuition per year for private institutions. In addition to paying for college tuition, service members may use the funds for a wide array of educational options including vocational and technical training, certificates, placement exams and licenses. Service members must met a few requirements to qualify for assistance.

Active Duty Service Types

Military service members are eligible for the Post-9/11 GI Bill if they served at least 90 days of active duty after September 10, 2001. This includes service members who served as a member of the Armed Forces or those who were called to duty from the National Guard and Reserve. However, periods of service under the Active Guard Reserve, ROTC or service academy contract periods and service used for loan repayment or reserve service to fulfill the Montgomery GI Bill or Reserve Education Assistance Program requirements is not valid toward eligibility for the Post-9/11 GI Bill.

Service Discharge and Release

The Post-9/11 GI Bill requires that all applicants remain on active duty or separate from the military honorably; dishonorably discharged service members are automatically ineligible. In addition to receiving an honorable discharge, service members who are released because of hardship, retirement, temporary disability or transfer to the Fleet Reserve or Fleet Marine Corps Reserve are eligible for education assistance.

Retaining Eligibility

You must comply with all active duty service type and separation requirements to retain your eligibility and receive education assistance. If any of these circumstances change, you will become ineligible for further education assistance. You must use the Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits within 15 years from your date of discharge or release; your benefits will expire after this time.

Transfer of Benefits to Dependents

For the first time in history, the Department of Defense is allowing service members to transfer education assistance benefits to family members. To be eligible for a transfer, you must serve at least six years in the Armed Forces by August 1, 2009, and agree to serve at least four additional years in the Armed Forces. You can transfer unused benefits to your spouse or children. Your spouse can use transferred benefits immediately and your children may use transferred benefits after you complete at least 10 years of service.

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