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Is there free college? For some veterans, yes!

Updated: Jul 26

Post 9/11 GI Bill Benefits for college are important because:


1. They serve as an incentive for people to serve in the military,

2. The benefits are very generous, and

3. The benefits can often be used by either the veteran or a family member, such as a child or spouse.


Question: Who is Eligible for Post-9/11 GI Bill Benefits?

Answer: Servicemembers who have served at least 90 days, which do not need to be consecutive, are eligible. Other categories of eligible servicemembers are referenced here: https://www.va.gov/education/about-gi-bill-benefits/post-9-11/.


Question: Can Post 9/11 GI Bill Benefits Potentially Cover College Costs in Full?

Yes, there is a potential for Post 9/11 Benefits to cover your college costs in full. While the average Pell grant was just over $4,000 in 2018-19, the average benefits from the Post-9/11 GI Bill were almost $16,000. The benefits cover the full cost of in-State tuition. In addition, there is a housing allowance that fluctuates based on the cost of living that is often around $2,000 a month and an annual book allowance of $1,000. The combination of these benefits makes it plausible to not incur costs while earning a degree. For more detail about the benefits available, please see: https://www.military.com/education/gi-bill/new-post-911-gi-bill-overview.html or https://www.va.gov/education/about-gi-bill-benefits/post-9-11/.


Question: Can you potentially ”pocket” money that is provided to help cover housing costs?

Answer: Yes, there is a potential to find housing that is less expensive than the housing allowance provided and to pocket that difference. However, there is also a risk that the allowance will not be enough to cover your housing costs in full. Please view: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=371oEeYP0hs.


Question: Do Veterans Under the Post 9/11 GI Bill Qualify of In-State Tuition if They Access the Benefits Within Three Years of Leaving the Service?

Answer: Yes, they qualify for in-State tuition if they access benefits within three years of leaving service. In addition, some State institutions voluntarily provide in-State tuition to veterans after the three-year mark. https://www.military.com/education/2015/11/13/veterans-now-eligible-for-resident-tuition.html

Question: Are Post 9/11 GI Bill Benefits transferable to a Spouse or Children?

Answer: Yes, if the service is lengthy enough, generally at least 10 years, the benefits are transferable. For more information, please see: https://www.military.com/education/gi-bill/post-911-gi-bill-transferability-fact-sheet.html.





Question: How is Tuition Cost Covered When Charged for Out-of-State Tuition or Tuition at a Private Institution?

Answer: Those costs are capped annually. The following website provides information about the caps by year: https://benefits.va.gov/gibill/resources/benefits_resources/rate_tables.asp. There is a “yellow ribbon” program where costs above the annual cap that are covered by a school are matched by the Federal government.


Question: Are there Concerns About Post 9/11 GI Bill Benefits Being Used at Private For-Profit Institutions?

Answer: Yes, there are concerns that (1) veterans are being targeted by for-profit schools for enrollment and (2) the quality of the education at for-profit schools tends to be relatively poor. While only 25 percent of students at private, for-profit schools graduate in six years, 61 percent of students at public schools and 67 percent of students at private, nonprofit, schools graduate in six years.



Prospective students should examine the performance of all schools. Key statistics can include graduation rates, earnings, and cost. Here are some websites that provide data:

· College Results http://www.collegeresults.org/search_basic.aspx

· CollegeData https://www.collegedata.com/ (look under the “Students” tab for outcomes)


For more information about financial aid in general, please visit our website at Paying for College | Educ8Fit Consulting. For additional information about what schools might be a good fit for you or your child, please see our website at https://www.educ8fit.com and contact us at Educ8Fit Consulting at Jim@Educ8Fit.com. In addition, you can contact us for a free initial consultation at: College Admission Counseling | Educ8fit Consulting | United States, contact.




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