The Post-9/11 GI Bill


The Post - 9/11 GI Bill was enacted to provide educational benefits for those who serve in the military in a unique theater of operations. It is also known as "chapter 33 benefits." This bill provides education benefits for those who serve on active duty after September 11, 2001.

This bill also provides limited benefits based on the length of active duty service for those whose active duty service is less than a total of 36 months. One additional provision in this bill is noteworthy: this is the opportunity to transfer Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits to dependents under certain circumstances.

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Anyone who served on active duty after September 10, 2001 for at least 90 days or who was honorably discharged due to a service-related disability and served for 30 continuous days is eligible. To qualify for the maximum benefit under the Post-9/11 GI Bill, a total of 36 months on active duty or disability honorable discharge after 30 continuous days must be served. Those who served between 90 days and 6 months on active duty after September 10, 2001 are eligible for 40% of the maximum benefit. Service periods between 6 months and 36 months qualify for 50% to 90% of the maximum benefit according to period of active duty service. The school you attend must be an “Institution of Higher Learning” included in the Department of Veterans Affairs listing of schools.
Type of Assistance
The Post-9/11 GI Bill provides three kinds of assistance:

1. Tuition and Fees. These amounts may not exceed the cost of tuition and fees at the most expensive undergraduate school for in-state tuition and fees in the same state as the school you plan to attend.

2. A stipend of $1000 per year (paid proportionately based on enrollment each term) for books and supplies.

3. A housing allowance. A monthly housing allowance will be paid directly to the student that is equivalent to military housing benefits rates for an E-5 with dependents and based on the location of the school. The housing allowance is available for any enrollment period during which you are enrolled at more than half time. The housing allowance is not available to those who are obtaining their education solely through distance or online learning.

Your Benefits
You will be asked to make a one-time irrevocable choice between the program of the Montgomery GI Bill and the Post-9/11 GI Bill. You will need to review the benefits of each plan carefully and make a selection based on the education you wish to pursue, your desire to be able to transfer benefits to your dependents, and whether you plan to pursue a graduate degree or attend a private college or university or technical/vocational school.

The applicable percentages of the maximum benefit, according to length of active duty services are:

Total length of service on active duty after 9/11/2001

Is entry level and basic skill training included?

Percentage of the Maximum Benefit

36 months or more



30 continuous days; honorable discharge due to service-related disability





30 to 36 months



24 to 30 months



18 to 24 months



12 to 18 months



6 to 12 months



90 days to 6 months



If you wish to attend a private school or pursue a graduate degree, your cost for tuition and fees will likely be higher than that for an undergraduate degree program based on in-state student tuition and fees at the state’s most expensive school. In this case, if you qualify for maximum educational benefits under the Post-9/11 GI Bill, you might also qualify for The Yellow Ribbon Program.

Benefits available to you under the Post-9/11 GI Bill will be available to you for 15 years from the date of your last discharge or release from active duty (of 90 continuous days or more). If you are transferring from the Montgomery GI Bill (chapter 30), you are limited to your remaining chapter 30 entitlement. If you qualify for multiple GI benefit programs, you are limited to a maximum of 48 months of benefits.

Getting Started
You will need to complete and send an application form to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. The form can be obtained online, by phone or from the registrar or financial aid office at the school you decide to attend.

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