Paying for College With the Military GI Bill

The Post 9/11 GI Bill is an excellent source of financial support for veterans to further their education. The bill also covers housing in addition to tuition expenses. Veterans are eligible to receive benefits under the Post 9/11 GI Bill if they have at least 90 days of aggregate service after September 10, 2001, or those who were discharged with a disability related to their military service after 30 days. The discharge must have been honorable in order for the individual to be eligible for benefits. Eligible individuals can apply benefits to cover:

  • Graduate and undergraduate degrees
  • Vocational and technical training
  • On-the-job training
  • Flight training
  • Correspondence training
  • Licensing and national testing programs
  • Entrepreneurship training
  • Tutorial assistance


Taking effect August 1, 2009, the Post 9/11 GI Bill will pay full tuition and fees directly to the schools attended by eligible individuals. The school must be a qualifying public, in-state school. The bill also can help defer the tuition and fees for private or foreign schools. In those cases, benefits cover up to $18,077.50 for the 2012 academic year. Note that eligible individuals attending a private school in the following states may be eligible for a higher reimbursement rate:

  • Arizona
  • Michigan
  • New Hampshire
  • New York
  • Pennsylvania
  • South Carolina
  • Texas


The Yellow Ribbon Program

The Yellow Ribbon Program helps reimburse the difference in benefits coverage for eligible individuals who choose to attend more expensive private schools or a public school as an out-of-state student. Not all people eligible for the Post 9/11 GI Bill will also qualify for the Yellow Ribbon Program, but those who do can reduce their tuition and fees further.


Monthly Housing Allowance

The Post 9/11 GI Bill also provides a monthly housing allowance (MHA) for eligible individuals attending school more than half time. The MHA covers:

  • The Basic Allowance for Housing (BHA) for an E-5 with dependents at the school location
  • An amount equal to half the national average BAH for an E-5 (with dependents) enrolled only in distance learning (this equals $684.00 per month for the 2012 academic year)
  • $1,368.00 per month for the 2012 academic year for those attending foreign schools that do not have a main campus in the U.S.


Note that active duty students and their spouses cannot receive MHA benefits at this time.


Other Benefits

The Post 9/11 GI Bill also offers eligible individuals an annual stipend of up to $1,000 to cover books and supplies (the amount received is based on enrollment) as well as a one-time rural benefit payment for those who qualify. Some service members may be able to transfer their GI Bill benefits to their dependents.


For More Information

For more information about the Post 9/11 GI Bill, please refer to the official website at All information in this article is sourced directly from this official site. CollegeEducation411 wants you to have the most accurate information as possible about the GI Bill and your benefits under the bill, so please be sure to refer directly to the official site for the most authoritative and up-to-date information.

This blog entry was originally posted on's sister site, CollegeEducation411, on this page.

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The discharge must have been

The discharge must have been honorable in order for the individual to be eligible for benefits.

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Conversion to 9/11 After Exhaustion?

As of November 2015 is ability to convert MGIB to Post 9/11 after exhaustion still accurate? Referring to the Rule of 48. The reason I ask is that a VA adviser at my last school mentioned in the spring that changes to prevent such conversion after exhaustion was "in the works"... And I now have two months MGIB remaining, but need another semester to finish my degree. Any advice would be helpful, thanks.