Veteran Education Benefits

U.S. Army Education Benefits: Veterans

The U.S. Army has education benefits in place to help eligible Army veterans and their dependents continue or complete their educations. U.S. Army education benefits can help veterans earn a college degree, which can increase civilian employment opportunities and even lead to increased earning potential.

VA Education Benefits for Army Veterans

Most of the education benefits programs in place for Army veterans and their dependents are administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The primary U.S. Army education benefit for veterans is the GI Bill. The GI Bill has been in place since 1944 and has helped numerous Army veterans earn college degrees. There are two main versions of the GI Bill available for today's Army veterans: the Montgomery GI Bill and the Post-9/11 GI Bill.

Montgomery GI Bill-Active Duty (MGIB-AD)

The MGIB-AD can provide eligible Army veterans with up to 36 months of education benefits. To be eligible for full benefits, you must enroll in the MGIB program when you enlist, contribute $1,200 during your first year, and serve at least 36 months on active duty. The Montgomery GI Bill can provide you with up to $1,368 per month for tuition, fees, and other educational costs. The benefits must be used within 10 years of separation from active duty and may be used for:

  • Attending colleges and universities

  • Taking technical or vocational courses

  • Participating in approved online degree programs

  • Participating in apprenticeships

  • Flight training

  • On-the-job training

  • Certification tests

Post-9/11 GI Bill (New GI Bill)

The New GI Bill can provide Army veterans with more U.S. Army education benefits than any prior GI Bill. This GI Bill even offers eligible soldiers the opportunity to transfer GI Bill benefits to their spouses and children. Army veterans may be eligible for this VA education benefit program if they served on active duty for at least 90 days on or after September 11, 2001. To be eligible for the full benefits, you must have at least 36 months of active-duty service. Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits must be used within 15 years of separating from active duty. Full Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits can provide you with:

  • 36 months of tuition assistance at a college or university

  • A monthly housing allowance

  • A yearly book stipend

  • Assistance for tutoring

  • Assistance for relocating to an approved school

The Post-9/11 GI Bill and the MGIB-AD differ in the education benefits they provide and the programs they cover. The version that is best for you depends on your individual goals and circumstances. Consult with your VA representative if you need help determining which of these VA education benefits is best for you.

Veterans Education Assistance Program (VEAP)

VEAP is a variation of the GI Bill which preceded the MGIB-AD. You may be eligible for VEAP if you served on active duty between January 1, 1977 and June 30, 1985. If you were on active duty during this period and opened a VEAP contribution account prior to April 1, 1987, the VA would contribute $2 for every $1 you placed in your account. VEAP benefits can be used for:

  • Degree programs

  • Correspondence and online courses

  • Apprenticeships

  • Certificates and licenses

  • Vocational flight training

State Veteran Education Benefits

State governments often have their own versions of the VA education benefits programs. The benefits that you or your dependents may be eligible for vary by state, but some states offer benefits similar to the GI Bill. Many states offer reduced tuition or tuition waivers for Army veterans attending state supported colleges and universities, and there are often education benefits programs for the dependents of Army veterans who have been killed or disabled while on active duty. Contact your state's Department of Veterans Affairs for more information.

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