5 Facts About Using the Post 9/11 GI Bill for College

Originally written by:  Vanessa Hicks,  Corporate Veterans Affairs Officer

Are you a Veteran looking to go back to school, but don’t fully understand what is covered with your Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits?  Don’t worry, you’re not alone.  There is a lot of information out there and also a lot of misinformation.  Trying to keep it all straight sometimes can be a bit of a struggle.  Even the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs admits it can be confusing and each person using benefits should fully understand them before using them.

Here’s a quick look at our top 5 important facts you should know about your Post 9/11 GI Bill Benefits:

You have 10 – 15 years to use your GI Bill benefits.

Once you have separated from the service you have 10 years to use all of your benefits under the Montgomery GI Bill and 15 years to use you Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits. Although separating from service “starts the clock” on your 10-year time limit, you should know that if you rejoin active-duty service for more than 90 days, during the 10- year period, your 10-year clock is reset. In other words, you get 10 years from your last discharge.

The GI Bill is not Federal Financial Aid.

The GI Bill is not considered Financial Aid in the traditional sense. College and University financial aid departments do not consider the MGIB financial aid because it is normally paid directly to you, not the school. This also means that you are eligible for student loans, scholarships, and Pell Grants along with the GI Bill.

You can stop and start using the GI Bill for College as needed.

Unfortunately, many people believe that once you apply for benefits you have to remain enrolled in school to get the full benefit. Thankfully that’s not true; you can use the GI Bill for any period of time, take time off and re-apply to use it again at a later date. (Keeping in mind fact number one)

A “month” of benefits doesn’t always mean a month.

The GI Bill benefit provides 36 months of education benefits.  The term “months” can often be confusing. The “36 months” of benefits does not mean you have only 36 months to use it, nor does it mean you must use it all in one 36 month period.

There are two ways the term month is used.  One way for active duty and the other for veterans. The following should help you to better understand this aspect of the Montgomery GI Bill.

The GI Bill for college pays according to the number of credits you take.

The GI Bill payment rates are based on several factors, the biggest being your credit load.  For example a full-time student using the Montgomery GI Bill will get up to $1648 a month while a half-time student will only get half that amount.

The following rates apply to those completing an enlistment of three years or more.

Educational Assistance Allowance for trainees under the Montgomery GI Bill – Active Duty (Ch. 30 of title 38 U.S.C.). The following basic monthly rates are effective October 1, 2013.  For trainees on active duty, payment is limited to reimbursement of tuition and fees for the training taken.  If you participated in the “$600.00 buy-up” rates can be found HERE.

These are just a few key facts that you should know about your benefits.  If you have any other questions, each one of our campuses has a qualified, Veterans Representative that can help you understand your benefits and get started using them for your journey to a new career is as smooth as possible.  Still have questions?  Learn more about Centura College’s Military & Student Services today!

Centura College proudly displays the Military Friendly Schools® emblem which is only awarded to the top 20% of schools nationwide that deliver the best experience for military students.

For more information about Centura College, or to speak with an admissions representative and apply for career training, contact Centura College today by visiting our Website.  You can also learn more about Centura College at our Consumer Information Disclosure page, Your right to know.


[tabs slidertype=”simple”] [tab]Understanding the Post-9/11 GI Bill. (n.d.). Retrieved February 20, 2014, from Military.com: https://www.military.com/media/education/pdf/post911_gibill.pdf [/tab]  [/tabs]

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