The Department of Veterans Affairs offers various educational benefit programs for veterans, active duty military and dependents.  The eligibility, enrollment and benefits’ amount will vary for each program; therefore, it is important to fully understand your options. To learn more about these programs, visit the Department of Veterans Affairs or call (888) 442-4551.
 
Chapter 33 - Post 9/11 GI Bill

The Post 9/11 GI Bill provides financial support for education and housing to individuals with at least 90 days of aggregate service on or after September 11, 2001, or individuals discharged with a service-connected disability after 30 days. You must have received an honorable discharge to be eligible for the Post-9/11 GI Bill. The Post-9/11 GI Bill will become effective for training on or after August 1, 2009. The amount of support that an individual may qualify for depends on where they live and what type of degree they are pursuing. For a summary of Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits, see the benefit comparison chart. Approved training under the Post-9/11 GI Bill includes graduate and undergraduate degrees, and vocational/technical training. All training programs must be offered by an institution of higher learning (IHL) and approved for GI Bill benefits. Additionally, tutorial assistance, and licensing and certification test reimbursement are approved under the Post- 9/11 GI Bill.

Chapter 30 - Montgomery GI Bill

The Montgomery GI Bill (Chapter 30) assists students who entered active duty for the first time after July 1, 1985, and who agreed to have their pay reduced by $100 for 12 months. Veterans must have received an honorable discharge and active-duty personnel must have served at least two years to be eligible to use their benefits.

Certain veterans and active-duty military personnel who were eligible for educational assistance under the Vietnam Era GI Bill (Chapter 34) on December 31, 1989, may be eligible for benefits under the Montgomery GI Bill if they have served on active duty since October 19, 1984, without a break in service and served three continuous years on active duty from June 30, 1985, through June 30, 1988, or served two continuous years on active duty followed by four years in the selected reserves after June 30, 1985. A break in service of 90 days or less during the period October 19, 1984, through June 30, 1985, will not disqualify a person from eligibility for benefits. However, a break in active duty of any length after June 30, 1985, will disqualify a person for Chapter 30. These participants are not required to make contributions to the program. Certain individuals who are voluntarily or involuntarily separated from active duty with an honorable discharge may elect to participate and make a $1,200 contribution to the Montgomery GI Bill program before separating from active duty. This includes individuals who may have participated in the Veterans Educational Assistance Program (VEAP - Chapter 32).

Individuals are allowed 36 months of full-time entitlement. Participants who have eligibility through the Vietnam Era GI Bill have 36 months of entitlement or the amount of entitlement they have remaining from Chapter 34, whichever is less. Benefits must be used within 10 years from the date the individual was last discharged from active duty. 

Chapter 30 - Montgomery GI Bill Tuition Assistance Top-up

Tuition Assistance Top-up is available to students on active duty and approved to use federal tuition assistance and eligible for Chapter 30, the Montgomery GI Bill. On October 30, 2000 an amendment to the Montgomery GI Bill was signed into law which permits the Department of Veterans Affairs to pay a Tuition Assistance Top-up benefit. Prior to this law, all branches of the military could pay up to 75% of a service member's tuition and expenses through the Tuition Assistance program. Service members were required to pay the remaining costs of their tuition bill themselves and they were not allowed to receive Tuition Assistance and use their Montgomery GI Bill for the same course. With the passing of the law, all branches of the military are allowed to pay 100% of the service member's tuition and expenses. When the military cannot or does not cover 100% of the tuition and expenses, a service member, eligible for the Montgomery GI Bill can elect to receive his or her benefits for all or part of the remaining expenses.

The use of Tuition Assistance Top-up reduces future entitlement to the Montgomery GI Bill and service members should carefully consider their situations.

Chapter 31 - Vocational Rehabilitation

Vocational Rehabilitation (Chapter 31) provides assistance to veterans who have a service-connected disability of at least 20 percent and are in need of vocational rehabilitation.

Eligible veterans may be allowed up to 48 months of full-time benefits. Veterans generally have 12 years from the date they are notified of their entitlement to the program.

Chapter 32 - Veterans Educational Assistance Program (VEAP)

The Veterans Educational Assistance Program (Chapter 32 - VEAP) extends benefits to active-duty personnel and veterans who enlisted in the military between January 1, 1977, and July 11, 1985. Veterans must have been released under conditions other than dishonorable. Individuals must have contributed voluntarily to an educational fund through monthly pay reductions of $25 to $100, up to a maximum of $2,700. Contributions are matched at the rate of two dollars for each dollar contributed. (Eligibility to enroll in VEAP ended on March 31, 1987.)

Individuals are eligible to receive monthly benefits for the number of months they contributed or for 36 months, whichever is less. Eligibility in the program expires 10 years for the date of the participant's discharge or release from active duty. Participants in this program are allowed to request a refund of any remaining unused benefits. 

Sections 901 and 903 - Department of Defense Educational Test and Pilot Program

Section 901 (Educational Assistance Test Program) and Section 903 (Educational Assistance Pilot Program) benefits are available to students whom the Department of Defense chose for participation from among those who enlisted between November 30, 1980, and September 30, 1981.

Participants are allowed 36 months of full-time benefits that must be used within 10 years from the date of last separation from active duty.

Chapter 1606 - Montgomery GI Bill - Selected Reserves

Montgomery GI Bill - Selected Reserves (Chapter 1606) benefits are available to reservists who enlist, reenlist, or extend an enlistment in the Selected Reserve for not less than six years on or after July 1, 1985. For officers, the six-year period is in addition to any other obligated period of service. Eligibility for the program requires that the reservists have obtained a high school diploma or equivalent. In addition, the reservist must have completed Initial Active Duty Training (IADB). Finally, a reservist must be participating in training at the time benefits are used. A reservist is allowed 36 months of full-time benefits. 

Chapter 35 - Survivors and Dependents Benefits

Survivors and Dependents Benefits (Chapter 35) provide educational benefits to spouses and children of veterans who either died while in service, died as a result of a service-connected disability, or became totally and permanently disabled as a result of their military service.

Survivors and dependents are allowed 45 months of full-time benefits. Spouses have 10 years from the date of the veteran's effective date of permanent and total disability rating or the veteran's death. Dependents' benefits end on their 26th birthday or eight years from the veteran's effective date of permanent or total disability rating or the veteran's death, but not after the dependent's 31st birthday. 

REPS - Restored Entitlement Program for Survivors 

Restored Entitlement Program for Survivors (REPS) may be available to certain survivors of deceased veterans in addition to Chapter 35 benefits. Eligibility for these benefits is limited to unmarried full-time students between the ages of 18 and 22 whose parent died while on active duty before August 13, 1981, or who died as a result of a service-connected disability incurred before August 13, 1981. These benefits are similar to the benefits eliminated from Social Security. The amount of the benefits is based on information from the Social Security Administration.

Students who are applying for benefits for the first time must complete DVA form 21-8924, Application of Surviving Spouse or Child for REPS Benefits.