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GI Bill

The question really is what can't this bill do. This is a financial benefits program that was made to help veterans transition back into the workforce once finished with active duty. Every military personnel has to start their GI Bill acceptance the same way, through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. That is why this department has made it very easy for you to take advantage of your benefits. However, you do have to complete the process to get your GI Bill and start using it towards your education. Here's how to get started:

The Research Part

The first thing you absolutely need to do is figure out the possibilities with your GI Bill. This bill was actually created as part of the Servicemen's Readjustment Act of 1944 to help provide education to those who were returning from World War II. The education could be anything, from high school, vocational to college. The bill paid for tuition and one year of unemployment compensation. Now, the G.I. Bill means a lot more and provides more veterans benefits so assist military personnel transitioning into the workforce. Under the bill, your benefits may be used for any educational opportunity as follows: College, business, technical/vocational courses, correspondence/ or online courses, apprenticeship/job training, or flight training. You can use the benefits for an undergraduate or graduate degree at any college or university, a cooperative training program, or an accredited independent study program that will lead to a degree. There are also other G.I. Bills that you may receive in addition to your standard bill. These are the Montgomery Bill and Post-9/11 G.I. Bill). If you qualify for either of these, you should already have received notification. If you want to read more or find out if you qualify, go to Veterans Affairs or visit the directory of toll free numbers located here.

Applying Online for Benefits

This is the easiest way to gain access to your G.I. Bill and benefits. Start at gibill.va.gov and click “Apply for Benefits." It is also recommended that you have researched a few schools and picked out a degree program that works for you by this point, as you will need to give your school's information. The VA actually put together a guide for military personnel to use for this purpose, located here. On the next page, you'll see a link at the bottom “Launch VONAPP and Apply for Benefits." Click this link to get started. You'll need some information to complete the application, so make sure you have all of this ready:

  1. Dates and Service Status for Each Period of Military Service
  2. Number of Months of Eligibility Remaining for Benefits Under One or More VA Education Programs
  3. Did You Participate in the $600 Buy-Up Program?
  4. DD214 Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty for most recent period of active duty
  5. Transcripts for all periods of education after high school
  6. Kicker Contract (Look to the Department of Defense if you cannot locate a copy of your contract)

What Will I Qualify For?

Once your application is reviewed, you'll find out whether you qualify for more than one education benefits program. These are several and they are determined by your information, what you completed and how long you've been eligible. You may qualify for up to four types of educational benefits, which include Post-9/11 GI Bill (Chapter 33), Montgomery GI Bill (MBIB, Chapter 30 and Chapter 1606), Reserve Educational Assistance Program (REAP, Chapter 1607), or Post Vietnam Era Veterans' Educational Assistance Program (VEAP, Chapter 32). Any one of these programs may meet your needs. You should determine the best one for your needs.

Picking a School

You really need to pick the right school. You should find out what the maximum in-state tuition for the state where you are planning to go to school is. You also need to know where the school is located, including its exact zip code. What are your school's mandatory fees, including what is the charge per credit hour. This will help you figure out what will be covered by your GI Bill or if you have enough to cover your tuition. You'll also want to calculate your living expenses and decide if you can afford it with your benefits.

Compare the Different Benefits Programs

Even though you may qualify for more than one benefits program, most military personnel only qualify for one. You should pick one that will impact you the most and offer the most award for your education. You can find out more about these programs through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. You can also look at a side-by-chart, located

Find Post-Military Education

Many schools set up entire veterans communities with transition assistance, tutoring, prep courses and stable support system. Finding a college that provides services for veterans is simple.

Use our FREE custom search tool to find great military-friendly schools:

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