June 1, 2017, by Rachael Murphey – Since the 1940s, many military service people have reaped the benefits of the G.I. Bill. Traditionally, the money was designated as funding to help returning soldiers transition into life after their tours of duty. Though the G.I. is still frequently used to attend a traditional college, some soldiers use it for other means. Read on for a list of the 5 best uses for your G.I. Bill.
5. Attend a Trade School
Because community colleges offer specialized programs and train their students for in-demand careers, students feel they are well-prepared to immediately enter their respective fields upon graduation. A few programs available to students at junior colleges are as follows:
- Paralegal studies
- Dental hygiene
- Heating and cooling
- Medical imaging
4. Attend a 4-year College
Ever wanted to earn an accounting degree or an MBA? If so, consider enrolling in a 4-year institute of higher education. Many colleges and universities offer dozens of fields of study, so you’re almost sure to find one that interests you. Also, as many studies have shown, earning a bachelor’s degree or higher can often lead to higher earnings throughout your career.
One veteran transition coordinator at a traditional 4-year school told me that even infantry Marines that saw action in Iraq and Afghanistan were less comfortable in the unstructured and alien environment of a university than on the battlefield. There are few reliable protocols when dealing with the potentially adversarial culture of snowflake campuses. If these concerns describe you, but you want to pursue a degree, consider online campuses that can provide quality education on your own terms.
3. On-the-job Training
The benefit of training programs is that they allow you to earn money from your employer and also money from your G.I. Bill simultaneously. To qualify for one of these programs, you must have the employer agree to train you a certain number of hours per week, plus meet other criteria. Your training program can be beneficial to you, particularly if you are training for a position that leads to a promotion.
2. Certification Reimbursement
Some career fields, such as teaching, health care and technology, require testing in order to obtain certification. You can use your G.I. bill to reimburse you for the costs of certain tests and certification fees.
1. Housing Allowance
One expense covered by the post 9/11 G.I. Bill is housing. Many military personnel receive a housing allowance while training for a degree or certification program. Contact your local VA for more details.
Since its inception in the 1940s, the G.I. Bill has supported soldiers in their career endeavors. Consider all that the G.I. Bill can do for you. Set goals for your education and training, then decide how to allocate the funds you have available.