August 15, 2016, by Anica Oaks – The GI bill gives men and women in the military, as well as veterans, the opportunity to obtain higher education. However, these benefits can be confusing. So here is some need-to-know information about the GI bill for eligible persons who are considering going back to school. Remember these facts apply to the people using the GI bill after 9/11.
1. The Amount of Benefits You Receive Will Vary
Not everyone gets the exact same amount of benefits. One of the biggest factors that will determine how much you receive will be how long you were on active duty. Generally, 60% of the cost is covered until a person has served 36 months of service. At that point, 100% of the cost is covered. Special considerations are made for soldiers with disabilities.
The second biggest factor will be how many credit hours you are looking to take. Most schools consider 12 credit hours to be full time. Many do more than this. However, some people with family or work obligations take less, especially when pursuing an online degree such as an online master’s in American History.
2. You Have Fifteen Years to Use Your Benefits
Don’t think that you have to immediately go back to school once you have parted ways with the military. You do have some time. Also know that the time resets if you do get called back to duty. You can also pause benefits and restart them later at your discretion as long as it is within the fifteen years.
3. You Can Transfer Benefits
This option is particularly beneficial for someone who has found their niche in the army and plan to serve for an extended period of time and not pursue a college education. Know that these benefits can go to a loved one! However, there are extra stipulations, and it requires a little more forethought, so be sure to think ahead if you plan to use this option.
4. Unconventional Educational Routes
Don’t think that you have to go to a four-year college to use your benefits. You may also use them for trade schools and other forms of training, such as fight training. Whatever your dreams are, there is a good chance that your benefits will cover the training.
Service to our country is something that we can never adequately payback. However, the GI bill is a good start. Be sure to use your benefits! Too many people don’t take advantage of this wonderful opportunity.
About the Author: Anica is a professional content and copywriter who graduated from the University of San Francisco. She loves dogs, the ocean, and anything outdoor-related. She was raised in a big family, so she’s used to putting things to a vote. Also, cartwheels are her specialty. You can connect with Anica here.