Post 9/11 GI Bill Eligibility Percentages Explained
How does the VA determine whether you are eligible for 100% Post 9/11 GI Bill entitlement or not? This is an important question since those who do not qualify for 100% of the GI Bill may still attend college using this VA education benefit but may need to pay some of the expenses out-of-pocket because they don’t have full entitlement.
How the VA Determines Your GI Bill Benefits Percentage
The Department of Veterans Affairs bases your GI Bill benefit percentage on how long you may have served on active duty.
There are “other factors” also mentioned at the VA official site. In today’s military, new recruits may typically be allowed to apply for GI Bill benefits after having served on active duty for 90 days or more. If you aren’t sure whether you have served long enough to qualify you can always check your Statement of Benefits by logging in at VA.gov.
Who is Eligible for 100% Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits
You may be eligible for the full 100% GI Bill benefit if you meet at least one of these requirements:
- You served on active duty and were awarded a Purple Heart on or after September 11, 2001;
- You served on active duty for at least 30 continuous days and were discharged because of a service-connected disability;
- You served on active duty for at least 36 months.
Who Is Eligible for a Percentage of the Post 9/11 GI Bill?
Service members who were on active duty for less than 36 months are not eligible for the full Post-9/11 GI Bill benefit. They may be entitled to a portion of the benefit based on time served:
- Between 30 months and 36 months: 90% of the full benefit
- Between 24 months and 30 months: 80% of the full benefit
- Between 18 months and 24 months: 70% of the full benefit
- Between 6 months and 18 months: 60% of the full benefit
- Between 90 days and 6 months: 50% of the full benefit
What The Post 9/11 GI Bill Covers Based On Percentage
The VA determines your Post 9/11 GI Bill coverage based on a variety of factors including the percentage of the benefit you qualify for. Typically the VA needs the following information to process your application:
- How much the school charges for in-state tuition/fees;
- Whether the school is willing to charge you at the in-state rate;
- What percentage of Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits you have.
Post 9/11 GI Bill Rates For In-State Public School Tuition
Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits will cover you at the percentage you’re eligible for at the in-state rate. VA.gov provides an example using an arbitrary amount that may or may not accurately reflect the cost of attending a given school.
In the example, if your in-state tuition is $22,000 and you qualify for the GI Bill at 100% of the rate, your tuition will be fully covered. Those entitled to 70% of the GI Bill would have some $15,400 covered with the student paying the remainder.
Post 9/11 GI Bill Rates For Out-of-State Students
Thanks to the Veterans Choice Act, those who want to attend an out-of-state public school with VA-approved programs must be offered the in-state rate. Your Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits will cover you at the percentage you’re eligible for such as in the example above.
You may be eligible for in-state tuition under the Act if you meet all of these requirements:
- You’re receiving benefits under the Post-9/11 GI Bill, the Montgomery GI Bill Active Duty (MGIB-AD), or Veteran Readiness and Employment (VR&E).
- You’re a “covered individual” meaning you served on active duty for at least 90 days since September 10, 2001.
- When you start school, you live in the state where the school is located
Covered individuals can also be spouses or dependents. As a spouse or child of a veteran, the Department of Veterans Affairs says you’re a “covered individual” if:
- You’re using education benefits transferred from a veteran, or
- You’re using benefits under the Fry Scholarship and the veteran had served a period of active-duty service of at least 90 days before their death.
Post 9/11 GI Bill Out-of-State Tuition
If you want to attend an out-of-state public school, but that institution does not provide in-state rates for veterans, the Post 9/11 GI Bill will pay the out-of-state rate at the percentage you qualify for, but only at the in-state rate. You will pay the remainder. In such cases the Yellow Ribbon program may help offset the remaining amount.
Post-9/11 GI Bill For Private Schools
The Post-9/11 GI Bill will cover costs at a private school up to a certain amount and the Yellow Ribbon program may be able to help offset the cost for those who qualify. To determine your GI Bill rate for a private school, you need the following information:
- The current national maximum amount that the Post-9/11 GI Bill will cover at a private or foreign school;
- The percentage of Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits you’re eligible for.
Multiply the percentage of benefits you’re eligible for by the current national maximum amount. This is how much the Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits will cover.
The Department of Veterans Affairs provides a centralized list of GI Bill rates and other important VA Education benefits information; you can check the rates for your current school year for a variety of VA education programs including the Post 9/11 GI Bill, Fry Scholarship, DEA/Chapter 35 benefits and more. When checking these rates, know that in cases where a class begins before the date on the benefits chart, that class is paid in full using the previous year’s rate.
About the author
Joe Wallace is a 13-year veteran of the United States Air Force and a former reporter/editor for Air Force Television News and the Pentagon Channel. His freelance work includes contract work for Motorola, VALoans.com, and Credit Karma. He is co-founder of Dim Art House in Springfield, Illinois, and spends his non-writing time as an abstract painter, independent publisher, and occasional filmmaker.