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Members of the Military: Does Your School Qualify for GI Bill Assistance?

Dec 28, 2012 Jennifer Williamson, Distance Education.org Columnist | 0 Comments

The federal government makes a strong effort to help members of the military, veterans, and their families attend college. It does this mainly through tuition assistance programs—Military Tuition Assistance (TA) for those still on active duty in the military, and the GI Bill for veterans as well as those on active duty in all branches of the military. The GI Bill doesn’t cover every type of school and education program, but the net is very wide. Schools and programs covered include:

More than Bachelor’s degree programs

The GI Bill covers your four-year Bachelor’s degree. But it will also cover Master’s and Doctorate degrees;
Associate’s degrees; vocational and technical training;
on-the-job training programs; licensing and national
testing fees; correspondence training, flight training,
and more.

See Also: Online Military Education

Distance education

The GI Bill covers tuition for accredited online colleges as well as traditional schools—and nonprofit as well as for-profit schools. The school you attend, whether online or traditional, must be accredited by the Department of Education**

Tutoring programs

If you’re hiring a tutor to help you brush up on your skills, the Post-9/11 GI Bill will cover up to $100 per month toward paying the bill for tutoring—up to $1,200 in total. There are restrictions, however. For instance, the tutoring must specifically address an academic challenge that is keeping the student from passing a certain course. In addition, you must be in school more than part-time.

Overseas programs

The VA separates veterans studying overseas into two distinct categories: those enrolled in US-based programs with overseas components; and those studying in foreign programs that are based outside the US.

Students who are studying abroad in a US-based program receive the same benefits under the GI Bill that they’d qualify for if they were at the US campus. Those studying in foreign-based programs can qualify for up to $17,500 per year in tuition payments. You may also qualify for REAP and Montgomery GI Bill benefits.

The catch is that the VA must approve the education program if it’s not based in the US. Check out the VA website for more information on VA approval of international schools*.

In-state and out-of-state schools

Originally, the Post 9/11 GI Bill was designed to focus on in-state tuition—it will cover the in-state tuition for any public school in the country. However, after 2011, students attending schools out-of-state could qualify for the same amount of tuition assistance they would receive if they were studying in-state.

Private as well as public schools

Members of the military aren’t limited only to public schools. Those attending private schools can qualify for up to $17,500 per year in tuition payments from the GI Bill as well.

Refresher, remedial, and failed courses

The Post-9/11 GI Bill is fairly generous when it comes to refresher and remedial courses—as well as paying for you to retake courses you didn’t pass. Refreshers are defined as courses that teach basic materials that are prerequisites for a certain field of study. A remedial course is generally seen as addressing a deficiency in a certain subject or a handicap that the student faces. The Post-9/11 GI Bill will pay for you to retake a failed course, but only a course required for your degree or certificate.

Getting an education after your tour of duty ends is not always easy. But hopefully, government programs such as the GI Bill can help make it easier. With the wide variety of types of schools, degree programs, and remedial courses and tutoring services they cover, members of the military should be able to get the help they need to finish their degree—and move on to the next phase of life.

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