Find your perfect value college
If you’ve served our country, it’s likely you’ve been promised the benefit currently known as Military Tuition Assistance (TA), although also frequently referred to as the G.I. Bill (or its official title, the servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944). However, its a misnomer to call it the G.I. Bill, as that really doesn’t exist anymore. The bill was a work of post-World War II legislation that provided a multitude of benefits to service members re-entering society, including low-cost mortgages, low-interest loans to start a business, unemployment compensation and cash payments for tuition and living expenses to attend university or vocational education.
The original G.I. Bill had a major impact in creating what we now know as the middle-class here in America and setting the standards of homeownership, professional employment, and college education that we associate with the American Dream (and which many people now struggle to attain or maintain). With our new G.I. Bill or TA, Congress dropped a lot of the other benefits and focused on giving each service (Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, National Guard, and Coast Guard) the ability to pay up to 100% for the tuition expenses of its members for public four-year colleges. Our modern TA is based off of the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2008.
Each service will have eligibility criteria, but rest assured, all services treat this money as grant money, meaning this is not a loan program – you do not have to pay it back. Actually, the TA should be viewed as receiving earned money just like a service member’s base pay. If a service member serves at least 3 years, they are eligible for this program in its entirety. If a member serves at least 90 days, they will be eligible for 40% of the education benefits. The act also provides the veteran to transfer benefits to a spouse or child after serving (or agreeing to serve) ten years.
Read the fine print
There will be an application process and lots of rules and regulations concerning how you can spend your TA monies, so be sure you’re following those requirements; the government won’t give you your money if you don’t spend it correctly.
- 15 years after active duty the offer expires
- $1200 enrollment fee paid by the veteran
- private school benefits max at $19,198 per academic year
- maintain a certain standard of grades
Most military forces pay 100% of net tuition each fiscal year for their members if they attend a public institution. However, some states have set limits on how much tuition and fee reimbursement they will allow for their private institutions (some well below the military amount).
Know your other benefits
There’s more than just tuition assistance included in the bill:
- an annual stipend to cover education costs up to $1000
- up to $2000 towards one-time licensing or certification testing available
- monthly living expenses depending on zip code and military pay grade (E-5 with dependents)
- one-time rural benefits for certain veterans
- apprenticeships and other on-the-job training opportunities completely paid
Don’t give up this opportunity
The mission of the first GI Bill was simple – provide a way to repay all the young people who had risked their lives to protect the American way of life, and give them the chance to make a better life for themselves and their descendants. Education was an essential part of making that better life, and it still is. If you’re a veteran, don’t let this opportunity go by. It’s not a gift – you earned it.
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Aya Andrews is a passionate educator and mother of two, with a diverse background that has shaped her approach to teaching and learning. Born in Metro Manila, she now calls San Diego home and is proud to be a Filipino-American. Aya earned her Masters degree in Education from San Diego State University, where she focused on developing innovative teaching methods to engage and inspire students.
Prior to her work in education, Aya spent several years as a continuing education consultant for KPMG, where she honed her skills in project management and client relations. She brings this same level of professionalism and expertise to her work as an educator, where she is committed to helping each of her students achieve their full potential.
In addition to her work as an educator, Aya is a devoted mother who is passionate about creating a nurturing and supportive home environment for her children. She is an active member of her community, volunteering her time and resources to support local schools and organizations. Aya is also an avid traveler, and loves to explore new cultures and cuisines with her family.
With a deep commitment to education and a passion for helping others succeed, Aya is a true inspiration to those around her. Her dedication to her craft, her community, and her family is a testament to her unwavering commitment to excellence in all aspects of her life.