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The Basics of VA Education Benefits


The Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) provides education benefits to veterans, service members, and some eligible dependents wishing to pursue an education. These benefits are commonly known as the GI Bill and have various components depending on the person’s length of military service. For more information on any of these benefits, please visit www.gibill.va.gov or your campus Admissions or Veteran Services Office. Locally, prospective veteran students can contact the office of Veterans State Approvals at the NH Postsecondary Education Commission. This office ensures that every eligible person under the GI Bill has fair and equitable opportunity to utilize his/her benefits and achieve their potential. www.nh.gov/postsecondary/veterans/index.html


The Montgomery Bill

Montgomery GI Bill Active Duty (MGIB-AD)

The MGIB program provides up to 36 months of education benefits. This benefit may be used for degree and certificate programs, flight training, apprenticeship/on-the-job training and correspondence courses. Remedial, deficiency, and refresher courses may be approved under certain circumstances. This program is also commonly known as Chapter 30. Benefits can be payable for ten years following your release from active duty. The monthly benefit paid to you is based on the type of training you take, length of your service, your category, and if the Department of Defense put extra money in your MGIB Fund.

For educational assistance allowance information, please visit www.gibill.va.gov/GI_Bill_Info/rates/CH30/ch30rates080108.htm. These benefits are paid directly to the recipient.

Montgomery GI Bill Selected Reserve (MGIB-SR)

The MGIB-SR program may be available to you if you are a member of the Selected Reserve. The Selected Reserve includes the Army Reserve, Navy Reserve, Air Force Reserve, Marine Corps Reserve and Coast Guard Reserve, the Army National Guard and the Air National Guard. This benefit may be used for degree and certificate programs, flight training, apprenticeship/on-the-job training and correspondence courses. Remedial, deficiency, and refresher courses may be approved under certain circumstances.

For educational assistance allowance information, please visit: www.gibill.va.gov/benefits/montgomery_gibill/selected_reserve.html. These benefits are paid directly to the recipient.

The Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2008
The Post 9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2008 (Post-9/11 GI Bill) is for individuals with at least 90 days of aggregate service on or after September 11, 2001, or individuals discharged with a service-connected disability after 30 days. You must have received an honorable discharge to be eligible for the Post-9/11 GI Bill. The amount you are entitled to receive is based on the length of active duty service as well as the type of enrollment.  This program pays eligible individuals the following:

  • Tuition & fees not to exceed the most expensive, in-state, undergraduate tuition & fees at a public Institution of higher learning.
  • Monthly housing allowance based on the Basic Allowance for Housing for an E-5 with dependents in the same zip code as your school.
  • Annual books & supplies stipend of up to $1,000 paid proportionately based on enrollment.
  • Rural benefit one time payment of $500 for eligible individuals.

Who is eligible?

  • Veterans who served at least 90 days total active duty after September 10, 2001. Those who served at least 36 months active duty are entitled to the maximum benefit. (Those who served less are eligible for a percentage of the maximum benefit based on time served, with 40% being the minimum benefit.)
  • National Guard and Reserves members who served pursuant to a federal call to active duty.
  • Veterans who served at least 30 continuous days and sustained a service-related disability.
  • Active duty service members.
  • Spouses and children (restrictions apply).

Maximum Benefits

The Post-9/11 GI Bill grants up to 36 months of education aid, including tuition and other benefits and varies depending on the person’s enrollment and service status. Reduced benefits are available.

  • Veterans enrolled more than half-time:
  • Veterans enrolled more than half-time in approved education programs are entitled to tuition benefits, monthly housing stipends, and annual books and supplies stipends (restrictions apply).
  • The tuition benefit equals the cost of the program up to the cost of in-state tuition and fees for full-time students at the most expensive public institution in the state where the veteran is enrolled.
  • The monthly housing stipend is based on military housing benefit rates.
  • The books and supplies stipend is up to $1000.

Veterans enrolled half-time or less:

  • Veterans enrolled half-time or less are entitled to tuition benefits and reduced book and supplies stipends.
  • The tuition benefit equals the lesser of the actual program cost for similarly situated nonveterans and the amount of the benefit for veterans enrolled more than half time.
  • The book and supplies stipend is variable based on number of credits enrolled.

Active duty service members:

  • Active duty service members and dependents using transferred benefits while member is still on active duty enrolled in an approved education program are entitled to 100% of these benefits.
  • The tuition benefit equals the lesser of the actual program cost for similarly situated nonveterans and the part of the cost not covered by military tuition assistance available to the service member through his or her branch. 

Learn More:

Yellow Ribbon Program
Common Questions about Veteran's Education Benefits
Federal Student Loan Benefits