New Post 9/11 GI Bill: The Details

By now the news that the Post 9/11 GI Bill has been officially changed has seeped into the cracks of the news reports everywhere.  The details of the exact changes and when they take effect are below.

Taking effect on August 1, 2011:

  • All State-School tuition and fees are paid by the Post 9/11 GI Bill.  This now also includes Graduate training.  As a rule of thumb, state schools are those with names such as University of Missouri, or Illinois State University.  If you are unsure of your school’s public or private nature, simply check with the admission’s department.
  • Students attending private or foreign Universities now are allotted a yearly cap of $17,500.  Many of these private schools made up the difference in the costs via the Yellow Ribbon Program.  This program still exists.
  • Payments will now be made monthly.  Previously the entire amount per semester was paid at the beginning of that semester.
  • Students designated at half-time or less are now eligible to receive monthly payments.
  • The costs for Certification or Licensing tests are now reimbursable.  This applies even for multiple tests.
  • Likewise, the fees to take admissions exams are also reimbursable.  Examples of these exams are the SAT, ACT, GRE, LSAT.
  • Those attending Vocational Rehabilitation are now able to apply for the housing allowance allotted by the Post 9/11 GI Bill.  These are students who are not using the Post 9/11 GI Bill to pay for their Vocational Rehabilitation, but are eligible for it.  Those using the Post 9/11 GI Bill are already receiving this higher allowance by default.
  • No payments are made during breaks or school intervals.  The amount of time skipped over by this is simply added on to the end of the 36 months of allotted time in which to use the Post 9/11 GI Bill.  This means no payments during Summer , Christmas, or Spring Breaks.  Students may need to make other financial arrangements to have enough funds over these periods.  Please check with your school to be sure of the date of all breaks, so you are not caught unaware.  This can only be changed if the President orders it as relief in case of national emergency.  This includes housing allowance as well as tuition payments.  If the semester begins or ends in the middle of the month, that month’s housing payment will be prorated for the appropriate number of days.
  • The dependents of NOAA and PHS personnel are now able to receive a transfer of benefit entitlement.

Effective October 1, 2011

  • The housing allowance is now prorated for students enrolled more than half time.  This means that students enrolled full time will receive 100% of their housing allowance; while students enrolled “3/4” time will receive 75% of their housing allowance.
  • Students enrolled only in distance learning, which includes online classes are now able to receive a housing allowance.  This amount will be one half the national average BAH of an E-5 with dependents.
  • Previously not covered programs that can now be paid for with Post 9/11 GI Bill funds include non-degree programs, on-the-job training, and flight training.
  • Active duty military members who are using the GI Bill to pay for their school while on active duty are now eligible to receive the book stipend.

Additionally, National Guard members mobilized with Title 32 orders on or after Sept 11, 2001 are now eligible for the Post 9/11 GI Bill.  While applications for the Post 9/11 GI Bill can be submitted by these eligible National Guard members, payment of benefits cannot begin before October 1, 2011.

Photo thanks to blmiers2 under creative common license on Flickr.

43 thoughts on “New Post 9/11 GI Bill: The Details”

  1. It’s too bad I go to university of Phoenix. I get straight A grades and never miss a day. But since my school does not follow semesters, my classes are 5 weeks which is irregular. My school sends my attendance to the VA a week after I start a new class. I am not getting my housing payment on time each month to pay my rent on time. This has been going on for 4 months. Common sense: rent is due at the beginning of each month. I am getting my housing payment more than a week after the 1st of the month. I have been having to borrow money from whoever I can to pay my rent by the 3rd. Then I pay those people back when the VA pays me my housing on the 15th of each month. Too bad this month nobody is going to help me. I’m getting evicted because I can’t pay rent on time. I’m gonna have to live in a hotel, store all my things. And put my pets in boarding. Maybe I’ll just live in my car. I’m thinking about quitting school. This is too stressful for me. It’s not fair. I understand that people try to screw up the system. I just wish that I could get my housing on time to pay rent that’s all I ask. Good luck to all of you. The VA couldn’t help me, in fact I was on hold for an hour listening to that maddening music. I tried to call back, but tue automated message said that no agents are available. There goes 60 anytime minutes. Give yourself a round of applause VA I’m off to go live in the streets.


    2. I agree with US Army in the regard of taking care of yourself. The University of Phoenix was made with the intention to service working people, so the classes are set up in that fashion. I have been going to UoP for 2 years now and yes, the housing stipend is screwed up. It’s not the UoP that is causing it, it’s the VA. The VA recognizes UoP’s accreditation but does not pay the stipend for the 5th week. For example, I go to school every Monday night for four hours. For 5 mondays I take a single class and complete it. 3 credits in the bank. My normal 4 year BA is a 3 year BA because of this….it is considered an accelerated program. The VA tracks only 4 of those 5 weeks from the 7th of each month to the 27th. The 5th week doesn’t even exist to them. So if my class happens to start on the 7th and ends on the 27th (impossible) then I would get $2133 + book stipend. Never seen it and never will. The most I have had is $1900. The least I’ve had per month is $500.
      As for the “suck it up” argument many posters have, UoP and the VA is preparing for a class action lawsuit for violating the terms of the post 9/11 GI Bill. I pay my bills without it, but it’s just sneaky and unprofessional for the president to pass this bill back in 2008 under the pretense that you will receive basic housing allowance and then not give it for whatever eason. If they want to change the amount each month then they should have called it “random incentive pay”. My advice is take 2 classes at once Abandoned. That will max your pay in any given month.

  2. Abandoned, this is a terrible situation you find yourself in, and I am very sorry that the system isn’t helping you the way it should. Does the University of Phoenix have any student housing? In talking with some university housing offices in the past, while they may not have available housing for the normal applicant usually they do everything possible when presented with a student that simply has no where to go. I found myself in the same situation once, and thankfully the school I attended offered me emergency housing. I can only hope that this might be possible for you. Good luck, I pray something works out for you.

  3. Abandoned, dude…stop complaining and suck it up and drive on “remember that”. Most of us volunteered to go into the military. If the military has put you through anything it has been “stress and hell”. As a result, you should be able to handle this. I’m not saying don’t go through all the channels that are available for you…I’m just saying stop whinning like you haven’t been trained to handle worse. it bothers me to no end when I see a “veteran” standing on the side of the road with a sign saying their “hungry”, or “help please”. Are you kidding me…get off the corner and get a job. There are thousands of jobs out there for anyone who wants to work. Why don’t you try looking up CPS Security Solutions. They have a program where the security officer lives in a provided trailer and works security at a construction site…free rent and getting paid.

    1. I agree, while these services are here to help, they are government programs that are giving you money for doing nothing just to show appreciation for the service you conducted. It’s actually a surprise that the government’s doing that much. I just started my Post 9/11 and I think it’s awesome! Although it pays me on the 1st, my rent is paid prior because I work and make sure. I’m not saying that you’re not working, I just think that you have to be able to pay your rent bro. Just think if you never joined the military and you were trying to go through college, who would pay your rent? BTW, if you haven’t applied yet, there is a stimulus payment for soldiers that were overseas and I got paid about 1300 for it. It depends on the amount of time you were in the combat zone. Try that. It does take a couple months to get the money but whatever helps right? I looked for the website but couldnt find it.

  4. I retired in Aug 2008 under the new Post 9/11 G I Bill starting 1 October 2011 I would qualify for these benefits how ever my question is would I be able to transfer these to my dependent

  5. While the situation sucks, it is not impossible. I received my BA from the University of Phoenix and they are a very helpful school regarding their current students. Bring it to the counselor and they should be able to help you somehow. I agree with US Army, you have definately been trained to handle worse and there are always ways to get through something. To me, this is a petty problem that has a myriad of solutions. You just have to do the work to get the solution that suits you.

  6. I’m going through a similar situation now. I haven’t gotten my housing allowance and two months now. I have court on the 12th to discuss my situation to my apartment company’s lawyers and I might be getting tossed out of school because I haven’t had any money to get to school for two weeks (will know tomorrow) because I have been spending all the little money I do have from my disability check on food and basic needs and the crazy thing is my school the reason I am not getting paid because they screwed up my enrollment. I caught their mistake and it took them two weeks to revise their mistake with the VA and it has been an entire month since then and still nothing! If it was just me I wouldn’t worry so much about an eviction because I would just move in with my best friend but it is me, my disabled sister and my two dogs I love entirely too much to sell or have to put in a shelter. my best friend only has a one bedroom apt that doesn’t take animals so I don’t see that working out. Anyhow this is terribly stressful and sure I was trained to handle things but I shouldn’t have to pay and my sister shouldn’t have to pay for these mistakes. I am doing everything I physically can to stay on my two feet I even went and applied for welfare and I have been job searching like a mad person I’m not a quitter or one to give up so I know in the end I will prevail but it does not stop things situation from absolutely blowing.

  7. My school just told me that the mandatory health insurance fees won’t be paid after fall of 2011. Has anyone had this happen to them too?

  8. What about out of state students at a pulic school? Do we fall under the private school cap or will we have to come up with the difference? (4,500/semester).
    In response the the “stress and hell” comment, yes we volenteered for the military and got “stress and he’ll” that shouldn’t be the reward. A stress free education should be the reward.
    Thank you all for your service.

  9. I’m not quite sure what that means? I know right now they are paying the most expensive in state for Florida. The new changes are confusing, what do you by mean the cap for my home state. (Iowa) thank you for the help! When you read all of the material online they mention in state and private school but it seems like out of state are left out of the details.

    1. Casey,
      What this means is this: The most expensive public college in your home state of Iowa costs $17,222 per term. Yet you want to attend a public school in any other state that costs $25,000 per term. The change will make it so that you only receive $17,222 per term, and have to supply the $8,000 from other methods.

      This situation stinks for many veterans living in low cost states yet attending high cost institutions in other states. The Yellow Ribbon Program, if the school the veteran is attending participates, will pay that other $8,000.

      If you’re going to be in this situation, be sure to check if your school participates in the Yellow Ribbon Program. Because this cap applies to private universities as well, many of them also participate in the Yellow Ribbon Program.

      Of course, if the school you attend out of state costs less per term than the Iowa cap (that $17,222) then you have nothing to worry about.

  10. Thank you for clearing that up. I have called the VA four times I got the same answer,” they pay all instate tuition and you will have to make up the difference”. I could tell they were all reading it off their computer screen. The description on every website basically said what they told me. What you say gives me a huge relief! Let’s hope they don’t make me pay $3,000/semester to attend a community college! Do you by chance have a way to access the info that you got and forward it to me so I can take it to my VA school official? (who Also read the same thing to me)!

    Thanks again!

  11. Here is the response I got from the va:

    Dear Ms. Vickers,

    Beginning in August the VA will pay all public school in-state tuition and fees, this of course is based on your percentage awarded. The tuition and fees that your school submit to the VA , will be the amount that will be eligible for payment.

    Thank you for contacting the Department of Veterans Affairs.
    Muskogee RPO

    I am 100% and according to them will have to pay $3,000
    a semester for community college.

  12. Am I correct in assuming the Yellow Ribbon Program is only offered to military personnel, not dependents? I too would like to know where you can find the “highest tuition” for my state (I’m in Missouri). My husband retired from the USNR last year and we’re looking into this benefit to “hand down” to our 16 year old who will be entering college in two years.

      1. Thanks so much for the info, Audrey! I’m still not sure if my husband would qualify for benefits under the Yellow Ribbon program…seems to cover those who served more active duty time than he did during his deployment, but we’ll certainly research that! We’ve got a couple of years before tuition becomes an issue for her, but it’ll be here before we know it!

  13. One more question…is there some sort of applicaton process the military member has to go through to even get the GI bill to begin with, then also apply to transfer the benefits to a dependent before retirement?? I’m not sure if the GI Bill is just a “given” benefit, or something you have to apply for…then I was reading the website above and there’s a sentence that says “Such transfer must be requested and approved while the member is in the Armed Forces”. I’m hoping since he didn’t apply for the transfer before he retired doesn’t mean our daughter loses that benefit.

  14. William Perry

    Let’s tell the truth here. McCain set in motion the greatest G.I. Benefit in history. It paid you to attend school (Full time, Every semester including Summer and intersessions) and get paid what most military members got paid per month to eat sand in Southwest Asia. All was good. It was a thank you and a well earned oppurtunity to ensure success for the people who sacrificed for the greater good of a nation. In stepped the glorious democrat from Hawaii with an idea to make Chapter 33 even better (WORSE, much worse.) The IAVA and Tim Embree where paid to lobby for the change. If anyone was fortunate to remember the 12 months of non payment issues and a 3,000 dollar check for BAH for the year which was deducted from the payments once they kicked in you will remember how much of a nightmare it really was. Month after month, phone call after phone call, promise that BAH would be there in approximately 17 days was the standard response. Still it did not come. I was evicted from my apartment. I did live in my truck, I did work full time, I did go to every class and managed a 3.88 GPA. (FOR A YEAR!) I ate when I could and went without while washing in ponds, the ocean and gas station bathrooms. I drove around neighborhoods trying to get wireless hotspots so I could email my papers (A requirement in this new GREEN society) I asked the VA for help ate from a soup kitchen and was given an MRE (At least it was chili mac), a p38 can opener, an L light, a poncho and a navy watch cap from the VA assistance program. (All useful tools if I lived in a post apocalyptic world) I sold my belongings and covered the rest off them under a tarp in the back of my truck. I paid my truck payment, my insurance and my registration. It was my home for a year! All because the VA a (Government agency) could not process payments for myself and 180, 000 other Post 9/11 G.I. bill recipients. They could not complete their mission. They failed! Now they want me to believe they are efficient enough to balance my payments while factoring in Spring break as a deduction? Christmas break? Martin Luther King Day? WHAT? Once the payments started they flowed seamlessly and all was finally coming around. I got an apartment and even got cable internet. I attended all classes and all semesters. It was what it was supposed to be. Now in walks the pineapple from Hawaii with a change in the program. Surprise, surprise! I just finished the spring semester and am enrolled for the summer semester. Payment was prorated for May and I have not been paid for June. Why because it takes “Takes 17 days on average to process.” Here we go again and it is not even August yet. Ate up!
    Now for the guy with the suck it up advice. I sucked it up. I went to the closet and grabbed the big straw. Don’t give me that brainwashed zombie mentality. When a U.S. Senator, Congressman, Representative, or any number of Fat cats live in a truck and work Full time stalking shelves overnight at Wal-mart while still attending all Federal mandated votes and appointments for a year I will shut my mouth and press on. Until then I have sucked up enough for this nation and it’s people. As we all have. I completed my requirements to the United States and it is time the United States completes it’s requirement to us. If you keep that “Suck it up” mind set you will find yourself a 73 year old, poverty stricken, person standing in the lobby of a V.A. or base hospital, holding your useless Tri-care card in one hand and a revolver in the other screaming about your newly diminished medical care and the fact that Veterans no longer qualify for anything other than hemmorhoid cream and tylenol. Stand up! Call your local rep and let them know you won’t support them unless this new amendment is recinded. Suck it up? Really? One last question who eats first? An NCO or an E-1? Who eats first? Or do you just advise them to suck it up?

    1. I thought I was in a tight spot but after reading your testimony I have a new outlook on life. You are dead on about the pineapple guy messing it up for us and I have to say you are one tough relentless dude. You should be on national TV or something so you can show those Dbags in Washington what its really like for us Vets trying to make it out here in the civilian sector.

  15. William, I too, am anxiously wondering if August’s payments are going to arrive on time. The new prorated payments over months instead of all the tuition up front also concerns me. Sure, that would be great if schools billed per month, but they don’t. In the end, I’m hopeful that I’ll be able to gain enough student loans to cover the extra costs that the $883 BAH that I receive here don’t cover.
    Good luck to you in finishing your degree in the face of this craziness.

    1. William Perry

      Good luck to you as well Audrey. It’s funny, in politics as well as the military there is always someone trying to make a change to a proven system just to earn praise. Whether it was a threat con to a force protection level to a ham sandwich it all just snowballs into confusing jibberish. If real people only knew the only problem a real soldier, airman, seaman, marine, etc has is a continuos flood of confusing “Its not broke but I am gonna fix it” hairball schemes. I am glad I am out. I can only imagine the current revisions to the revised revisions , revising the revised rules of engagement. Is it, “Once shot, identify as U.S. forces, assess wound, deliver salute report, attempt to engage in meaningful dialog barring life threatening injury and offering an MRE. If shot a second time re-assess old and new wounds. If wound is life threatening deliver salute report and die. Remember not to pray as it is offensive. If wound is serious but not life threatening re-engage meaningful dialog in a more stern manner and attempt to distribute new MRE?”

  16. So I just had to transfer from ITT Tech to University of Phoenix because ITT Tech out of nowhere dropped their BA program and I need a Bachelors to compete in careers. At ITT Tech I got directdeposit on the 30th of every month. UoP does 5 week courses with a week between each new course does this mean I will get paid a less amount each time or just get paid same amount just 2 weeks later? For example, I was getting direct deposit on the 30th of each month for $2,019 for my BAH, now will I be paid on on July 15th instead of June 30th? Can anyone currently attending UoP using the post 9/11 GI Bill answer this please? I am lost in the sauce.

    1. Your payment schedule should stay the same. It is actually the VA that direct deposits into your account, not the school. You should continue to be paid on the last day of each month. The difference will happen here: Say your 5 week class has 3 weeks in June and 2 Weeks in July. (we’re assuming that you have not opted for break pay.) Then, on the last day of June you will receive 3 weeks worth of BAH (approx $1500), and on the 30th of July you will receive 2 weeks of BAH(approx $1000).

      Your other consideration should be this: You mention University of Phoenix, are you meaning the well known all-online university? BAH does not start for online only students until this upcoming August 1st. Even then, BAH is only 1/2 of what the national average BAH is, so you can reasonably expect to budget for about half the BAH income you currently receive.

  17. What is the grade that you have to get in class in order to receive the monthly BAH? Does a “D” count as a fail?

  18. Ernie, this is a very gray area. For many schools, they simply have to report back to the VA that you are in good academic standing. Usually this means a 2.0 GPA average. So getting a D in one class won’t harm you as long as you get better grades in the rest of your classes. Also, if the VA decides that you have not fulfilled your end of the academic contract, they will request that you repay any money that they paid the school for tuition and fees, but not generally BAH.

  19. Johnathan London

    If you are kicked out of school for plagiarism, is it still possible to go to another school using the 9/11 GI Bill?

  20. Alright, so I have a couple questions. One, I heard that even though I already used 12 months of the montgomry gi bill, I still get 36 months of post 9/11 benefits. Is this true?
    My next question, if doing accelerated classes of 5 weeks, how does this effect our benefits? Do we get more bang for our buck being able to knock out more credits in that 36 months or does it just charge differently? I’m getting out in 4 months and this one has been bugging me.

    1. Jason,

      This has been bugging me as well. Is it more beneficial to load up on credits every semester and potentially get a couple degrees instead of one? I am starting my MBA program soon and trying to decide whether to take the minimum full time of 6 credits or double up to 12.

  21. vincent bancroft

    and yet we cant get a job if we dont have an education. we cant get credit for the jobs we were trained in. we all were told join the army, serve our country and get trained for a job in the civilan world. most of us joined to serve our nation first and the benifits were not the main reson we joined. we use it though. it was a thank you from the tax payers or the gov for taking on something bigger than our selfs. but then we get hosed. the only “military friendly employers” are ones that dont pay a living wage or……. YOU HAVE TO HAVE A DEGREE. its a catch 22 that shouldnt be. there are a lot in life but give us a break! we are not a bunch of free loading commis who want a hand out. we helped the USA and where promised these things. if the gov was a civilian employer who did not give what they promesed people would be able to sue. even former service members in congres have become complacent. they said i will run for congress and help vets. now they are saying ” oh well its hard and there are road blocks” they have become what they where trying to fight. i am so sick and tired of it. we are told in the army to be inivative and create solutions to problems. then shot down because thats just not what they want. when will the catch 22s stop!!!!!!!!!

  22. Ok, so I have been reading this blog to try to follow what is going on. I have a few tips for those of you wanting to start school at the U of Phoenix.

    This describes the frustration of several veterans attending this school.

    I have a question – I have the ch.30 gi bill. I am attending the U of Phoenix. So basically my question is how does the gi bill pay for school – which is better – going to a school with semesters or going for 9 week courses. How would you go to a school online for semesters? I am currently going for 9 week courses and my last week in those courses is not being sent for verification to the VA. The school basically states that the last week in the courses is for attendance only and will not be covered under the VA’s new policy. Which is actually silly considering that the final assignment in each course is due the last week, which makes it a “work” week. So basically my question is – which school should I be attending so that I don’g get shafted out of a weeks worth of GI Bill benefits?

    Before someone thinks that I am just going to school for the money, I have been attending school for 5 years now, have had to restart twice due to housing issues and had to switch schools due to my grades being too low in the other school. I have a 3.11 now at the U of Phoenix and am still struggling, but at least I do have a job if not a house. I am currently living in a hotel with my two kids and my husband. I can’t afford to pay deposit and rent for a house. I need to finish my degree and get a better job. I am going for my BA in IT and already have offers once I complete my education. I should be done in July but I want to keep going and get my Masters in Programming. However, I don’t want to go to the University of Phoenix if they are going to keep taking a weeks worth of hard work off of my benefits.

  23. I am confused and upset. I am retired military attending UOP using my 911 GI Bill. I have talked to UOP VA and the Federal VA about this, but receive no truthful answer. The courses are 6 weeks long, but the UOP VA certifying official only certifies me for 5 weeks, which makes a difference in my housing allowance. I am being told that’s just the way it is. Are there any other veterans out there that have similar issues with UOP. I am ready to talk to my congressmen since I am not getting any clear answers and think this is a scam.

  24. I have had it with Vetarans Affairs, they are disorganized non-caring people who don’t give a damn about you or your benefits, they (once again) were supposed to pay the school, which they didn’t, so now I cant get my cost of living loan, I don’t have my rent money, and now they are saying I owe them money, even though there have been several months where I either didn’t get paid, or got underpayed, if anything they owe me back end checks for all the money, time and stress they caused me, I earned those benefits, they are mine by right and if I had known this was going to be this much stress and effort I would have just taken out student loans and the work to pay them off would be less stress than the crap I deal with now, I don’t even know how much I payed this year in late fees and overdrafts because they can’t pay me the right amount and on time.

  25. So i have been receiving my benefits on time and everything but my classes end May 13 which is halfway through the month. Will i only get paid half of my BAH for the month of Mayor the full thing?

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