What is the big deal about the GI Bill Anniversary?

August marks the Fourth Anniversary of one of the most instrumental transition benefits for veterans - The Post-9/11 GI Bill. Since its implementation, nearly one million veterans, service members, and family members have taken advantage of this transformative investment.

You might be wondering, "why are we still talking about the GI Bill, didn't we celebrate its birthday back in June?" The 69th birthday of the original GI Bill - The Serviceman's Readjustment Act of 1944 - took place on June 22nd. But we are now talking about the Anniversary of the New GI Bill.

The New GI Bill is a game-changer of a benefit relative to the older versions of its time. You can learn more about this historic investment at NewGIBill.org. Each Anniversary brings about some key changes for our student-veterans, including:

  • An increase in maximum tuition and fee reimbursement per academic year for private and foreign schools to $19,198.31 per year.
  • Maximum tuition & fee reimbursement per academic year for students who are attending a private Institution of Higher Learning (IHL) in selected states and who have been enrolled in the same program since January 4, 2011.
    • For New York:
      • Maximum charge per credit hour: $1,010
      • Maximum total fees per term: $12,293
  • The Monthly Housing Allowance (MHA) is the same as the military Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) for an E-5 with dependents based on the zip code for each school.
    • For New York City this monthly rate increases to $3,258.
    • This new rate for each zip code can be found on the DoD’s Defense Travel Management Office site
      • *Don't forget to change the pay grade to E-5 and use the rate for with dependents*
  • Foreign school MHA rates change to $1,429.
  • Schools in US Territories receive payment equal to the Overseas Housing Allowance (OHA) rate for the school's location for E-5 with dependents.
  • Exclusively online training (no classroom instruction) MHA rates change to $714.50.

These changes generally are an increase to the benefit since last year, but may affect some negatively. It is important to keep up-to-date with the changes as they happen each Academic Year, which is in August and not following the Calendar Year.

To find out how these changes affect you individually, check our FAQs or ask me - the GI Bill expert here at IAVA - by visiting our website at NewGIBill.org.

Ryan Weemer is a USMC Iraq war veteran and the Education Case Manager for Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA).