The Post 9/11 GI Bill has allowed over a million veterans and their families to attend an institution of higher learning with little or no cost to them. By providing this generous new GI Bill, the country has renewed the social contract with our men and women in uniform. In this same spirit, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) wants to help your school step up to support student veterans on your campus.
Here is some information to get you started:
- Steps schools can take to be more Veteran Friendly.
- Calculate benefits a veteran will be entitled to in your state.
- Learn more about the Yellow Ribbon Program.
- Programs, services and policies to ease student veterans' transition to campus.
- Abide by Principles of Excellence as laid out by Executive Order 13607
- Learn more about your student-veteran population, some common adjustment experiences, and how to be a more informed staff and faculty with the VA Campus Toolkit
- Consider VITAL resources
Tuition and Fees
The new GI Bill will pay up to a state tuition cap and fees caps. Tuition is paid by enrolled credit hour and can only be used on tuition charges. Fees are paid by academic term and can only be used on fee charges. Click here to calculate benefits a veteran will be entitled to in your state.
If a veteran has served less than 3 years of active duty Post 9/11 service, they will be entitled to a lower rate (a percentage based on total service). For example a National Guard soldier who served a year in Iraq will be entitled to 60% of the Post 9/11 GI bill. This soldier is entitled to 60% of the tuition and fees charged by your school, but no more than 60% of the state cap in tuition and fees. The percentage of benefits a veteran is entitled to will be clearly marked on the veteran's VA certificate of eligibility.
To help veterans have a clear understanding of what benefits they are entitled to and how to avoid spending hours of staff time explaining how the new benefit affects each individual veteran, schools are welcome to embed our new benefits calculator (www.newgibill.org) on their own website. The IAVA GI Bill Calculator is a quick and easy reference for veterans to find out what benefits they should expect and if they are able to transfer their benefits to a spouse or child.
The new GI Bill is both a generous and sometimes confusing benefit. A key new feature is that it pays a veteran’s tuition/fees directly to the school, a drastic change from the old Montgomery GI Bill (Chapter 30). Consequently, because these tuition/fees benefits will not be paid until after your school VA certifying officials certifies the veteran’s enrollment, your school’s billing system may require the veteran to front the tuition/fee charges.
IAVA advises that schools treat GI Bill benefits delay like federal financial aid and delay billing their student veterans until the VA pays their portion of the veteran’s tuition/fees. The student veteran should simply be allowed to show the VA certifying official that they are eligible for the Post 9/11 GI Bill by presenting a VA certificate of eligibility. Schools should then apply a credit or delay billing the student veteran’s account for the amount of tuition/fees the student is entitled to.
The new GI Bill not only pays a veteran's tuition/fees directly to the school, but also a monthly living allowance directly to the beneficiary. Thus, it is imperative that school certifying officials are timely with their paperwork to certify their student-veterans each term. The VA will not provide the monthly living allowance earned, until certification is received. The amount that they receive is also contingent on the accuracy of reporting by the school. The more timely and concise the reporting for your student-veteran population, the more effectively they are able to access the benefits they've earned.
If your schools’ VA certifying official would like more information, please contact us.