VA Educational Benefits

Which program is best for you?

Picking The Right Educational Benefit

Need help picking out the right educational benefits? This website will help you understand which Chapter or active benefit best fits you: Best Educational Benefits for You

 

Post 9/11 GI Bill – Chapter 33

The Post-9/11 GI Bill is a benefit 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.

 
 

Montgomery GI Bill - Active Duty - Chapter 30

The Montgomery GI Bill is a benefit for individuals who contributed $1200 to the basic program while on Active Duty. All individuals who were separated or retired with an honorable discharge or were separated under the Voluntary Separation Incentive (VSI) or Special Separation Benefit (SSB) are eligible.

 

Tuition Assistance Top Up

Using Top-Up benefits may be an option if you plan to use tuition assistance (TA) to complete a degree program while on active duty, and don't plan to continue your education after service. Top-up can also be helpful for just taking a few courses with TA while on active duty; then you can save most of your GI Bill benefits for after service to complete your education program.

Type of Assistance

You need to consider carefully your own situations and contact your School Certifying Official (SCO) to discuss applying for Top-up. For example, if you plan to take expensive courses using Top-up, you need to consider whether you'll take additional training after you're discharged from active duty. If so, you need to understand the effect of using the Top-up. You can then calculate whether your remaining benefits will cover the additional training you might need. Get the Top-Up fact sheet.

The Top-up program is only available for recipients of the Montgomery GI Bill - Active Duty or Post-9/11 GI Bill programs

Available Benefit and Eligibility

Top-up is limited to 36 months of payments. For example, if you are paid Top-up for a three-month course, you use three of the 36 months.

The amount of this benefit can be equal to the difference between the total cost of a college course and the amount of Tuition Assistance that is paid by the military for the course. To be eligible for the Top-up benefit, you must be approved for federal TA by a military department and be eligible for Montgomery GI Bill Active Duty or Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits.

The amount of the benefit is limited to the amount that the person would receive for the same course if regular benefits were being paid. In no case can the amount paid by the military combined with the amount paid by VA be more than the total cost of the course. If you are receiving the Montgomery GI Bill, you will receive the difference between what the DoD pays for the course and the total cost of the course (not to exceed the GI Bill monthly maximum). If you are receiving the Post-9/11 GI Bill your school will be reimbursed the difference between the amount the DoD pays for the course and the authorized maximum tuition and fees for the school.

Your GI Bill entitlement is charged differently depending on which GI Bill program you are using:

  • If you are utilizing the Montgomery GI Bill your entitlement is charged based on the dollar amount of benefits VA pays you. You will be charged one month of entitlement for each payment you receive that is equal to the full time monthly rate for the GI Bill. View the current payment rates.
  • If you are utilizing the Post-9/11 GI Bill your entitlement is charged based on the training time you are enrolled in. If you are going to classes at the half-time training level you will be charged for a half month of Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits for each month you are enrolled and receiving GI Bill benefits no matter how much money you are reimbursed.
Apply

First, apply for GI Bill benefits.

Contact your School Certifying Official (SCO) to discuss applying for Top-Up.

Montgomery GI Bill - Selected Reserve - Chapter 1606

The MGIB-SR program may be available to you if you are a member of the Selected Reserve and have completed your Initial Active Duty Training (tech school). The Selected Reserve includes the Army Reserve, Navy Reserve, Air Force Reserve, Marine Corps Reserve and Coast Guard Reserve, and the Army National Guard and the Air National Guard.

  • Eligibility is determined by your Reserve or National Guard component.
  • To expedite processing, please obtain a copy of your DD 2384, Notice of Basic Eligibility "NOBE” from your unit.
  • If you enlisted on or after October 1, 1992, your period of eligibility ends 14 years from your beginning date of eligibility, or on the day you leave the selected reserve.
  • If you are mobilized or called to active duty your eligibility may be extended.
  • US Depart of Veterans Affairs -- Chapter 1606 Info
  • Sign up with VA Form 22-1990 on VONAPP
 
 

Montgomery GI Bill - Reserve Educational Assistance Program (REAP) - Chapter 1607

The Secretaries of each military service, Department of Defense, and Department of Homeland Security (Coast Guard) will determine eligibility and establish the program to provide educational assistance to members of the Reserves of the Armed Forces who are called to duty for 90 days or more. Members may be eligible after serving 90 consecutive days on active duty after September 11, 2001.

 

Vocational Rehabilitation (VR&E) - Chapter 31

VR&E's primary benefit program is vocational rehabilitation services for veterans who have a service-connected disability of 10% and higher. To receive services a veteran must be found both eligible and entitled. The desired outcome of these services is to lead disabled veteransto suitable employment that is consistent with their aptitudes and interests or achieving independence in their daily living.

Follow link for more information on the Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E) VetSuccess Program and see our Chapter 31 Information Sheet.

You can call or visit the VR&E at the following address below :
Thomas Clark, Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor

Federal Building (1st Floor)
101 12th Avenue Rm 114
Fairbanks, Alaska 99701
907-433-1066 or 907-433-1067 or 907-433-1068
thomas.clark1@va.gov

If you are already in the VR & E program, did you know that UAF also has assistance available to you? Contact Disability Services for classroom accomodations to facilitate your learning.

 

Survivors' and Dependents' Educational Assistance (DEA) - Chapter 35

DEA provides education and training opportunities to eligible dependents of veterans who are permanently and totally disabled due to a service-related condition, who are anticipated to be released from a military hospital with 100% disability or who died while on active duty or as a result of a service related condition. The program offers up to 45 months of education benefits.

Spouse or dependent child of a veteran who:

 

Veterans Retraining Assistance Program (VRAP)

VRAP offers 12 months of training assistance to Veterans who:

  • Are at least 35 but no more than 60 years old
  • Are unemployed on the date of application
  • Received an other than dishonorable discharge
  • Are not be eligible for any other VA education benefit program (e.g.: the Post-9/11 GI Bill, Montgomery GI Bill, Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Assistance)
  • Are not in receipt of VA compensation due to unemployability
  • Are not enrolled in a federal or state job training program
  • Participants must attend full-time in order to receive up to 12 months of assistance equal to the monthly full-time payment rate under the Montgomery GI Bill–Active Duty program ($1,564 effective October 1, 2012). DOL will offer employment assistance to every Veteran who participates upon completion of the program.

Participants must be enrolled in a VA approved program at CTC which leads to an Associate Degree, Non-College Degree, or a Certificate, and train the Veteran for a high demand occupation.

Transferring Chapter 33 Benefits to your Dependents

There is a provision under Chapter 33 Post 9/11 GI Bill that enables eligible service members to transfer their eligibility to their dependents, but there are very strict requirements to do so (including an incurred service obligation if the service member has served less than 10 years). To manage these transferred benefits, please see the DoD MilConnect site.

Eligible dependents include:

  • Spouse: Not eligible for BAH while member is on Active Duty unless spouse is also an entitled veteran.
  • Child: Eligible only after member has served at least 10 years. They will receive BAH and the Books stipend.

For more information about the process see Transfer of Benefits. Eligible transferees may access their benefits by creating an account  and signing up with VA Form 22-1990E on VONAPP

Children of service members who died in the line of duty are eligible for the Marine Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry Scholarship, which entitles full Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits to each eligible child. 

 

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