In 1944, Franklin Roosevelt signed the GI Bill of Rights, giving military veterans unemployment benefits, a government loan guaranty for homes, farms and business properties, and a college education or technical training.
Sixty-five years later, those benefits soldier on—with a few improvements. Starting August 1 of this year, if you’re active duty military or a veteran with military service on or after September 11, 2001, you’re eligible for expanded educational benefits under the Post 9/11 GI Bill.
Under this improved bill, the Veteran’s Administration will help finance your education in whole or in part, provided:
- You served at least three months in the military since September 11, 2001, or were discharged with a service connected disability after one month, and
- You received an honorable discharge.
Benefits include tuition and fees, a monthly housing allowance, an annual book stipend, and the possibility of transferring unused educational benefits to your spouse or children.
What if you’re already receiving benefits under a previous GI Bill? If you meet the qualifications, you can switch to the new plan. Be sure to make the decision carefully, as there’s no retreat once you’re enrolled.