Friday, January 14, 2011

Revised GI Bill offers more for National Guard

January 12, 2011 
Wisconsin National Guard Public Affairs Office

Under changes signed into law Jan. 4, the time National Guard members served on active duty on or after Sept. 11, 2001 - qualifying Title 32 orders as well as full-time Guard members in the Active Guard and Reserve (AGR) program - will count towards thePost-9/11 GI Bill.

Service members who accrued between 90 and 180 days of active duty since Sept. 11, 2001 are eligible for 40 percent of the total benefits from the Post-9/11 GI Bill. Those who served at least 36 months are eligible for 100 percent of benefits.
This change takes effect Oct. 1 but is retroactive to Aug. 1, 2009 when the Post-9/11 GI Bill went into effect.

"Since the first GI Bill in 1944, this unique educational program has adapted to the needs of America's veterans," said Eric K. Shinseki, Veterans Affairs secretary. "Like its forbearers, the Post-9/11 GI Bill is growing to ensure the men and women who serve this nation in uniform receive valuable education benefits from a grateful nation."

Other changes to the Post-9/11 GI Bill, which take effect Aug. 1:
  • The Post-9/11 GI Bill will pay all public school in-state tuition and fees, including graduate training;
  • An annual national cap will be set at $17,500 for tuition and fees in a private or foreign school, not including contributions by educational institutions under the "Yellow Ribbon" program;
  • College fund payments will be paid on a monthly basis, rather than lump sum. Students with a class load considered half-time or less will also be eligible for college fund payments;
  • Reimbursement will be available for multiple licensing and certificate tests as well as fees for national examinations used for college admission (SAT, LSAT, ACT, GMAT);
  • Vocational rehabilitation participants who are otherwise eligible for the Post-9/11 GI Bill may elect the higher housing allowance offered;
  • Housing allowance will not be paid when students are not in class, such as the break between fall and spring semesters.
Changes effective Oct. 1:
  • Housing allowance will be pro-rated to match credit hours taken per term. A class load considered three-quarter time, for example, will yield 75 percent of the housing allowance;
  • Students enrolled in distance learning will receive 50 percent of the national average housing allowance;
  • On-the-job training, some flight training, apprenticeship training and correspondence courses will be covered;
  • The book stipend will be payable to active duty members.
Information about the new provisions is available on the Internet at www.gibill.va.gov.

Jerald Terwilliger
National Chairman
American Cold War Veterans
"We Remember"


---------------- "And so the greatest of American triumphs... became a peculiarly joyless victory. We had won the Cold War, but there would be no parades." -- Robert M. Gates, 1996