Post-9/11 GI Bill Changes: How They Affect You

If you’ve been following the news recently, you’ve heard about changes in legislation to the Post-9/11 GI Bill.  Recent reports have done well to describe the changes, but we’d like to break down the differences you can expect for the upcoming fall semester to give you ample time to plan ahead.  If you’re completely new to the GI Bill and want to attend school, first identify what program is best for you.

The following information will apply to two kinds of students: those who will be going to school for the first time in fall 2011, and those who have been in the program and need information about the changes.  First up, the most talked about changes.

Break pay ends, but extends eligibility

One of the biggest differences—and one Veterans have been most critical of—is the elimination of break pay between the fall and spring semesters.  It was eliminated to help pay for students to use benefits who were otherwise not entitled, like National Guard members activated under Title 32 and non-degree seeking students interested in flight school or correspondence classes.

This is tough for many people to swallow since the break pay eased the burden to pay rent between semesters.  But I think for a lot of people, it’s a blessing in the long run.  Contrary to popular belief, the break pay is an added bonus.  Presently, it’s deducted from your total allotment of 36 months of benefits.  So for example, currently, if the break is a month, then you receive a normal housing allowance payment but expend a month of your benefits.  If that happens four times during the course of an undergraduate degree, that equals a full semester of benefits exhausted, with no tuition coverage.  But, beginning next semester, that will no longer  happen.

I’ll use myself as an example.  In between the fall and spring of 2009-2010, my break pay was $1,153 since I was enrolled full time, which would amount to a total of $4,612 break pay for a four year undergraduate degree (the amount of semester breaks will vary from student to student).  The cost of just one semester of study at the school I planned on attending was $14,150.  If I were to run out of benefits before securing a degree, I would be liable for $14,150 each semester remaining, instead of being out $4,612 but receiving full tuition and housing for the semester.  That’s why it might sting in the short run but could potentially help down the road when you don’t have to take out loans to cover any remaining classes to graduate.  Beginning a budget now will help minimize the burden for those short periods in between semesters.

The private school tuition cap

Another important change is the national cap of private and foreign schools set at $17,500 a year.  That might be alarming to those attending private school now, but the Yellow Ribbon Program is still in effect and will be available for the fall semester.  Since the changes just happened, many schools have not formalized how the changes will affect their programs in terms of the amount of Yellow Ribbon students and other factors.  Check with your VA or financial aid official on campus to see if the new rules impact your ability to attend cost-free.

Prorated housing allowance

If you pursue less than full time in a semester, your housing allowance will be prorated accordingly.  For example, if full housing allowance is $1000 and you go three quarters time, you get 3/4 of the full time amount, rounded to the nearest tenth (in this case, $800 a month).  This eliminates the previous rule that allowed GI Bill users to receive full payments by taking only one credit more than half time.

The perks

So the big and controversial changes are covered.  How about the other aspects which help out a large, previously unrepresented population?

• A large number of National Guard members activated under Title 32 of the United States Code will have access to benefits
• Active duty members and spouses will receive the $1000 a year book stipend
• Gives Voc Rehab students the choice to elect the sometimes more generous living stipend of the Post-9/11 GI Bill
• Allows reimbursement for tests used for admission into college (SAT, ACT, GMAT, LSAT)
• Students taking only online classes will receive a housing allowance half the national average, at $673 a month if 100 percent qualified (36 months of active duty time)

There are more added benefits that we’ll discuss later, but these changes have the most impact and will take effect this fall.  Visit the Post-9/11 GI Bill page for a detailed list of all the changes.

So let us know what you think.  Will the changes help or cause you to rethink your education plans?

CrabAppleLane/Flickr

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135 Comments to “Post-9/11 GI Bill Changes: How They Affect You”

  1. Creighton says:

    As far as the online courses go, I’m taking three classes “face-to-face” and three online-only classes at my university. So far, I’ve only taken “face-to-face” classes, and have been full-time the entire time.
    How will the housing stipend be affected this spring, if any?
    If I’m not going to get the whole housing stipend, then I need to make a quick class schedule change before class starts on Tuesday.
    Thanks!

    • Alex Horton says:

      I believe you only have to take one “face to face” class to qualify for the full housing stipend if you are enrolled full time, which shouldn’t change under the new rules in the fall.

      • Brian Woodruff says:

        The changes that are comming are that you will need to take classes at a full time rate with 1 class being on campus if you want the full BAH if pursuit is at 3/4 you will get 3/4 BAH and 1/2 pursuit 1/2 BAH if 100 percent qualified(as where before it was 1 class on campus and pursuit at better than 1/2 time if 100 percent qualified)
        For the distance (on-line) classes it’s the same except it’s at 1/2 the national BAH rate which comes to $673 a month if 100 percent qualified, then cut by the % of pursuit, so on-line only @ 1/2 time you will only get $337 a month

    • james says:

      Can mil to mil attending school collect BAH x 2? Since it is a separate entitlement should be? Here is another one..if mil transfers his eligibility to his wife, and he also enrolls with his wife in school. Can they both get the BAH entitlement?

      • Cory says:

        no only one BAH per houshold

        • Nel says:

          My husband is active duty (E-5), will i be eligible to get housing allowance?

          • James says:

            hi,
            In your case, it is not housing allowance, per se; it has the equivalent value of housing allowance, for an E-5 WITH Dependents. Your husband is under a contract by his gov’t, his housing payments won’t change. You will be a student, taking classes under the GI Bill, which you will use your husbands entitlements, which he may need when post military arrives, and the rate you will get for expenses, will be that rate of an E-5, with dependents; based on the zip code of your main campus, I believe and in my opinion.
            ~james

      • Jason says:

        Cory this is not entirely true. I am a Veteran so it may be different for an active member, but I am attending school full time and so is my wife with my transferred benefits. We both get BAH and Book entitlements, the only thing she does not receive is the GI Bill kicker I received on my enlistment contract.

        • Mike says:

          Jason,

          With the new law, I just became eligible. I’ve been retired for 2 years and am looking to transfer some of my benefit to my child. How does the BAH or housing stipend work?

          Thanks.

  2. Jason says:

    This is the worse bill for me ever first of all the loss of bah for the 58 days off is gonna kill me how can i find a job for 2 months…second I have already signed a contract for my bachelors degree program which will only be covered by 50% from VA. I can understand how it helps alot of veterans but as a disabled combat vet how can we take benifits from one vet to give to another vet. Some thanks i get for being shot.

    • Joseph says:

      DUDE STFU ABOUT YOUR SOBBING CRYING STORY ABOUT BEING SHOT. ITS A NICE TRY TO GET EVERYONE TO FEEL BAD FOR YOU! ATLEAST YOU DIDNT LOSE YOUR LIFE LIKE MOST PEOPLE OVER THERE!

      • matt eastood says:

        ok he was shot isnt that bad enough you need to stop being an inconsiderate bastard and stop attacking him for going through what your pog ass prolly never did sitting on the fob eating taco bell

      • Matt says:

        That was a pretty douche post.

      • Eddie says:

        I can hardly see a “sobbing crying story”. I however can see someone making a simple statement about getting shot. Hell, I have a ball bearing shard in my left shin. But that’s all I’m saying. I didn’t even get a purple heart for it. Am I crying or making a “sobbing crying story”…no, I’m not. I’m simply stating I got a ball bearing in my leg. Big deal. Don’t jump someone for just making a random statement in passing. Would you have the manhood to say something like that to his face? Probably not. It’s easy to shyt talk to someone on the internet…just remember how less of a person that makes you for going that route.

    • Mike says:

      Having a part time job while you’re in school will actually help you with time management. There is no reason to spend 40 hrs a week in the books. There are people who get shot for no reason and die and they never enlist in the military,Completely agree with Joseph.

  3. Jennifer says:

    I think the loss of the BAH for two months sucks. I agree that finding a job for two months to cover rent is going to be near impossible.

    • Ken says:

      Actually if you are not a lazy piece of shit finding a job for two months isn’t hard. Write up a professional looking resume like your taps instructor taught you and send it in to several companies. As long as you take initiative to help yourself you’ll be fine. Poggs don’t know much about doing things on your own though so yea you’re probably screwed.

      • Seal 3 says:

        You’re a fucking dip shit! Drop the G.I. Joe shit and come back to reality you fucking retard! What employer worth there shit is gonna hire someone for 4 weeks? Bitches like you is why I got out!

        • kickit says:

          That is a very valid point. Finding a job other than a Walmart stocker or or some other minimum wage gig is hard enough even if you are qualified in this economy. Now add to that you are going to bail on the employer after 4-6 weeks – most probation periods are at least 90 days.

          This break pay is a huge kick in the teeth for us depending on this money. I’m not dissing the single guys here, but honestly your financial situation vs those of use with a full family to worry is a whole different beast.

          Really – you can only save so much on a tight budget – now I have to budget to be $2000 short on my budget. How do you budget for a difference of 2k?

  4. Terry Jenkins says:

    Just another piece of mess for all veterans out there. Why do we continue to get screwed. We can give our lives on the battlefield yet we can’t come home and try to better ourselves with education without stipulation or rules. All this claimed to benifit or help us yet it just exacerbates issues we already have. What’s next…. The one positive I have after 12yrs of service being taken away from me and now it’s all just a mess, just adds more worry…

    • Joseph says:

      how about being a little more appreciative of what the post 9/11 GI Bill gives you. The thousands of dollars being thrown at you isnt enough? Or would you rather be stuck with the MGIB.

      • Michael says:

        Yeah if you go to a community college and get grants to pay for your school then the MGIB is ok I am using that because after I use all the MGIB up I still get the Post 9/11 for 12 months after that. For those of you that are single and can make it on 1426 a month dont opt out of you MGIB for the Post 9/11. I am taking welding. and I still get about 2000 back from the Pell grant.

      • Seal 3 says:

        Yeah yeah, shut up and be thankful… FUCK THAT! The post 9/11 is the fucking least our piece of shit country can do for us!

    • Kimberly says:

      Terry,

      Yes, sad but true. I understand being “greatful” however, when you depend on the money to contribute towards the family you may or may not be supporting and costs for child care, it kind of kills your mood huh. Looks like Joseph dosen’t have a care in the world and god bless him if his life is so easy, however I hope it is always that way. Heaven forbid his medical benefits change, he is cheated out of life insurance or reduced benefits in some other area. Of course then the reply would be “practice what you preach” and just be greatful right…very appreciative :)

  5. Brian Woodruff says:

    I am effected by the new regulations, I go to Devry, before there was the state cap that worked fine, but now with a cap of 17,500 annualy it will only permmit me to go for 2 semesters a year (before I would have been able to go year round with 3 semesters) And here’s the big kicker going to devry is cheaper and quicker than going to ASU for the same degree program. I will gladly give up the Break Pay and book stipend for the classes that provide a free e-book, but don’t forget the Guy’s and Gal’s going to year round schools.

  6. Jim White says:

    Firstly, let me say thank you for sharing your boots on the ground experiences in writing. As I reflect on the college matrix as is very dim in the USA. College “completion” is at a all time low, in fact we’re now I think 25 in the globle ratio when in the late 80′s we were number one. starting and completing are two different matrix’s.

    A great many vets want to be carpenters, electricians you know, “Defend..Now Build America.” As well as the new gibill 2.o what did they do to enhance this aspect of training and careers in “busy hands?”area. Today’s vet as a carpenter is tomorrows shop owner (hiring authority) via SBA Patroit Loans and others plans out here as a veteran owned business in the trades, services, solar panals, security systems, manufacturing baselines and all 93% succeded in the worst of the economic times over non-vet owned businesses. So its options time is my take on all this.

    Our veteran buddies & I like to ask in these moments, “is there a dream…dreaming you?”

    We need direct and concise writing on this very little talked about aspect of the new GI Bill 2.0. If any veteran with Gi Bill collage or trade crafts is just not sure what route to take before applying let me suggest a great book, a thinker, “Shop Class for Soul Craft by Matthew Crawford, PhD. It may help in the decision tree of your path. vr jim.-Pittsburgh.

  7. Mike says:

    This sucks…changing the deal for vets midstream. I knew when I saw that Congress passed this that people would be getting screwed…this is because the cost of the overall bill is actually going down. So, instead of painting the rosy picture like you do…imagine if they had left the program at current funding levels…they could have gotten even more vets in as opposed to changing the rules on people already in the program.

    Also, a few questions…

    1) When exactly does this bill go into effect?
    2) I thought I read something about the BAH changes would be based on the school year now and not the calendar year?

    • Alex Horton says:

      I don’t know where the rosy picture comes from. I led with the changes many feel are negative, even though the first rule of government speak is to open with the positive stuff. I have mentioned before that I’m uncomfortable with the way budgets are balanced, and will definitely push for a grandfather clause any way I can. But I’m not Congress, and neither is VA. We just carry out the law. I’m just here to explain it.

      To answer your questions:

      1. Different changes will happen this fall at different times. Go here to look at the schedule.
      2. Not sure what you mean, but the only way BAH will change is if you were taking 3/4 time (or one more credit than half time) but collecting full pay. If you are taking just online classes, you will receive BAH for the first time. If you are a Voc Rehab student, your BAH will increase (and maybe significantly) if you elect to receive Chapter 33 housing payments.

      • Mike says:

        My second question related to when the BAH payments change amounts based on the new rates each year. I understand now they are supposed to change in January of each year, but I thought I read that they would be adjusted at the beginning of each school year. So if you started in September of 2011 you would get paid the same BAH rate through that entire year even though a new rate would come out in January of 2012.

        Have you heard anything like this?

        • Alex Horton says:

          The BAH rate is the same as the military, wherever you go to school you get the rate that an E-5 with dependents receives in the same area. It doesn’t go up or down based on any academic year. It’s what the laws set. I can check, but I think BAH payments change immediately when it becomes mandated. It might take VA a while to update the system with the changes, as it did last year. I know many people (including myself) received a payment a few months after the rates went up to pay the difference. I believe there are laws that protect the rate from decreasing as well.

      • Jalica says:

        So many upfront folks speaking regarding what is happening, hard to know where to start. I am the widow with no means but my schooling as a veteran. Still holding on to what is left, and I wondered how Veterans really feel, much has been dismissed over years of futile hopes and American Dreams of Faith. What is left, when one reads as to how we proceed through this maze of consistant struggle. Does Congress and the Senate really care where we stand. I wonder, as I have filtered through the greys of statesman full of malarky. Truth is never known until it is ripped from your life! Where is the torch that burns do bright for Americans to be treated with Dignity to life life. So many ambush there own, yet, they fall to empathize real needs because most see struggle to sustain to be indifferent for those who have. I have taken a stand and been tarred and feathered by the worst of Man. What is Truth and Who is to be forthright!

  8. Stephanie says:

    Unless any of you want to give your benefits to the next vet, stop complaining. Not getting BAH for two months suck, but if you can learn, you can flip a burger for two months. You could also greet people at Wal-Mart for two months. Maybe getting that $1200 a month rent wasn’t such a good idea since you don’t have a job. We all put our lives on the line for this country, and we all have one kind of issue or another, but if you don’t like the changes give up your benefits to the next vet that will APPRECIATE them.

    • Mike says:

      Stephanie,

      Your criticism is so constructive I am bursting…I am grateful for these benefits, but it is just hard to swallow when Congress and the President claim to support troops and then turn around and slash veteran’s benefits.

      Oh yeah…I have a job as well…so thanks for your wonderful insight. /sarcasm off

      • Diana says:

        Oh, really? So, please enlighten us on who will hire someone for a month. And, please also enlighten me on how, as a single mother, I am supposed to afford $900/mo in childcare? The Post 9/11 GI Bill came out right before I ETS’ed and I was so hopeful that I would be able to get my degree and still feed, clothe, and shelter my children. Now that we will not be receiving break pay, I have to give up my dreams of furthering my education so that I can support my beautiful daughters. I am also a disabled vet with limited use of one hand. So that cuts the job market for me. Next time, before you open your ignorant mouth, you should think about situations outside your own. Until then, stop criticizing people for worrying. Yes, I’m sure we will all make due and rise above the things Obama does to us veterans but it makes an already hard situation harder! We have a right to complain when members of Congress are making millions to sit on their fat butts and come up with ways to hinder an already failing economy.

        • Snowflake says:

          I don’t understand all this whining about “how can I cover this?”, “how am I supposed to afford that?”. Everyone complaining about the VA not paying enough need to take some initiative and help yourselves. I work a full-time job as a contractor following my ETS from the military, am a single father with a 3-year old boy and a 16-month old boy, and I am working full time on my graduate degree. You have no idea how difficult it is to manage a 10 hour day on my job, pick up the kids, feed them, play with them, get them ready for bed, put them down around 9 PM and then get started on what will inevitably be a four to five hour run on the homework. This is a daily event, save for maybe Sundays. Quit complaining about what the VA isn’t providing to give you the ability to pursue higher education. If you can’t pay all of the tuition, get a school loan (qualification only requires that you can fill out the application). If you can’t afford the day care (mine runs about $1500/month), get another job. Make the sacrifices that you need to make in order to validate your convictions and reap the rewards in the future. No one ever said getting an education was going to be easy, but thanks to the VA and the free money we all get under the Chapter 30 and 33, the financial management of it all has been lifted from our shoulders. Now go out there and get ‘em!

    • Seal 3 says:

      Yeah, desperately looking for a horrible job during finals week is a fantastic idea! It’s the ones who never did anything while they were who don’t have any problem with these changes. Most of us who saw the real deal over there feel pretty fucking used by our “great” country. Who the fuck are you to tell me I should be grateful?!

      • Cannon_Fodder says:

        So Seal 3, you did volunteer right? It sounds to me that you are the whining POS on this thread. If you indeed were a Seal, then you would have the intelligence and intestinal fortitude (guts) to do what it takes to get an education and stop being a burden on society.

  9. PANV says:

    ETS’d Aug 1973. Accept’d to undergrad pre med Sept 73, Dec 73 hadnot rec’d MGIB stipen did not return for Winter Semester. Feb 74 rec’d back pay 1 check. Rejoined service served 22yrs retired 92. Attempted tuition Assistance but mission over road Educational Desires. 1980 acquired Associate Technology. After 8 yrs return to premed course but had to leave again needed to raise family hard to give up 60,000 yr salary and go to school for less than 900.00/mo. I feel for our Veterans add mTBI. PTSD, Youth indecisiveness and realalize discontent and regret. Going on 59 yo working as TBI HCP w/o a Degree, now pending disability retirement, thinking about getting that illusive degree withou any type of GI Bill or benefits. Or Maybe not? For you that have been fortunate take advantage of what assistance you can get. An retired Army Trained Medic LPN and PA. Earned i the hardway and encourage others to seek an obtain educational benefits.

  10. Tracy says:

    Alex,
    Thank you for the information. I did a TEB to my son so it looks like the pending changes will affect him in the fall semester. I’m glad I have time to adapt & adjust.

  11. Daniel says:

    So now that flight programs are supposed to be covered (up to $10K per year), will I receive BAH during that?

    BTW, I’m against the change, I was supposed to be going to Embry Riddle next semester, only now I find out that maximum tuition and fees is cut to $17,500 (leaves me far behind what is actually needed, and what was covered before). Now I need to figure out some other plan.

    I know I shouldn’t complain, I’m still getting some sort of benefits, but this “Armed Forces Education Benefits Improvement Act” doesn’t actually improve anything for me, just takes it away.

    Daniel

    • Alex Horton says:

      Daniel, the Yellow Ribbon Program is still in effect. Embry Riddle is part of the program, which compromises the remaining cost of tuition with VA. It might change this fall, so contact the VA office at Embry Riddle to see if you need to do anything different. You should be receiving BAH there as well.

      • Daniel says:

        I’m also trying to understand if the $17,500 yearly limit is only for private schools (sounds that way from the VA website), or if it limits coverage of state schools tuition and fees to that amount as well. If it does, that seems like it would be an extreme decrease from what was covered before.

        Thank you for your help.

        • Alex Horton says:

          Daniel, you’re correct. The GI Bill will still pay the tuition of any state school like it does now. The cap only applies to private and foreign schools.

    • Shelby says:

      keep in mind, you earned these benefits. we all did. i just started this spring at embry riddle and the VA here told me that if they didnt make a change or grandfater clause, we would all have to either leave or pay the difference. i am not against them changing the program, but they need to close off the post 911 gi bill allowing the people already in these programs to finish. call it something else. i dont know. im just really bummed that i left active duty to pursue this amazing opportunity only to realize that they are changing the benefits i was promised/earned. dont give up bro.

  12. Melissa says:

    OK. Let me make sure I understand.

    We will not be getting paid for 2 months. Probably summer break and holiday break, correct?

    Also, how may credit hours must you maintain for “full time” status? 12 credit hrs a semester?

    Will the VA have all the proper software, computer programs and training for the VA reps in place, when this new bill comes about…. so the vets will not experience a delay in payments for MONTHS like they did last time & everything was screwed up for so long?

    Im ok with not getting paid for 2 months… but I want to know if I am going to get jacked around inthe fall because people arent processing fast enough, or no one knows what the heck is going on =’in ME NOT GETTING PAID FOR MONTHS. (I waited 8 mo. last time when i switched for the MGIBILL to the POST 911…. insaine!!!!)

    Please tell me it will be a smooth transition? Thanks

    • Alex Horton says:

      Unfortunately no one can guarantee that, but I do know the process is improving all the time. That being said, always have a plan ready. Just like you and many others, I relied on the BAH payments and a job to live, so when I hit a snag during the transition from Chapter 30 to 33, it put me at severe risk. The lesson was to recognize the GI Bill payments as assistance, not as the first and only tool to survive.

  13. Sean says:

    What I’m most upset about is that we have a generation of the military that joined the military to specifically get the post 9/11 gi bill in it’s original form. Now these same service members are a victim of the “bait and switch”. In my opinion, the updated bill is guiding separating service members to attend public colleges so the state receives a kickback from the VA tuition payments so to speak. If a student decides to attend a private university that doesn’t have the yellow ribbon program and the capped amount of $17,500 is far insufficient. Especially, for any private school in Texas. Texas vets will experience a sharp reduction in benefits for those attending private universities. As a matter of fact, some of the PUBLIC colleges cost MORE than 17,500 a year. The individual state caps were fair. The elimination of the interval pay was upsetting but a way around that is to attend summer school. Attend those truncated sessions or internships to knock out a few more credits and still get paid for housing. However, who gets a job for two months? This maybe ok for a kid that can go home to mom and dad on breaks, but many vets are single parents. That break pay would have helped tremendously. This basically boils down to Congress, not the President, keeping its word to the military service member. I’m approaching retirement and my guidance to my subordinates has been to tell them to get out. The government can’t keep their word. They need to take advantage of the GI Bill before it goes away completely. In my heart I never felt that excellent piece of legislation would last, and I was right. I tell my guys if they truly love the military then return after you’ve attended school, but get your ass out to college.

    • Alex Horton says:

      Sean, I agree with you on a lot of points, and you’re right. Since I’m not done with my undergrad degree yet, I’m concerned that by the time I finish, benefits might change even more (especially since I want to attend a private school while working at VA). However, I don’t think there was summer break pay anyway, so that doesn’t change anything. And many people take summer classes to keep payments from being interrupted. But like I said in this post, it’s a better deal to keep those eligible months in the long run, which makes up for rough starts, changes in degree plans or developmental courses (like pre-algebra) that don’t count toward a degree but have to be taken.

      Not only am I an employee of the GI Bill Club for Students, but I’m also a member. Because I didn’t plan ahead, and because I had five straight semesters with break pay a couple times, I have less than half of my benefits remaining and more than half of hours for my degree remaining. Not a good place to be in, so I don’t want people to fret over losing break pay. In all honesty it’s a better deal to keep those months for school in my opinion.

  14. Brian says:

    I am glad they are offering the stipend for distance/online learning, but here’s the rub with it: Why is it only half if you are enrolled full-time? It is not half as hard to do online/distance learning. In fact, my experience is that it is harder for a number of reasons. You still have to dedicate a significant portion of the day to study and homework. You also suffer from delay/latency issues unique to asynchronous learning environments. Waiting two days for clarification of a particular point really slows down the progress and backs up the homework. I did my master’s degree in the distance/online mode. Very tough!

    • Alex Horton says:

      Yeah, online classes seem to be more difficult for most people, but it’s not about how hard classes are. I didn’t make the rules so I can only speculate, but it might be because the school ZIP code and your home address have the ability to be drastically different, which would make payments difficult to determine.

      I understand some students take online classes through a university close by, but to have the school ZIP code in, say California and the student in Montana, the rate of housing gets a little hazy since the rule, as it stands now, takes the school ZIP code. It doesn’t make sense to me personally, since where you live is the best indicator of how much you get paid based on the cost of living. But, that’s how it is.

  15. Shawn says:

    I have to admit, I’m not surprised by the new changes that this legislation has once again passed, as we have seen so many time in our history, legislation that is meant to help, ends up being more disruptive. That old adage we seem to see in the military, fixing something that is not broken would seem fitting, however let’s face it, there were a number of Service members be it disabled or just retired that under this new system would seem to get a degree into their hands easier, which would make them more marketable in the civilian market.

    However I’ll say this, I don’t agree with telling our young bright Service member’s to get out pursuing a degree, for active duty personnel there is TA. Now there are different caps for each branch, however this is what I’ve been using, yes it’s taken longer for me to achieve my degree than what I would have liked, and it’s been challenging being deployed numerous times and what not, but that is an avenue that any active member should be trying to utilize. So that when said member is getting out pursuing degree’s or civilian employment, at least they have most if not all of it completed, hence then the G.I. Bill would be useful in completion, with even less money coming out of the pocket, especially important for our young generation.

    My question: What about turning over our G.I. Bill benefits to family member. I’ve got a four year old, who when I’m do to retire, he will be only ten. Would it be a better idea just to hold it for myself to pursue Doctorate level education for myself, will he still be able to use it before a deadline that I’m sure exists. Any help is greatly appreciated, because currently my goals for after Military life kind of ride on my only child getting that benefit, to at least off set his education expenses that I believe will be needed.

    • Alex Horton says:

      Shawn, looks like there is no deadline for transferability of the GI Bill to your kids. Check the guidelines and eligibility, but here’s the relevant information for you:

      For children:
      - May start to use the benefit only after the individual making the transfer has completed at least 10 years of service in the Armed Forces.
      - May use the benefit while the eligible individual remains in the Armed Forces or after separation from active duty.
      - May not use the benefit until he/she has attained a secondary school diploma (or equivalency certificate), or reached 18 years of age.
      - Is entitled to the monthly stipend and books and supplies stipend even though the eligible individual is on active duty.
      - Is not subject to the 15-year delimiting date, but may not use the benefit after reaching 26 years of age.

      Also, you could still transfer the remaining balance of your benefits to your child, or the whole thing if you don’t use any. Tough decision! Though it is easier to get grant and scholarship money as a doctoral candidate than as an undergrad (so I’m told – Ain’t very educated myself). I say let the kid have it if you’re only staying in to transfer the benefits to him. But it’s up to you.

  16. Alex says:

    A lot of us relied on the benifits we were told we would recieve. I think they should have as the “grandfathered” those of us alreay accepted; as much money as the govt wastes it would be a drop in the bucket to make the reasonable comprimise for those of us who were accepted in the original terms. The difference for me is tens of thousands of dollars. But it is just an “oh well” situation. Adapt.

    • Alex Horton says:

      I completely agree with that, and understand many students made plans for schools based on the information they had at the time. Hopefully the legislators will listen to appeals like yours.

  17. Nick says:

    The yellow ribbon at embry riddle will not cover flight costs. I am currently at the Daytona Campus. Alot of people are getting screwed out of flight training that is required for their degree program. Im fortunate that my degree doesnt require it, but the rest of these guys and gals will either come out of pocket or have to change degree programs and possibly run out of GI bill. kinda sucky. Not sure how true this is but i heard second hand from the regional VA rep that they are fighting this tooth and nail. Again not sure how true it is but i also heard the bill was only approved by the senate and the house didn’t have a vote on it before it was signed into law. Fwiw.

    • Anthony says:

      I have heard the same thing first hand from the VA rep at the Prescott campus. Hopefully the author will respond to my comment below and provide some clarification. No one I have talked to at the school in the Admissions or Financial Aid department knows whether the changes to payment of the flight program are set in stone, or when they will be. Very frustrating. Like you said, they are fighting it tooth & nail as a lot of people stand to get screwed here.

  18. Michael says:

    I’m new to all this. What is considered full time? I presume its based on a number of credits but is it set by school or is there some national full time number

    • Alex Horton says:

      You’re right, it’s set by the school, but typically a full time student takes 12 or more credits using a semester based system.

      • David says:

        Also I see a bunch of people that are worried about not getting the “gap” BAH, JUST TAKE SUMMER CLASSES!!!! there are 2 benefits of doing this.

        1) Summer courses are shorter therefore you use up less of your 36 months of benefits.

        2) Summer courses are accelerated therefore a little more difficult so “full time” at most colleges during the summer is 6 hours (2 classes) instead of 12 hours (4 classes) in the spring or fall.

        Just take 2 classes during the 2 summer semesters and you will continue to receive you full BAH rate and you will finish school much faster.

  19. Robert W says:

    I have just started my first semester using the Post 9/11 GI bill.
    I was approved long ago, had the process going, did all the right things. I then had to pay out of pocket for my classes, books and everything else associated with starting college at a JC level. I have not received any of my benefits so far. I was told this wasn’t an issue anymore… wrong.
    Now I read that they are going to cut me off when school ends, which was not the deal I was promised.
    It seems to me that the VA or Congress or whoever we are pointing the finger at, have created a way to make using the full benefits impossible to the average vet getting out of the military.
    To get the full benefits you have to go full time, making finding work more difficult. So, naturally, you have to go to school less to make time for a job. Or, you go to school full time, then in the off time quickly find a job that will pay the rent only to have to quit once school starts again?
    I know what happened, they made promises and then realized it was a really expensive promise. Not my problem. If those rich guys want to make cuts, why don’t they cut their salaries and bailouts.

    • Robert W says:

      How can the VA change a benefit that I was already promised? You cannot offer me something, I take the offer, then change your offer. That’s not how things work. And I still haven’t seen any money from the GI bill, I’ve been in school for 3 weeks.

  20. Anthony says:

    I spoke to a VA rep at Embry-Riddle Prescott, where I was recently accepted and hope to attend, about the changes. She informed me that after these changes take effect, flight costs will not be covered as there is no allowance for fees in the changed bill. It was explained to me that in the bill’s prior format, flight costs were covered by the fee allowance. Can you clarify this, and explain what these changes mean for those of us who may be going to Embry-Riddle pursuing a degree and flight program simultaneously?

    This is the link to the 2010-2011 tuition/fees chart.

    http://www.gibill.va.gov/gi_bill_info/ch33/tuition_and_fees.htm

    • Alex Horton says:

      Hey Anthony, not sure how much I can do here. Tuitions and fees are decided by the school, as is what’s considered a fee. I know some schools in the past had to readjust what they considered fees to accomodate the GI Bill. Maybe your school would consider the same? Bringing flight cost under tuition? I don’t know if it’s possible, but VA simply pays what the school says to pay.

  21. stephen says:

    Its nice to see that the government doesn’t cease to amaze me. I have already started going to a private school. It looks like I will not be able to finish there. The yellow ribbon program will only cover 3Gs. Not much good when the total cost a year is 29k. Now I half to try and transfer in the fall. Where schools wont take all of your credits…. It also gives the government more times to screw you out of BAH. For any new semester its a nice 33% loss off the top. I do not think its fair that people already in the program should half to loose out to what they promised. If we lacked in our promise to the military you where punished but the government once again does what it wants.
    I wrote my Congressman about a grandfather clause for people already locked into schools. I am a Sophomore soon to be Junior and your telling me I cant finish my education… That is bullsh@t…. I wouldn’t be surprised in the next couple of years the post 9/11 gi bill is axed. Its nice to know our money is going to ungrateful people in other countries while our country is withering away. Please write your Congressman if this effects you in a negative way. There are about 200 of us at my school who will not be able to finish if this doesn’t change…..

  22. michael says:

    I transferred my Post 9-11-01 benefits to my daughter to attend college for her undergraduate degree. She was fortunate enough to be accepted at Columbia University in New York where she is currently in her second semester of her freshman year. The private school cap of 17,500 per year dramatically reduces the support that the GI bill provided. Tuition and fees for undergraduates at Columbia is over 54,000 per year. Currently, Columbia does extend the Yellow Ribbon program to veterans and students in their undergraduate programs. My wife and I are facing a significant dilemna on how to finance the remaining of her education.

    This implementation of this cap for private schools wss a rude and disgraceful gesture to the families and veterans that made thoughtful decisions about pursuing a college education.

    What is needed is a grandfather clause that prevents any loss of tuition and fee support for those currently enrolled in any private school. For those who protected the values of the Army and this country (like myself for 29 years), we deserve much better treatment.

    • Michael says:

      Need to clarify one statement in my original post dated 19 Feb 2011

      Currently Columbia DOES NOT extend the Yellow Ribbon program to veterans and students in their undergraduate program.

      Thank you for your patience.

  23. John Johnson says:

    What I’m most upset about is that we have a generation of the military that joined the military to specifically get the post 9/11 gi bill in it’s original form. Now these same service members are a victim of the “bait and switch”. In my opinion, the updated bill is guiding separating service members to attend public colleges so the state receives a kickback from the VA tuition payments so to speak. If a student decides to attend a private university that doesn’t have the yellow ribbon program and the capped amount of $17,500 is far insufficient. Especially, for any private school in Texas. Texas vets will experience a sharp reduction in benefits for those attending private universities. As a matter of fact, some of the PUBLIC colleges cost MORE than 17,500 a year. The individual state caps were fair. The elimination of the interval pay was upsetting but a way around that is to attend summer school. Attend those truncated sessions or internships to knock out a few more credits and still get paid for housing. However, who gets a job for two months? This maybe ok for a kid that can go home to mom and dad on breaks, but many vets are single parents. That break pay would have helped tremendously. This basically boils down to Congress, not the President, keeping its word to the military service member. I’m approaching retirement and my guidance to my subordinates has been to tell them to get out. The government can’t keep their word. They need to take advantage of the GI Bill before it goes away completely. In my heart I never felt that excellent piece of legislation would last, and I was right. I tell my guys if they truly love the military then return after you’ve attended school, but get your ass out to college.

  24. David says:

    For those of you that are worried about not getting your “gap BAH” all you need to do is take summer courses.

    Full time in the summer is half the hours of what it is during the spring or fall because the classes are accelerated. Spring/Fall Full time=12hr Summer full time=6hr

    Also you end up using less of your allotted 36 months of benefits to get the same amount of credits IE 6 hours in each of the 1.5 month summer terms (most schools have a Summer 1 and Summer 2 semester) equals 12 hours in 3 months as opposed to 12 hours in 4 months of the spring and fall.

    And you still collect your full BAH during the summer as long as you maintain 6hr.

  25. Jennifer says:

    I knew it was to good to be true. Let’s send some of the politician”s kids off to basic training then MCT then MOS then to Iraq or afghan to get a limb blown up and see how they feel about giving up a part of their hard earned benefits. I reduced my hours at work from full time to per skim to attend school and I will never get that position back. How am I expected to pay my rent bills and provide for my son as a single parent the months I will not receive BAH? Think I will clean houses??? Haha Im not a cleaner anymore I got out of the marines last year and plan on keeping it that way. I am very appreciative. Thanks Obama for effing up my plans to attend school

  26. Justin says:

    That’s about to change after August 1st, get ready to look for a full time job in between semesters. I can understand how this wouldn’t be a problem for the typical student vet who is single living back home with mom and pop but what about those of us who are married with families that depend on this money. It’s hard enough getting a full time job as it is and now I’m supposed to have one for just 2 months at a time? Or what, give up being a full time student? This is ridiculous. Barack hooked it up then screwed us in the end

    • Tim says:

      You are right. It should be an option. Its not an option for me, because that break pay was not covering any tuition… so at the end of the 36 months of benefits… id have been left with a full semester I would have to pay for… but if you had enough credits beforehand to not worry about that… it should be at the vets discretion.

  27. Jerry Zimmerman says:

    I retired last year after 31 years as a Marine, I used part of my GI bill in the 70′s and continued serving on both Active Duty and in the Reserve (including two combat tours in Iraq) I applied to transfer my remaining GI Bill to my wife who is attending college full time and was denied. when I called VA I was told the transfer of benefits is limited to those still on active duty. Is this right? If so, that’s the way it is, if not true, what do I do next?

    • Alex Horton says:

      Hey Jerry,

      Unfortunately, they were right. Here are the rules. You have to put in for transferability before you leave the military. Not the best rule, since it all depends on how squared away your out-processing people are and how much information they give you. But like you said, that’s the way it is.

  28. Adam Cook says:

    March 3rd, 2011

    I have been on the post 9/11 bill for 3 semesters now and have not once seen a full payment. Now they took another $800 and can’t tell me why, I know this is a complaint but this bill is a nightmare and changes with who is handling the bill needs to be fixed. I have mailed letters to try to get the pay fixed and nothing seems to be getting done. My advice for anyone getting ready to start the post 9/11 bill is try to use a GI bill or the voc rehab bill first it’s much more organized, and makes more sense. The housing is a little smaller, but all the books and supplies are free. Thanks Obama for trying but unfortunately he isn’t the person handing out the BAH other morons are and they screw it up every month.

  29. Eric Warner says:

    It sounds like the change to the P911 Bill are a little unclear regarding public/state colleges. Specifically, will the P911 Bill cover full tuition and fees for ANY public/state college I wish to attend, regardless of my residency status?

    At first read, it seems as if I can choose to go to ANY state/public college (meeting IHL approval and listed under the WEAMS database). But if I am not a resident of the state where I wish to go to college, will I be charged the difference between $17,500 and whatever the state charges in non-resident tuition and fees, because — based on residency requirements — I might not even qualify for the “highest in-state tuition”?

  30. Tim says:

    This is exactly the problem. There are those of us with a 4.0 at a highly esteemed and exclusive private school that are now pretty screwed over by this. The entire new law is ridiculous.

    According to the congressmen we have spoken with, they had no idea what they passed… it was a pelosi turd signed into law.

    Intentions of new law:

    1. Make the distribution of students more “fair”. Some schools were getting a lot of GI Bill students, others were getting none. The disparity in fee caps were attracting students to certain programs in specific states. The problem here is that the GI Bill is about the VETS… NOT THE SCHOOLS. Cater to the STUDENTS, not the schools. We are the ones that earned it.

    2. Make vocational schools available. PROBLEM HERE TOO…. If you want to be an HVAC tech, then go do it. Thats fine. However, when given the opportunity to do something MORE that can earn more money… why not? So dont cater to vocational schools… stick with higher education. It is an insult to change the GI Bill to cater to vocational schools as though welding and HVAC are all vets should be doing.

    3. Some programs are now impossible with the restrictions placed on the private institutions. PROBLEM!!!!!!!! With the old one, you could go to ANY school in the country, so long as they had the Yellow Ribbon program. NOW you are mostly restricted to public schools (I chose not to go to a public school because THEY SUCK and cater to the government entities that fund them). Also, going over that new all encompassing cap leaves the student with the bill for any lab fees or flight fees that go over the cap…… Now you have to go to a public school…. which DONT have those specialized programs.

    4. Fix funding and budget problems….. This is hilarious. Not very many vets ever used the old GI Bill… it just wasnt very practical. That means that the 1200 dollars per servicemember that was put in…. (100 bucks per month the first year in is a LOT to swallow at e-2 pay) and that money has sat around. Yes, there is no more contribution…. however…. THERE IS STILL TONS OF MONEY BELONGING TO VETS. Its not tax dollars. Its OUR dollars.

    5. FLIGHT…. The flight progams are now completely destroyed and are no longer an option for vets. They added a 10k per year cap for going to a flight school not affiliated with a college which is a joke. Anybody knowing anything about flight knows that 10k wont get you ANYTHING in the aviation world. You might be able to get your private, but that about it. Having a PPL DOESNT get you a job. The point of the GI Bill is to retrain vets to more civilian suitable jobs. So whats the point of a 10k per year cap when flight costs to be even get a CFI job are about 50k for fixed wing (program takes about 2 years) or 60-90k for a helicopter pilot (takes about 15 months). They will pay for garbage schools for garbage degrees simply because they are public schools, but they wont allow motivated vets to achieve success based on their own efforts and merit.

    Overall, this piece of legislature is complete garbage. As of August 1st, my ability to complete my degrees (more than one) at a highly regarded technology school, is gone. I was going to be finishing a bachelors degree and my MBA at the same time. Now I have to transfer, potentially lose credits, i wont be finishing my helicopter CFI or CFII. Other schools with the programs i want are almost nonexistent.

    So congress thinks that paying for BAH at ASU (1280 i think it is now) plus books and full tuition (in state is still pretty expensive) so someone can get a dance degree, or maybe a basket weaving degree??? My last option is to go become Van Wilder of some public school and party through 4 years of BS education? (I guess this makes sense, since that same DANCE degree will also get you a slot to OCS…… wonder what would happen if they required a science, business, or psych degree to become an officer?)

    I am quite unhappy about this garbage legislature. It was fine the way it was. I dont care if some school didnt get what they want. So here are my options now that I will not have my MBA…. Go back into the Corps? yeah, not likely…. Take a security contract overseas??? Probably going to happen now… Waste four years at a public school in a waste of time program I have no interest in? Yeah, insulting.

    Thanks obama and pelosi, No wonder you wanted us on terrorist watch lists. You are making those of us that are quite capable, very very very angry.

    • Tim says:

      Oh, and this doesnt even include how pissed I am that i spent a few thousand dollars moving across the country to pursue this program, and now not even halfway through i get shafted. I invested huge money into doing this.. not including what the GI Bill paid for…. so what am i suppose to do now that I am low on money and stuck halfway across the country without the funds to move back to where I was? They wont even delay the changes or grandfather us into it…. if you sign law that CHANGES the GI bill, then it should be published and take 4 years to be instituted… so new GI Bill users KNOW what they are getting themselves into ahead of time… but changing it like this out from under people is just stupid. They signed a law in august of 1 year, after I had already invested… we should sign a law that cuts congessional pay as of 2 weeks from now… and its illegal to quit…. I bet they would whine about that. Minimum wage sounds good.

      • Tim says:

        If this gets to anybody that matters… and actually reads this. GRANDFATHER ANYBODY THAT WAS ENROLLED IN ANY PROGRAM PRIOR THE THE DATE THE CHANGES GO INTO EFFECT. Leave their benefits alone…

  31. Christina says:

    Please explain how this change will affect students, such as myself, that attend the University of Phoenix, and similar schools. We go to school year round with no breaks and are considered fulltime students. Will we not get paid during the summer?

  32. Cathie says:

    No doubt that this will create a hardship for me not being paid BAH during breaks. My question is this; how can it be legal for the Federal Govt. and the President to change the benefit so drastically on something that REQUIRED us Veterans to make an IRREVOCABLE choice. That just doesn’t sit well with me no matter who it happened to. It seems that we should be calling our Congressmen and Senators over that question. And asking them why they weren’t asking that question for us getting it remove from the table.

    For those or you doing online schooling this is a big plus; but in this day and age I don’t understand why you cannot get the whole BAH for the zip code you file with the school for your physical address or the 100% of the lowest BAH in the country. We live in a technological world the govt. should catch-up online schooling is the best way for some because it cuts the expenses of driving to school, hiring childcare, ect..

  33. Cathie says:

    Christina, If you are going to schooll fulltime in the summer you will still getting paid for that time. Say like a community college goes only six weeks in the summer and then you still have one month off; it is only that month off that you won’t get BAH and any scheduled breaks between quarters, trimesters, or semesters. With that in mind they may find this more expensive to follow all the schools, calculate, and verify than the value of what they save.

    I do like the Grandfather idea that keeps the benefits as they are for those already in the program or with applications dated prior to the signing. Only because of the irrevocable choice we had to make when filling out the application.

  34. I know this is an old post, but I’m just addressing a few points that haven’t been really stated here or stated clearly.

    First, the new changes absolutely do hurt veterans, but this is not the VA’s* fault. I am the first to jump on things when something is in fact the VA’s* fault, but the problems here are absolutely the fault of careless legislators, and IAVA’s inattention to detail (as a major backer of the bill).

    Secondly, I am going to quantify how it hurts veterans, in the hopes that people who do genuinely want to understand the impact of their decision will come here for one-stop shopping in order to see it.

    The private school turnaround has been addressed here above partially: how it hurts students already enrolled in school. I don’t think anyone has addressed how it withdraws the promise of a stellar education from veterans, and forces them to be content with a mediocre one, even for our high-achieving veterans. It seems obvious to me, but on the off chance that it hasn’t, I’m throwing it out there.

    The other point that I think hasn’t been addressed is how this affects veteran students who are still adjusting to civilian life, many of them with disabilities. Many veterans, particularly those suffering from PTSD or TBI, have difficulty with maintaining a full courseload of 12 credits and still doing well in those classes, especially right away after coming back. The ability to maintain 9 credits and still be able to pay the rent has been invaluable for those veterans. It’s also been useful as a fall-back, in case issues with a class or with the courseload forced them to withdraw down.

    It’s easy for some to point out that those taking 9 credits aren’t “doing their share”, aren’t putting in the effort to “get their pay”. But this benefit was never created with some sort of pay-for-play effect. The benefit was created so that veterans would have the financial ability to attend college without having to add the stress of a second job into the mix. This applies to all veterans-those able to maintain 18 credits a semester and those able to maintain 9. The purpose of this was so that veterans could get an education and be competitive in the job market afterwards. A veteran taking more credits than they really can handle just to be able to pay their rent is a veteran who is generally getting poor grades in school-which will negatively impact their future careers.

    I hope someone, at least, is listening, and cares. I’m watching too many of my fellow veterans crash and burn trying to keep up with a “full load”, and am dreading the fall, when the safety net is removed for those who adequately predicted their limitations.

    *Yeah Alex, I know “the VA” drives you (or at least Brandon) crazy. The best way to replace it is to start a new phrase going. I can’t quite get behind the “your VA” you’ve been using in this piece. ;)

  35. Marine Corps SSgt, former says:

    I’m sorry if this was addressed already, but I didn’t see it anywhere… If this federal shutdown goes through… how will that affect those of us utilizing the Post 9/11?

  36. Chris says:

    In all honest we signed a contract that promised certain things from the new GI Bill. I honored my contract why should congress not do the same and honor theirs to us? can you say bait and switch?

    • Tommy says:

      there just looking at it as a way to get more people education all they care about is numbers. And hope that the economy will someday turn around

  37. christian says:

    how many credits do you need for the summer to still get bah?

  38. Reece says:

    my school has a 12 credit req for summer full time and the classes are 2-6weeks courses each can i take 6 credits first and 6 the following and recieve full bah? or will it have to be 7 and 7? please respond asap.

  39. charles says:

    What is the total of the Gi Bill? I served in OIF. It was 19,000 while i was in, but i heard that it was raised for those who served in the war.

  40. vivian says:

    If your discharge was general under honorable can u still be eligible for post 9/11 GI BILL.

  41. Nel says:

    My husband just transferred his G.I bill over to me, he is active duty. Will i be eligible to get housing allowance ?

  42. Brian S. says:

    I am trying to understand the changes for Post 911 GI BIll that take affect on 1 August. Where does it say that the VA is not honoring a 3 hour online course as 3 hours of credit? I usually take one face to face class and one online class to get my 6 hours of credit. My school has a compressed schedule of 8 week courses which with 6 hours made me “full time” in the past. If I keep doing this will I still be “full time” in the eyes of the VA?

    Thank you,
    Brian

  43. Charles says:

    I served in the national guard for 6 years and now im doing my 2 years of inactive. I deployed to Iraq in 2004 and did a full year deployment. I have no other active duty other than training. Im going to be taking online classes starting in january 2012. I qualify for 60% I think not 100 does this mean I dont recieve any BAH?

  44. Aaron T. says:

    These changes and trying to get a grip on some of them are almost like they were put together by Larry, Mo and Curly. I am a disabled vet going to college under Chapter 31 (Voc RehaB). The one thing that would be very beneficial to me is the line, “Gives Voc Rehab students the choice to elect the sometimes more generous living stipend of the Post-9/11 GI Bill.”
    I asked my Voc Rehab counselor a couple of times about how to elect this amount (it is about $450 more than my voc rehab stipend). She doesn’t know, hasn’t had any training on the changes. I sent a request to the VA website, and the answer I received was “Terminate Chapter 31 benefits and switch to Chapter 35,” which is not what is written in these changes. Anyone that was elegible for both could have always elected to do that. Going full Chap 35 wouldn’t work for me, which is why I went with Chapter 31 to begin with. The published these changes and nobody seems to have a clue how to implement the published changes. I’ll just go bang my head on the wall some more.

    • Jeff M says:

      Notes from my counselor on the Chapter 31 crossover that was suppose to be so beneficial to us.

      1. “so far as I know you have to go online to VA.gov and apply for CH 33 benefits and send me a document that shows you are entitled.” Actually it’s http://gibill.va.gov/ where you apply for the chapter 33 benefits and as of yet 3 weeks in and I’m still waiting for a login to the system.

      2. “there will then be an election form( still under development) you will have to sign, then I can put the benefit in place. do the application piece to get thing going while the form is under development. ” This was sent as of Aug 25th and no update yet on when or if this form is created yet.

      Once again the system that is meant to help us is delayed which ends up hurting us all. And of course there is no mention of back pay possibility as they can’t even get it sorted on how to get the current system working.

  45. Michael Smith says:

    I was a Desert Storm Veteran and retired from the Army with 21 years. There was never any mention of a time limit on the Vietnam Era GI Bill but ten years after I retired In the middle of a Bachelors Degree program they cut off my GI Benefits. I did have a lot unused. Beware to you, new era of veterans, use it quickly or lose it. Time passes too quickly.

  46. Leena says:

    My situation is a bit different from the others who have posted their questions and concerns. I am about to start my second year at a university overseas and will be graduating in 2013. The tuition cap right now is not an issue, but the break in BAH is a huge problem for me. As an international student I am only allowed to work 20 hours a week by law, but the university limits it even more and caps it at 15 hours a week, while school is in session. There is no way I would ever be able to pay my rent during the summer holiday even if I worked during the school year to save for the summer. The university does not provide summer classes either. The issue of gas prices currently at approx $9 / gallon do not help while trying to save for the future. Any bus passes or taxis would eat up any pay as well. If I cannot pay my rent, I will not be able to continue studying at the university as I would have to move back to the states. What happens then? If you fail a class you have to pay the VA back, so what happens when you don’t graduate? They certainly could not ask for the money they spent on you to be paid back, surely! Any insight would be appreciated.

  47. Jamie says:

    Thanks to these new changes my wife and I had to get ourselves into debt for the first time ever as we could not pay our bills for August. I am a former 0311 Marine with a family and two very kinetic combat tours who is going to school full time.
    Can someone tell me why my family is now in debt for the first time? I had no say in this change and I honestly don’t care if some national guardsman can sit comfortably as he is able to maintain a job since they are usually stationed within the US and very near their home. I just got out of the Marine Corps, I have to spend the money to move 5 states in order to leave where I was stationed, I was 4 days over the 180 day cutoff for financial support for my move and I did not get the housing allowance that I use for housing expenses. Now, when I return to school I’ll be paying for these bills at a >15% interest rate over the course of quite a few months, deeply cutting in to the way I’m able to provide for my family that was GUARUNTEED to me when I signed up to go through two wars.

    Food is being taken out of my families’ mouths thanks to this. I did my part, I did it well and gave my heart, body and soul for this country and now in return it is burdening me (and I’m sure many more actual combat veterans) as well as their families in a manner that could ruin entire lives. If I was not an accounting major and as smart with money as I was my wife and I would not have survived this. Thought everyone should know.

  48. Jason says:

    I switched over to the post-9/11 gi bill when it first came out (thinking this was a better deal) – little did I know that this change was coming, and oh, by the way; we’re taking back $300 of your stipend per month! While working 45 hrs a week, I can’t afford to go to school full-time (which is what it would take to get my stipend back up to where it was just 2 semesters ago)! Now, after being suckered into the post-9/11 GI Bill – I am stuck with it; cant’ go back to the montgomery gi bill…very frustrating! Now, I’m thinking twice about transferring to a 4-year college! Thanks a lot to all those who voted for this garbage – I’m sure your kids will have fine college education opportunities!!

    • Robert says:

      I am in the same boat. I do accelerated 5 week courses. I go once a week. The thing is the VA is now counting the 7 days between semesters as a gap in attending class. For example, I attend classes on Wednesday every week. The semester ends on 14 Sept. I start a new course 21 September. I am still going to school every week, but those 7 days between the courses, the VA counts that as a BREAK? Give me a break. ;)

  49. Joe says:

    Why wouldn’t they let us choose? Break pay or add it on to the end.

    I know you may be able to budget but not all of us are completely able to. I’m a single father (Thanks USN) and I have to stretch that little bit of benefits as far as they can go., Raise your hand if you can survive for 3 weeks on $100. It’s not that easy for some of us. I’ve been barely hanging on and now that I’m halfway through my junior year., this happens. I had to apply at Subway the other day because nobody else will work with my schedule. I take 18 semester hours., going to be working 20 while trying to be a good father. My thing is., I calculated how long it would take me exactly to graduate, including breakpay. 18 semester hours a term, I’ll have credits left over now. People in my situation just got screwed hard.

  50. Johnson says:

    I agree the no longer gettin break pay has its advantages and disadvantages, but it is not like you wont get paid anything most classes go at least a week or two into the last month that you usually get full pay for it is just prorated, I was a full time student(going fall sprign and summer) and classes ended Aug 11 and started Aug 29 i was still given about $600 for the time i was in school so its not like you wont get anything you just get prorates.

  51. Yovanna says:

    Hi! This is my first sememster using the post gi bill. I’m getting 80% of my benefits but I am only going part time this semester. Will I still be entitled to BAH? Thanks

  52. mike says:

    How do report over/underpayment of benefits?

  53. maria says:

    My classes started on Aug 29 2011. I am taking my classes 100% online. G I Bill is only paying 90%, am I still qualified to get half of the BAH stipend?

  54. Yoda says:

    I was just paid today and my BAH was extremely underpaid. I barely received 1/2 of my monthly BAH. I am a full time student taking 17 credits and do not understand why I’ve been shorted so horribly.

  55. alley says:

    I have a question I was hoping someone can help me with….I was lucky and received a Pell Grant which covered my tuition and books. I also received a check back from the Grant for 900.00. I just recieved notice that my GI bill has payed the school as well. How does this work? Will I end up paying back the Pell? I’m really confused.

    • James says:

      Nick,

      Pell grants are NOT included in calculation of MGIB payments. U.S.C. 108, Section 3313(c) states this reimbursement is included in the calculation “any scholarship, or other Federal State, institutional, or employer-based aid or assistance (other than loans and any funds provided under section 401(b) of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1070a)) that is provided directly to the institution and specifically designated for the sole purpose of defraying tuition and fees.” This referenced section authorizes Pelss grants. So enjoy

  56. Nick H says:

    I no longer get my tuition covered because of these changes. It now only covers about 70%. I go to a state school Eastern Washington University but because my some classes are online and the funding for my classes is considered self support by the state. The VA will only pay for 2200 when my tuition is 2900. “Restoring fairness” right. This is BS if I were going to a private school or if all my classes were on campus I would be covered but I fall into this loophole so I get a bill for $700 dollars a week before school starts.

  57. John Gomez says:

    Can i use my post 9/11 g.i bill outside of the country if so where can i find the listing of the countries

  58. Zeebo0311 says:

    I have to agree with the majority of the people posting in protest to the changes to the bill. I was doing some research on all this stuff when I first heard about the changes. It’s not like the Guardsmen didn’t have a G.I. Bill plan, they just wanted what we (active duty) veterans were getting. It’s not like the guardsmen weren’t getting some sort of benefit. They’re covered under Chapter 1606 which pays for tuition, books, degree and non-degree programs, OTJ Training, apprenticeship programs, flight programs, and correspondent courses. The only thing they weren’t getting was the BAH. I understand that they want to have the same benefits…I’m going to sound a biased, but I don’t think they deserve it when active duty veterans who have served in theater, who have conducted combat operations boots on the ground, in harms way, have truly earned these benefits. I don’t think it’s right to take away our benefits to those who decided to join the guard when they only get activated when natural disasters or a crisis occurs. Sure they’re part of the military, but not the active Military. As I said before they were still getting a benefit of the G.I. Bill.As for finding a job, good luck. I’ve applied everywhere since I got out last year. 5 years of service and NO ONE is willing to hire me…especially not if I’m only going to be working for only 4-8 weeks. I really can’t complain about the break pay because I’m a single person. I’m ok with the break pay, but I think the bill should accommodate veterans who have families, and veterans who are single parents. You can take my break pay if it means that it helps a fellow veteran that actually needs it.

    • mike says:

      zeebo0311, you are not entirely correct about what Gaurdsman do or dont do.Im active National Gaurd and while you state that the Gaurd does not deploy or serve the same type of missions you do is incorrect. My National Gaurd Brigade has been deployed now three times in the matter of five years. I served a tour in Afganisatn in 04 through 05 and one in Iraq in 07 through 08. Are you stateing that people who dop the same missions as you did in the same countries should not be allowwed the same type of benifits? I understand that Active duty is alot different then being a one weekend drilling soldier but when it really matters we are all soldiers. As a matter of fact i ran into alot more National Gaurd soldiers deployed then i met active soldiers.Im not trying to say one is more tough then another but want people to understand that just because a soldier is in the Gaurd does not mean they are only playing Army one weekend a month. We all went to the same basic trainings and same schools and have been to the same countries in the same theaters.Every one of us stood up and took the same oath. Anyways Thank you for your service as well and i hope you get all you are entitled to. I just wanted to shed some light and educate some on the role of Gaurd and reserve soldiers and how we are not to much different then the Active componets. I have been on both sides and both branches do alot of the same things. Active duty just does alot more training through out the year. Good luck to you all.

      • Carlos says:

        Dude are you crazy!! I’m a ranger (11Bang Bang) and your trying to compare yourself to active duty. First of all you guys are usually out of shape, and have problems just not getting flagged. Second of all the mission you do are completely different from those of real soldiers. The most you deserve is 1/3 of what active duty guys and gals get when they get out. Don’t you dare compare yourself to active again. You still deserve benefits, but you saying that your just as proficient as an active soldier and that we are all soldiers is asinine!!

    • gary says:

      Nick H.

      I am retired National Guard attending college. I have have been on 5 deployment, and have a total of 29 yrs of service, 16 yrs of which was served on ACTIVE DUTY. I have served as an 11B, 19D, 63Z, 92Z and 00Z. Do you think I qualify for benefits as a National Guardsman?

    • DC says:

      Well Mr Zeeboo – you are so wrong. I was in the National Guard for nearly 24 yrs…….22 of which were AGR – which is – ACTIVE GUARD/RESERVE. We do the same job as AD – deployed just as much – had to meet the same IG stadards of performance – and well – Post 9-11 my unit was on TITLE 10 AD for over 10 major deployments. I was personally BOG for nearly 9 months and many in my unit were BOG for multiple deployments. Never heard of our used 1606 benefits. Then add the fact that not only was my unit deployed non stop for over 10 years…….that the Guardsmen were activated to Fed title 10 or State AD nonstop during this time as well. Leaving their civilian jobs – sometimes loosing them because the employer broke laws – heck we had 2 Doctors in my Security Forces Squadron who made 6 figures but were in the Guard as enlisted – and once activated lost businesses and went down to E5 pay…………so your sacrifice is well apprciated but don’t compare apples and oranges and ultimately determine your sacrifice was greated than someone elses’ – it was merely under different circumstances – but the reward to all Veteran’s should be equal – Purple Heart – well that is a different story. We all did a job that was required by our country – whether we cooked or ate the food they cooked – we all served. Plus another thing you don’t understand – AGR’s like me had to pay into the regular GI Bill – just like the Reg AD did – that was our only option – so why when the program improved would we not also be afforded the same program benefits all AD whether Reg or Reserve Component had to PAY FOR? Maybe you didn’t know that what you got we got once we went AD……..so why would these rules be any different. Good luck!

  59. Ian Gaor says:

    I will using the voc rehab to back to school. I was told that voc rehab would pay 100% of the tuition and other materials. What happens now, how much is voc rehab going to shoulder?

  60. Mike says:

    I feel that the GI Bill only offering 4 years of tuition is unreasonable and unfair to military members diagnosed with TBI. I know that personally I cannot, and will not attain my Bachelors Degree in the 4 years allotted through the GI Bill. Because of my diagnosed and medically compensated for TBI, I struggle to complete “easy” general education courses. I know that I am not alone in my endeavors and I believe that an amendment to the Post 9-11 GI Bill could be made for servicemen diagnosed with TBI.

    Those of us with severe injuries, seen or unseen, deserve as much opportunity as those who serve during peace-time and no injuries. Us service men and women with TBI’s deserve a fair chance at attaining an education. That’s a major reason I joined the military was for the GI Bill. Now it seems that the GI Bill is incomplete, having to struggle through each semester with a brain injury.

    This is something I feel the need to pursue along with other disabled veterans rights. I don’t expect it to change in time for me to benefit, but if I can help the next guy who comes along with the same struggle, then that’s worth putting up a fight.

    If you know of a starting point to pursue this issue please let me know. I feel that it is as important as any other programs I currently support.

    4 Years is an unrealistic timeline for Traumatic Brain Injury victims to complete a Bachelors Degree as if they had never encountered combat. Without Summer school we are expected to complete at least 5 classes per semester. That’s 15 credit hours a semester at a State University; for a Traumatically Brain Injured veteran. That’s just not likely or possible to happen for guys like me. It’s unfair not only to me, but more importantly to my buddies who have suffered worse TBI’s than me and have given up on even Community Colleges. There is a MAJOR flaw with the Post 9-11 GI Bill, and I want to have it corrected appropriately.

    Like I said, if you know of anywhere to start this petition, please let me know.

    Thank You,

    Mike

  61. Mark says:

    I have a total of 43 months active duty service on my DD 214. 13 months of it is from a deployment to Iraq. 30 months of it is from IET and AIT training. I went through 68W then through M6 school. My question is: Since I have a total of 43 months active duty service listed on my DD 214, will I get the full 100% Post 9/11 GI bill?

    Thank you,

    Mark

  62. sam says:

    my wife is in the army andI just got out of the army we were both drawing BAH. I want to apply for post 911 gi bill but someone told me since my wife is still drawing BAH from the army i wont get any BAH when i start school i have looked everywhere to see if i find this in fine print but nothing

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  64. Jordan says:

    I am taking 11 credit hours which is one below full time how much BAH should I expect to receive? 92% BAH or is it only in increments of 25% so 75% and not 92%

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