Higher learning: Three educational programs paid for by VA

College for Vets


Previously I wrote about how Veterans can use the GI Bill® to pay for  their college tuition. But education – and career development – doesn’t always begin or end with the traditional college experience. Take a look at other ways you can use VA benefits to create your own path to professional success:

Entrepreneurship Training

Owning your own business – it’s the American dream. From Apple to Whole Foods, some of our country’s most famous brands were created by driven entrepreneurs. If you have the desire to learn how to start your own business or boost a business you currently run, the VA will pay for programs offered by Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs), the most comprehensive small business assistance network in the United States. SBDCs can help you with business plan development, procurement, market research, lending assistance and more. Entrepreneurship training through the SBDC allows eligible Servicemembers and Veterans to use VA education benefits to take courses they offer. For additional information on using your benefits with SBDCs, visit the VA Entrepreneurship Training Web page.

National Testing Program

SAT, ACT, MCAT – taking standardized tests to advance your education often sounds like wading through a bowl of alphabet soup. But these tests are important – and costly. Fortunately, you can use some of your entitlement to be reimbursed for certain tests that are covered by the National Testing Program. This program will cover (mandatory) fees charged for national admission tests and national tests for college credit, including:

  • SAT (Scholastic Assessment Test)
  • LSAT (Law School Admission Test)
  • GRE (Graduate Record Exam)
  • GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test)
  • AP (Advanced Placement Exam)
  • CLEP (College-Level Examination Program)
  • ACT (American College Testing Program)
  • DAT (Dental Admission Test)
  • MAT (Miller Analogies Test)
  • MCAT (Medical College Admission Test)

To see if the test you need is on the approved list, what benefits are available to you and how to apply those benefits, visit VA’s National Testing Program Web page.

 Licensing and Certification

Do you need to get licensed for your profession? Whether you’re a medical technician, website developer, therapist, or something else entirely, the GI Bill may reimburse you for license or certification tests. Keep in mind the GI Bill pays only the test costs (up to $2,000 for each test). Fees connected with obtaining a license or certification are not reimbursable. You’ll find all of the program details on the Licensing and Certification section of our GI Bill web page.

As you continue your education in and out of the classroom, keep in mind that VA has many career opportunities. When you work here, you’ll have a comfortable salary, outstanding benefits and great work-life balance, just like the private sector.

Whether you’ve met your education goals, are on the way or are ready to start a career now, we encourage you to Join VA.



Darren Sherrard


  1. Larry Wayne Walthall    

    What can be done for the veteran who never used his original GI bill. I have a son I would like to put through college and never used my GI Bill?

    1. Michael Lane    

      What can be done for the veteran who never used his original GI bill. I have a son I would like to put through college and never used my GI Bill?

  2. Phillip Trujillo    

    Wish you would have programs that help 100% Disabled Combat veterans restore classic cars as part of PTSD treatment.

  3. Douglas Newman    

    In 1999 I was told by a VA rep that I was not retrainable and that I should forget about trying to abstaining any degree

  4. Neal Duckworth    

    Another option is Executive Education programs. Although it is not on the VA website, many universities have 1, 2, & 3-week programs in different fields. Some veterans do not want a degree–or another degree–but may want to show a current educational program on their resume. Here at Harvard Kennedy School, we have several executive education programs that veterans are using to enhance their education, build their resume, and grow their network.

  5. Rochelle Helena Smith    

    I served in the Army from 1982-1985 and was Honorably discharged what education assistance is available to me.

    Also, how do I go about resubmitting t my medical claim for back injury I suffered while serving.and the only answer I ever got was my medical records were lost. I have been going to the VA hospital in Fayetteville NC for over 7 years and have inquired several times but have never gotten a direct answer to the process. But made to seem like I lost my records and its my problem to find the records.

    Please advise will appreciate in help in resolving the matter and reapplying for benefits I rightfully deserve.

    Thank you
    Rochelle Smith

    1. augustus pisano    

      join the dav….disabled American veterans let them file your claim. they will become your accredited represenitive
      try and get some paper work showing you have been going to the va hospital in Fayetteville nc, and turn that in to your dav once you have joined them. if you are awarded for your back injury claim you will get a retroactive check from the year you first filed this claim with the va…good luck

  6. David v. zapata    

    I don’t have any ID that identifies me as a veteran. A lot of businesses give a discount with ID. How do I obtain an ID.

    1. Terri Brown    

      Hi David..I went to my local VA center, ours is tied to the main VA hospital, and showed them my DD 214 and registered with them and they gave me one at that time. Hope this helps


  7. LH    

    Fill out a VA Form 180, the instructions on were to send it is listed

  8. Emanuel Daniels    

    I’m a Vietnam Veteran and have been attending college for two years. l apply for tuition assistance from the Veteran Administration and was denied. Book are very expensive, even used books. I’m married and have a son in high school. The economy is bad and staying in school is hard, due to lack of funds. Made the Dean List twice and is a member of the honor society at Harum College. Need help.

  9. John Liranzo    

    Iam a Veteran but was not able to get into any form of GI Bill so I don’t have any educational benefits . Is there something that I can obtain to help my daughter’s get through college without incurring a Hugh college loan debt?

    1. mark    

      ANY AND EVERYONE GO TO myscholly.com YOU or YOUR KIDS can apply for scholorships (which are free money) just for being in a particular field or being a Veteran theres a wide i mean wide field of things you can apply for and get money for school and they will send you an update of ones that are available to you once you fill out their questionaire which is easy to do…

      ex: the young Guy who created this app was able to get up to 2 million in Free Scholarship Money while getting a BS,Grad,Master Degree

  10. Rick Murray    

    I used VA educational benefits back in the 1970’s and 80’s to try to get a degree. The school closed before I could finish and I never used the remaining benefits. I am disabled now and cannot do physical work and am looking for ways to get a degree in journalism or something along those lines. I was told of an extension program or some such thing but have not been able to find real answers.

    Would I also still be eligible for the entrepreneur training?

  11. Mike McGinnis    

    My question is simple. Why are post 9/11 veterans given more rights and privileges than pre- 9/11 100%, Veterans? I am a Total and Permanent Veteran and have been denied all of the “newer” programs from the VA due to my serving in the late 80s. This is not right and is ABSOLUTELY DISCRIMINATORY in behavior and action. Unacceptable. Are there any discrimination lawyers in on this conversation?

    Lastly, all of these new non-profits are popping up everywhere and including the WWP. I am a certified fundraising professional and applied for a position with Wounded Warrior Project. I made it to the initial interview where she asked me when I served. I provided my dates of service. She politely said that this program is for post 9/11 Veterans and I was not “qualified” being that I served prior to 9/11. SO, anyone who supports and Wounded Warrior Project, please know that they may be doing some good for post 9/11 Vets, but are doing NOTHING for pre-9/11.

    Again, I ask: Why is it any different when you served and why should you received special entitlements not equal to other Veterans who had it, quite honestly, much more difficult with less technologically advanced equipment at their finger tips. This is truly unacceptable and I would encourage you to support those organizations that stand behind ALL Veterans and not just the Post-9/11 Veterans.

    God Bless America. The only place the Government can discriminate against Veterans and get away with it. AMEN

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