Post 9/11 GI Bill – Explained

The Post 9/11 GI Bill was created to serve those veterans who served on active duty on or after September 11, 2001.  It includes 36 months of entitlement that is available for use for 15 years from the last period of active duty lasting at least 90 consecutive days. 

If, however, you were released from active duty after a serving minimum period of 30 days due to a service-connected disability, your eligibility will last 15 years from your release date.  These benefits can be used for any approved program offered through a school in the United States that offers at least an associate’s degree or higher.  If you are considering attending a school in a foreign country, check online at or call 1 (888) 442-4551 for more information. 


To qualify for education benefits under the Post 9/11 GI Bill you must have served a minimum of 90 total days and fall into one of the following categories:

  • Have been discharged from active duty with an honorable status
  • Have been released from active duty to further serve in a reserve component of the Armed Forces
  • Have been released from active duty and placed on the retired list or temporary disability retired list
  • Have been transferred to the Fleet Reserve or Fleet Marine Corps Reserve after being released from active duty
  • Having been released from active duty with an honorable discharge due to a service-connected disability after serving at least 30 continuous days after September 19, 2001

If you meet the eligibility requirements for both the Post 9/11 GI Bill and the Montgomery GI Bill you must make a permanent decision as to which program you would like to receive benefits. 


The percentage of benefits received is determined by the length of active duty service. 

100% – those serving at least 36 months

100% – those serving at least 30 consecutive days and discharged due to a service-connected disability

90% – those serving at least 30 months but less than 36 months

80% – those serving at least 24 months but less than 30 months

70% – those serving at least 18 months but less than 24 months

60% – those serving at least 12 months but less than 18 months

50% – those serving at least 6 months but less than 12 months

40% – those serving at least 90 days but less than 6 months


Depending on the percentage of your eligibility, VA will pay either all or part of your tuition and fees up to the cost of the most expensive, in-state undergraduate public institution of higher education.  Fees are paid directly to the school of choice and not to the veteran. 


VA will cover the expense of books and supplies up to $1000 annually.


A monthly housing allowance will be paid directly to the veteran equivalent to the basic housing allowance given to military rank E-5 with dependents in the same zip code as that of the school you are attending.  Veterans who are enrolled half-time or less or those enrolled only in distance learning programs are not eligible for this benefit. 

If your school of choice charges tuition and fees exceeding the most expensive in-state school’s tuition, and you are receiving benefits at 100%, you may qualify for the Yellow Ribbon GI Education Program.  This program helps offset some of the additional tuition expenses.  The school you are attending must be a participant of the program and willing to state what percentage of tuition they are willing to waive, up to 50%, for its participants as well as how many participants they will allow being part of the program each year.  If the school and the student meet the criteria, VA will match the school’s percentage up to 50%.


VA offers a way for students benefiting from the GI Bill to earn additional money while attending school.  They offer a work-study program where students can earn an hourly wage while getting their education. Applications must be submitted for this program.  VA offers jobs in the following venues:

  • Processing VA paperwork at schools or other training facilities
  • Working at national or state veterans’ cemeteries
  • Working at other jobs in VA regional offices
  • Assisting with patient care at VA hospitals or domiciliary facilities
  • Working at other VA-approved activities


It is possible if you are eligible for Post 9/11 education benefits that you may be able to transfer these benefits to either your spouse or children of a combination of both.  Those family members you are considering the transfer of benefits to must be enrolled in the Defense Eligibility Reporting System and be eligible for benefits at the time of transfer.  If a child who has received a transfer of benefits gets married, the benefits will not be affected.  The same is true for a spouse approved to receive a transfer of benefits if a divorce occurs.  However, the veteran does retain the right to revoke or modify the transfer of benefits to any recipient at any time.