The New GI Bill Basics and Issues
Objectives • Understand the basics of the Post-9/11 GI Bill • Eligibility • Benefits • Issues and Concerns • Know where to find additional information as it develops
Paradigm Shift! • Chapter 33 is the most sweeping change to veterans’ education benefits since the original GI Bill at the end of World War II • It approaches the “Total Force” GI Bill proposed years ago • “Things are different!”
Who Is Eligible? • Those who served on active duty after September 10, 2001 and who served for an aggregate period of at least 90 days. • Those discharged because of a service-connected disability and serving at least 30 continuous days on active duty after September 10, 2001.
A Permanent Choice • Many veterans will be eligible for several different VA and Department of Defense education benefits • They will be required to make an “irrevocable election” to the new GI Bill • Once processed, the election cannot be changed • Each veteran’s situation is unique
Period of Eligibility (Delimiting Date) Generally, individuals will remain eligible for benefits for 15 years from the date of last discharge or release from active duty of at least 90 continuous days. This adds eligibility time for many veterans who are coming up to their original delimiting date!
Entitlement • Generally, 36 months of full-time benefits or the equivalent in part-time training • Limited to a combined total of 48 months of benefits under all educational assistance programs administered by VA. • Those transferring to the Post-9/11 GI Bill from the Montgomery GI Bill (chapter 30) will be limited to the amount of remaining chapter 30 entitlement. • “Use ALL Ch. 30 BEFORE electing Ch. 33!
Programs Approved for Chapter 33 • All programs currently approved under chapter 30 andoffered at a college or university • Not necessarily “degree” programs! • Individuals previously eligible for chapter 30, 1606, or 1607 may continue to receive benefits for approved programs not offered by IHLs (i.e. flight, correspondence, apprenticeship, on-job training, preparatory courses, and national tests)
Benefits • Tuition and Fees • Books and supplies • Housing allowance
Tuition • Tuition actually charged, not to exceed the highest tuition charged for full-time, undergraduates at a public college or university in the state ($9,216 per calendar year here.) For active duty members, the lesser of: • Tuition charged; or • Tuition charged minus any military tuition assistance (TA) • Pro-rated according to length of active duty service • Paid to the school • Must be repaid by veteran if he/she withdraws
For Example: • Academic Year “Cap” = $6,406 (24 hours x $266.92) • Marshall U’s tuition for an academic year is $4,598 • VA will pay Marshall $4,598!! • Veteran pays nothing • Davis & Elkins College’s tuition is $19,320 • VA will pay $6,406 • Veteran owes $12,914
Other Aid Concerns • Effective July 1, 2009, VA benefits are not to be considered when evaluating financial aid need • VA wants to be the “first payer” for tuition and fees • It’s the veteran’s money, not VA’s; they simply pay it on behalf of the veteran • Schools should certify to VA the “amount being charged” the student • If other aid pays after VA, then VA’s money can be refunded to the student
Fees • Mandatory charges (other than tuition or room and board) universally applied to every student enrolled in the same program • Lab fees. . . Music lesson fees. . . Off-campus fees. . . Application fees. . . Health fees. . . Etc.???? • NOT “administrative fees” (late fees, bad checks, etc) • West Virginia’s current maximum: $4,030 per term
Yellow Ribbon Program • Colleges and universities may agree to cover up to half the tuition and fee charges that are not covered under chapter 33 • VA will match each additional dollar funded by the school • The combined amounts may not exceed the full cost of the tuition and fees charged • Only individuals entitled to the 100 percent benefit rate (based on service requirements) may receive this funding • West Virginia law requires all state schools to participate at the full level. Most private schools in West Virginia also participate, so. . .
For Example: • Academic Year “Cap” = $6,406 (24 hours x $266.92) • Ohio Valley U’s tuition for an academic year is $11,998 • VA will pay Ohio Valley $6,406 • Veteran still owes OVU $5,592 • IF OVU waives/covers half ($2,796), VA matches it and pays OVU an additional $2,796 • OVU gets $6,406 + $2,796, or $9,202 • Veteran pays nothing!
Books and Supplies • Up to a $1,000 per year • Paid at $41.67 per credit hour, up to 24 ($41.67 x 24 = $1000) • Prorated based on the percentage of the maximum benefit payable • Paid proportionally for each quarter, semester or term attended according to the number of hours taken • Active duty members not eligible • Paid to the veteran
Housing Allowance • Same as for an E-5 military member with dependents • Determined by ZIP code of the school • Prorated according to percentage of maximum benefit payable • Active duty members, those training at half time or less, and those pursuing only distance learning are not eligible for the housing allowance • West Virginia rates range between $799 and $1270 a month • Paid to the veteran
For Example: • Housing Allowance in Martinsburg is $1,270 per month • In Huntington, it’s $884 per month • In Beckley, it’s $799 per month
“Rate of Pursuit” • Obtained by dividing the number of credit hours enrolled in by the number of credit hours considered to be full-time at the school. The resulting percentage (rounded to the nearest hundredth) will be the individual’s rate of pursuit. (FT = 12 Hours) • VA will consider any rate of pursuit greater than 50 percent to be more than one-half time training. • 6 hours divided by 12 = .50, or “half time”, or “no housing allowance”
Yellow Ribbon Program • Colleges and universities may agree to cover up to half the tuition and fee charges that are not covered under chapter 33 • VA will match each additional dollar funded by the school • The combined amounts may not exceed the full cost of the tuition and fees charged • Only individuals (or dependents) entitled to the 100 percent benefit rate (based on service requirements) may receive this funding • West Virginia legislation law requires all state schools to participate at the full level. Most private schools also participate.
For Example: • Annual Tuition Cap is $9,216 – Or $6,152 per Academic Year • Ohio Valley U’s tuition for an academic year is $11,998 • VA will pay Ohio Valley $6,152!! • Veteran still owes OVU $5,846 • IF OVU waives/covers half ($2,923), VA matches it and pays OVU an additional $2,923 • OVU gets $6,152 + $2,923, or $9,075 • Veteran pays nothing!
Election of Chapter 33 Those who meet Chapter 33 eligibility requirements as of August 1, 2009, and are: • Eligible for Chapters 30, 1606, or 1607, or • Members of the Armed Forces and making the basic $1,200 chapter 30 contribution; or • Members of the Armed Forces who previously declined to elect chapter 30 must make anirrevocable electionto use Chapter 33 benefits
Questions to Consider • Which benefit pays more? • What Post-9/11 GI Bill tier (percentage) applies? • Are you receiving other aid? Will entitlement to that aid change? • What type of training will you pursue (i.e. bachelor’s degree, flight training, on-the-job, etc.)? • Is your preferred training covered under Post-9/11 GI Bill? • How much, if any, of your training will be online/distance learning? • Where will you be living when you pursue training? • Is the timeframe (delimiting date) to utilize benefits important to you? • Will you be a member of the Armed Forces on August 1, 2009? • Are you eligible for Transfer of Entitlement? Do you want to transfer entitlement? (Your military service branch determines if you are eligible to transfer entitlement.) • Do you have remaining entitlement under other VA Education Programs? • Are you planning to use that entitlement before using the Post-9/11 GI Bill?
Entitlement Transfer • Department of Defense may allow individuals to transfer Chapter 33 entitlement to one or more dependents if they: • Have served at least 6 years in the Armed Forces, and • Agree to serve at least another 4 years • Spouses may use transferred benefits after 6 years of service, and dependent children after 10 years. • DoD determines eligibility and may impose additional requirements and limit the number of months transferable.
Chapter 33 Effective Date August 1, 2009 Chapter 33 benefits can be paid for training pursued only on or after August 1, 2009. No payments may be made for training pursued before that date.
More information • www.gibill.va.gov • GI Bill Hotline: 1-888-GIBILL-1 • Office of Veterans Education and Training Programs WV Higher Education Policy Commission Skip Gebhart, Administrator 304-558-0263 email@example.com www.veteranseducationwv.com
Thanks! (And don’t forget to thank a veteran!)