Understanding the Post 9-11 GI Bill: A Quick Guide
Eligibility Based on Length of Service
Individuals who served in the Armed Forces on or after September 11, 2001, will be eligible for three kinds of educational benefits: tuition, housing stipends and a book allowance. Benefit amounts are based on how long a veteran served in the military, and are available to a service member who received an honorable discharge or a discharge due to a medical condition (that did not result from misconduct). Only the Veterans Administration can determine your personal eligibility for benefits. Call 1 888 838-7697 to learn about your eligibility status. To find out how your length of service affects your personal benefits, check the New GI Bill Overview: Post 9/11 GI Bill Benefit Tiers page on the Military.com web site.
Qualified individuals enrolled in approved programs are entitled to receive education benefits equal to 36 months (the equivalent of four years of college) to pay for living expenses, tuition, fees and other costs incurred while pursuing education.
Recipients may not receive an amount that exceeds the maximum in-state amount of established charges at the most expensive public school in that state. That amount is further reduced for part-time study (i.e., half-time or less) if the actual charges are less than the educational benefit would otherwise be. The maximum allowance for books, supplies, equipment, and other educational costs is $1,000 per academic year, paid proportionately by term. For more information about what you can expect in government assistance, visit "2010-2011 Maximum In-State Tuition and Fees" on the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs web site.
Payments are made according to the following schedule:
- The book allowance is paid to the student at the beginning of each term.
- Housing stipends are paid to the student monthly.
- Tuition payments are made directly to the student’s institution.
If you withdraw from one or more of your courses after the end of the school's drop period, VA may reduce or stop your benefits on the date of reduction or withdrawal. If you withdraw from a course after the end of the drop period, you may have to repay all benefits for the course unless you can show that the change was due to mitigating circumstances. VA defines "mitigating circumstances" as unavoidable and unexpected events that directly interfere with your pursuit of a course and are beyond your control.
Examples of reasons VA may accept are:
- Extended illness;
- Severe illness or death in your immediate family;
- Unscheduled changes in your employment; and
- Lack of child care.
Examples of reasons VA may not accept are:
- Withdrawal to avoid a failing grade;
- Dislike of the instructor; and
- Too many courses attempted.
NOTE: VA may ask you to furnish evidence to support your reason for a change.
If a serious injury or illness caused the change, obtain a statement from your doctor.
If a change in employment caused the change, obtain a statement from your employer.
The first time you withdraw from up to six credit hours, VA will "excuse" the withdrawal and pay benefits for the period attended. Remember, this only applies to your first withdrawal. If you receive a grade that does not count toward graduation, you may have to repay all benefits for the course.
Go to the Registrar's Page for Withdrawal Forms and Instructions for further information. Students who have been approved through the federal waiver process (Mitigating Circumstance) are also required to complete the "Academic Plan". The form can be viewed online at www.esc.edu/goodacademicstanding
- Active-duty military
Students who are on active duty may still receive education benefits up to the maximum in-state established charge at the most expensive public school in that state. However, benefits are not available for a housing allowance or books. For details on what the GI Bill provides if you are serving active military duty, see Active Duty GI Bill User's Guide on the Military.com web site.
- Transfer of benefits
Eligible individuals may transfer a portion of their education benefits to their spouse, children (until the age of 26), or a combination of both. Only active members of the armed forces who have completed at least six years of service and agree to serve at least four more years are eligible for this benefit. To learn more, visit Transfer of Post-9/11 GI Bill Benefits to Dependents (TEB) on the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs web site.
Contact the Office of Veteran and Military Education at 800 867-5941, 518 587-2100 ext. 2779 or email@example.com for assistance with applying your GI Bill Educational benefits to Empire State College.