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The Yellow Ribbon Program
Another aspect of the Post 9/11 GI Bill® is the Yellow Ribbon Program. Colleges and universities that participate in this program contribute additional funds toward educational costs that exceed the maximum allowed by the Post 9/11 GI Bill®. Institutions may set the amount they wish to contribute, which is matched by Veterans Affairs. This can be very beneficial for students at private colleges and universities, graduate programs or those attending with out-of-state status.
THE POST-9/11 G I BILL®
The Post-9/11 GI Bill® became effective on August 1, 2009. It is the most comprehensive educational benefits package since the original GI Bill® was signed into law in 1944.
Veterans who have served after September 10, 2001, with at least 90 days of continuous service, are eligible. The Post 9/11 GI Bill® also gives Reserve and Guard members who have been activated for more than 90 days since 9/11 access to the same benefits as their active-duty counterparts.
As of August 1, 2011, the Post 9/11 GI Bill® will now pay all public school in-state tuition and fees. The full benefit amount an individual can receive is calculated from these numbers:
Share Educational Benefits with Family
The Post 9/11 GI Bill® also offers service members the ability to share educational benefits with family members. In exchange for an additional service commitment, a service member may be able to transfer all or part of his or her earned benefits to spouses and children (including stepchildren). This is a first for the GI Bill® and opens up new opportunities for service members and their families. For examples and maximum allowances state-by-state, visit the Veterans Affairs GI Bill® (http://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill/).
FOREVER GI BILL® – Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act
Summaries taken from the VA GI Bill® website
Reserve Duty That Counts Toward Post-9/11© Eligibility
The time that a Reservist was ordered to active duty to receive authorized medical care, be medically evaluated for disability, or complete a Department of Defense (DoD) healthcare study on or after September 11, 2001, now counts as active duty toward eligibility for the Post-9/11 GI Bill® program. An individual may use this entitlement to pursue a course of education beginning on or after August 1, 2018.
Purple Heart Recipients
Servicemembers and honorably discharged Veterans who were awarded a Purple Heart on or after September 11, 2001 will be entitled to Post-9/11 GI Bill® benefits at the 100% level for up to 36 months. This was effective on August 1, 2018.
Yellow Ribbon Extension to Fry and Purple Heart Recipients
Recipients of the Fry Scholarship and Purple Heart will be covered under the Yellow Ribbon Program. This was effective August 1, 2018.
Yellow Ribbon Extension to Active Duty Service Members
Active duty service members may use the Yellow Ribbon Program effective August 1, 2022.
Consolidation of Benefit Levels
This Consolidation eliminates the 40% benefit level and expands the 60% benefit level under the Post-9/11 GI Bill® program.
An individual with aggregate service of 90 days but less than six months of active-duty service (excluding entry and skill training) now qualifies for the 50% benefit level. An individual with aggregate service of at least six months but less than eighteen months of active-duty service (excluding entry and skill training) now qualifies at the 60% benefit level. This removes the 40% benefit level. This section will take effect August 1, 2020.
Member Serves Percentage of Maximum Benefits Payable
REAP Eligibility Credited Toward Post-9/11 GI Bill® Program
Members of the Reserve who established eligibility for education assistance under the Reserve Educational Assistance Program (REAP) before November 25, 2015, and lost it due to the sunset provision, may elect to have that service credited towards the Post-9/11 GI Bill® Program.
Monthly Housing Allowance
The law requires the monthly housing allowance (MHA) under the Post-9/11 GI Bill® program to be calculated based on the zip code of the campus where the student physically attends the majority of classes, rather than the location of the institution of higher learning where the student is enrolled.
This applies to the first enrollment in an educational program on or after August 1, 2018.
Assistance for Post-9/11 GI Bill® Students Impacted by Colmery Act MHA Changes
When relief is granted under these circumstances:
Changes to Licensing and Certification Changes
Entitlement charges for licensing and certification exams and national tests under the Post-9/11 GI Bill® will be prorated based on the actual amount of the fee charged for the test.
Changes to Transfer of Benefits (TEB)
Veterans who transferred entitlement to a dependent can now designate a new dependent if the original one dies before using the entitlement.
Dependents who received transfer of entitlement under the Post-9/11 GI Bill® can transfer their entitlement to another eligible dependent if the Servicemember or Veteran who made the transfer subsequently dies.
This law applies to deaths on or after August 1, 2009. This took effect August 1, 2018.
More Benefits for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Programs
The Department of Veterans Affairs will provide up to nine months of additional Post-9/11 GI Bill® benefits to certain eligible individuals who:
Priority would be given to individuals who are entitled to 100% of Post-9/11 GI Bill® benefits, and to those that require the most credit hours.
The VA can pay each eligible individual the benefits for up to nine additional months, but the total may not exceed $30,000. The VA will not be authorized to issue any Yellow Ribbon payments.
These additional benefits cannot be transferred to dependents. The expansion became effective on August 1, 2019.
Elimination of 15-Year Limitation to Use the Post-9/11 GI Bill® Program
This law removes the time limitation for the use of Post-9/11 GI Bill® benefits for individuals whose last discharge or release from active duty was on or after January 1, 2013, children of deceased Servicemembers who first became entitled to Post-9/11 GI Bill® program benefits on or after January 1, 2013, and all Fry spouses.
All others remain subject to the current 15-year time limitation for using their Post-9/11 GI Bill® benefits.
Reserve Components Monthly Housing Allowance
The VA will prorate the monthly housing stipend (also referred to as the “monthly housing allowance”) under the Post-9/11 GI Bill® for members of the reserve components of the armed forces.
This change will be applicable to a quarter, semester or term that commenced on or after August 1, 2018.
Changes to Survivors’ and Dependents Educational Assistance
The new law decreases the amount of entitlement that new eligible individuals will receive under the Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance (DEA) program from 45 months to 36 months. This change applies to individuals who first enroll in programs of education on or after August 1, 2018.
Individuals who first enrolled in a program of education prior to August 1, 2018, would still qualify for a maximum of 45 months of entitlement.
This law increases the amount of educational assistance payable for pursuit of institutional courses under the Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance Program. An eligible person will be entitled to a monthly allowance of $1224 for full-time coursework, $967 for three-quarter time, and $710 for half-time coursework. The increases were effective October 1. 2018.
The VA will improve outreach and transparency to Veterans and Servicemembers by providing information on whether institutions of higher learning administer a priority enrollment system that allows certain student Veterans to enroll in courses earlier than other students. This change went into effect August 16, 2017.
GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government Web site at https://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill.
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