10 Steps to a Government Job - For Military Service Members
GovCentral and Military.com
Step 3: GI Bill, Education, and Certifications
GI Bill and Education Opportunities
For veterans looking to earn a degree or certification, the GI Bill covers tuition reimbursements for Four Year Universities, Community Colleges, and Advanced Degrees.
The GI Bill can pay you for more than one degree, for example: it will pay you for a degree in Government Management and then for a second degree in Intelligence, or for an AA, BA, MA in the same field. Once you have a degree, you could pursue another one provided you have remaining entitlement on your GI Bill.
Payment is based on the number of classes you attend:
• 12 Hours or More: fulltime
• 9 – 11 Hours: ¾ time
• 6 – 8 Hours: ½ time
• Less Than 6 Hours: reimbursed at a rate not to exceed the tuition & fees charged for the course(s).
For graduate level training, the training time is determined by the college – for example, if a 2 hour class is considered full time in a graduate program at your school, the VA will pay you the full time rate. For current payment rates see here.
The GI Bill will also allow you to attend more than one college at a time, as long as the classes at both institutions count towards your degree, and the school granting your degree accepts the classes at the second school as part of your requirements. However, the GI Bill will not pay you to take the same classes twice unless you receive a failing grade in a class that is a graduation requirement.
GI Bill Benefits Can Ease Your Transition
The Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB) is an education and training benefit earned by Active Duty, Selected Reserve and National Guard service members. The benefit is designed to help service members and eligible veterans cover the costs associated with getting an education or training. The GI Bill has several programs and each is administrated differently – depending on a person’s eligibility and duty status.
MGIB for Active Duty (MGIB-AD) is an education benefit worth over $39,000. This “payment rate” automatically increases on the first of October each year. You get the annual increase no matter when you became eligible or begin using it.
MGIB for Selected Reserve (MGIB-SR) is available to members of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard Reserves, as well as the National Guard. The MGIB SR benefit is worth over $11,000. This “payment rate” automatically increases on October 1 each year. And like the MGIB-AD, you get the increase no matter when you became eligible or start using it.
Beside the MGIB-SR, activated reserve and Guard service members have two other GI Bill options. The first gives those who serve continuously for 24 or more months on active duty, the option to pay into the GI Bill for active duty. The second program, called the Reserve Education Assistance Program (REAP), allows activated reserve and guard members up to 80 percent of the GI Bill for active duty payment rate. This program is further explained on the REAP fact sheet.
When you are trained for a new job, you can receive monthly training benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) in addition to your regular salary. This means that you can receive up to $825.75 a month ($237.75 for Reserve/Guard) tax-free, on top of your regular salary! That’s over $14,000 in cash benefits over two years, for training in an OJT or apprenticeship training program.
VA pays veteran GI Bill participants on a scale depending on the amount of time they are enrolled in the program. For example from January 1, 2008 to October 1, 2008 the program pays $825.75 a month for the first six months of training, $605.55 for the second six months of training and $385.35 for remaining training.
VA pays GI Bill Selected Reserve participants on a similar scale but at the following rates; $237.75 a month for the first six months of training, $174.35 for the second six months of training and $110.95 for remaining training.