GI Bill for College Students

Soldier uses a computer in college.

GI Bill benefits are available for attendance at institutions of higher learning (IHL) such as:

  • Four-year universities
  • Community colleges
  • Advanced degree programs

The GI Bill will allow you to attend more than one college at a time, as long as the classes at both institutions count toward 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.

The GI Bill can pay you for more than one degree. For example: It will pay you for a degree in business and then for a second degree in computer science; or for an associate, bachelor's and/or master's degree in the same field. Once you have a degree, you can get another one provided you have remaining entitlement on your GI Bill.

Payments are issued monthly for the previous month's training. For the Post-9/11 GI Bill, the tuition and fees go directly to the school. You receive the book stipend at the beginning of the term and the housing allowance each month.

IHL Benefits Under the Post-9/11 GI Bill

Tuition and Fees

The Post-9/11 GI Bill can pay your full resident tuition at a public school.

If you are attending a private or foreign school, it will pay up to $27,120.05 per academic year (increasing to $28,937.09 on Aug. 1, 2024). Many private institutions participate in the Yellow Ribbon program, which can waive a portion of the difference in the tuition you are charged and the amount covered by the Post-9/11 GI Bill. Be sure to ask your school if it plans to participate in the program.

Your Post-9/11-GI Bill entitlement percentage, which is based on the number of months you have served on active duty after Sep. 10, 2001, determines the amount of tuition and fees covered by the GI Bill.

For example, if you served 24 months active duty after Sep. 10, 2001, your GI Bill percentage is 80%. If you attend a public school as an in-state resident and the tuition is $10,000 a semester, you would have 80% of your tuition and fees, or $8,000, paid by the Post-9/11 GI Bill. Active-duty time can also include Title 10 mobilizations for reservists and National Guard members.

Public institutions must charge the resident tuition rate to all eligible veterans who have been out of the military for less than three years, their dependents who are using transferred benefits, and dependents using the transferred benefits of active-duty members. 

Housing Allowance

The Post-9/11 GI Bill also pays a Monthly Housing Allowance based on the ZIP code of the location of the school you are attending -- not your home ZIP code. This stipend currently averages $2,109 a month but can exceed $3,000 depending on where you go to school. Students taking 100% of their courses online are eligible for a monthly housing stipend of $1,054.50, which is half the national average Monthly Housing Allowance.

Housing allowance payments are based on the amount of creditable active-duty service after Sep. 10, 2001.

For example, if you have 24 months active duty after September 10, 2001, your GI Bill benefit tier percentage is 80%. If you are attending a school which has a Monthly Housing Allowance of $1,000 per month, you would receive 80% of your housing allowance or $800 per month.

NOTE: Service members currently on active duty, their spouses using transferred benefits, and those taking courses on a half-time basis or less do not qualify for the Monthly Housing Allowance.

Book and Supply Stipend

You may receive an annual book stipend of up to $1,000 per year with the Post-9/11 GI Bill. This stipend will be paid at the beginning of each term. It is paid proportionately based on the number of credits taken by each student.

GI Bill Benefits Under the Montgomery GI Bill

Payment is based on the number of classes you attend:

  • 12 hours or more: full time
  • 9-11 hours: ¾ time
  • 6-8 hours: ½ time
  • Less than 6 hours: reimbursed at a rate not to exceed the tuition and 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 Department of Veterans Affairs will pay you the full-time rate. 

See the current Active Duty Montgomery GI Bill rates.

Keep Up With Your Education Benefits 

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GI Bill Benefits