How to Apply for the GI Bill

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Airman Dalton Shank, 5th Bomb Wing public affairs specialist, reads pamphlets on the Montgomery GI Bill and the Post-9/11 GI Bill at Minot Air Force Base, N.D., on March 10, 2017. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Alyssa M. Akers)
Airman Dalton Shank, 5th Bomb Wing public affairs specialist, reads pamphlets on the Montgomery GI Bill and the Post-9/11 GI Bill at Minot Air Force Base, N.D., on March 10, 2017. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Alyssa M. Akers)

Applying for the GI Bill is easier than you may think. Depending on the school you are applying to, the process could take you 4 steps or less!

Step One

Find and apply to a school that is approved for VA benefits. You can use the VA's School Comparison Tool to find schools, employers, and testing organizations where you can use the GI Bill.

Step Two

Apply online with the VA.

  • If you are on active duty you may need to get approval from your Education Service Officer (ESO) or chain-of-command before applying for the GI Bill. Note: It is seldom a good idea to use the GI Bill while active duty, and your ESO can help you find the best funding resources for your situation.
  • If you are a veteran you may need to include a copy of your DD 214 Discharge Paperwork.

Step Three

The VA will then send you what is known as a "Certificate of Eligibility" which shows that you are eligible for the GI Bill. You can either get this in the mail or online on the eBenefits website. You should take this to your school who will then enroll you and send your enrollment information to the VA.

However if you have not found a school yet, you can still apply for your VA Eligibility Determination by submitting your application.

Step Four

Attend classes, start learning and enjoying your GI Bill benefits.

Keep Up With Your Education Benefits 

Whether you need a guide on how to use your GI Bill, want to take advantage of tuition assistance and scholarships, or get the lowdown on education benefits available for your family, Military.com can help. Subscribe to Military.com to have education tips and benefits updates delivered directly to your inbox.

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GI Bill Benefits