Mineral Wells Index, Mineral Wells, TX

Veterans Corner

August 19, 2012

Post 9/11 GI Bill marks third anniversary

By Jim Vines | jim.helpingveterans@gmail.com

August marks the third anniversary of the Post 9/11 GI Bill. Since it was implemented Aug. 1, 2009, the VA has provided educational benefits to 773,000 veterans and their family members.

The Post 9/11 GI Bill pays tuition and fees on behalf of veterans or eligible dependents directly to the school in which they are enrolled. Eligible participants also receive a monthly housing allowance and up to $1,000 annually for books and supplies. The program also allows eligible service members to transfer their benefits to their spouses and/or children.

The program provides a wide range of educational options, including undergraduate and graduate degrees. Training is also available in areas of vocation/technical, on the job, flight, correspondence, licensing, entrepreneurship and tutorial assistance. All training programs must be approved for GI Bill benefits.  

The Post 9/11 GI Bill is the most extensive educational assistance program since the original GI Bill was signed into law in 1944. Since its inception, the VA has paid more than $20 billion in benefits to veterans and their family members.

For the 2012-13 academic year, 1,770 colleges and universities are supplementing Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits by participating in the Yellow Ribbon Program. Under the Yellow Ribbon Program, degree granting institutions make additional funds available for a veteran’s educational program without an additional change to their GI Bill entitlement. To make up the difference to those students whose tuition and fees exceed what the Post 9/11 GI Bill covers, institutions can voluntarily enter into a Yellow Ribbon agreement with the VA, to designate an additional amount of funding and the VA will match that amount.

Remember to be aware of deceptive and misleading promotional efforts that target GI Bill benefactors. If you feel that misinformation is being portrayed, contact the VA at www.gibill.va.gov or contact a state veterans representative for help. Fall semester is upon us. Don’t delay your pursuit of an education.

Speak to you again next week.

Jim Vines is commander of AmVets Post 133 in Mineral Wells.

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