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Major changes to GI Bill in 2011

The Post-9/11 Veterans Education Assistance Improvements Act of 2010 was recently signed into law. This page lists changes to the GI Bill made by this law.

Effective August 1, 2009, but not payable until October 1, 2011

  • Expands the Post-9/11 GI Bill to include Active Service performed by National Guard members under title 32 U.S.C. for the purpose of organizing, administering, recruiting, instructing, or training the National Guard; or under section 502(f) for the purpose of responding to a national emergency.

Effective March 5, 2011

  • Limits active duty members to the net cost for tuition and fees prorated based on the eligibility tiers (40%-100%) previously established for Veterans
    • Same limitations apply to spouses of active duty servicemembers

Effective August 1, 2011

  • For Veterans and their transferees - simplifies the tuition and fee rates for those attending a public school and creates a national maximum for those enrolled in a private or foreign school
    • Pays all public school in-state tuition and fees;
    • Private and foreign school costs are capped at $17,500 annually;
    • The Yellow Ribbon Program still exists for out-of-state fees and costs above the cap.
  • For Active Duty Members and their transferees - creates a national rate for those active duty members enrolled in a private or foreign school pursuing a degree
    • Pays all public school in-state tuition and fees;
    • Private and foreign school costs are capped at $17,500 annually
  • Allows VA to pay MGIB (chapter 30) and MGIB-SR (chapter 1606) ‘kickers', or college fund payments, on a monthly basis instead of a lump sum at the beginning of the term
  • Prorates housing allowance by the student's rate of pursuit (rounded to the nearest tenth)
    • A student training at a rate of pursuit of 75% would receive 80% of the BAH rate
  • Break or interval pay is no longer payable under any VA education benefit program unless under an Executive Order of the President or due to an emergency, such as a natural disaster or strike.
    • This means that when your semester ends (e.g. December 15th), your housing allowance is paid for the first 15 days of December only and begins again when your next semester begins (e.g. January 10th) and is paid for the remaining days of January.
    • Students using other VA education programs are included in this change. Monthly benefits will be pro-rated in the same manner.
    • Entitlement that previously would have been used for break pay will be available for use during a future enrollment.
  • Allows reimbursement for more than one “license or certification” test (previously only one test was allowed).
    • However, entitlement is now charged
  • Allows reimbursement of fees paid to take national exams used for admission to an institution of higher learning (e.g., SAT, ACT, GMAT, LSAT)
  • Allows those who are eligible for both Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (chapter 31) benefits and Post-9/11 GI Bill (chapter 33) benefits to choose the Post-9/11 GI Bill's monthly housing allowance instead of the chapter 31 subsistence allowance.
  • NOAA and PHS personnel are now eligible to transfer their entitlement to eligible dependents

Effective October 1, 2011

  • Allows students to use the Post-9/11 GI Bill for -
    • Non-college degree (NCD) programs:  Non-college degree (NCD) programs offered at non-degree granting schools: Pays the actual net costs  for in-state tuition and fees or $17,500, whichever is less. Also pays up to $83 per month for books and supplies.
    • On-the-job and apprenticeship training:  Pays a monthly benefit amount prorated based on time in program and up to $83 per month for books and supplies.
    • Flight programs: Per academic year, pays the actual net costs for in-state tuition and fees assessed by the school or $10,000, whichever is less.
    • Correspondence training:  Per academic year, pays the actual net costs for in-state tuition and fees assessed by the school or $8,500, whichever is less.
  • Housing allowance is now payable to students (other than those on active duty) enrolled solely in distance learning.  The housing allowance payable is equal to ½ the national average BAH for an E-5 with dependents.
    • The full-time rate for an individual eligible at the 100% eligibility tier would be $673.50 for 2011.
  • Allows students on active duty to receive a books and supplies stipend.

The list below highlights changes of particular interest to School Certifying Officials.

  • Reporting fees paid to schools increases from $7 to $12 and $11 to $15 per student per year
  • Requires that reporting fees only be used for the purpose of certification
  • Standard college degree programs offered at accredited public and private-not-for-profit schools are deemed already approved for VA Education Benefits
  • Non-college degree programs, on-the-job training, and flight training programs are now covered (effective October 1, 2011)
  • Allows the VA to use SAAs for compliance and oversight duties
  • Allows VA to disapprove courses

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