New Changes to Post-9/11 GI Bill Increase Online Degree Benefits

By Lt. Col. Paul Capicik (USAF, Ret.)

Updates to the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Improvements Act of 2010 provide more options for veterans to pursue an online degree. The most important changes concerning online degree programs include:

Effective Oct. 1, 2011:

  • A housing allowance is now payable to students (other than those on active duty) enrolled solely in distance learning institutions (online schools). The housing allowance payable is equal to one-half 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.(Note: With the new housing allowance, distance learning students now have some financial advantages like traditional brick-and-mortar students do, but they have one greater advantage: the flexibility of an online format.)
  • Students on active duty can receive a books and supplies stipend.(Note: if you attend American Sentinel, we already offer a book scholarship to active-duty service members. So that means our students can save up their GI Bill book stipend and use it to purchase other things, like a computer or more credit hours once their $4,500 annual tuition assistance benefit is used up.)

Effective Aug. 1, 2009, but not payable until October, 2011:

  • An expansion to the Post-9/11 GI Bill will 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.

Interested students need to apply for a Post 9/11 GI Bill Certificate of Eligibility before acquiring these benefits. The first step is to fill out the VA Form 22-1990.

“Thanks to these enhanced financial and eligibility benefits, more service members will find it easier to manage course work, deployments, work, and family as they pursue their educational goals and position themselves for success in future military or civilian careers,” said Mary Adams, President of American Sentinel University.

“The BAH housing allowance along with other Bill changes will make the pursuit of online programs more affordable to more veterans.”

With these G.I. Bill changes, there has never been a better time for veterans to pursue online degrees in many technology, healthcare, and business programs offered by American Sentinel University. The Post-9/11 GI Bill provides financial support for education and housing to individuals with at least 90 days of aggregate service on or after September 11, 2001, or individuals discharged with a service-connected disability after 30 days. You must have received an honorable discharge to be eligible for the Post-9/11 GI Bill.

For more information on the GI Bill, visit GiBill.Va.Gov. Don’t leave this portion of your paycheck on the table! For more information about American Sentinel, its programs and military benefits, visit AmericanSentinel.edu.

Related article: How can I pay for an advanced degree?

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