Military members make huge sacrifices for the sake of their country. In the United States, current military members and veterans are offered a series of lifetime benefits aimed at compensating them for their time served, including academic benefits designed to help them achieve success following discharge. Keep reading to learn more about the GI Bill and how it can help you reach your academic and career goals.
What types of GI programs are available?
The GI Bill is not a single program, but rather, a series of programs designed to meet the specific needs of different types of students. The following are a few of the most popular programs:
Post-9/11 GI Bill
Military members who have served at least 90 days following Sept. 10, 2001 — and are either still serving or were honorably discharged — are eligible for the Post-9/11 GI Bill, which pays a significant portion of tuition fees, along with a housing allowance and a stipend for books and supplies.
The Montgomery GI Bill Active Duty program is available to those who have served at least two years on active duty. The program offers tuition coverage for up to eight semesters of traditional education.
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The Montgomery GI Bill’s Selective Reserve program is similar to MGIB-AD, but designed for certain members of the Selective Reserve. This program only covers up to 36 months of education, with eligibility ending upon departure from the Selective Reserve.
The Reserve Educational Assistance Program ended with the National Defense Authorization Act of 2016. However, REAP benefits may remain available for some individuals until November 25, 2019.
Are GI benefits tax deductible?
GI benefits do not have to be reported as taxable income. However, students who use the GI Bill, the Pell Grant, or other tax-free funds to pay for their schooling cannot deduct the portion paid for by these funding sources. If, after using the GI Bill, students still have tuition left to pay, that portion of the tuition can be deducted.
How long am I eligible to receive the GI Bill?
Length of eligibility for the GI Bill depends somewhat on the program utilized. The eligibility period for Post-9/11 benefits is the longest, with students required to use benefits within fifteen years of separating from service. For the Montgomery GI Bill, benefits must be used within ten years.
Can I use the GI Bill for online classes?
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs states that the GI Bill can be used to fund independent and distance learning, including online classes. Some students who study exclusively online are eligible for a housing allowance.
Read the resources below to learn more about educational benefits like the GI Bill for military members.