The GI Bill: Military Education and Training Benefits


5 Common Education Benefits for Service Members, Veterans, and Dependents

For more than 60 years, those who served our country have been eligible to receive benefits in support of earning a higher education degree or vocational job training.  These benefits are typically known as the “GI Bill” and are earned by active duty service members, National Guard Armed Forces and Selected Reserves, and their family members as a result of their time in service.  Below are the five most common education benefits available to Service Members and Veterans.


1. Post-9/11 GI Bill

The most popular educational benefit offered, the Post 9/11 GI Bill benefit applies to service members and Veterans who served on active duty 90 or more days after September 10, 2001.  Upon qualification, individuals may receive:

  • 100% reimbursement of tuition and fees,
  • Monthly housing allowance while going to school,
  • $1,000 per year for books and supplies,
  • One-time relocation allowance, and
  • An option to transfer unused benefits to family members.

The percentage of benefits received are based on the length of service after September 10, 2001.

2. Montgomery GI Bill

The Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB) is available for active duty service members, reservists and Veterans. There are three criteria that must be met to be eligible for the MGIB for active duty personnel:

  • Completed High School or have earned an equivalency certification,
  • Contribute $100 per month for a period of one year, and
  • Service member must have completed at least 2 years of active duty service.

Veterans must have an honorable discharge, and Reservists must have completed a six-year obligation in the Reserves and still be active in the Reserves.

3. Vocational Rehabilitation and Education Program (VEAP)

Veterans with a VA disability rating and an employment handicap, may be entitled to benefits such as counseling, training, education and job placement assistance. To qualify for VEAP, the veteran must have:

  • A discharge that is other than dishonorable,
  • A service-related disability of at least 10%, and
  • Complete an application for VEAP Services.

4. Dependents’ Education Assistance (DEA) and Fry Scholarships

The DEA and Fry Scholarships are benefits offered to dependents of totally disabled Veterans or survivors of service members who have died in the line of duty. Both of these programs provide financial benefits to help educate dependents.

5. Reserve Education Assistance Program (REAP)

REAP was designed to provide educational assistance to Reservists and National Guard members who were called to active duty service during a time of war or military conflict. This program is currently being replaced with the Post 9/11 GI Bill, and will no longer accept new applicants beginning in 2019.