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Post-911 GI Bill


The Post-9/11 GI Bill: What Does it Mean for CTE?

The Post-9/11 GI Bill went into effect on August 1, 2009. This new law provides additional financial support for service members and veterans pursuing educational programs at institutions of higher learning.

Some things you should know:  

  • The Post-9/11 GI Bill does not replace the Montgomery GI Bill; both are still active.  
  • Individuals who are eligible for both benefits must choose which benefit to use. Choosing the Post-9/11 GI Bill is irrevocable and requires forfeiture of Montgomery GI benefits (although there are some exceptions).  
  • In most cases, the Post-9/11 GI bill provides the greater benefit, but that is not always true. Those pursuing extremely low-cost or no-cost education programs (including those at institutions at which veterans’ tuition is waived) or distance learning may benefit more from the Montgomery GI Bill. A benefit chart is available online.  
  • The Post-9/11 GI Bill does cover CTE certificate programs, but only if they are offered at an “institution of higher learning” that also awards associate degrees (such as a community college).  
  • For those individuals who are eligible for other VA education programs and elect the Post-9/11 GI Bill, other training programs (such as on-the-job training, apprenticeship training, flight training and non-college degree courses) may be covered at the same rate as the benefit the individual forfeited. So, students who elected the Post-9/11 GI Bill benefit over other options may still be eligible for those benefits.  
  • The Montgomery GI Bill does not restrict the type of institutions that are eligible and covers programs offered at area career and technical or adult education centers.  
  • Students should not choose to elect the Post-9/11 GI Bill until they are ready to enroll in an educational program and have all the details related to tuition costs. 

What does the Post-9/11 GI Bill cover?

  • Tuition and fees (limited to amounts approved by the VA) paid directly to the institution.  
  • A housing allowance based on where the school is located (this allowance is not paid to those on active duty or enrolled exclusively in online programs).  
  • $1,000 a year allowance for books and supplies (not paid to those on active duty).  
  • A rural relocation stipend of $500 in some circumstances. 

What does the Montgomery GI Bill cover? 

  • A monthly stipend that can be used to offset educational costs. Since August 1, 2008, the full-time monthly rate is $1,321 for individuals who served at least 3 years and $1,073 for individuals who served less than 3 years. 

What is the licensing or certification allowance?  

  • Both the Post-9/11 and Montgomery GI Bills pay for the costs of one licensing or certification exam. Actual costs of the test are covered up to $2,000. 

What are the key definitions in the Post-9/11 GI Bill?  

  • "Institution of higher learning" (IHL) means a college, university or similar institution, including a technical or business school, offering postsecondary-level academic instruction that leads to an associate or higher degree if the school is empowered by the appropriate state education authority under state law to grant an associate or higher degree. When there is no state law to authorize the granting of such a degree, the school may be recognized as an institution of higher learning if it is accredited for degree programs by a recognized accrediting agency. Such term shall also include a hospital offering educational programs at the postsecondary level without regard to whether the hospital grants a postsecondary degree. Such term shall also include an educational institution that offers courses leading to a standard college degree or its equivalent and is not located in a state, but is recognized as an educational institution by the secretary of education (or comparable official) of the country or other jurisdiction in which the institution is located.  
  • "Program of education" means a curriculum or combination of courses pursued at an institution of higher learning that are accepted as necessary to meet the requirements for a predetermined and identified educational, professional or vocational objective. Such term also means any curriculum or combination of courses pursued at an institution of higher learning that are accepted as necessary to meet the requirements for more than one predetermined and identified educational, professional or vocational objective if all the objectives pursued are generally recognized as being reasonably related to a single career field. The curriculum or combination of courses pursued must be listed in the institution of higher learning's catalog and included in the approval notice provided by the state approving agency to VA in accordance with §21.4258(b)(iv). 

How long can benefits be used?  

  • Both the Post-9/11 and Montgomery GI Bills provide 36 months of eligibility (roughly equivalent to eight semesters of education). 
  • For individuals eligible for both programs, entitlement under the Post-9/11 GI Bill is reduced to the number of months of remaining eligibility under the Montgomery GI Bill.  
  • If individuals have exhausted all 36 months of eligibility under the Montgomery GI Bill, they may be entitled to an additional 12 months of payments under the Post-9/11 GI Bill.  

Where can I get more information?  

Please let ACTE know about your experiences with the new law and send us any questions or concerns.  

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The Association for Career and Technical Education is the nation’s largest not-for-profit education association dedicated to the advancement of education that prepares youth and adults for successful careers. Founded in 1926, ACTE has more than 25,000 members; career and technical educators, administrators, researchers, guidance counselors and others involved in planning and conducting career and technical education programs at the secondary, postsecondary and adult levels. ACTE provides advocacy, public awareness and access to information on career and technical education, professional development and tools that enable members to be successful and effective leaders.

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