Military Education Benefits for Veterans
Veterans of any branch of the Unites States military may be eligible to take advantage of education benefits. This is a resource for determining what benefits are available to veterans based on their eligibility. Eligible veterans may be able to take advantage of GI Bill, Yellow Ribbon, Vocational Rehabilitation, REAP, VEAP and/or VA Work Study programs to finance education.
Military education benefits are dependent on the service member’s status when he or she served. Some benefits can be used by both active duty and Selected Reserve service members, but the amount of the award may vary depending on that status. Other benefits may be specific to active duty or the Selected Reserve.
Reserve Education Assistance Program
Veterans of the reserve are eligible to collect benefits from the Reserve Education Assistance Program (REAP). REAP provides educational assistance to members of the reserve components called or ordered to active duty in response to a war or national emergency declared by the president or Congress. If the reservist was activated for at least 90 days after September 11, 2001, he or she may be eligible for increased benefits under Post-9/11. To learn more about REAP, click here.
Montgomery GI Bill
A service member may be eligible for the Montgomery GI Bill if he or she separated from the military before September 11, 2001. For more information on the Montgomery GI Bill, click here.
The Montgomery GI Bill is available to four categories of active duty veterans:
Entered active duty for the first time after June 30, 1985, and had military pay reduced by $100 a month for the first 12 months of active duty
- Either continuously served for three years, or two years if that was the initial enlistment commitment, or entered the Selected Reserve within a year of leaving active duty and served four years, otherwise known as the “2 by 4 program.”
Entered active duty before January 1, 1977, and served at least one day between October 19, 1984, and June 30, 1985
- Remained on active duty through June 30, 1988, or through June 30, 1987, if he or she entered the Selected Reserve within one year of leaving active duty and served for four years.
Veterans eligible for Category 2 may also be eligible for the Veteran Education Assistance Program (VEAP).
Were on active duty on September 30, 1990, and separated involuntarily either after February 2, 1991, or on or after November 30, 1993
Voluntarily separated under either the Voluntary Separation Incentive (VSI) or Special Separation Benefit (SSB) program
- Had $1,200 deducted from their military pay
Had their military pay reduced by $100 a month for 12 months or made a $1,200 lump sum contribution
- Either were on active duty on October 9, 1996, and had money remaining in a VEAP account on that date and elected MGIB by October 9, 1997
- Or entered full-time National Guard duty under title 32, United States Code, between July 1, 1985, and November 28, 1989, and elected MGIB during the period October 9, 1996, to July 8, 1997.
YES: Continue to How to Apply >
NO: Veteran may not be eligible for benefits.
Veterans Educational Assistance Program
If the service member had entitlement left from the Vietnam Era GI Bill on December 31, 1989, he or she may also be entitled to the Veterans Educational Assistance Program (VEAP). These benefits last from 1 to 36 months depending on the number of monthly contributions made, and, if not used, will automatically be refunded. Remedial, deficiency and refresher training may also be available to some veterans under VEAP. Eligible veterans may apply with VA 22-1990. To learn more about VEAP, click here.
Post-9/11 GI Bill
To be eligible for the Post-9/11 GI Bill benefit, a service member must meet the following criteria:
Served at least 30 days of continuous active duty service after September 10, 2001, and discharged due to a service-connected disability
- Served an aggregate of 90 days of active duty service after September 10, 2001, and received an honorable discharge.
For Reservists and Guard members, the following active duty qualifies for Post-9/11 GI Bill eligibility:
- All Title 10 active duty supporting named contingency operations
- Title 32 service for the purpose of organizing, administering, recruiting, instructing or training the National Guard
- Title 32 service under section 502(f) for the purpose of responding to a national emergency
- All voluntary active duty, with the exception of active duty for medical care and medical evaluation
Active duty veterans who separated from active duty after September 10, 2001, are eligible for the Post-9/11 GI Bill. Those applying for the GI Bill can apply via eBenefits, in person at regional offices or by using VA form 22-1900. To learn more about the Post-9/11 GI Bill, click here.
Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment
Veterans may also be eligible for Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E).
A veteran is eligible if he or she has:
Received, or will receive, a discharge that is other than dishonorable
A service-connected disability rating of at least 10 percent from the VA
- Applied for VR&E services
The basic period of eligibility ends 12 years from the date of notification of one of the following:
Date of separation from active military service
- Date the veteran was first notified by VA of a service-connected disability rating
The basic period of eligibility may be extended if a vocational rehabilitation counselor (VRC) determines that the veteran has a serious employment handicap (SEH).
Once eligibility is confirmed, the veteran will work with a VRC to determine if the veteran’s service-connected disability impedes his or her employability. The determination must be made within 12 years of basic eligibility, and the veteran must have a disability rating of at least 20 percent.
After the entitlement determination is complete, the veteran and VRC work together to create a rehabilitation plan by:
- Determining transferable skills, aptitudes and interests
- Identifying viable employment and/or independent living services options
- Exploring labor market and wage information
- Identifying physical demands and other job characteristics
- Narrowing vocational options to identify a suitable employment goal
- Selecting a VR&E program track leading to an employment or independent living goal
- Investigating training requirements
- Identifying resources needed to achieve rehabilitation
- Developing an Individualized Written Rehabilitation Plan (IWRP) to achieve the identified employment and/or independent living goals
To apply for VR&E benefits, complete and submit VA Form 22-8832 via eBenefits or in person at the local regional offices. To learn more about vocational rehabilitation, click here.
How To Apply
The veteran must obtain a statement from the VA confirming eligibility and the remaining reward for his or her records and the university’s use.
Are you using MGIB or Post-9/11 GI Bill?
- MGIB: You will receive a stipend based on your rate of enrollment.
- Post-9/11 GI Bill: Covers all tuition and books and provides a housing allowance.
Benefits will cover tuition at private universities up to the in-state resident rate. Other costs are the responsibility of the student. The school may participate in the Yellow Ribbon Program, but the award amount will be dependent on funds allocated by the school.
The Yellow Ribbon Program, also known as the Yellow Ribbon GI Education Enhancement Program, is an optional program available only to degree granting institutions of higher learning within the United States. Participating schools agree to cover the gap in tuition between a service member’s education benefits and the annual maximum cap for private institutions or the resident tuition and fees of a public institution. The participating institution may contribute up to 50 percent of that difference, which the VA will match.
Only a veteran eligible for 100 percent education entitlement and his or her transferees can receive this benefit. While this benefit is not available to active duty service members, it may be an option for dependents using transferred benefits.
Awards are at the discretion of the institution and are often granted on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information, contact the school’s certifying official or financial aid office.
Students are required to certify their attendance monthly at www.gibill.va.gov/wave/index.do or 1-800-GIBILL1.
No: No further action
Other Available Assistance
Qualified veterans may also qualify to take advantage of tutorial assistance. They may also participate in VA work study if enrolled full time or three-quarter time. Apply with VA Form 22-8691. Veterans may consider applying for assistance from veteran service organizations, private donors, nonprofit organizations and through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
The education benefits and eligibility information on our website is provided to help you learn about the various benefits that may be available to you. However, 2U does not make eligibility determinations or administer any federal or state military benefits, and such benefits and/or requirements are subject to change. Please reference the applicable official U.S. government and/or service branch websites for complete and up to date information.