MARINE CORPS RECRUIT DEPOT SAN DIEGO, Calif. --
New changes to the Post 9/11 GI Bill went into effect Oct. 1 to broaden educational horizons for eligible service members.
The Post 9/11 GI Bill will now cover vocational and technical training, on-the-job and apprenticeship training, and flight programs, in addition to the graduate and undergraduate degrees, correspondence training, licensing and national testing programs, and tutorial assistance offered previously.
Furthermore, students enrolled solely in distance education will receive new benefits.
James Brooks, education services officer here, said the GI Bill benefits have become pivotal for Marines enrolled in continuing education programs and the changes to the Post 9/11 GI Bill make obtaining the desired degree a little easier for service members by providing additional opportunities and tools to succeed.
For vocational and technical training, or non-degree granting programs, the bill will now pay the actual net costs for in-state tuition and fees or $17,500, whichever is less, along with up to $83 per month for books and supplies.
For on-the-job and apprenticeship training, a monthly benefit amount will be prorated based on the time in program. During the first six months of training, students will receive 100 percent of the applicable Basic Allowance for Housing; 80 percent the second six months of training; 60 percent the third six months; 40 percent the fourth six months; and 20 percent during the remainder of the training. Up to $83 per month for books and supplies will also be provided.
The rates paid by the Post 9/11 GI Bill for flight training will vary depending on the type of flight training school and kind of school.
Per academic year of flight training at a public institute of higher education, reimbursement will be paid up to the resident in-state cost of the training.
For flight training at a private institute, reimbursement will be paid up to the full cost of the training or $17,500 per academic year, whichever is less. In both instances, the student would receive the housing allowance along with the book and supplies stipend.
For vocational flight training, reimbursement will be paid up to the full cost of the training or $10,000 per academic year, whichever is less. However, the student would not receive the housing allowance or book and supplies stipend.
Students enrolled solely in distance education will now receive a housing allowance equal to half the national average of the BAH for an E-5 with dependents, which was $673.50 for the 2011 academic year for full-time students at the 100 percent eligibility tier, and active duty students are now eligible to receive a books and supplies stipend of $1,000 paid proportionately based on enrollment. Students must be enrolled in at least one in-residence course in order to be eligible for the full BAH rate.
To be eligible for the Post 9/11 GI Bill, individuals must have spent at least 90 cumulative days of service on or after Sept. 11, 2001, and received an honorable discharge. The exception would be those who were discharged with a service-connected disability after 30 days.
Brooks said that since the Marine Corps tuition assistance is capped at $4500 per fiscal year for each individual Marine, which may not cover many classes depending on the institution, consideration on how to use the GI Bill and degree planning should be of primary concern for seeking a college degree.
For additional information on the Post 9/11 GI Bill, educational benefits and planning for a degree, stop by Personal and Professional Development, Building 14 or visit www.gibill.va.gov.