Thursday, August 04, 2011

VA Reaches Out to Veterans to Explain Upcoming Changes to GI Bill

 WASHINGTON (August 4, 2011)- The Department of Veterans
Affairs (VA) is reaching out to inform Veterans of recent changes made
by Congress to the Post 9/11 GI Bill that take effect in 2011.

General Allison Hickey, Under Secretary for Benefits,
said "The Post 9/11 GI Bill is incredibly important because it reduces
the financial burdens of higher education so that Veterans have an
opportunity to achieve their education goals.  VA believes it is
important for Veterans to be aware of changes to the GI Bill this year
and learn more about how these changes may affect them."

 "It's hard to believe how far we have all come with the
Post-9/11 GI Bill the past two years," stated General Hickey. "Today,
more than 537,000 students have received over $11.5 billion in GI Bill
benefits to help them take charge of their future."

 Upcoming changes to the Post-9/11 GI Bill effective
August 1, 2011 include paying the actual net cost of all public in-state
tuition and fees, rather than basing payments upon the highest in-state
tuition and fee rates for every state; capping private and foreign
tuition at $17,500 per academic year; and ending payments during certain
school breaks, to preserve Veterans' entitlement for future academic
semesters.  Also, certain students attending private schools in select
states can now continue to receive benefits at the same rate payable
during the previous academic year.

 Beginning October 1, 2011, eligible individuals will be
able to use the Post-9/11 GI Bill for programs such as non-college
degrees, on-the-job training, and correspondence courses, and they will
be eligible to receive a portion of the national monthly housing
allowance rate when enrolled only in distance learning courses.

VA is implementing the latest round of changes to the
Post 9/11 GI Bill and has already begun processing fall 2011 enrollment
certifications.  Outreach by VA has helped to increase participation by
colleges and universities in the Yellow Ribbon program, which helps
students avoid out-of-pocket costs that may exceed the benefit.  Today,
more than 2,600 schools are participating in the Yellow Ribbon program.

"VA is committed to ensuring Veterans have the
information and tools they need to succeed," General Hickey concluded.

 Complete information on the Post-9/11 GI Bill is
available at: VA's education information phone number
is: 1-888-GIBILL-1.

  For ongoing benefit information, Veterans and
Servicemembers can log into the VA eBenefits website: To ask a question in a secure e-mail, use the "Ask
a Question" tab at: