Post 9/11 GI Bill ready to come online August

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Raymond Hoy
  • 39th Air Base Wing Public Affairs
Incirlik Airmen, along with other veterans across the globe, are ready to begin school as the new Montgomery GI Bill activates August 1.

Named the Post 9/11 GI Bill, President George W. Bush signed the bill into law June 30, 2008. The new GI Bill has many improvements from its previous incarnates, including, in most cases, a basic allowance for housing, $1,000 for books, transferability to dependents and 100 percent coverage for tuition costs at state schools.

"The new GI Bill has expanded the eligibility to participate in the program," said William Schueller, the education and training team chief. "Officers who were previously ineligible, members who declined the initial MGIB program and members who have already used up all their MGIB benefits, can now convert to the Post 9/11 GI Bill and still receive some benefits."

Many service members are used to the idea of 100 percent tuition assistance. The Post 9/11 GI Bill will continue that luxury and pay up to the highest tuition and fee costs for all state public universities.

"The 100 percent tuition varies depending in which state you attend classes," Mr. Schueller said. "In Wyoming, for example, you would receive up to $1,500 per semester to cover tuition costs. While in Texas you could receive over $9,000 per semester to cover the same tuition costs."

One of the primary items many Airmen have been discussing is the housing allowance addition. The monthly payment will allow veterans to receive a basic allowance for housing at the E-5 with dependant rate. The rate will be based on the zip code where the school is located, according to the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs Web site, However, not all members are eligible for the housing allowance.

"BAH will not be paid for distance education classes taken out of state," Mr. Schueller said.

Others not eligible for the housing allowance include veterans enrolled in apprenticeships, on-the-job training, flight training or attending school half-time or less, according to the VA Web site. Active duty service members are also not eligible.

The housing allowance may be the end-all-be-all for some; however, for other the ability to transfer GI Bill benefits to a dependent is what puts this new program on top.

Airmen who have served six years and are willing to serve an additional four will be able to transfer up to 36 months of their benefits to their dependents. Those reaching high-year tenure can participate under certain circumstances.

"Transferability is a retention incentive the services are using," Mr. Schueller said. "There are some exceptions, so talk to an education advisor to see if the program will benefit you."

The Post 9/11 GI Bill will also pay up to $1,000 per year for books. The money will be paid up-front and divided by academic term.

"For many people, converting to the Post 9/11 GI Bill is the right move," Mr. Scheuller said. "But your decision is irrevocable, so talk to an education counselor before you make your final decision."

Service members preparing to leave active duty, or those with any other questions regarding the Post 9/11 GI Bill, can call the Incirlik Education Center at 676-3211. For more detailed information, go to