The Post-9/11 GI Bill has helped many servicemembers and their families earn a college degree, and in 2013 veterans will see an increase to this helpful benefit. The Department of Veterans Affairs recently announced payment for tuition and fees will increase by about 6.2 percent in the coming year, according to Military Times. This is good news – here's what this increase will mean for veterans.
What's the fine print?
The increase in funding will go into effect on August 1, so it will mostly come into play during the 2013-2014 academic year. The increase is almost double the 3.3 percent boost in benefits offered during the last academic year, and servicemembers can get up to $19,198.31 to put toward the tuition and fees of private and foreign schools. The bill covers the total cost for public, in-state institutions.
The boost occurs every year, and is tied to the increase in the average cost of college tuition. Beneficiaries will also see an increase in the amount they can put toward vocational flight training school and corresponding courses.
Who is using it?
Soldiers who have joined the Armed Forces in the last decade are putting the Post-9/11 GI Bill to good use. In fact, a recent survey from the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America found that 29 percent of recent vets have already put the bill to good use, while about 50 percent more said they planned on using it to go to school in the future. Furthermore, 39 percent of those who used the bill attended four-year public universities, with about 20 percent attending private colleges. Approximately 24 percent attended community colleges.
What else has been done to improve the bill?
One of the biggest concerns government officials have about the Post-9/11 GI Bill is that for-profit colleges might try and recruit veterans only because of the attractive benefits the bill offers. This unscrupulous practice had become rampant, but the Senate recently passed a bill that would make it illegal.
Known as the Transparency of Education Opportunities for Veterans Act, the ruling makes it easy for veterans to find financial and education information all in one place, which then makes it more difficult for schools to take advantage of servicemembers who may not be that well-informed about the process, according to Army Times.