The post-9/11 GI Bill is one of the most popular benefits in the military community, and not only because it gives soldiers the chance to further their education. Those benefits can also be transferred to the families of servicemembers, and recent statistics from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) suggest that spouses and children are making use of the GI Bill more than ever before, according to Marine Corps Times.
Troops still make up the majority of those taking advantage of the GI Bill – about 500,000 in 2012 – but that portion is getting smaller. In 2011, for instance, about 32,000 spouses used the benefit. In 2012 that number jumped to 54,000. As for children, about 93,500 made use of the GI Bill in 2012 – an increase of 13 percent compared to the previous year. Experts believe the increase is due largely to the fact that many troops are coming back from overseas.
"There's a drawdown occurring right now," Michael Dakduk, the executive director of Student Veterans of America, told the publication. "I think you're going to see a rise in usage from veterans and from spouses and children."
It's no wonder that the post-9/11 GI Bill is so popular. The bill provides up to 36 months of education benefits that cover full tuition and fees for all in-state public institutions.