What Military-Connected Students Should Know About the Post-9/11 GI Bill®

How does the Post-9/11 GI Bill® work? Get the scoop on this significant financial aid benefit for military-connected college students.

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23 February 2022 - By Saint Leo University
A photo of a U.S. Army soldier in uniform taking a course in a college classroom for the blog article on 'How does the Post-9/11 GI Bill work?' highlighting the eligibility requirements of this financial aid benefit for military-connected college students

The U.S. government provides certain educational benefits for people who have served our country in the military. Being aware of which benefits are available to you helps ensure that you receive the assistance needed to further your educational goals, and one of those benefits to consider is the Post-9/11 GI Bill®.

What the Post-9/11 GI Bill® Is

The Post-9/11 GI Bill® provides education and job training assistance for military veterans serving after September 10, 2001. It offers those who qualify up to three years (36 months) of assistance with expenses related to tuition and fees, books and supplies, and housing. If you live in a rural area and must move to attend school, it also provides a one-time payment to assist with the cost of this move.

How Does the Post-9/11 GI Bill® Work?

The amount of tuition and fee assistance provided by the Post-9/11 GI Bill® is updated annually. For the 2022 academic year, it covers 100 percent of the tuition and fee payments for veterans attending an in-state public school. For those wishing to attend a private or foreign school, the bill covers up to $26,381.37 per academic year.

The monthly housing allowance under the Post-9/11 GI Bill® is roughly the same as the Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) for an E-5 with dependents. This rate varies based on enrollment date, school location, and how quickly you progress through your educational or job training program.

If you are doing an apprenticeship or on-the-job training, monthly housing allowance (MHA) rates vary based on where you are in your training. During the first six months of training, this bill covers 100% of your applicable MHA. Every six months thereafter, this amount is reduced by 20 percent until your third year of training (the fifth six-month period), where it remains at 20 percent until you are finished with the program or on-the-job training.

The Post-9/11 GI Bill® also provides a yearly stipend to use on books and supplies. Currently, that stipend maxes out at $1,000 and is proportioned based on your enrollment.

If you live in a rural area and have to move to attend college, the Post-9/11 GI Bill® may provide a one-time payment of $500 toward this cost. To qualify, you must live in a county that, according to the most recent census, has no more than six persons per square mile. Additionally, the move must be 500 miles or more or require that you travel by air to attend the institution.

Post-9/11 GI Bill® Eligibility Requirements

Not every veteran qualifies for educational assistance under this bill. Post-9/11 GI Bill® eligibility requires that you have satisfied at least one of the following:

  • You’ve served at least 90 days on active duty on or after September 11, 2001, whether continuously or in separate time blocks
  • You’ve served at least 30 continuous days on active duty on or after September 11, 2001 and were honorably discharged with a service-related disability
  • You received a Purple Heart on or after September 11, 2001 and were honorably discharged (no length of service requirement)
  • You’re the dependent child of a qualifying veteran or service member and are using this benefit as transferred by them

How to Apply for the Post-9/11 GI Bill®

The first step to obtaining assistance via the Post-9/11 GI Bill® is to apply for the benefits, which you can do online, in person, or by mail. When submitting your application, you’ll need your Social Security number, bank account information, education and military history, and basic information about the school you plan to attend.

It takes approximately 30 days for the VA to make its decision based on your application. If you are approved, you will receive a Certificate of Eligibility (COE) or award letter by mail.

Saint Leo University Proudly Supports Active Military and Veterans

At Saint Leo University, we hold a special place in our hearts for those who are serving and have served our country, even receiving recognition as one of the best colleges for vets from both the Military Times and U.S. News & World Report.

To learn more about how we help both active-duty service members and veterans, contact our Office of Military Affairs and Services (OMAS) today.

We also provide information about financial aid, education resources, frequently asked questions (FAQs), and more on our page dedicated solely to active military and veterans. Check it out and learn more about how we can help you obtain your desired degree.

GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government Web site at