Student Veterans Advocacy Group's

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GUIDE TO USING YOUR EDUCATION BENEFITS
"WHILE KEEPING IT SIMPLE"

THE ONE-STOP SHOP TO USING YOUR EDUCATIONAL BENEFITS
"The Student Veterans Advocacy Group’s vision is to implement a system of student Veterans services and resources, which will be a webbased program available to any student Veteran or Dependent, attending any public and private - Colleges and Universities nationwide."
**Please note that the information provided is from the Dept. of Veterans Affairs at http://www.gibill.va.gov **

Step one: Determine Your Best Benefit
(Please answer the following questions to determine your best benefit. )

WHAT TYPE OF TRAINING DO YOU PLAN TO TAKE?
GED - This training is not covered under the Post-9/11 GI Bill.

Associate, Bachelor, Or Graduate Degree?
•    Click here for more information

On-The-Job Training, Apprenticeship, Flight Training, Or Other Professional Training?
(These programs are covered under the Post-9/11 GI Bill.) •    For more information on On-the-Job/Apprenticeship Training click here •    For more information on Flight Training click here •    For more information on Licensing & Certification Training click here •    For more information on National Testing Programs click here •    For more information on Correspondence Training click here •    For more information on Entrepreneurship Training click here

Non-College Degree Training?
•    Click here for more information

WHERE WILL YOU TAKE CLASSES?
Online/Distance Learning Only?
If you're only taking distance or online classes, you only qualify for 1/2 the national average monthly housing allowance under the Post-9/11 GI Bill.

At Least One On Campus Course?
If you’re taking at least one course on campus and your rate of pursuit is greater than ½ time you qualify for the monthly housing allowance under the Post-9/11 GI Bill.

Do You Currently Have Any Time Left Under Another Education Program Such As The Montgomery Gi Bill?
Yes : If you have remaining entitlement under the Montgomery GI Bill you can exhaust that entitlement (use up all that time) and then get up to 12 months of benefits under the Post-9/11 GI Bill. No : You may apply for the Post-9/11 GI Bill.

Where Will You Be Living When Pursuing Training?
Tuition, fees and your monthly housing allowance are state specific. More About Tuition And Fees For detailed information click here. *link to eBenefits website to access more of your benefits* http://www.ebenfits.va.gov/

More About The Monthly Housing Allowance Your monthly housing allowance is based on the E-5 with dependent rate: Basic Allowance for Housing for the zip code where your school is located.

DO YOU PLAN ON GOING TO SCHOOL PART-TIME OR FULL-TIME?
Full-Time?
If you study full-time and take at least one in-residence course, you qualify for the monthly housing allowance under the Post-9/11 GI Bill. Exception : Active duty members are not eligible for the monthly housing allowance.

Greater Than Half-Time?
If you study at greater than the half-time rate, you qualify for the monthly housing allowance under the Post-9/11 GI Bill. Half-time or less You will not qualify for the monthly housing allowance under the Post-9/11 GI Bill unless you are pursuing training greater than the half-time rate.

If You Are Active Duty, Do You Want To Transfer Entitlement Of Benefits To Family Members?
Yes: You may be able to transfer some of your education benefits to family members. The rules for transferring benefits are set by the Defense Department and the military services. You can find the latest Department of Defense information on policy and rules for transferability of Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits is on the Department of Defense website. No: Ok. If you ever want to transfer benefits to family members, you can find information on policy and rules for transferability of Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits on the Department of Defense website.

step two: COLLECT YOUR PAPERWORK AND INFORMATION
(You will need a few documents to complete the application. Please review the list below to make your you have everything you need to complete the proces s)

Dates And Service Status For Each Period Of Military Service.
Dates and service status for each period of military service is used to determine your percentage of entitlement. The Post-9/11 GI Bill benefit level is based on your aggregate qualifying active duty service, which is total service, including separate periods. Payback time for ROTC or Service Academy does not count as qualifying service.

The Number Of Months Of Eligibility Remaining For Benefits Under One Or More Va Education Programs.
- If you have used benefits under one or more VA education programs, you may be entitled to additional benefits under another program. - For example, an individual who has remaining entitlement under the Montgomery GI Bill can exhaust that entitlement and may still receive up to an additional 12 months under the Post-9/11 GI Bill. - Whether You Have Participated In The $600 Buy-Up Program. You must be receiving the Montgomery GI Bill - Active Duty or REAP to participate in the Buy-Up Program. For an additional $600 contribution, you may receive up to $5400 in additional GI Bill benefits. The additional $600 contribution is not payable under the Post-9/11 GI Bill.

The Documents Needed Are:
- DD214 Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty for most recent period of active duty. - Transcripts for all periods of education after high school. - Kicker Contract (the Department of Defense may be able to provide this information if you cannot locate a copy of the contract.)

step three: CHOOSING A SCHOOL
(If you've decided to pay for college using the Post-9/11 GI Bill, you'll need to get some information about each school you might attend. )

What Is The Maximum In-State Tuition For The State Where You Are Planning To Go To School?
The maximum in-state tuition for a public school in the state where you plan to go to college and your benefit level sets the maximum payment that the VA can give you through the Post-9/11 GI Bill. In order to figure out how much you could be paid, you will need to know the maximum in-state tuition and fees for each state where you might attend school and the benefit level you are eligible for.

NOTE: The maximum does not apply to active duty personnel. The Department of Defense pays the full cost of tuition and fees for service members in approved education programs.

What Is Your School's Zip Code?
The monthly housing allowance paid under the Post-9/11 GI Bill is based on the Basic Allowance for Housing for the zip code where your school is located NOTE : Active duty personnel (or spouses using transferred education benefits while the transferor is on active duty), those whose Rate of Pursuit is ½ time or less, or those entirely pursuing distance learning are not eligible for the monthly housing allowance. - How Much Does Your School Charge Per Credit Hour? - What are your school's mandatory fees? You can figure out whether the Post-9/11 GI Bill will cover all of your tuition & fees costs by comparing the maximum tuition covered in the state where you want to go to school to the cost that your school charges and the maximum fees to your school's fees. To do this, you will need the tuition per credit - How much money can I get for books and supplies? You can get up to $1,000 per year – how much you get depends on your benefit level and the number of credit hours you are taking during the term. NOTE : this does not apply to active duty personnel or spouses using transferred education benefits if the transferor is still on active duty. - Is the cost to me higher than what the VA will pay for my school? Do your tuition and fees exceed the maximum benefit VA will pay? There are a few cases in which your school might charge you more than the maximum benefit you can get using the Post-9/11 GI Bill. The most common cases would be if you go to a public school as an out-of-state student, go to graduate school, or choose a private or professional school. If you think that your tuition will be higher than the tuition payment you get from the Post-9/11 GI Bill, you should find out whether your school participates in the Yellow Ribbon Program. If your school is part of this program, you may be able to reduce the amount that you have to pay.

To Find Out More You Can:
Check the list of Yellow Ribbon participants, or ask the school directly. If your school is part of the program, find out how much of the difference your school will cover. Each Yellow Ribbon Program school sets limits on the additional amount they will pay, and VA will match this amount. So, if your school is part of the program, and sets a $500 limit on what they will pay, then you will get your Post-9/11 payment based on the state maximum tuition, $500 from your school, and an additional $500 from VA. Determine if you are eligible for other funding – scholarships, loans, grants – that will cover the additional cost of attending a program where costs exceed the state maximum.

Do You Know How Much Your Living Expenses Will Be?
Comparing your living expenses to the housing allowance that the Post-9/11 bill can provide may help you decide which school you want to attend. To do this, you will need to figure out how much you expect to pay for your living expenses (housing, food, transportation, parking, etc.) in the community where each school is located.

step four: COMPARE THE PROGRAMS
Determine Benefit Program and School:
Side by side chart If you are eligible for another benefit program as well as the Post-9/11 GI Bill (Chapter 33), you should review the side-by-side comparison of benefits under each program. While each individual's situation is different, this may help you determine which of the programs provide the most benefit for your individual situation. You should now have enough information to decide whether you want to apply for the Post-9/11 GI Bill or another benefit program. Remember, if you give up another program to receive the Post-9/11 GI Bill, it is an

final step: APPLY FOR BENEFITS
When you have decided which education benefit is best for you, you'll need to submit your application. You can either submit your application online or by mail, or, if you know what school you plan to attend, your school may be able to help you prepare and submit your application.

How Will You Submit Your Application?
I'm Planning To Submit My Application Online You can use the VONAPP Veterans Online Applications website to fill out and submit your application online. You can use the information you gathered while using this tool to help complete your application. You may be asked to provide some additional forms if you apply online. If you have access to a scanner, you can scan these forms and submit them online. If you have trouble with the application process, you can call a VA Education Case Manager (1-888-GIBill1) to ask for help.

I'd Like To Submit A Paper Application
You can submit a paper application called on Form 22-1990 by mail to the VA Regional Processing Office. You can mail the form to the region of your home address, or, if you know what school you want to attend, the VA Regional Processing Office for the region of the school's physical address. 1. It will make it easier for the VA to determine what benefits you qualify for if you send a copy of the following documents: 2. Your Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty (DD form 214) for all periods of active duty service 3. DD Form 2384, also known as the Notice of Basic Eligibility, if applying for the Montgomery GI Bill for Selected Reserves (chapter 1606) 4. Copies of orders if activated from the guard/reserves 5. Supporting documents (e.g., vouchers, statements) for buy-up or buy-in contributions, which may allow you to make a small initial payment so that you can receive a higher monthly payment. 6. College fund "kicker" contracts for additional monthly payments that you may receive from the Department of Defense through your branch of the Service.

I'm Still Having Trouble Filling Out My Application
***If you have trouble with the application process, you can call a VA Education Case Manager (1-888-GIBill1) to ask for help. Many schools have staff members who will help you prepare and submit your application for education benefits (which is also sometimes called Form 22-1990 Form 221990). You may be able to work with this individual, referred to as the School Certifying Officer, to fill out your application. To make the process easier, you should bring along these documents: 1. Your Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty (DD form 214) for all periods of active duty service 2. DD Form 2384, also known as the Notice of Basic Eligibility, if applying for the Montgomery GI Bill for Selected Reserves (chapter 1606) 3. Copies of orders if activated from the guard/reserves 4. Supporting documents (e.g., vouchers, statements) for buy-up or buy-in contributions, which may allow you to make a small initial payment so that you can receive a higher monthly payment. 5. College fund “kicker” contracts for additional monthly payments that you may receive from the Department of Defense through your branch of the Service. After working with you on your application, the school will send the application, along with paperwork from the school itself, to a VA Regional Processing Office.

I've Submitted My Application
Once you have finished and sent in your application, three things will happen: 1. The Regional Processing Office will process the application and determine your eligibility. If you are certain of your eligibility, do not delay in enrolling in classes. 2. Your school will send its request to VA for tuition and fees, which will be paid directly to the school. 3. Other benefits that you receive, like a monthly housing allowance, books & supplies stipend or rural benefit payment, will be paid directly to you through direct deposit to your bank account. The amount of time it takes to process your application will depend on whether the VA needs more information to figure out what benefits you qualify for.

***CONGRATULATIONS! YOU'RE READY TO GET STARTED…***
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