VA Benefits for College Students & How to Access Them
Higher education is really important for veterans for a variety of reasons. First, it allows them to build the skills and knowledge necessary to transition into civilian life. Second, higher education might have been one main reason they signed up with the military. Third, it’s a necessary step to help veterans develop their professional skills.
However, it’s hard to know when and how to take advantage of VA benefits in higher education. Veterans can miss out on opportunities because they are not clearly communicated. Worst of all, most NPCs don’t factor in VA benefits. If you’re starting to shop around for a college or university, then look for one with a top-tier NPC.
Today’s leading NPCs factor in things like VA benefits, which will directly influence how much you owe for college. This includes specific financial details tied to each Chapter-specific benefit.
Aside from seeking out NPCs that include VA benefits, you can also explore the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). On their website, vets can access a variety of benefits and services to pursue higher education. If you’re a little turned around, then keep reading for a handy breakdown of the key benefits for veterans we think everyone should know about.
Chapter 30: Montgomery GI Bill (Active Duty)
Chapter 30 is geared toward veterans who have served at least two years of active duty.
This includes: college courses, vocational training, apprenticeships, on-the-job training, and flight training
Benefits cover: tuition, fees, textbooks, and a monthly housing allowance for up to 36 months
Chapter 31: Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Program
Chapter 31 is designed to help veterans who sustained a disability while in service.
This includes: college courses, vocational training, apprenticeships, and on-the-job training
Benefits cover: tuition, fees, and textbooks, along with a monthly housing allowance for up to 48 months
Chapter 32: Veterans Educational Assistance Program (VEAP)
Chapter 32 is available if you elected to make contributions from your military pay to participate in this education benefit program. That means the government will match your saved contributions on a 2-for-1 basis.
VEAP is only available for those who entered service for the first time between January 1, 1977, and June 30, 1985.
This includes: Matched donations to college tuition
Chapter 33: Post-9/11 GI Bill
Chapter 33 is designed to help veterans who served at least 90 days of active duty since September 11th, 2001.
This includes: college courses, vocational training, apprenticeships, and on-the-job training like the other benefits listed in Chapter 30 and Chapter 31
Benefits cover: tuition, fees, textbooks, and a monthly housing allowance for up to 36 months. Chapter 33 also provides veterans with a one-time rural benefit, which can be used to cover the cost of transportation and travel expenses for those living outside cities
Chapter 35: Survivors and Dependents Education Assistance Program
Chapter 35 is designed to help those who are the spouse or child of a veteran who was permanently disabled or killed in service.
This includes: college courses, vocational training, and apprenticeships
Benefits cover: tuition, fees, and textbooks, as well as a monthly housing allowance for up to 45 months
Chapter 1606: Montgomery GI Bill - Selected Reserve
Chapter 1606 is designed to help veterans who are members of the Selected Reserve.
This includes: education benefits, which can be used for college courses, vocational training, apprenticeships, and on-the-job training
Benefits cover: tuition, fees, and textbooks, along with a monthly housing allowance for up to 36 months
Chapter 1607: Activated Reservists - Reserve Educational Assistance Program (REAP)
Chapter 1607 is available to eligible veterans of the United States military who were called onto active duty after September 11, 2001, from the military reserve or the National Guard.
This includes: cost of tuition, fees, and other educational and training expenses at approved educational institutions
Benefits cover: cost of books, supplies, and other educational materials for up to 36 months
Other Key Benefits
The most important VA benefits are all listed above—but veterans and their families have other opportunities available to them. If you’re a veteran or the family member of a veteran, consider looking into career counseling and job placement services. You’ll find there are special opportunities just for you.
Also, keep in mind that there are certain grants and scholarships that you might be eligible for on a state and institutional level. In other words, the chapter benefits listed above are tied to the federal government—not a state or a specific college. So don’t stop your search quite yet.
Lastly, you can contact the VA directly for additional services. Veterans Affairs also offers financial advice, educational planning, and tuition assistance. To take advantage of these benefits and explore others, you can learn more from the Department of Veterans Affairs.
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