VA Education Benefits (Montgomery GI Bill, Veterans Educational Assistance Program [VEAP])
Several educational benefit programs sponsored by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) provide financial assistance to veterans returning to school. Two of these programs are the post-Vietnam-era Veterans' Educational Assistance Program (VEAP) and the Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB). An Honorable Discharge is a prerequisite for eligibility. Both programs are designed to help you develop skills that will enhance your future opportunities for employment. The benefits under either of these programs must be used within 10 years from the date of your release from active duty.
You may be entitled to receive up to 36 months of education benefits under the MGIB if you completed the full period of your enlistment. When you signed on for military service, you had the option of accepting or refusing enrollment in MGIB. If you were enrolled in the program, your contributions were collected through payroll deductions. If you were not enrolled then, but are now interested in the program, you may still have another chance. Eligibility requirements are complex and there are exceptions, so be sure to meet with your supporting Education Center counselor to learn about your eligibility and benefits.
The Vietnam-era GI Bill is no longer in effect. However, if you still had an entitlement remaining under the program as of December 31, 1989 (and you served at least one day on active duty between October 19, 1984 and June 30, 1985 and stayed on active duty through June 30, 1988), your remaining entitlement may be converted to MGIB. For details, check with your Education Center or call the VA regional office in your area at 1-800-827-1000. You may also visit the VA's website at
for more information.
The Post-9/11 GI Bill is a new education benefit program for individuals who served on active duty on or after September 11, 2001. Some features of this new program include payment of individual tuition, fees, monthly housing allowance and a books and supplies stipend of $1,000 paid proportionately based on enrollment. Applying for the Post-9/11 GI Bill requires applicants who currently are eligible for benefits to make an irrevocable election from MGIB – Active Duty to the Post-9/11 GI Bill. To compare the MGIB-AD to the Post-9/11 GI Bill, visit the GI Bill website at
or your Education Center counselor.
You may be eligible for training and other help in finding a job under the
federal Workforce Investment Act (WIA). Although they receive funding from
the federal government, most WIA training programs are developed by individual
states. As a result, WIA programs vary from state to state. If you are not
leaving active duty with a service connected disability, contact your state
employment services office about eligibility and application procedures prior
to separation. If you are leaving active duty with a disability, you may be
eligible for other job training opportunities. Check with your Department of
Veterans Affairs representative at your installation or new place of residence,
or call the VA regional office in your area at 1-800-827-1000. For more information
on WIA, contact your state's Employment Commission or visit the state's web
Other Education Assistance
Your installation education services office offers a wide range of services
that can help you identify and attain your educational goals. Visit your education
office early in your transition for admissions testing, testing for college
credit, vocational interest tests and counseling on your educational options.
Once you have determined your educational goals, you can use the Department
of Education's Federal Student Aid website to explore additional funding options
to help you achieve your goals. You can find the site at http://studentaid.ed.gov/.
Small Business Administration
If you own a business or are considering starting a business and need assistance,
the Small Business Administration (SBA) has programs and services that help
small businesses by offering aid, counseling, assistance and protection for
small business interests. You can learn more about SBA and how it can help
your business be successful at http://www.sba.gov.
Licensing and Certification Information
You may need a license or certificate to be eligible for your next job. You
can use the Army's own credentialing website, Credentialing Opportunities
On-Line (COOL), to identify civilian credentials related to your MOS or to
determine if your current military experience and training meet civilian
credentialing requirements. The COOL https://www.cool.army.mil website can help you learn about the steps you need to take to obtain credentials
and licenses or to research programs that will help pay credentialing fees.
Career InfoNet at http://www.acinet.org has
a Workforce Credentials Information Center where you can find learn more
about certifications, licenses and sponsored apprenticeship programs. You’ll
also be able to research military and business resources at this site.
Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Educational Support
The Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Educational Support (DANTES) supports
off-duty, voluntary education programs for the Department of Defense. These
programs include testing, assessment, certification and distance learning.
DANTES programs encourage education ambitions for Soldiers and can help you
achieve you education goals. A complete list of DANTES programs can be found
on their website at http://www.dantes.doded.mil/.
Army/ACE Registry Transcript System
If you are enlisted and currently on active duty in the Army, the National
Guard or the Reserve or are an Army enlisted veteran or retiree, you are
eligible for an Army/ACE Registry Transcript System (AARTS) transcript. AARTS
is a computerized transcript of your military education and work experience
and includes job descriptions and college credit recommendations from the
American Council on Education (ACE). Only courses and MOSs from official
DA sources will appear on your transcript. The AARTS transcript is available
in two formats. You can print an unofficial copy of your transcript from
the AARTS Transcript Delivery Website at http://aarts.army.mil/ or
enter a request to have an official transcript sent to the educational institution
of your choice.
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