Military Education Benefits

Veterans Administration Educational Benefits (Entitlement Funds)
Former U.S. Armed Services men and women, widows and children of veterans who died while in service or after discharge from a service-connected disability, and wives and children of veterans who have a service-connected disability considered to be total and permanent in nature may apply for benefits from the Federal Department of Veterans Affairs.  Information concerning certification for VA benefits are available in the Financial Services Department. 

Important Websites 

Resources Summary URL
Department of Veterans Affairs Find General Information http://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill/
Department of Veterans Affairs: Muskogee Regional Processing Office Regional Veteran Benefits Payment Processing Office http://www.benefits.va.gov/muskogee/
Applications Apply on-Line for Veteran Benefits http://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill/apply.asp
Benefit Comparison Tool Compare Veteran Benefit Programs http://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill/
Student Veterans of America Student Veterans of America is a coalition of student veterans groups on college campuses across the United States. http://www.studentveterans.org/


The Post-9/11 GI-Bill®

The Post-9/11 GI Bill® provides financial support for education and housing to individuals with at least 90 days of aggregate service on or after September 11, 2001, or individuals discharged with a service-connected disability after 30 days. You must have received an honorable discharge to be eligible for the Post-9/11 GI Bill®.

As of August 1, 2009, the Post-9/11 GI Bill® is effective for training. Approved training under the Post-9/11 GI Bill® includes graduate and undergraduate degrees and vocational/technical training. All training programs must be offered by an institution of higher learning (IHL) and approved for GI Bill® benefits. Additionally, tutorial assistance and licensing and certification test reimbursement are approved under the Post- 9/11 GI Bill®.

The Post-9/11 GI Bill® will pay your tuition based upon the highest in-state tuition charged by a public educational institution in the state where the institution is located. The amount of support that an individual may qualify for depends on where they live and what type of degree they are pursuing.

The Post-9/11 GI Bill® will pay eligible individuals:

  • Tuition and fees directly to the institution not to exceed the maximum in-state tuition and fees at a public Institution of Higher Learning. See the chart listing maximum in-state tuition rates.
  • For more expensive tuition, a program exists which may help to reimburse the difference. This program is called the "Yellow Ribbon Program."
  • A monthly housing allowance based on the Basic Allowance for Housing for an E-5 with dependents at the location of the institution.
  • An annual books and supplies stipend of $1,000 paid proportionately based on enrollment.
  • A one-time rural benefit payment for eligible individuals.

If you are on active duty you will not receive the housing allowance or books and supplies stipend. This benefit provides up to 36 months of education benefits, generally benefits are payable for 15 years following your release from active duty.

The Post-9/11 GI Bill® also offers some service members the opportunity to transfer their GI Bill to dependents.

New GI Bill® - Chapter 30

  1. A student may be eligible if he or she first entered on active duty during the period beginning July 1, 1985, through June 30, 1988. He or she must have served at least:
    • 2 years of honorable, continuous active duty if the first obligated period of service was less
    • than 3 years or if he or she is now on active duty; or
    • 3 years of honorable, continuous active duty if his or her first obligated period of service was
    • 3 years or more; or
    • 2 years of honorable, continuous active duty followed by 4 years of continuous active duty in the Selected Reserve with satisfactory participation in training.
  2. Alternatively, a student may be eligible for Chapter 30 benefits after December 31, 1989, if
  3. He or she entered active duty before January 1, 1977 (or contracted under a delayed entry program before January 1, 1977, and entered active duty before January 2, 1978); and
    He or she served continuously on active duty for at least 3 years after June 30, 1985; or for at least 2 years after that date if he or she then served continuously for at least 4 years in the Selected Reserve with satisfactory participation in training. The active duty service may begin at any time during the period beginning July 1, 1985, and ending June 30, 1988.
    If he or she was discharged or released for a service-connected disability hardship or at the convenience of the government, he or she may still be eligible even if he or she did not serve the minimum lengths of time described above, whichever is applicable.
  4. If he or she entered active duty for the first time on or after July 1, 1985, his or her military pay must have been reduced by $100.00 each month after the first 12 months of active duty service.
  5. He or she must have received a high school diploma or its equivalent before completing the required service.

Veterans' Vocational Rehabilitation Bill - Chapter 31

Veterans who served in the Armed Forces during World War II or thereafter are eligible for vocational rehabilitation if all three of the following conditions are met:

  1. The veterans suffered a service-connected disability in active service which entitles them to compensation, or they would do so but for receipt of retirement pay;
  2. The veterans were discharged or released under other than dishonorable conditions; and
  3. The VA determines that they need vocational rehabilitation to overcome the handicap of their disabilities.

Post-Vietnam Era Veterans' Educational Assistance Program (VEAP) - Chapter 32

A student is eligible if he or she entered active military service at any time during the period January 1, 1977, through June 30, 1985, and:

  1. He or she must have served on active duty for at least 181 days. If he or she was discharged for a service-connected disability with less than 181 days of service, he or she may still be eligible;
  2. If he or she enlisted for the first time after September 7, 1980, or if he or she entered (including reenlistment) active duty after October 16, 1981, he or she must have completed either 24 continuous months of active duty or the full period for which he or she was called or ordered to active duty, whichever is less;
  3. If he or she is on active duty, he or she must have completed his or her first obligated period of active duty or 6 years, whichever is less;
  4. He or she must have contributed to VEAP while on active duty; and
  5. He or she may be eligible under Noncontributory VEAP, Section 903, if he or she was selected by his or her branch of service to participate in this program. If he or she was selected, the Department of Defense made the contributions for him or her. He or she must have enlisted or reenlisted for active duty service after November 30, 1980, and before October 1, 1981. (If he or she contracted under a delayed entry program during this period, he or she must have entered active duty before October 1, 1982.) For more information on this program, contact the nearest VA regional office; if a student is on active duty, contact the Education Services Officer.

Survivors' and Dependents' Education Assistance - Chapter 35

  1. Veteran benefits are available for spouses or surviving spouses and children of veterans who have died as a result of a service-incurred disability, or who have been declared 100 percent service-connected disabled. Contact the nearest Veterans Administration Regional Office for additional information. Include the veteran's claim number (File number identification). If the student is transferring in from another higher education institution, a 22-5495 is required.
  2. For scholarship information visit https://www.aerhq.org/Apply-for-Scholarship.

Selected Reserve Educational Assistance Program - Chapter 1606

This program is available and applies to reservists who entered the Selected Reserves after July 1, 1985. For original claims, the student may submit the 22-1990 and the DD Form 2384 (NOBE) to the VA Regional office or to the school for submittal. If a student is transferring in from another higher education institution, a 22-1995 is required.

Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant

A student who is not eligible for a Federal Pell Grant, but whose parent or guardian was a member of the U.S. Armed Forces and died as a result of service performed in Iraq or Afghanistan after September 11, 2001, may be eligible to receive the Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant.

Additional student eligibility requirements are:

  • Be under 24 years old; or
  • Enrolled in college at least part-time at the time of the parent’s or guardian’s death.

The grant award is equal to the amount of a maximum Federal Pell Grant for the award year – not to exceed the cost of attendance for that award year.

For more information regarding this program, please visit


Tillman Military Scholarship

Who is eligible to be a Tillman Military Scholar?

  1. Veteran and active servicemembers of both pre- and post-9/11 service.
  2. Servicemembers who wish to start, finish, or further their education.
  3. Servicemembers of all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces: Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, National Guard, and Reserve.
  4. Servicemembers pursuing undergraduate, graduate, post-graduate, 2-year, 4-year, public, private, vocational, and trade degrees or certifications.
  5. Dependents of servicemembers (children under the age of 30 or spouses).

What criteria will be considered for awarding the Tillman Military Scholarship?

  • Unmet financial need
  • Educational and career ambitions
  • Record of personal achievement
  • Compelling, thoughtful, genuine, and thorough essay question responses
  • Demonstration of service to others in the community and a desire to continue such service

Annual Renewability

Annual renewability will be considered for most scholarships based on proof of full-time student status, minimum GPA earned, as well as, documented participation in civic action or community service. Additionally, scholarship funding can only be used toward a single degree or certification per award winner.

To apply and find out what documents are needed, please visit http://pattillmanfoundation.org/apply-to-be-a-scholar/.

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