What is the Length of Time Allowed to Complete a College Degree Under the GI Bill?

GI BillWhen you serve time in the military and you are planning to attend school, it is important that you know the length of time allowed to complete college degree under GI Bill. The GI Bill is a great benefit offered to service members to help them get the training that they need when they are discharged and start to live civilian life. While there is no denying that these financial assistance programs can make the difference in the life of a veteran, there are still limitations that anyone planning to use them must know about. Read on, and find out how long you have to use your GI Bill and also other facts you should know about if you are seeking training after separating from service.

Who is Eligible for GI Bill Benefits?

In 2008, the new Post 9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act was passed to provide veterans with even greater educational benefits than the did in the WWII era. Under the new GI Bill, any service member who has served in one of the branches of the military for more than three months will be eligible for education benefits that are tiered after calculating how many days the veteran had served.

What Benefits Are Offered Under the Post 9/11 GI Bill?

Any service member with a cumulative of 36 months of service will get 100% of the benefit, according to NewGIBill.org. Those with the minimum of 90 days of cumulative service will receive 40% of the benefit granted by the bill. Some of the benefits that are included are: 100% tuition, housing allowance, books, supplies and the option to transfer to an eligible spouse or dependent. Things like housing monthly allowance will be determined based on the allowance for housing for an E-5 based on the city that they live in.

Time Limit to Use your GI Bill

The actual amount of time that you have to use these benefits if you are eligible for the bill depends on your individual circumstances. In most cases, you have 15 years to use your Post 9/11 benefits from the date you are discharged. The clock starts from the moment that you are separated from service. If you receive the Montgomery GI Bill, this clock starts at discharge as well, but the benefits will only remain valid for 10 years, according to Military.com.

What Happens if You Rejoin the Military?

Contrary to popular belief, there is a way to stop or reset the clock when it starts to run. If you stop using your benefits for any period of time, you can take off and apply again for the remainder of your benefits. You can also rejoin the military and reset the clock if you rejoin for at least 90 days as an active-duty service member. This is especially beneficial to people in the military who need more time to study.

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Disabled personnel members and the dependents of service members killed in combat all have special provisions built into the benefits. Be sure that you know these if you may qualify. If you are not sure how your benefits work, contact Veteran’s Affairs and you can learn the ins and outs that can be difficult to comprehend. Now that you know the length of time allowed to complete college degree under the GI Bill, it is time to start planning for advanced training.