By Debbie Gregory.
Every Veteran and service member planning to use their Post-9/11 GI Bill needs to know about the VA’s GI Bill Comparison Tool. This interactive information resource could be considered the single greatest improvement to the VA’s Veteran education benefit in the last two years.
When making the important decision to go back to school, Veterans are left with many more choices that can affect the rest of their lives. Much like deciding on enlisting in the military, which branch, which rate, which MOS to sign up for, going back to school is not a singular, nor easy, decision.
Veterans should first consider their course of academic study. This can include what career field they would like to ultimately end up in. Veterans should have a good idea about what majors and minors they would like to study. Next, they should research the schools they might want to attend, and then what programs in their chosen areas of study those schools offer. Once a Veteran sees the schools that offer their academic programs, they are ready to evaluate those schools using the GI Bill Comparison Tool.
By simply inputting the answers to a few questions, Veterans gain access to a wealth of information about their prospective schools and futures using the Post-9/11 GI Bill. All that users of the VA’s GI Bill Comparison Tool need to input are:
- Their cumulative time of Post-9/11 service
- Their military status
- The school they want to research
- Whether or not they will be taking courses entirely online
In seconds, users of the GI Bill Comparison Tool have access to vital information, including the Monthly Housing Allowance (MHA) they can expect from a particular school, how much tuition that school charges (the Post-9/11 GI Bill caps at $19,198.31 per academic year), what the graduation rates at the school are, how many Veteran students are currently enrolled in that school under the Post-9/11 GI Bill, and if the school participates in the Yellow Ribbon program and/or the Principles of Excellence program. The Yellow Ribbon program participants agree to cover or excuse portions of tuition if it exceeds the VA’s yearly cap. The Principles of Excellence program guarantees a personalized education plan and schedule accommodations, among other items.
Giving Veterans access to compare data for potential schools, within seconds, makes the decision of where to use their education benefits much more convenient.
MilitaryConnection.com urges every Veteran considering the use of their VA education benefits to weigh their options before enrolling. The quickest, easiest and most informative resource for this is the GI Bill Comparison Tool.