By Debbie Gregory.
Thanks to the Post-9/11 GI Bill, an increasing number of U.S. military veterans are completing degrees overseas at global universities.
Part of the draw is the cheaper tuition, thanks in part to the favorable exchange rate.
The VA’s list of approved international colleges now includes around 1,800 universities or training schools in more than 100 countries.
According to VA statistics, more than 2000 Post-9/11 GI Bill students pursued degrees overseas in fiscal year 2015.
U.S. veterans interested in pursuing an international education can either use the GI Bill Comparison Tool to review the VA’s approved list of universities. The tool can also show veterans which benefits package is their best option.
If a veteran’s preferred college is not on the approved list, he or she can apply to have the school added, provided it meets the VA’s eligibility requirements.
According to the VA website, one of the main requirements for attending a foreign school under the GI Bill is that the institution of higher learning will result in a college degree or equivalent. If eligible, the VA will issue the veteran a Certificate of Eligibility, which shows the quantity and duration of benefits. Veterans should secure this certificate before enrolling at a foreign university.
The VA says the Post-9/11 GI Bill pays up to $21,000 in tuition per year at approved foreign colleges, about $1,500 per month for housing and $1,000 annually for books.
The Post-9/11 GI Bill has also opened up global education opportunities to eligible veterans’ family members. Active-duty service members must plan to complete 10 years of service to be eligible to transfer some or all of the Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits to a spouse or children.
If you decide to stay in the U.S. for your education, or you prefer to pursue an online degree, be sure to check out the MilitaryConnection.com directory of universities and colleges here.