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You May Not Want To Save Your Post 9/11 GI Bill Benefits for Your Kids

transfer gi bill

By Debbie Gregory.

While the Post-9/11 GI Bill offers a very generous post-service education benefit, a special provision of the program allows career service members the opportunity to share their education benefits with immediate family members. The Post 9/11 GI Bill is the only one which allows transferring education benefits.

Now that the Post 9/11 GI Bill allows servicemembers and veterans to transfer their benefits to their spouse or children, it begs the question: is that a good idea?

The first consideration is the value of using the GI Bill for a parent’s education. On average, a college graduate earns about $25,000 more per year than a high school graduate. If you run the numbers, just 10 years of this increased income would yield an additional $250,000. Especially if your children are young, the extra income an adult would add over the course of a number of years would more than likely cover the cost of a child’s college education.

If you were to save your GI Bill benefits and transfer them to a dependent, you would not only have a lower lifetime income, you’d only be able to use the benefit to put one child through school on the GI Bill.

Of course if you have older children or already have a degree, this scenario doesn’t apply.

The other thing to take into consideration is possible changes to the GI Bill.  There have been a number of different versions over the years, and more than likely, it will continue to evolve over time.

Military Connection salutes and proudly serves veterans and service members in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve,  and their families.

Federal Court Upholds Texas Hazelwood Act Requirements

hazelwood

By Debbie Gregory.

A federal appeals court has upheld a much-watched Texas program that promises free college educations to military veterans if they lived in the state when they enlisted.

The Hazlewood Act, which dates back to the 1920s, is a State of Texas benefit that provides qualified Veterans, spouses, and dependent children with an education benefit of up to 150 hours of tuition exemption, including most fee charges, at public institutions of higher education in Texas. It does not include living expenses, books, or supply fees.

The Hazlewood Act was expanded in 2009 to include veterans who entered military service at a Texas installation.

The act was challenged by a veteran who enlisted in Georgia, and moved to Texas after he was discharged. On January 26, 2015, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas ruled that the requirement that Veterans must have entered service in Texas in order to be eligible to receive the Texas Hazlewood exemption of tuition and fees at public schools (the fixed point residency requirement) was unconstitutional.

The decision would have sent the program’s costs skyrocketing.

Texas appealed to the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, which ruled that Texas-residency rules were not unconstitutional, and said the state has the right to regulate its own education system.

Eligibility requirements include:

  • Entered the military service from Texas, or Home of Record at the time of entry into active duty was Texas, or was a Texas resident at the time of entry into military service
  • Served more than 180 days of federal military service- excluding Initial Entry Training (Unless otherwise permanently disabled or killed while on Active Duty prior to serving 180 days of federal military service.)
  • Received an Honorable Discharge or General Discharge under Honorable Conditions
  • Exhausted GI Bill benefits if eligible for Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits at the 100% rate
  • Reside in Texas during term of enrollment
  • Provide DD214 or equivalent supporting documentation
  • Meet the GPA requirement of the institution’s satisfactory academic progress policy in a degree or certificate program as determined by the institution’s financial aid policy and, as an undergraduate student, not be consideered to have attempted an excessive amount of credit hours.

Military Connection salutes and proudly serves veterans and service members in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve,  and their families.