The Post-9/11 GI Bill is one of the most amazing benefits offered to those who serve. By using this benefit, Veterans can earn a degree or vocational certificate, get paid while in school, and jump-start their post-military lives. The Post-9/11 GI Bill pays the total tuition for all state schools, and up to $20,235 per year for private institutions, for up to 36 months of in-school time. The bill also pays Veterans a monthly housing allowance that is equal to BAH for E-5 with dependents for the zip code where the school is located. Veterans also receive a $500 stipend, per semester, for books and supplies.
With such a generous benefit, all Veterans should make completing higher education their highest post-military goal. Choosing a school should be dependent on what career field or area of study the Veteran wants to pursue, as well as the degree level they are aiming for. Internet research and campus visits are the best ways to find this information. But after narrowing down your list of potential schools, the final consideration should go to colleges and universities that know how to provide for and work with Veteran students.
Military Connection would like to acknowledge some schools that are recognized for being Veteran Friendly:
D’Youville College (DYC), Buffalo, NY: DYC has a tradition of commitment to their Veteran and military students. The school offers special grants and waivers to its Veteran students, including up to 50% off tuition, and 20% off for their dependents. DYC offers its GI Bill students a book voucher, because the book stipend usually doesn’t arrive until after the semester begins.
Sullivan University Systems, Kentucky: Sullivan operates six campuses (one on base at Fort Knox), as well as a variety of Veteran-friendly online programs, which provide a broad array of vocational certificates, Associates, Bachelors, Masters degrees, and PhD programs in management. Sullivan’s culture believes that when it comes to education, one size does not fit all. Sullivan utilizes a nine member board of military and Veteran advisors to ensure that Veterans are getting the most out of the school, and not the other way around.
Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas: Texas A&M rates among the most Veteran-friendly colleges in the country, the result of multiple polls. The school currently boasts more than 2,000 students using the GI Bill or dependent benefits. But more importantly, the school employs 400 Veterans in both faculty and staff positions. Who better to lead the way for Veterans than other Veterans?
California Lutheran University, Thousand Oaks, CA: Cal Lutheran ranks among the most Veteran-friendly schools in the western United States, and their ranking is likely to skyrocket very soon. Through use of the Yellow Ribbon Program, Cal Lutheran has recently been authorized by the VA to offer a 50% discount on tuition for an unlimited number of Veteran students. This means that Veterans can attend the prominent school, normally costing $36,690 per year in tuition, for no money out of pocket.
There are thousands of schools throughout the country that would like to be on the receiving end of the tuition money that Veterans bring via the Post-9/11 GI Bill. When transitioning service members and Veterans are making the decision on where they want to start their post-military lives, they should consider how potential schools provides for Veterans. If they offer programs similar to the ones that these schools provide, it is a safe bet that the school is military and Veteran friendly.
Military Connection: Veteran Friendly Schools: By Joe Silva