Post 9/11 GI Bill

Air Force Reserve: Retired

Benefit Fact Sheet

Share on Facebook Share on X Share on LinkedIn

The Post-9/11 GI Bill (chapter 33 benefits) is an education benefit program specifically for military members who served on active duty on or after September 11, 2001. Depending on an individual's situation, provisions of the program may include coverage of tuition and fees, a monthly housing allowance, a books and supplies stipend, Yellow Ribbon payments, college fund, rural benefit payments and transferability to eligible immediate family members (spouse and children).

In 2017 the President signed into law the Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act also known as the “Forever GI Bill,” which brought significant changes to veterans education benefits. The law allowed more veterans to use the GI Bill and more time to use it.

Learn more on the changes at:


Retired Reserve Service members that served at least 90 aggregate days on active duty after September 10, 2001, or served 30 continuous days on active duty after September 10, 2001, and were honorably discharged for a service-connected disability, are eligible for the Post-9/11 GI Bill.  Active-duty service time required by graduates of a Service Academy or ROTC does NOT count toward the three years necessary to qualify for benefits.

Benefit Highlights

The Post-9/11 GI Bill provides different percentage levels of education benefit depending on an individual’s length of active duty service following September 10, 2001. Service members are eligible for up to 36 months of entitlement. Benefits are available for up to 15 years from a service member's last period of active duty of at least 90 consecutive days. Service members released from active duty due to a service-connected disability after 30 days or more of continuous service are also eligible for benefits for 15 years. This education benefit, unlike previous GI Bill versions, can be transferred to immediate family members. The VA began accepting Post-9/11 GI Bill applications on August 1, 2009.

Education Covered

Approved training under the Post-9/11 GI Bill includes both undergraduate and graduate degrees, vocational/technical training, on-the-job training, flight training, correspondence training, licensing and national testing program, entrepreneurship training, and tutorial assistance. All training programs must be approved for GI Bill benefits.

Maximum Basic Benefit

The maximum basic benefit of the Post-9/11 GI Bill is available to service members that serve an aggregate of 36 months or more of active duty service or 30 continuous days of active service and honorably discharged for a service-connected disability after September 10, 2001. The maximum benefit provides:

  • Full tuition & fees directly to the school for all public school in-state students. For those attending private or foreign schools’ tuition & fees are capped at $27,120.05 for the 2023-2024 academic year.

    • Service members attending a private Institution of Higher Learning in AZ, MI, NH, NY, PA, SC or TX may be eligible for a higher tuition reimbursement rate

    • Service members attending a more expensive private school or public school as a non-resident out-of-state student, a program exists which may help to reimburse the difference called the VA Yellow Ribbon Program

Monthly housing allowance equal to the basic allowance for housing (BAH) payable to an E-5 with dependents, in the same zip code as the school (*

  • Stipend of up to $1,000 per year for books and supplies*, proportionately based on enrollment

  • College fund or "kicker" based on the "rate of pursuit" (full- or part-time study) issued monthly with the housing allowance; and

  • One-time payment of $500 to certain individuals relocating from highly rural areas-defined as a county with six or less persons per square mile as evident by the most recent decennial census-by either physically relocating at least 500 miles to attend an educational institution, or traveling by air to physically attend and educational institution if no other land-based transportation exists

*NOTE: The housing allowance and stipend for books and supplies are not paid to individuals still on active duty or those pursuing training at half time or less; individuals enrolled in distance learning receive the books and supplies stipend but do not receive the housing allowance.

GI Bill Monthly Housing Allowance

Individuals who first use Post-9/11 GI Bill program on or after January 1, 2018, will receive monthly housing allowance based on DoD’s reduced basic housing allowance (BAH) for monthly housing rates. Those that began using benefits prior to January 1, 2018, will continue to receive a higher monthly housing rate based in the non-adjusted BAH rate.

Percentage Benefit / Consolidation of Benefit Levels

Eliminates the 40% benefit level and expands the 60% benefit level under the Post-9/11 GI Bill program. An individual with aggregate service of 90 days but less than six months of active-duty service (excluding entry and skill training) now qualifies at the 50% benefit level. An individual with aggregate service of at least six months but less than eighteen months of active-duty service (excluding entry and skill training) now qualifies at the 60% benefit level. This removes the 40% benefit level. This section went into effect August 1, 2020:

Consolidation of Benefit Levels

Member Serves:

Percentage of
Maximum Benefit Payable

At least 36 months


At least 30 continuous days on active duty and must be discharged due to service-connected disability or received a Purple Heart (Purple Heart effective August 1, 2018)


At least 30 months, but less than 36 months


At least 24 months, but less than 30 months


At least 18 months, but less than 24 months


At least 6 months, but less than 18 months


At least 90 days, but less than 6 months


Yellow Ribbon Program

The Yellow Ribbon Program provision of the Post-9/11 GI Bill only applies to those service members that are entitled to the maximum benefit rate. This provision is an agreement between institutions of higher learning (IHL) and the VA to fund tuition costs above the highest tuition rate of $26,381.37 for the 2022-2023 and $27,120.05 for the 2023-2024. For service members enrolled in eligible IHLs the VA will pay all resident tuition & fees for a public school and the higher of the actual tuition & fees or $27,120.05 for the 2023-2024 academic year for a private school. To search for the Yellow Ribbon Program participating institutions click here.

Prior MGIB Eligibility

If service members are eligible for the Montgomery GI Bill, Montgomery GI Bill-Selected Reserve, or Reserve Educational Assistance Program AND qualify for the Post-9/11 GI Bill they may make an irrevocable election to receive benefits under the Post-9/11 GI Bill. After transferring, service members are not eligible to receive benefits under the program from which they transferred. For many eligible service members, the Post-9/11 GI Bill is a better solution than other education benefit programs but this depends on several factors including the type of education or training and the amount of benefits received under each program (Benefit Comparison:

Individuals transferring from the Montgomery GI Bill (chapter 30) will receive a refund of a proportional amount (based on the number of months remaining under MGIB at the time of Post 9/11 election) of their basic $1,200 contribution. This refund will be included in the last monthly housing allowance payment when Post9/11 (Chapter 33) entitlement exhausts. Those who do not exhaust entitlements under the Post-9/11 GI Bill will not receive a refund. No one is authorized a refund of the additional $600 Buy-Up Program contribution.

Transfer of Benefits to Family Members

Transfers must be requested and approved while the member is serving in the Armed Forces

Eligible service members may transfer their Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits after August 1, 2009, to their immediate family members:

  • The service member’s spouse
  • One or more of the service member's children
  • Any combination of spouse and child
  • A family member must be enrolled in the Defense Eligibility Enrollment Reporting System (DEERS) and be eligible for benefits, at the time of transfer to receive transferred educational benefits.

The policy and rules for transferability are determined by the Department of Defense (DoD) and the military services (

The option to transfer is open to any member of the armed forces active duty or Selected Reserve, officer or enlisted who is eligible for the Post-9/11 GI Bill, and meets the following criteria:

  • You have completed at least six years of service on the date your request is approved, and

  • You agree to add four more years of service, and

  • The person getting benefits has enrolled in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS).

Service members approved to transfer their benefits to eligible immediate family members enrolled in the Defense Eligibility Enrollment Reporting System (DEERS) may transfer up to the remaining months of unused Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits, or the entire 36 months if the member has used none (unless DoD/DHS limits the number of months an individual may transfer).

  • Spouse-
    • May start the benefit immediately
    • May use the benefit while the service member remains in the Armed Forces or after separation from active duty
    • Is not eligible for the monthly housing allowance stipend while the member is serving on active duty
    • If service member’s last discharge was before January 1, 2013, can use the benefit for up to 15 years after the last separation from active duty. If the service member’s last discharge is after January 1, 2013, there is no time limit to use benefits A subsequent divorce does not affect the spouse's ability to receive educational benefits, but the service member retains the right to revoke or modify the transfer at any time.
    • A subsequent divorce does not affect the spouse’s ability to receive educational benefits, but the service member retains the right to revoke or modify the transfer at any time.
  • Children-
    • May start use of benefit only after service member completes at least 10 years of service in the Armed Forces
    • May use the benefit while the service member remains in the Armed Forces or after separation from active duty
    • Cannot use the benefit until a secondary school diploma or equivalency certificate is received or reaches 18 years of age
    • Entitled to the monthly housing allowance and stipend for books and supplies while service member is on active duty
    • Not subject to the 15-year delimiting date but may not use the benefit after reaching 26 years of age

A child's subsequent marriage will not affect their eligibility to receive the educational benefit; however, after an individual has designated a child as a transferee under this section, the individual retains the right to revoke or modify the transfer at any time.

Upon approval, family members may apply to use transferred benefits with VA by applying online or by printing, completing, and mailing the VA Form 22-1990e to your VA Regional processing office of jurisdiction. VA Form 22-1990e should only be completed and submitted to VA by the family member after DoD has approved the request for TEB. Do not use VA Form 22-1990e to apply for transfer of education benefit.

Assistance for Students Affected by School Closures and Certain Disapprovals

VA is now authorized to restore benefits and provide relief to education beneficiaries affected by school closures or certain disapprovals. This means payments of educational assistance will not be charged against an entitlement of educational assistance, or counted against the total period for which a beneficiary may receive educational assistance under two or more programs, if VA finds that the individual was unable to complete such course or program of study as a result of:

  • The closure of an educational institution; or

  • The disapproval of the course or a course that is a necessary part of that program by reason of a new law, regulation, or policy implemented after the individual enrolls

  • Not receiving credit, or losing training time, toward completion of the program being pursued. 

VA may treat a course of education that is disapproved under this chapter as being approved, if VA determines, on a case-by-case basis, that the course was disapproved for one of the reasons stated above and continuing the course is in the best interest of the individual

This provision went into effect November 14, 2017 (90 days after August 16) and applies to courses and programs of education discontinued after August 1, 2015. For courses or programs discontinued during the period beginning January 1, 2015, and ending on August 16, 2017, an individual who does not transfer credits can have all their entitlements restored.

VA may also continue awarding a monthly housing allowance stipend under the Post-9/11 GI Bill program following a permanent school closure or certain disapproval of a course of study. The changes to monthly housing allowance went into effect on August 1, 2018, and apply to courses and programs of education discontinued on or after August 16, 2017.

Using the GI Bill at Technical Schools and non-Institutions of Higher Learning (IHLs)

Beneficiaries will now be able to use their Post-9/11 educational assistance to pursue accredited independent study programs at the following educational institutions that are not institutions of higher learning (IHLs): area career and technical education schools that provide postsecondary level education and postsecondary vocational institutions.

Priority Enrollment

VA will improve outreach and transparency to veterans and service members by providing information on whether institutions of higher learning administer a priority enrollment system that allows certain student veterans to enroll in courses earlier than other students.

Additional Information
Document Review Date: 25 March 2024