Tips for Credits and Benefits
The Servicemen's Readjustment Act of 1944, or the Government Issued (GI) Bill was first signed in 1944 to provide financial support to World War II Veterans who wished to pursue a higher education. It allowed many Veterans the opportunity to attend college, covering costs related to tuition, books, and living expenses.
In 1984, the Montgomery GI Bill was instituted, and it also covered a portion of the cost of attending college. In 2008, the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act (or Post-9/11 GI Bill) was passed, which provided an increase in the education benefits available to Veterans. Under this bill and depending on the amount of time served, the government will pay up to 36 months of tuition, at any accredited college or university, payable for 10 years following release from active duty service. In addition, a book and housing stipend were included, as well as the option to transfer unused benefits to spouses or children.
Although the Post 9/11 GI Bill has greatly increased the number of student Veterans on campus, administration of the benefits, especially early on, was a challenge. Several significant changes have been made to the Post 9/11 Bill since its introduction in August 1, 2009. The following represents a list of helpful resources for student Veterans and campus administrators interested in using the GI bill to support higher education.
Veterans Affairs GI Bill Websitewww.gibill.va.gov
The GI Bill website is the home to all educational benefits provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Veterans Affairs GI Bill Website – Roadmap to Benefits
Given the various education benefit programs available, the following website is a roadmap for determining eligibility for benefits. http://gibill.va.gov/apply%2Dfor%2Dbenefits/road%2Dmap/
Veterans Affairs Benefits Applications
The Veterans Affairs offers an online option for applying for benefits. Ebenefits Portal
Request a DD 214 (military personnel file). A DD214 is the Report of Separation. It provides information proving a person's military service, which is needed to request education benefits http://www.archives.gov/veterans/military-service-records/*
Contact the Student Veterans of America organization for a resource guide to assist the transitioning student Veteran. http://www.studentveterans.org*
TRANSCRIPTS AND TRANSFERRING CREDITS
A Transfer Guide: Understanding your Military Credit Recommendations http://www.acenet.edu/higher-education/topics/Pages/College-Credit-for-Military-Service.aspx*
This guide provides information about transfer policies and issues, in order to help students better navigate the process of transferring military training and experience into college credit.
The following websites provide information on how to validate a Service Member's military experience and training by providing corresponding ACE college credit recommendations.
- Army/American Council on Education Registry Transcript System (AARTS) http://aarts.army.mil/*
- Sailor/Marine American Council on Education Registry Transcript https://smart.navy.mil/smart/registration.do*
- Community College of the Air Force http://www.au.af.mil/au/ccaf/*
- United States Coast Guard http://www.uscg.mil/hr/cgi/eso/college_assistance/transcripts.asp#1*
Steele, J.L., Salcedo, N., & Coley, J. (2010). Military Veterans' experiences using the post-9/11 GI bill and pursuing postsecondary education (Executive summary). Retrieved on June 20, 2011, from http://www.acenet.edu/news-room/Documents/Service-Members-in-School-Executive-Summary-2010.pdf
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. (2009). GI Bill History. Retrieved on July 19, 2011, from http://www.gibill.va.gov/benefits/history_timeline/index.html
Resources on Benefits and Credits
Williamson, V., & Mulhall, E. (2009, Jan.). Careers after combat: Employment and education challenges for Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans. Issue Report. Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America.