MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. -- Marines
who decide to trade in their uniform for a hard hat or business suit can get money to help pay for college or trade school as part of the Post 9/11 GI Bill
The Bill provides financial support for education and housing to individuals with at least 90 days of aggregate service on or after Sept. 11, 2001, according to the bill’s Web site, http://www.gibill.va.gov. To receive full benefits, a veteran must have completed 36 months of active duty service and received an honorable discharge. Individuals discharged with a service-connected disability after 30 days are also eligible for full benefits.
“There are people using GI benefits now more than ever,” said Jeff Fourier, the Combat Center’s education services officer. “[Veterans Affairs] hired more than 700 employees at their regional servicing centers just to process new applications.”
One reason behind the number of veterans using the GI Bill is the ability to transfer benefits to family members, but it comes with a cost, Fourier said.
“In order to pass on GI Bill benefits, an active duty Marine or military member must have completed at least six years of service while obligating to serve an additional four years,” said the Newport, Ore., native.
Approved training under the bill includes graduate and undergraduate degrees, and vocational or technical training. All training programs must be offered by an institution of higher learning and approved for GI Bill benefits.
The bill pays tuition based on the highest in-state tuition charged by an educational institution in that state. In addition to tuition, the bill grants a housing allowance and annual book stipend.
“Here at the Education Office, we’re available to sit down with Marines, sailors and their family members to speak with them about using their GI Bill benefits and find out what’s best for them,” Fourier said.
For more information about the Post 9/11 GI Bill, visit the Web site or call the Education Office at 830-6881.