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How to Apply

VA Education and Training

VA can help you cover the cost of furthering your education and skills through benefits to pay for tuition, housing, training, and other expenses related to your education. VA’s education and training benefits are provided through these key programs:

VA education benefits may be used toward traditional degrees, non-college degrees, on-the-job training, apprenticeships and more.

VA also provides assistance to help Veterans transition from military service to civilian employment. Service-disabled Veterans may be eligible for one-on-one support, counseling, and training to boost skills and build careers. Explore VA employment services for details.

GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

VA Requirements

  • Copies of your discharge or separation papers (DD-214 or equivalent)
  • Documentation of an enlistment incentive or College Fund, sometimes called a “kicker” (note: this is not required to apply for the GI Bill)
  • To qualify for a monthly housing allowance, you must attend school more than half time (e.g., seven out of 12 credit hours per term) and not currently be on active duty in the service

VA Application Process

The application process for Veterans seeking to use their education and training benefits varies for different types of applicants. Before you apply, use the chart on this page to determine the right benefit for you. After release from active duty, you have up to 15 years to use the Post-9/11 GI Bill; other programs have different time limits. Be sure to use the GI Bill Comparison Tool to research schools and employers based on affordability and value under the Post-9/11 GI Bill.

If you are eligible for the Post-9/11 GI Bill, the Montgomery GI Bill – Active Duty, or Reserve Educational Assistance Program, you must choose which benefit to receive. This decision is final and cannot be changed.

Once you identify the right VA benefit for your needs, it takes about 30 minutes to apply online.

  • Plan ahead and apply early because VA education benefits can take a few weeks to process.
  • Depending on where you live, your application is routed to one of four specialized Regional Processing Offices (RPOs) in Atlanta, GA; Buffalo, NY; Muskogee, OK; and St. Louis, MO.
photo: Chris

I reached out and used my Chapter 33 Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits, and that definitely saved my life and my marriage.

Army Veteran

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