Education Benefits

Education Benefits

Types of Benefits | Applying for Benefits | Forms | Frequently Asked Questions | Contact Information

The Veterans Administration Education Service offers many different types of benefits for both active duty, discharged and retired military servicepeople, as well as their survivors and dependants. There are also educational programs directed at selected reservists. Benefits pay for educational services such as college and university courses, degree programs, apprenticeships, on-the-job training and correspondence courses.


Types of Benefits

Montgomery GI Bill - Active Duty (MGIB-AD): The MGIB program provides up to 36 months of education benefits. Generally, benefits are payable for 10 years following a serviceperson's release from active duty. This program is also referred to as Chapter 30.

Montgomery GI Bill - Selected Reserve (MGIB-SR): The MGIB-SR program may be available to you if you are a member of the Selected Reserve. You may be eligible for these benefits if you served in the Army Reserve, Navy Reserve, Air Force Reserve, Marine Corps Reserve or Coast Guard Reserve, or the Army National Guard and the Air National Guard.

Reserve Educational Assistance Program (REAP): REAP is a new Department of Defense education benefit program designed to provide educational assistance to members of the Reserve components called or ordered to active duty in response to a war or national emergency (contingency operation) as declared by the President or Congress. This new program makes certain individuals who were activated after September 11, 2001 either eligible for education benefits or eligible for increased benefits.

Veterans Educational Assistance Program (VEAP): VEAP is available if you first entered active duty between January 1, 1977 and June 30, 1985 and you elected to make contributions from your military pay to participate in this program. You generally must have completed 24 continuous months of active duty, but there are some exceptions. If you do not use your VEAP benefits within 10 years of being discharged, your contribution will be refunded to you.

Survivors' and Dependants' Educational Assistance Program (DEA): DEA provides education and training benefits to eligible dependants of veterans who are permanently and totally disabled due to a service-related condition, or who died while on active duty or as a result of a service related condition. The program offers up to 45 months of education benefits.

Accelerated Payment for MGIB-AD: An accelerated payment is a lump sum payment of 60% of tuition and fees for certain high cost, high tech programs. To qualify, you must be enrolled in a high tech program and you must certify that you intend to seek employment in a high tech industry as defined by VA. Accelerated payment is paid instead of Montgomery GI Bill benefits that you would otherwise receive.

Tuition Assistance "Top Up": On October 30, 2000, the President signed into law an amendment to the Montgomery GI Bill - Active Duty education program that permits VA to pay a Tuition Assistance Top- up benefit. The amount of the benefit can be equal to the difference between the total cost of a college course and the amount of Tuition Assistance that is paid by the military for the course.

Entrepreneurship Training: Are you interested in starting your own business? Would you like to learn how to get started? Or are you a current business owner who wants to learn how to boost your small business operation? As a service member or veteran you now have an opportunity to use your education benefits to learn how to start or enhance a small business.

Work-Study Program: This program is available to any student receiving VA education benefits under another program (such as the GI Bill, VEAP or DEA) who is attending school three-quarter time or full-time. An individual in this program would be paid the state or Federal minimum wage, whichever if greater, to work at their school veterans' office, VA Regional Office, VA Medical Facilities, or at approved State employment offices.

Tutorial Assistance Program: Tutorial assistance is available if you are receiving VA educational assistance at the half-time or more rate and have a deficiency in a subject making tutoring necessary.

For more information on any of these educational benefit programs, contact your local VA Regional Office by dialing their toll-free number, 1-888-GIBILL-1 (1-888-442-4551).


Applying for Benefits

You can apply for educational benefits online using the VA's Veterans Online Application (VONAPP). When you use this site to complete and send an application to VA, your application will be sent directly to the VA office with jurisdiction over your application. Processing will begin immediately, and you will receive a response from the VA office letting you know the status of your application.

If you have previously filed a claim for education benefits, use VONAPP only if you are filing for a different education benefit. If you would like to know the status of a pending claim, contact the Regional Processing Office by calling 1-888-GIBILL-1 (1-888-442-4551).



If you would like to view and/or print many of the forms that the VA requires to be submitted when applying for or receiving benefits, visit the VA Forms page and use the keyword search to locate education benefits forms. You will need to have Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on your computer to view most of these forms.

If you experience difficulty reading or interpreting either the form or instructions, please call your local VA office toll free at 1-800-827-1000.


Frequently Asked Questions

The VA's Education Benefits department has compiled an online index for Frequently Asked Questions about their educational benefits programs. If you have any questions about a program, consult the FAQ for an answer before calling the VA.


Contact Information

For more information on any of these educational benefit programs, contact your local VA Regional Office by dialing their toll-free number, 1-888-GIBILL-1 (1-888-442-4551).

For more information on any of these benefit programs, contact your local VA Regional Office toll free at 1-800-827-1000. You can also visit the website for the VA office in your state to request more information.

To access a listing of all the VA facilities – including benefit departments and health care clinics/hospitals – located in your state, consult the VA Facilities Directory.