You’ve served your country proudly. Now, what’s next? If you are a young Veteran who has recently transitioned back to civilian life, or an older Veteran who is interested in enhancing your education, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has numerous programs in place to help you pay for higher education with free money.
Through the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA), education grants that do not have to be paid back are also available for active-duty service members and qualified family members like spouses and children. Here, learn about the best government free grants for education.
The VA has numerous programs in place to help military personnel and their families pay for college, graduate school, or even vocational and other training with free cash assistance. These benefits oftentimes take the form of education grants and scholarships.
First, let’s talk about grants that are only for Veterans.
If you served in the U.S. military — active-duty or reserve — in the Air Force, Army, Navy, Coast Guard, National Guard or Marines and were not dishonorably discharged, you may qualify for specific grants that are exclusively for Veterans.
The GI Bill Program is the overarching education benefit program offered by the VA. Under the GI Bill, there are numerous grants and scholarships.
Two of the exclusive grants for Veterans are: The Montgomery GI Bill Active Duty (MGIB-AD) and the Post-9/11 GI Bill.
If you are a Veteran who served at least 90 days of active-duty service after September 10, 2001 and you were discharged honorably, you might qualify for the Post-9/11 GI Bill.
By qualifying for the Post-9/11 GI Bill grant, you can potentially get:
- 100 percent of your school tuition covered, and
- Up to $1,000 to cover your monthly rent.
The amount of money you receive through the Post-9/11 GI Bill will depend on how many months of active-duty you served. If you served at least 36 months after September 10, 2001, you will receive 100 percent of the available benefits.
Other facts you should know about the Post-9/11 GI Bill are:
- It is possible to transfer your unused benefits to your spouse or one or more of your children.
- If your service ended before January 1, 2013 you have 15 years to use your benefits. If your service ended after Jan 1, 2013, your benefits will not expire.
- If you are a Veteran earning 100 percent of the Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits, you may be eligible for even more benefits through the Yellow Ribbon Program.
- It is possible to use your Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits for college degrees, graduate degrees, technical training, on-the-job training or certification, licensing and certification, flight training and more.