GI Bill Change Likely

Programs Offer School Supplies

The recent Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission (MCRMC) report once again highlights the fact that the current, amazingly generous Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits aren’t guaranteed to remain so glorious.  Historically, educational benefits have shrunk during times of military downsizing, and we are in the middle of a serious downsize.  Plus, I’ve said since day one that the current Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits are more than our country can afford to sustain.  If you have earned the Post 9/11 GI Bill, and you think you have a plan to maximize the benefit to your family, then you might want to consider having a plan B.  You might also need a plan C and a plan D.

The MCRMC makes several recommendations regarding educational benefits.  The specific recommendation that most interests me is about the housing allowance that currently comes with the Post 9/11 GI Bill.  Under the current rules, everyone except active duty spouses receives a monthly housing stipend when using Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits, including the dependent children using benefits transferred from a parent.  The commission recommends that this housing payment be removed for those using transferred benefits, effective 1 July 2017.

It will take some time until we know whether this recommendation becomes law, but the point may be more important than the details.  Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits aren’t guaranteed, and they are likely to change.  It may be the result of this commission’s report, or it may happen at some other time.  However, in this time of financial austerity, our country can not continue to make such amazingly generous payments on the Post 9/11 GI Bill.

This issue is tremendously personal to me, as I have kids who are 17, 15, 13 and 12.  And, I may want to go back to school when my husband retires.  I’ve always said that you should use your benefits as soon as possible, and I still believe that is true.   I think it is especially true if you have an adult who wants to go to school, and if your children are still small.

Now, you can write to your Congressman or local newspaper or start a phone tree and try to influence whether this recommendation becomes law, but I also want you to think about what your family will do if the Post 9/11 GI Bill does not exist in its current form when your family wants to use it.  It doesn’t have to be a specific, dollar for dollar plan, but at least get the brain train moving.  Are you counting on the Post 9/11 GI Bill to fund a significant chunk of your family’s higher education costs?  Well, it might not be available to pay for as much as you planned.  What are you going to do?

About the Author

Kate Horrell
Kate Horrell is a military financial coach, mom of four teens, and Navy spouse. She has a background in taxes and mortgage banking, and a trove of experience helping other military families with their money. Follow her on twitter @realKateHorrell.
  • Bob D

    I have always said that. I finished up my BS and wanted to sort of take a break and focus on my job search rather than gradschool, but I have always feared this day. I am determined to not leave a dime on the table. I went straight to it. Alot of really bad summers inside writing papers and doing reasech, but I am almost done.

    • Kate

      Good for you, Bob. I love to hear about people taking advantage of their benefits!

    • VNVET

      Keep going Bob D. Back in the day, I had to take the night school route after VN. It took almost ten years of night school the get an undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering and has paid off. VNVET


    When is congress going to cut their benefits. VNVET

    • M Meier


    • When the two party system is dismantled and they have to fight for votes. Join the fastest growing political party that actually cares about the people, and solutions.

  • Doktorscanlon

    If you don’t use them, you will lose them. The benefits can be changed by Congress at any time and they do just that from time to time, even to members on Active Duty. Use your benefits now. Don’t wait and be sure to get an education that will train you for a job that is waiting for you, not a degree in basket weaving.

    • James

      Use or lose isn’t applicable here. There are MANY people who use it, and they still lose it. That’s the unfair part, because this isn’t just a benefit- this is an EARNED benefit.

  • Mikey

    Can anyone please confirm/deny? The post 911 G.I. bill for a full time student is only good for 36 months? I passed my benefits to our son who is attending college with it, and I would just like some planning data points for his road ahead. I am pretty sure it runs out after 36 months – but not totally sure. I can/will research it later via the VA site, but just wondering if someone could give me a quick kill on this issue since we are talking about it.

    • Dustin

      Yes it is good for 36 months, four 9-month school years.

      • Generoso Magaoay

        Yup! 36 months dawg!

    • Zack Jones

      Mikey – GI Bill benefits are good for 36 months. This is intended to be sufficient to cover four nine-month school years or whatever combination you opt for, up to a maximum of 36 months. The housing stipend is only paid for the period you’re actually in school. For example, you don’t get paid for Christmas break or spring break, or during the summer (unless you’re in summer school).

    • John

      Zack Jones is very correct: the housing benefit gets pro-rated downward to exclude from payments those days your student’s college is not in session. My child attends Univ. of Wisconsin and housing payments started a month after the fall semester began, sort of like the P-9/11 GI Bill housing benefits were paid out in arrears. The housing benefits for Dec and Jan are reduced for winter break. We asked about suspending GI Bill educational benefits for Dec and Jan — to use benefits only in months were there are no breaks and no pro-rating — but VA rules do not allow you to fiddle with your benefits so precisely.

    • Darlene Head

      If you qualified for the full benefit, you have 36 months of Full time educational benefits. If your school says 12 hr is full time, then you have the 36 months but they, like has been said, pay for partial months for when the term begins and ends. It is very complicated to figure out. So if the term starts in the middle of the month, they pay and count only half that month and the same applies for the end of the term. If the student attends less than full time, it is calculated out even more complicated. Say 1/2 time= 6hr, then you have 72 months. But remember no BAH is paid for anything less than 1/2 time and from 7hr up, it is pro rated to the full time amount paid full. VA benefits are a reimbursement so the student goes for the month or portion of the month and is paid the next month. This causes a lot of trouble for our students especially during long breaks like at Christmas time. That changed with the improvement act signed by Pres Obama in Jan 2010 when they gave away the break pay they previously paid. That will never come back… That is the short version…

    • My twocents

      Yes, it is 36months. I gave mine to my daughter and she did her full four years, plus a handsome housing allowance.

  • MKRN

    “In this time of financial austerity, our country can not continue to make such amazingly generous payments on the Post 9/11 GI Bill.”
    This statement is an absolute crime. VOLUNTEER recruits were promised this benefit as a condition of joining. How can you then turn around and say sorry we are canceling the program we promised you as an incentive to volunteer for one of the most dangerous, lowest paying, ungrateful jobs this country has to offer. I would like to think they are kidding but in the wake of a pitiful 1% raise, a cut in BAH and further cuts expected, I know they are not kidding. At the very least all active Military that were promised these benefits should be able to count on them. The new Volunteers, unfortunate as would be can change with those that have not been offered it any longer. That is the most honest and approach with integrity.

    • RetAF

      Happens all the time. Back in the 70s and earlier we were promised free health care for life if we retired. They took that away and have now even taken TRICARE Prime away from most of us. I was promised the Viet Nam era GI Bill but actually received the less generous post VN Era benefits.

      • Joseph

        In all things, Democrats love to destroy the military, the benefits, and suck that money into their damn welfare programs. We earned our benefits, but they would rather give that money to people that earn nothing.

        I am glad that I am using my benefits NOW, and will be finished before they kill the BAH part.

    • Kate

      MKRN, I’m not saying that I like it, but it is still true.. Education benefits are advertised as they currently exist, but they are not guarantees, and they never have been. The Post 9/11 GI Bill as it was written is unsustainable, and I have believed that since the first day it was announced. Changes started happening almost immediately, and I am sure they will continue. That’s the whole point of this piece: be aware, and make your plans with that full knowledge.

      • ken

        The problem is, if one party promises and acts in a particular manner, it may cause the other party to take action based on the first party. Now we are seeing the first party (military) take actions that are detrimental to the SMs expectations. It is a environment of a litany of nothing but reducing pay and benefits.

      • ryan

        **Unsustainable**….Kate, that is patently absurd. POTUS just submitted a 1.15 Trillion (with a T, Trillion, which is 1.15 followed by ten zeros) budget. Of that 625 Billion is allocated for Defense. The US treasury collects or prints an insane amount of money annually. And the USG will print/collect and spend money like that – whether or not veterans and families have a GI bill – which is meager compared to the overall budget or defense figures. The question is not, “can the nation afford this kind of deficit spending” – which it can’t. The questions is, if you are going to shear the sheep – which sheep get sheared? And do they all get sheered equally? Do you honestly believe that these wholesale military force and benefit reductions will be matched by other federal recipients of tax dollars? It is not more “moral” or “patriotic” to volunteer veterans out of their benefits. Quite the opposite – it is immoral to take these benefits away from those who have given so much to their country.

        • ryan

          BTW, the Post 9/11 GI bill, which Kate ridiculously calls, *unsustainable* has cost $20B since 2009 – or about 3.3B per year. That’s one half percent of the proposed 2016 defense budget and .2% of the total proposed budget. As a point of comparison – Medicare FRAUD was estimated ON THE LOW SIDE to cost taxpayers $82B in one year alone (2011).

      • Gunny

        But the administration can sustain free 2 yrs community college for every one who is back on the block?

    • Darlene Head

      The way the Post 9-11 bill was written, Webb wrote it as a ‘War time’ benefit. The president has said the war is over now which opens the door. They passed the original bill with many problems and said ‘we will pass it and then make the corrections after it is passed’. Yes, I heard them say that. They passed the improvement bill in 2009 the last days of the lame duck session, and things were taken away from the first bill. They have promised both Active Duty and National Guard and Reserve military the same benefit if they served AD in the war on terror. They also promised the NG and Reserve members tuition assistance and DOD has just made 3 huge changes that have almost made it impossible to use those benefits to further their education. There have been many changes lately that most do not know about that is so wrong. I agree with you completely. Those who have made the commitment to serve our country absolutely deserve better. Before I started working with my Veterans in education, I had rose colored glasses on and thought our government would never do the things I heard they did to our military members and benefits. My eyes were opened quickly and saw what happens. Our elected officials are the ones that write the laws, the VA has to carry them out. The elected officials do not give the money for the VA to hire new people they need to do what they are tasked with. And the elected officials do not ask the VA or educators for that matter, if the law they are looking to pass would work based on what we know from the systems and the requirements. We have tried to give them our concerns about what they were going to do and they ignored us and said they knew best. That is a recipe for disaster… which is what it many times has been. It is important to let your elected officials know your feelings and how it impacts you as a student veteran because there are groups that are fighting for the right thing to be done and the elected officials just tell us, ‘we are not hearing that from our veterans in our state’… so they ignore us. Write them emails and let them know your feelings.

  • Indigoblue

    If soldiers would stand up and fight this it might let the gov. parents know soldiers are awake to the taxing and taking of the very money you have put into this out of your own pay checks. The Government has fooled decades of people into thinking they will save money for you by taking it out of your pay every month. Hence, Social security etc. They are taking the retirements of people already, don’t think for a minute soldiers are any safer from this being done as well.

  • Chuck

    Unless things have changed, you first have to apply for benefits yourself. Once approved, you can then transfer benefits to the person of your choosing. Once that is approved that individual has to apply for benefits. It can take a good amount of time, so I would recommend starting now. Hope this helps.

    • Jackie

      My husband would have to add myself and our kids to his education benefits before he got out of the military to give us more time for education benefits. That was the easy route. If that wasn’t done then he would have to file an appeal to have us added to use his education benefits which could take up to a year to get done. You have 10 years to start using the benefits. Once you start them you have 36 months of benefits. I took breaks due to pregnancies, and still lost time and had to pay out of my own pocket my last term for my bachelors degree. I guess it doesn’t get put on hold when you are not attending full time school like I thought.

  • artymgysgt

    During the 10 year period where I was eligible for education benefits I wish I could of transferred them to my daughter. If I went to school it would of only been for the extra income as I had no desire to get a higher education

  • Bailey

    How does transferring to family work? Where do I start to do this is? Thanks.

    • Kate

      Bailey, information on the Transfer of Benefits is available here (click on Education on the side bar), at the VA website, or do an internet search on “Post 9/11 GI Bill transfer of benefits.” If you qualify, you do it at the MilConnect website (linked from all these locations.)

  • Tim

    I completely exhausted every penny in Grad School. No money out of pocket and even got back my investment from basic training. Use it, or lose it. When I look back at how much it paid for I always feared it couldn’t last.

    • Kate

      Good for you, Tim!

  • Thomas

    MKRN, said it well and needs to be repeated, “In this time of financial austerity, our country can not continue to make such amazingly generous payments on the Post 9/11 GI Bill.”
    This statement is an absolute crime. VOLUNTEER recruits were promised this benefit as a condition of joining. How can you then turn around and say sorry we are canceling the program we promised you as an incentive to volunteer for one of the most dangerous, lowest paying, ungrateful jobs this country has to offer. Congress has cut the Benefits on the Military all the time but has NEVER cut their own, but has voted to added more benefits for them selves. They should be ashamed of them selves.

    • Kate

      Thomas, you do know that this happens after every war, right? This is not a new way of doing business. I’m not saying it is right, but it is fact. As the saying goes, “If it’s not in your military contract, it’s not guaranteed.” If volunteer recruits joined thinking that this was a guaranteed program, then they were being naive. The ups and downs of military educational benefits are no secret. If a person is old enough to sign up to join the military, then they are old enough to do some research before making that decision.

      As I said, my family will be impacted if these changes occur. However, I have never thought that the Post 9/11 GI Bill would remain in its current format forever. Military educational benefits change all the time. That’s why most experts have been recommending that families maximize the use of this benefit now vs. waiting for some time in the future.

  • BigJoe

    I just now exhausted mine. Glad I got it done! When I first started, the housing allowance also covered the time in between semesters. They put an end to that quickly.

    • Kate

      Congratulations, BigJoe! That is great!

  • Vince Flowder

    Yes, it is a very generous benefit, however, you can’t offer a benefit to entice someone to serve and then say “just kidding” when you longer need those persons. If you want to change the rules then it should apply only to those who come in after the policy is changed. What about those who have modified or counted on those benefits for their children since the policy became effective 7 years ago. That’s 7 years they have counted on this benefit and in less than two years many of them will have children going to college who will now get less than half the benefit they have planned on. Our country can afford to give away money to countless people, foreign countries and defense firms who come in billions over budget – they can afford to keep their promises to veterans and military personnel.

    • Kate

      Vince, the military can and does change educational programs all the time. That’s the point of this article, for families to be aware that they should not put all their eggs in one basket.

      • Vince Flowder

        Yes, Kate, but a promise was made and contracts were signed in the form of extensions of enlistments to qualify for this transfer. I take exception to your comment that these generous benefits are more than our country can sustain for that reason. I agree that military families should have other plans, with your 4 kids the most you were going to get was one year paid each anyway, so the impact to you may not seem as large since you’ve got a big college bill looming regardless. I find the timing of these changes shameful and to foist this change on families without giving them the time to make up for the difference will ultimately cause some of these military kids to not attend college. We and they the taxpayer owe them better than that for as much as I am thanked for my own decades of service I always deflect it too my wife and children who really took the brunt of it. Many of these families, already financially strained by years of moving and spouses unable to work, made financial adjustments when these benefits were made transferrable and certainly some extended enlistements to qualify. Those 7 years are gone and just how are they expected to make that up after having the rug pulled from under their feet? No, sorry, I find your article to be an appeasement to those politico’s who find the military members pocket the FIRST place they look for military savings. Your expression of “amazingly generous” I find puzzling. Not just generous but amazingly generous. Other than the transferability, they are certainly no more generous than the GI bill that was offered for decades. I don’t know you or your situation; if you come from money, or have remained in one place for much of your husbands term of service and have a good income. I am a retired officer, I’ve already put my kids through school, but I’m fighting for the E-7 who’s kids deserve the best we can provide as much as my own. I don’t use the commissary, but I will fight for those young enlisted families that I know receive great benefit from it. I can afford alternate insurance, but will fight for those who come behind me and will be offered a “civilian” equivalent at much greater cost. Where there was honor in service there is dishonor in the bait and switch of tactics of Pentagon budget hacks and politicians who crave the opportunity to transfer these dollars to buy votes to keep them in office.

        • guest

          It is an amazingly generous, and unsustainable benefit. All that is being taken away is the BAH portion. Let little Kimmy live at home during college…problem solved. The fact that it’s even transferable you should be over the moon happy about. Why? Because that kid did NOTHING to earn that benefit, the service member did. Frankly, as a spouse, my husband and I BOTH disagree with allowing it to be transferred. It should be for the benefit of the service member only.

          And can we please stop the “oh poor spousy can’t work” diatribe. It’s NOT true in this day in age where everything is digital. Every spouse I know that wants a job, gets a job, maybe not the clutch job, but a job. Me, after a decade and a half of him being AD, I can honestly say my career out pays his. How? Gee, I got a job whenever we moved.

        • Kate

          Vince, I think we’re going to have to agree to disagree on this subject. I think it is absolutely ridiculous that the GI Bill is transferrable at all, and that the transferrability option is “amazingly generous.” The Department of Veterans Affairs has a long list of important programs that need funding; this isn’t one of them. I would much rather see this money be spent on veterans who need services.

          I agree that it would be pretty uncool to change the rules mid-game, but that is the nature of military benefits. If you’re retired, you’ve been around long enough to know that. And that’s why I wrote this article, because (obviously) a lot of people thing that they are guaranteed every military benefit will remain unchanged. That’s not accurate, and thinking that way will set people up for problems down the road when those benefits do change.

          I will be surprised if this change goes through as written, with the date recommended, but who knows?

  • Navy85

    Interesting that members had to sign a contract to agree to serve additional years to be allowed to transfer the stated benefits to their family members. Does this mean that we they change the terms of the benefits in which those agreements/contracts were made, that it invalidates the extensions required?

    Legally, one side is typically not able to unilaterally change the terms of a contract. This is a lawsuit waiting to happen if they make the changes.

    • Kate

      Navy85, you bring up an excellent point and one that I had not considered. That will definitely be something to watch!

    • ryan

      I would say it depends on the wording of the contract. if the contract says you are able to transfer edicational benefits or the 9/11 Bill than you are able to transfer that , however it exists when you do. If your contract specifically outlines the benefits of education assistance you can transfer than you may have a case. More than likely they worded in such a way that you are able to transfer the benefits, however they exist when they are used.

      • Navy85

        I think you are substantiating my point with “however it exists when you do.” The decision to sign a contract (in the navy it is a Page-13 form that goes into your official record and for enlisted they have to actually sign an enlistment extension) to stay another 4 or 6 years was based on the benefits stated AT THAT TIME. For Congress to change those afterwards should violate the terms of that contract under which the decision by the Service Member was made.

  • Jim

    Can you trust a lawyer? including Obama and many congress men and women.

  • Yazz

    In a bad, cheesy, futuristic movie many people might recognize, I liked the idea they had about being a veteran as a pre-req to vote. I take it a step farther, you should be a vet to qualify for any goverment exected office. That alone would be such a more fair bias for the direction we take this country. Who should get scr3wed less and the others who should be taxed more. A real first hand knowledge of what it means we’re getting to going to war. At least itdoesn’t sound like their planning on cutting any of the GI bill for Vets that are using it on themselves. It’s BAH is the only reason I’ve bought anything the last year, otherwise my whole life would be based of what I can get for free. More free waiting for a disability claim decision. More years on my same 2010 phone which turns off constantly while holding over half a charge, and the power button doesn’t work.

  • barb

    does anyone know if you start a term and your benefits run out, will they let you finish the term?

    • Paul

      Sure but you will have to pay out of pocket for what the GI bill does not cover, that happened to me on my last semester of my MBA degree it ran out halfway through my final semester, even the BAH was pro-rated up to the last day of 36 months of benefits. For example if the term is 6 weeks and you have 3 weeks left on your GI Bill they will pay for the last 3 weeks and you will get a bill in the mail from the collage for what VA did not pay.

      • Paul

        Look into a student loan before your benefits run out in order to carry you over to graduation.

    • ryan

      To go along with the other replies if you receive some disability look into vocational rehab, they have aprogram just like the 9/11 bill with a few extra benefits. I had to use it for my last two months, and if you are very close to graduation you are pretty much assured acceptance. It looks very good for them when people use the program and graduate, even if like in my case it was used for 2 months.

      • ryan

        I should add that you can only transition to the other program if you still have time left on your 9/11 bill. So don’t wait untill its all gone.

  • Charlie Blansit

    Really. How generous is the benefit of living free that is provided by those who earned this benefit by volunteering to sacrifice up to and including their very lives. Seems to me that one might re-evaluate what is and is not “affordable” when left with the choice of having the benefits of living free vs. living under the dirge of “another alternative.” Shouldn’t we quit spending on everything else first? And just think, all you have to do to get these “amazingly generous” benefits is join for a few years. I recommend the Airborne Infantry, which is where I served. That way you will truly understand the value of just how “amazingly beneficial” these payments are. If you are not willing to step up, then do us a favor and “shut up!” Unless you have held your buddies body parts, or even your own in hopes of re-attaching them, then you really have no idea just how “amazingly generous” a housing stipend for E-5 with dependents really is. Anyway, posts like this turn my stomach. Quit posting this preposterous propaganda directed against our nations finest citizens, and do something good for America.

    • Btg Mo

      I am glad these soldiers get these benefits. When I returned from Korea in 52 they gave me $135 per month to go to school.

  • cronbec

    No reason to wait. There are many online schools available for convenience. Both my husband and I were Active duty and are both now pursuing a BA while working full time. A benefit is just that, a benefit, not a guarantee. Use the program to its fullest potential while it is still available. Programs are always in a state of flux.

  • amt

    Why is it that the military always gets the raw end of the deal? Why is it that the people that we have elected don’t ever get a pay cut ? There kids go to college and us tax payers pay for it in full! Why is it that these people on capitol hill act like children and get paid well to do so? They don’t get a 1% raise! They have great insurance!!! I think that they need to look at all their salaries and cut them their housing and cut that and oh lets not talk about how they get paid even though they can’t make anything happen!!!! Their jobs are about 6 months and they get paid full time wages for not doing anything and lining there pockets with all kind of extras!! WHY DON’T THEY TAKE A BIG CUT IN THEIR WAGES AND I’M SURE WE WILL HAVE ALOT EXTRA!!!!

    • Kate

      amt, I’m not sure where you are getting your information. Legislators’ children do not go to college for free, legislators pay for their health care through the state health care exchanges just like everyone else (in fact, they have fewer choices than most federal employees), and Congress has voted to refuse their pay raises for the last six years in a row.

      There may be a lot of legitimate complaints about Congress, but none of the things you are complaining about are true.

    • guest

      You are right, they don’t get a 1% raise, they got 0 the past three years. Insurance, tricare is much better

  • visham

    I retired in 2010 and transferred my post 911 GI bill to my daughter who is currently 9 years old. I completed my undergrad using tuition assistance and paying out of pocket while on active duty so I COULD pass this on to my kid. I hope those criminals in DC allow some kind of clause that allows members who have already transferred benefits to keep what was promised.

    This whole thing stinks of crooked politicians trying to fix financial problems by taking away benefits earned.

  • Anthony

    Better enjoy it while you can. In my day (one of the first of the all volunteer force) there was no GI nothing just VEP. In comparison VEP was like cheap Obama care plan. Cheap in what it paid out but expensive to have.

  • Erik

    So what I’m getting from this is that if you transfer benefits to someone, they won’t get housing allowance? How would this affect me? I’m single and already using the benefit. Would we keep it and it only affects anyone after the GI bill changes?

    • Kate

      Erik, this is just a proposal, and has not become law. The point of the article is to get people thinking about what could happen. This is not the only change that could occur. The Post 9/11 GI Bill has been changed repeatedly in the six years since it came out, and it is likely that it will continue to change over time.

      IF this proposal becomes law, then people using transferred benefits will not receive the housing allowance portion. You would still receive that benefit.

  • James

    I can’t wait to leave the military. They are focusing on cutting costs for paying troops and not cutting costs of war. When we value war over people, we all lose.

  • Joe Smith

    I Was able to get my bachelor with TA but now that I am looking at getting my master’s degree I realized that the GI bill doesn’t even cover the tuition(for members still on active duty) and doesn’t provide anything for books. Yet if I was out of the military, I would get enough to pay for tuition in addition to stipend allowance and BAH. This program doesn’t seem to encourage active duty members to get higher education. As a result, I was debating if I’d better be off waiting to get out of the military to start my graduate degree. Might not be an option anymore.

  • Offshore news

    Benefits aren’t guaranteed? As far as I know, there are over 1 million veterans had used the G.I. Bill benefits in order to attend colleges or universities, and an additional almost 6 million used these benefits for some kind of training program.

  • Paul

    I returned in 2005 do I have to use my benefits before October of 2015 or does it extend on

  • MGunz

    Another step in the wrong direction. Foreward Harch! There is a saying that sounds selfish but it actually implies whats mine is not yours so this goes out to the commision…and the saying is “i’m gonna gets mines!”

  • Robert

    I’ve read through PUBLIC LAW 111–377 which talks about the Post 9/11 GI Bill and I cannot find anything that specifically states that spouses cannot use BAH while their spouse is on AD. Is there another public law out there that takes precendece over this one?

  • GRB

    Well, I for one see this as an opportunity to fix another part of the Post 9/11 GI Bill. There is talk that the eligibility criteria will be adjusted, so it makes sense that the exceptions clause is fixed as well. Did you know that when the military cuts its numbers using decreased promotion rates (the up or out system), service members are at risk to lose the benefits they transferred to their dependents? It’s true: through no fault of their own, the service member cannot complete their service commitment yet the service that forces them out gave them no opportunity to do so. Sign the petition to change this:

  • LNJ

    Program is unfair… spent 20 years AD, deployments etc. Family moved over 10 times, retired in 2007 enlisted with a PhD (and the loans to prove it – grad and doctoral money runs out quickly with TA as an enlisted person). My dependents, now 16 and 19 are not eligible for transfer, nor is my wife for a grad program. Seems a bit unfair to punish those who fulfilled their commitment, deployed, and the family members that were along for the ride.

    • Kate

      Education benefits have always been designed as a recruiting and retention tool. They’re not designed to be a reward for behavior that has occurred in the past.

      I’m having a little difficulty understanding how it is “unfair” that you receive the educational benefits that were in effect during the time of your service, and not the benefits that were in effect before or after your service.

  • MtL

    “No reason to wait” someone said. Yeah, except when the VA takes almost a whole freaking year to get a simple paper mailed out stating eligibility, never mind an actual CHECK to pay for things. But the wait times were so bad I actually couldn’t enroll as we were moving again! (Brick and mortar school, online school not a choice in this field). If someone had told me how slow it would be, I’d never have believed it! I’d love to transfer it to my child, since I already have an undergrad and would love to get him started, but I was a bit under ten years in service.

    I feel bad complaining about this, though, when people are waiting for the health care promised. I feel like more and more is asked of our active duty, but in return very little good faith given. Thanks to all still serving!