The Post 9/11 GI Bill will soon experience a major upgrade. August 1, 2011, in an effort to make the program more efficient, uniform and simple to navigate, GI Bill 2.0 is being implemented.
The improvements to the GI Bill are intended to assist veterans and current military members in their academic pursuits. But without fully understanding the changes to the program, military members may find themselves in a difficult position.
Effective August 1, 2011, the first wave of benefit changes will take effect for Post 9/11 GI Bill users.
The first wave of benefit changes will include:
The second wave, taking effect October 1, 2011, will include:
While most of the changes to the GI Bill are beneficial for military members, there are less favorable reforms, too.
According to Army Times, the VA the will no longer pay educational benefits between terms. This means that about 260,000 people will lose $865 each annually, according to an estimate by the Congressional Budget Office.
Previously, the Post 9/11 GI Bill could be used to pay out of state tuition fees at a public university. But now GI Bill 2.0 will only cover in-state tuition fees.
Marco Reineger, a GI Bill expert for Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) believes if some students cannot find additional funding they may be forced to dropout.
“They need to look now for third-party funding, scholarships or grants, so they don’t get into financial distress.”
Photo thanks to usag.yongsan under a Flickr creative commons license