7 Things You Need to Know About the New Forever GI Bill Benefits

By Published on July 12, 2018

In 2017, the Senate unanimously signed off on a massive expansion of the GI Bill. This bill, coined the “Forever GI Bill,” bolstered educational funds by over $3 billion as well as changed several stipulations surrounding the education benefits attached to the GI Bill. If you are considering going back to school, starting your academic journey, or needing an education built around your specific situation, the Forever GI Bill may be just what you need to get your educational goals back on track.

Dive into the details of the GI Bill expansion and see just what it could mean for you and your future. As someone who may or may not be considered a traditional college student, you can use the benefits to help you reach your academic goals. You deserve to have the means to reach all of your desired academic achievements and this new GI Bill expansion gets you one step closer to making all of that happen.

1.  Education for All

The new legislation passed in this bill expansion boosts educational help for multiple groups of individuals. National Guard, Reserve Troops, Purple Heart recipients, and dependents of fallen troops are all able to use the funds set aside in this bill to further their education. This ensures that all involved parties are able to have access to the funds they need to pursue a post-secondary education.

2.  Non-Traditional Educational Opportunities

If you are interested in a non-traditional educational route, like a career college, trade school, or a web design bootcamp, this new expansion opens up those opportunities. If there is an educational training or a non-traditional school you are interested in attending, funds from this expansion can be allocated to you. This ensures that you can receive the educational experience that you specifically need. A traditional four-year college is not your only option.

3.  Restore Benefits Lost

Many veterans were negatively impacted by the collapse of ITT Tech and Corinthian Colleges. These institutions had several campuses across the country and their collapse left a lot of veterans in a difficult position. The new expansion of the GI bill fully restores the benefits to veterans affected by this collapse and allows them to get a second chance at education.

4.  No Time Limit

For new enlistees, there is now no longer a fifteen-year time limit on when these benefits can be used. New enlistees are not capped by time, which allows them ample amounts of time to decide which educational experience is best for them, without having to worry about losing benefits. When more time is allotted, the billions of dollars set aside by Congress to help veterans is better used in more deliberate and calculated ways.

5.  Test for Less

The new GI Bill expansion charges veterans less GI Bill entitlement to take standard tests. Tests like the GRE and CLEP are often essential parts of one’s educational experience and as such, charging less GI Bill entitlement is a big benefit. Tests for less mean more academic doors can be opened.

6.  Scholarships and Programs

This new expansion also sets up several scholarships and programs to benefit several different groups and individuals. With a recent push for veterans in STEM careers, the Edith Nourse Rogers Scholarship has been created to help veterans excel in STEM careers.

There are also more scholarships created and set up for the children of deceased veterans and the dependents of veterans. Other programs have been set into motion as well, such as the High Technology Pilot Program.

7.  Changes to Housing Allowance

Those discharged January 1, 2018, or later and those who start using the GI Bill for the first time after Jan 1, 2018, will see a decrease averaging $100 a month in the housing allowance portion of the GI Bill.

As you start out on your path to your education, get familiar with the GI Bill expansion benefits that can help you. With the expansion of the GI Bill, you have more education options in front of you than ever before. Whether you’re interested in a four-year college or a less traditional education option, the GI Bill supports your endeavors and makes receiving the academic training you desire possible.