Veterans Pride Program - Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Post 9/11 GI Bill?

The Post 9/11 GI Bill, also referred to as Chapter 33, offers veterans who have served after September 10, 2001 a chance to pursue higher education. This comprehensive educational benefits package will be made available as of August 1, 2009.

Who qualifies?

  • Those having served at least 90 days of continuous active duty after 9/10/01

Or

  • Those having served at least 30 days of continuous active duty after 9/10/01 discharged due to a service-related disability.

How much will a veteran receive from the VA?

The amount of financial assistance is dependent upon the state in which the selected institution or program is located. The amount made available to an individual is capped at the highest in-state, undergraduate tuition & fees rate. A veteran's length of service after 9/11 determines the benefit eligibility as follows:

  • 100% - 36 or more total months
  • 100% - 30 or more consecutive days with Disability related Discharge.
  • 90% - 30 total months
  • 80% - 24 total months
  • 70% - 18 total months
  • 60% - 12 total months
  • 50% - six total months
  • 40% - 90 or more days

*Note that only those who have served for a total of 36 months or more, or those who have served 30 or more consecutive days with Disability related Discharge are eligible to receive 100% of the available benefits.

What is the potential tuition benefit amount in CT?

The final VA-approved rates in Connecticut for 2008-09 are $486 per credit hour for tuition and $1946 per term for fees. Educational benefit rates for 2009-10 will be available from the VA by August 1, 2009.

Are graduate or non-matriculated students eligible?

Graduate students are eligible, but it is important to note that the benefit amounts are still based on the state's most expensive undergraduate rate. However, individuals auditing a class or those who are non-matriculated do not qualify for assistance.

What is the Yellow Ribbon Program?

Institutions have the option of participating in a matching program called The Yellow Ribbon Program with the cooperation of the Department of Veterans Affairs. Through this program the institution can waive up to 50% of any excess expenses the veteran may incur by enrolling in a more expensive program. The VA will then match that same amount, making it possible for some veterans to receive up to 100% coverage of additional charges.

Fairfield University has chosen to waive 50% of the additional tuition for up to 50 eligible students for fiscal year 2010. Only veterans who qualify for 100% of the GI benefits can receive this additional funding.

Is there other funding available through Fairfield University?

Yes. For veterans receiving aid through other GI Bill programs such as the Reserve Educational Assistance Program, the Montgomery GI Bill or for Post 9/11 veterans who are eligible for less than 100% of Post 9/11 benefits, Fairfield University will offer a bonus grant equal to 20% of their current veteran educational benefit amount. This amount will be applied to the veteran's tuition bill in the form of a grant. The combination of the VA educational benefit and Fairfield bonus grant cannot exceed the cost of tuition for the student's program in any given semester.

Are there any additional benefits aside from tuition assistance?

Under the Post 9/11 GI Bill, veterans may receive a monthly housing stipend determined by the zip code of the chosen institution of higher learning. However, those enrolled at a half-time status, enrolled solely in an online program, and individuals currently on active duty are not eligible to receive the housing allowance, although they still receive tuition assistance.

Participants will also receive up to $1,000 per academic year to help cover the costs of books, supplies, and any additional fees. Depending upon how the academic year is divided, equivalent portions of this stipend will be disbursed during the first month of every semester, term, trimester, etc. Active duty members do not qualify for the stipend.

For how long are individuals entitled to the benefits?

Generally veterans are entitled to 36 months of the educational benefits. Individuals who elect to enroll in Chapter 33 after previously receiving benefits from the Montgomery Bill (Chapter 30) are only entitled to the number of months they had remaining under Chapter 30.

Do educational benefits expire?

Yes, veterans must utilize their benefits within 15 years of the date of discharge or release from active duty of at least 90 consecutive days.

Are dependents entitled to Chapter 33 benefits?

Yes, benefits are potentially transferable if the veteran meets criteria outlined by the VA. Benefits made available through the Yellow Ribbon Program are also transferable to dependents of eligible veterans.

 

This information was gathered from the website of the Department of Veterans Affairs and is accurate to the best of our knowledge. Veterans should rely on official VA documentation and policies in determining their individual eligibility for educational benefits.

January 2009