Ten-hut: VA updates GI Bill

Wayne Saxer

If you are enrolled in the Post-9/11 GI Bill, there are changes that are coming around the corner you need to be aware of.

The Post-9/11 GI Bill is a program that offers support to veterans who received an honorable discharge on or after September 11, 2001, if they served a minimum amount of time.

According to the GI Bill’s website, effective August 1, 2011 all public in-state tuition and fees will be paid, while private and foreign school costs are capped at $17,500 annually. The website notes that the Yellow Ribbon Program is still available for out-of state fees and costs above the cap.

Pay during breaks or intervals is no longer payable under any VA education benefit program unless under an Executive Order of the President or due to an emergency, such as a natural disaster or strike.

“This is the first I am hearing of these changes,” sophomore Edgar Mendoza, a Navy veteran said while being questioned. “Our breaks are pretty long. That is awhile without getting paid.”

This money isn’t being taken away from you. It is extending the time of use of your benefits. Instead of getting paid while you are not going to school, it extends the time you are able to get benefits to ensure you can get your degree before your benefits expire.

Payment for housing allowance is now prorated towards your rate of pursuit based on a 12-unit semester. If you are enrolled in 9 units, then you will now get 75 percent of your housing allowance instead of the full 100 percent for attending with 7 units or more.

The veterans affairs office on campus suggests all veterans check on the GI Bill website often for updates and to plan accordingly. Letters were also mailed out to inform students of the changes.

The GI Bill website is www.gibill.va.gov/