(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) heralded the implementation of the Post-9/11 GI Bill which will provide major tuition assistance for veterans who served after the attacks of September 11th. Senator Murray, a senior member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee and an original co-sponsor of the bill, voted for the landmark legislation on June 26th, 2008. The bill will provide veterans with federal tuition assistance to any private or public college or university equal to the level of the most expensive public university in the state. The bill also includes provisions that will allow veterans to receive additional assistance to pay for more expensive private colleges and universities.
“Today the doors to Washington state’s colleges have been thrown open to thousands of veterans,” said Senator Murray. “For too long, veterans' education benefits have not kept pace with the skyrocketing costs of college. This new GI Bill finally reflects the new realities of going from the battlefield to the classroom.
“By providing legitimate tuition assistance, the new GI Bill ensures that our veterans’ tremendous service in Iraq and Afghanistan is only the first of many contributions they will make to our nation. And like the first GI Bill, it will honor our veterans’ service with the rightful opportunities they have earned.”
The GI bill assists service members transitioning back to civilian life and improves military recruitment and retention by:
- Providing increased educational benefits to all members of the military who have served on active duty for at least three months since September 11, 2001
- Offering educational assistance in proportion to the total length of active duty service on or after 9/11, from three to 36 months, to provide a maximum benefit of the cost of any in-state public school's tuition and fees for four academic years;
- Creating a new program in which the government would match any additional contributions to veterans from colleges and universities whose tuition is more expensive than the maximum assistance provided; and
- Allowing veterans to use their educational assistance benefit up to fifteen years after they leave active duty, rather than the ten years currently provided under the Montgomery G.I. program.
- Enhancing the amount paid to National Guard and Reserve members for educational benefits.
- Allowing reenlisting service members to transfer their educational benefits to their spouse and/or children.
The Post-9/11 GI Bill covers full in-state undergraduate tuition and fees at any public college. It also covers tuition and fees at private colleges and universities at the level of the most expensive public university. In addition, the GI Bill includes The Yellow Ribbon GI Education Enhancement Program or Yellow Ribbon Program. This program allows private colleges and universities to voluntarily enter into an agreement with VA to fund tuition expenses that exceed the highest public in-state undergraduate tuition rate. The institution can contribute up to 50% of those expenses and VA will match the same amount as the institution. In Washington state, the vast majority of member institutions of Independent Colleges of Washington have signed "Yellow Ribbon" agreements and will be offering the new post 9/11 GI Bill benefit.
The Post 9/11 GI benefit is available as of August 1st, 2009.
See general information on the Post-9/11 GI Bill.
See a list of Washington schools participating in the Yellow Ribbon Program.