GI Bill Chapter 33/Post-9/11 Update:
The new GI Bill has a variety of benefits associated with it that are new to the GI Bill. Direct payment for your education (ie. tuition and fees payment is made directly to Brookdale), a housing stipend and book stipend are all parts of the benefit. Before you choose to select this benefit, please do your research as your decision is irrevocable. A few things to consider are: Will I be going to school more than half-time? Do I plan on taking all of my courses online? What is the percentage of the bill for which I am eligible? Planning on going to school half-time or less, and/or taking all online courses will negatively effect the amount of the housing stipend you are eligible for. Additionally, you will want to know up-front what percentage of the new bill you are eligible for. The new GI Bill is not for everyone and you may, indeed, receive more money/benefits if you remain under one of the current GI Bill benefits. You should research your options using the tools the VA has made available through http://www.gibill.va.gov or by calling: 1-888-GI-BILL-1 and talking to a representative. It is important to find out what your current monthly payments are, and based on your eligibility what your pay out will be under the new GI Bill. Additionally, you should consider your options should you be close to exhausting your current GI Bill benefits, and if you are able to extend your benefits (after exhausting your benefits) through the new GI Bill. These are all questions to consider and ask when you contact the GI Bill hotline number (1-888-GI-BILL-1).
For important information about the changes to the GI Bill recently signed into law (Post-9/11 Veterans Education Assistance Act of 2008), please visit: http://www.gibill.va.gov and follow the links to additional information. Students can sign up to receive additional information regarding updates through the GI Bill site. The VA has also prepared a letter that explains some of the benefits and eligiblity requirements for this new Montgomery GI Bill. Please visit: http://www.gibill.va.gov/documents/CH33_veteran_outreach_letter.pdf for more information.
Students should apply for the Post 9/11 GI Bill directly through the VA’s online application. Students who are new to collecting Montgomery GI Bill benefits, or current MGIB recipients must complete this application if they plan to select the new Chapter 33 option. Please go to: http://www.gibill.va.gov/apply-for-benefits/application/ to complete this application online. Please follow the instructions you may receive regarding providing additional information to the VA (for example, DD-214 information). The VA began accepting these applications as of May 1, 2009. Be sure to make an educated decision about this benefit and when you plan to start utilizing it. Your classes will not be certified (ie. reported to the VA) without providing proof of your online application for this benefit, your Member 4-Copy of your DD-214 and our Pre-Certification Approval Form. Please follow up with the Certificate of Eligiblity for Chapter 33 once it is received to complete your file.
To find out the total housing stipend you will be eligible for, please go to: http://www.defensetravel.dod.mil/perdiem/bah.html. You should enter zip code: 07738 (the Brookdale Community College-Main Campus zip code) and select an E-5 rank. The E-5 rate with Dependents lists the housing allowance as of the date of lookup. For the Spring 2014 and Summer terms the BAH is $1986.00 per month. As of January 2014 the published allowance is: $2232.00 per month. Please keep in mind that BAH changes do not go into effect until August 1. Please note, registration in all online courses will effect your ability to collect the Housing Allowance. Students must be enrolled more than half-time (7 credits) in at least one “in residence” (in classroom) course credits to be eligible for the BAH benefit. Students enrolled less than full-time (less that 12 credits, at least 7 credits) will receive a percentage of the monthly BAH payment based on the number or credits they are taking as they are calculated as a percentage of full-time status.
At present, the books/supplies stipend is $1,000 per year (for those eligible for 100%). The amount of stipend per term will be based on the number of credits a student is enrolled in (up $1,000 annual maximum). Students who are eligible for 100% of the benefit receive $41.67 per credit for books/supply money. Students eligible for 40%-90% of the benefit will receive the appropriate percentage of this amount. Students will be responsible for paying for books/supplies up-front. The stipend will be included with your initial monthly payments.
The VA has created a preliminary table for maximum tuition rates per state. Please note, this is preliminary information and is subject to change. To see this table, please follow this link: http://www.gibill.va.gov/GI_Bill_Info/CH33/Tuition_and_fees.htm.
Military.com has also posted their interpretation of the new GI Bill and comparison to current Montgomery GI Bill benefits. Go to: http://www.military.com/money-for-school/gi-bill/new-gi-bill-overview for more information. Please note, Military.com is not associated with the Department of Veterans Affairs and this information is an interpretation made by Military.com of the new benefit.