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Veteran Educational Benefits

Federal Benefits

The following are brief descriptions of the various programs.

Montgomery GI Bill - Active Duty (Chapter 30)

This program, commonly known as Chapter 30, provides up to 36 months of education benefits to eligible active duty service members or veterans. MGIB-AD eligibility requirements include at least two years of continuous active duty service. If you are on active duty, consult with your base Education Services Officer (ESO) before submitting an application for VA benefits to discuss the various educational assistance opportunities available. Federal law prohibits concurrent payment of tuition assistance by the military service and VA educational assistance for pursuit of the same class. Students who are on active duty or terminal leave are eligible for reimbursement of tuition and required fees only.

Vocational Rehab and Employment (Chapter 31)

This program pays tuition and fees, cost of required textbooks and supplies, a monthly stipend and assistance with finding employment. You may be eligible for benefits under this chapter if you have a service-related disability. In order to determine your eligibility, you must meet with a vocational rehabilitation counselor.
Effective August 1, 2011, if you are also eligible for the Post-9/11 GI Bill (chapter 33), you may choose the Post-9/11 GI Bill monthly housing allowance instead of the Vocational Rehab subsistence allowance.

Post 9/11-GI Bill (Chapter 33)

The Post 9/11-GI Bill pays a percentage of tuition and fees, a monthly housing allowance (if your rate of pursuit* exceeds 50%), and a stipend for books and supplies. The $600 buy up payable under the Montgomery GI Bill and REAP is not payable under the Post-9/11 GI Bill.

You may be eligible for these benefits if you:
  • served at least 90 aggregate days on active duty after September 10, 2001, and
  • are still on active duty or
  • were honorably discharged from active duty; or
  • were released from active duty and placed on the retired list or temporary disability retired list; or
  • were released from active duty and transferred to the Fleet Reserve or Fleet Marine Corps Reserve; or
  • were released from active duty for further service in a reserve component of the Armed Forces; or
  • were discharged from active duty for a service-connected disability and you served 30 continuous days after September 10, 2001.

*Rate of pursuit applies to Post-9/11 GI Bill only and refers to the number of credit hours you are taking divided by the number of credits considered full-time by the university (rounded to the nearest tenth). The VA considers any rate of pursuit higher than 50% to be more than half time. Effective August 1, 2011, monthly housing allowance benefits are prorated based upon rate of pursuit, rounded to the nearest tenth.

Survivors' and Dependents' Educational Assistance Program (DEA or Chapter 35)

This program pays a monthly benefit based on enrollment status. These benefits are available to dependents of:

  • a veteran who died or was permanently and totally disabled while serving on active duty, or who died from any cause while so disabled;
  • a service member missing in action or captured in line of duty; or forcibly detained or interned in line of duty by a foreign government or power;
  • a service member hospitalized or receiving outpatient treatment for a service-connected permanent and total disability and is likely to be discharged from service for that disability.

Montgomery GI Bill - Selected Reserve (Chapter 1606)

This is an educational program for active members of the Selected Reserve and provides a monthly stipend based on enrollment status. Chapter 1606 eligibility is determined by the Department of Defense. Basic eligibility requires a six-year obligation to serve in the Selected Reserve and satisfactory participation in required Selected Reserve training.

Reserve Educational Assistance Program (REAP or Chapter 1607)

This educational benefit is for certain Reservists who were activated after September 11, 2001. Eligible recipients receive a monthly stipend based on enrollment status and period of service. To be eligible, you must be a member of a reserve component and have performed active service for a minimum of 90 consecutive days. Additional benefits may be available under the Post-9/11 GI Bill.

View the Student Veterans To-Do List

View the Illinois Veterans Grant and Illinois National Guard Grand Checklist

View the Vocational Rehab Student Veterans Checklist