You've earned the right to a higher education through your service in the U.S. Armed Forces. But how do you use your GI Bill benefits? Which version is right for you? The Legion can help answer questions about state and/or federal education benefits, who can use them, and how long.

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Under the Post-9/11 Veterans Education Assistance Improvements Act of 2010, what are the changes concerning tuition and fees paid to private schools?

Under current regulations, the Post-9/11 GI Bill will pay up to the most expensive in-state tuition and fees at a public institution of higher learning in the veteran's state, but he or she can still attend any approved school. When the benefit level does not cover the established charges, VA and the educational institution may enter into an agreement to cover unmet expenses under the Yellow Ribbon Program. Effective Oct. 1, 2011, students attending private schools are limited to $17,500 in annual tuition and fee reimbursement.

Those paying out-of-state tuition at public schools will be limited to the resident charges for the program in which they're enrolled. In both cases, any charges above and beyond may be covered by the Yellow Ribbon Program. For example, a veteran wants to attend a school with tuition and fees of $15,000, which exceeds the cost of in-state tuition and fees at the most expensive public institution of higher learning in that veteran's state ($10,000). Under the Yellow Ribbon Program, the school and VA may enter into an agreement to cover the additional $5,000. In this instance, if a written agreement is made between VA and the school, the school would cover $2,500 of the charges, and VA will match that figure.

Thursday, November 3, 2011 - 3:02pm