dcsimg
 

6 Top Tips to Maximize Post 9/11 GI Bill Benefits

Home > Ask the Guidance Counselor > G.I. > 6 Top Tips to Maximizing Your Post 9/11 GI Bill Benefits

Question:
Are there some tips I can use to maximize my Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits? -- Ellen A.

Answer:
Good question! There are several scholarship, grants and loans that can provide extra money for your education, but if you are using the GI Bill and use the wrong funding sources, many of them can reduce the amount you receive from the Department of Veterans Affairs. Not only is using some of these funds counterproductive, it is not the best way to maximize your Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits.

Instead, consider using these tried and true tips on how to reduce your education costs while at the same time not reducing your GI Bill benefits:

1. Attend a community college for one or two years. Community college tuition costs can be substantially lower than most four-year colleges and universities. At the end of your community college experience, you can transfer to a four-year school to continue your studies.

2. Commute to college. While it is many college students’ dream to live away from home, it can be expensive doing so. If you are within a reasonable commuting distance, living at home while in school can save you as much as $6,000 per year, plus you still get the same amount of GI Bill housing allowance, even if your servicemember sponsor is still serving. If you can’t realistically live at home and commute everyday, look at doing most of your education through an online college where you don't have to commute as much. Take just one class per semester that pertains to your degree plan on-campus with the rest of your classes online, and you can still get the full housing allowance.

3. Use the DANTES Program. Find out if your school accepts College-Level Examination Program (CLEP), DANTES Subject Standardized Tests (DSST) and Excelsior College Examinations (ECE) credits. If so, arrange to take the tests applicable to you. By passing these tests, you can get the college credits but you don’t have to pay for the courses. This leaves more entitlement on your GI Bill for other courses you do have to pay for.

4. Convert Your Military Experience into Credits. The American Council on Education (ACE) evaluates all military courses and Military Occupational Specialties (MOS) and breaks them down into applicable college credits. By having your training and military jobs converted into credits, you can save entitlement by not having to take classes in the awarded subject areas. Be sure your school accepts prior military experience credits.

5. Be a Resident Advisor. Most residential colleges and universities hire resident advisors either per dorm or per floor depending on the size of the housing facility. In exchange for keeping the peace and handling residents’ problems, resident advisors can get either reduced room and board costs or in some cases free room and board.

6. Buy Used Books. You don’t need brand new books. Not only do they cost up to twice as much as used ones, you don’t get much in return when you sell them back to your school. Another trend catching on is to either buy or rent books from online book sellers such as Amazon.com. You can get either a hard copy or digital copy and read it on your computer or mobile device. If you buy a hard copy, you can sell it back to Amazon in exchange for a gift card that you can use to purchase more books. By either buying used or digital from Amazon, you can stretch your book stipend so less comes out of your pocket for book costs.

Using these six tips doesn't reduce your Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits and some tips can even save you entitlement. Leftover entitlement allows you to start working on an advanced degree at some point in the future.

Browse Online Schools

Refine School Matches
Hide filters
  • SUBJECT Clear All

    See More

  • DEGREE

    See More

  • PROGRAM TYPE

  • START TIME

    LOCATION
    Please enter valid US or Canada Zip.
            Results open in new window

            Searching Searching ...

            Prefer exploring options talking to our staff?
            Call toll free now: 1.855.330.6938
            Matching School Ads
            5 Program(s) Found
            • Alumni have appeared in reality competition shows such as Top Chef and Project Runway.
            • Dedicated career services team that helps students tap opportunities in a marketplace driven by ideas
            • Offers programs in design, media arts, fashion, and culinary
            • Program Coordinators focus on improving program content and ensure that students have the resources they need
            • Over 50 locations nationwide
            Good for Working Adults
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            5 Program(s) Found
            • Full Sail’s curriculum combines elements of creativity, art, business and life skills, technical prowess, and academic achievement.
            • Full Sail offers accelerated programs, so a degree that would normally take four years takes 24 months on average.
            • Students work with industry-standard tools and technologies, allowing them to gain practical knowledge and real-world experience.
            • Join us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram to interact with our community, read about grad success, and see campus images.
            • Online Courses
            5 Program(s) Found
            • Online MBA program ranked 6th in the USA by CEO magazine.
            • In a university-sponsored survey, 4 out of 5 alumni reported being satisfied with their experience.
            • #1 Online School for military veterans according to Military Times.
            • 75,000+ graduates across all industries offer extensive networking opportunities.
            • My Unique Student Experience (M.U.S.E.) lets students watch, view, read, or hear content.
            • Smartphone app available for on-the-go learning.
            Good for Working Adults
            • Online Courses
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Accelerated Programs
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            3 Program(s) Found
            • Founded in Southern California in 1998 by dog training expert Steven Appelbaum.
            • The largest independent dog training company in the United States.
            • Offers 11-stage programs that feature an in-home study component along with a hands-on training module.
            • A member of the MyCAA Financial Assistance program, which offers eligible military spouses up to $4,000 of tuition assistance that can be used towards any of their courses.
            • Helps graduates find employment and coaches those who are looking to start their own business.
            Show more [+]
            • Online Courses
            4 Program(s) Found
            • Offers medical and cosmetic programs, including dental assisting, massage therapy, cosmetology, esthetics, and more.
            • Features a public salon and spa where students may get real-world experience.
            • Offers scholarship opportunities for students wo qualify.
            • Accredited by the Council on Occupational Education (COE).
            • 2 separate Vacaville campuses, one is for medical careers and the other is the beauty academy.
            Show more [+]
            Good for Working Adults
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            5 Program(s) Found
            • Offers several scholarship opportunities for students who qualify.
            • Laptop computers are issued to each student at the beginning of their program.
            • Provides programs in health care, business, information technology, and graphic arts.
            • Respiratory Therapy program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC).
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).

            Our family of non-profit colleges admits students of any race, color, and national or ethnic origin.

            Show more [+]
            • Accredited
            • Accelerated Programs
            • Financial Aid
            2 Program(s) Found

            The Accounting Academy was founded in 2005 and has been continuously approved to operate by the California Bureau for Private-Pstsecondary Education. 

             

            The Accounting Academy is a career/vocational school specializing in training adult student to obtain entry and staff level positions in the accounting profession by teaching practical. real-world job skills that are not covered in college courses. 

             

            5 Program(s) Found
            • Ranked one of the Best for Vets schools in Military Times Edge magazine’s 2013 “Best for Vets” edition.
            • Offers MUSE (My Unique Student Experience), a content delivery system that gives students the option to watch, view, read or listen to required course materials.
            • Allows students to complete courses at whatever pace they want.
            • Provides IntelliPath, a proprietary learning technology that lets students learn at their own pace.
            • A DANTES-affiliated university and member of the Service Members Opportunity Colleges.
            Show more [+]
            Good for Working Adults
            • Online Courses
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            5 Program(s) Found
            US Colleges , Riverside
            • Offers health care and business programs that prepare students to enter the working field in as little as 8-16 weeks.
            • Provides morning, afternoon, and evening classes for most courses.
            • Offers career placement assistance to help students with their resumes, job-searching techniques, interview practice, and more.
            • Engages students through hands-on learning in labs, internships, and externships.  
            • Gives students the option to break up tuition costs into interest-free payments over the course of their education.  
               
            Show more [+]
            5 Program(s) Found
            ABCO Technology , Los Angeles
            • An accredited computer training academy preparing students to enter the IT industry as Network Engineers, Software Engineers, Web Apps Developer, Website Designers, Programmers, Database Administrators since 2000.
            • Holds A+ certification from CompTIA.
            • Located in Los Angeles, approximately 10 minutes away from LAX.
            • Flexible class schedules offered during day times, evenings and weekends.
            • Helping students start a career in technology within 3 - 9 months.
            • Educates with the mission to serve the needs of the local community and graduates by matching opportunities to skills.
            • Military friendly school.
            Show more [+]
            • Financial Aid