Top 6 steps to take when GI Bill benefits expire

Home > Ask the Guidance Counselor > G.I. > Top 6 steps to take when GI Bill benefits expire


I am a retired Air Force NCO, 1973-1993. All I see is the Post 9-11 Transference of the GI Bill. I know I fall under the old bill. Do I have the ability to transfer anything I have left to my daughter? And how can I find out what I have left in any benefits? Thank You, Francis


Francis, thank you for both your question and the opportunity to address a major challenge faced by the Department of Veterans Affairs. Far too many veterans remain uncertain of their benefits. Often veterans do not want to be a bother or to be a burden. As a result many benefits go unused or expire. Remember, you earned your benefits; do not be shy about using them.

A grateful nation established benefits to assist a veteran and their family. Routinely, I encounter people who sacrifice homes and jobs to care for elderly parents when those parents are eligible for veterans benefits to care for themselves. These veteran benefits are provided as recognition that military service may place burdens on both the veteran and the family. Concerning your daughter, I suggest a number of courses of action:

1. Contact the VA

Enroll in the VA 'eBenefits' program. This excellent development then allows access to many VA and Department of Defense (DoD) websites. Your GI Bill benefits appear to be expired but ask the question and ask for ideas and assistance. According to the VA:

“...Benefits for most people under the Mongtomery GI Bill Active Duty end 10 years from the date of your last discharge or release from active duty, there may be certain exceptions for those with prior eligibility under the Vietnam-Era GI Bill....You must finish your degree before this time limit to receive benefits, not begin your training by that time limit - this is a common misconception...”

There is good news. Other avenues exist that may provide scholarships, grants and assistance.

2. Use military resources

You remain a member of the military. As a retired airman, you are enrolled in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS) and your daughter may be eligible for scholarships, grants and special programs developed and offered by numerous agencies. You are not competing with current active duty military and you are eligible.

3. Check state and local government

Seek out your local or state veterans affairs establishment. Often, these offices may provide leads to scholarships, grants and other special programs for veterans and their families. Not handouts or charity, they are a thank you for the sacrifices that you and your family made serving our nation and your community.

4. Ask congressmen and senators

These individuals are there to assist you and many of these public servants are especially sensitive to veterans and their families. Ask to meet with a member of their staff to discuss programs for veterans and resources that may be available for family members.

5. Consult veterans organizations and military associations

Use your military ties and visit the various websites. Because veterans and military face many of the same challenges, grants, scholarships and loans may be available to help offset the high cost of college.

6. Review aid offered by colleges and universities

Education institutions at all levels possess aid tailored to the needs of many groups. Frequently, the children of veterans fit into one of these categories. When your daughter is searching for a college or university, it may pay dividends to ask about scholarships and grants aimed at children of veterans and retired military.

Please let me know what you encounter on your search for educational assistance. I urge all veterans to sign up with the VA and become aware of your benefits. They can assist both you and your family.

Browse Online Schools

Refine School Matches
Hide filters
  • SUBJECT Clear All

    See More


    See More



    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
            1 Program(s) Found
            • Syracuse University’s Master of Science in Computer Science program is designed to help students discover groundbreaking solutions to complex technology challenges and develop expertise in areas such as security and assurance, artificial intelligence, computer architecture, and advanced programming.
            • Students will gain advanced knowledge in critical areas, such as Security and Assurance, Artificial Intelligence, and Computer Architecture, and Advanced Programming.
            • Founded in 1901, the school has maintained its reputation as a leader in the field, offering a curriculum built on theory, fundamentals, and application with a worldwide community of over 20,000 engineering and computer science alumni
            • Syracuse University’s College of Engineering and Computer Science is designated by the National Security Agency and Department of Homeland Security as a Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education (CAEIAE) since 2001 and as a Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Research (CAE-R) since 2009.
            • Designed and taught by Syracuse faculty, the curriculum built on theory, fundamentals, and application.
            Show more [+]
            • Online Courses
            1 Program(s) Found
            • Ranked 33rd among the Best Grad Schools for Social Work in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
            • Founded in 1904 as the nation’s first institute of higher learning to offer training for clinical social workers.
            • Provides a rigorous education, including a nationally accredited Master of Social Work (MSW) Program and PhD in Social Work.  
            • Offers inventive programs with hands-on experience.  
            • Incorporates social justice values and multicultural perspectives into curriculum. 
            Show more [+]
            • Online Courses
            5 Program(s) Found
            • Provides students the opportunity to train at home in their spare time to get their high school diploma, train for a new career, or enhance current skills.
            • Offers programs in psychology/social work, business management, medical billing, criminal justice, and more.
            • Member of the United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA), the Canadian Network for Innovation in Education (CNIE), and the International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE).
            • Features a fully flexible schedule with no classes to attend, leaving the study pace up to the student.
            Show more [+]
            • Online Courses
            1 Program(s) Found
            • Earn an NYU degree from anywhere in the country using our state-of-the-art online platform. You’ll attend live online classes, complete self-paced course work, and gain hands-on clinical experiences at field sites in or near your community.
            • Personalize your education based on your interests and goals with our diverse curriculum. Our clinical externship experiences and electives are designed to provide you with a comprehensive learning experience. We also offer all necessary foundation courses for admitted students who need to complete them before beginning the graduate-level courses.
            • Complete courses taught by expert NYU faculty who have diverse research interests and expertise in a variety of areas. As practicing clinicians who are highly active in the field, our faculty members apply real-world experiences to the classroom and act as supportive mentors to our students. 
            Show more [+]
            • Online Courses
            2 Program(s) Found
            • Ranked 21st among the Best Education Schools in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
            • Established in 1918 with the mission, “to improve learning in urban education locally, nationally, and globally.”
            • The first major research university to offer an online M.A.  in teaching program.
            • Offers certificate through doctoral programs in teaching, counseling, and more.
            • All programs taught with the guiding principles of leadership, learning, accountability, and diversity.
            Show more [+]
            • Online Courses
            2 Program(s) Found
            • Accredited by the American Library Association, this program focuses on both the theory and practice of library science and grounds students in the knowledge, skills and values to become change agents in the field across a broad range of industries.
            • The MS in Library and Information Science (MLIS) curriculum prepares students for careers in a broad range of settings, including academic institutions, public libraries, corporations, government agencies, and cultural institutions.
            • This program is 36 credits and can be completed in 18 months.
            • The innovative learning technology platform helps students cultivate lifelong professional relationships and personally interact with a worldwide community of students and alumni—all while having the flexibility to continue working full time.
            Show more [+]
            • Online Courses
            2 Program(s) Found
            • Ranked among the Best National Universities in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
            • Ranked 8th among the Best Online Graduate Education Programs in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
            • A private, co-ed college founded in 1821 and located in downtown Washington, D.C.
            • Its student-faculty ratio is 13:1, and 55.1% of classes have fewer than 20 students.
            • Has distinguished alumni including Senator Harry Reid, former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell, and actress Courtney Cox.
            Show more [+]
            • Accredited
            • Online Courses
            • Accelerated Programs
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            5 Program(s) Found
            • Offers training in various types of massage therapy, physical therapy/sports rehab, and personal fitness training & wellness.
            • Teaches in an environment that promotes learning and encourages empathetic and compassionate therapists.
            • Career service professionals work directly with students from the start of their program, and help them pursue employment in day spas, luxury hotels, cruise ships, and other locations.
            • Students can work in the SOCHI Massage Clinic to gain experience and build their career skills.
            • Financial aid representatives help students develop a personalized financial plan to finance their tuition.
            Show more [+]
            • Financial Aid
            1 Program(s) Found
            • The DataScience@SMU is an online program designed for working professionals and can be completed in as little as 18 months.
            • Live classes are held online and coursework is self-paced.
            • Students in the DataScience@SMU program have access to dedicated support services and join the Southern Methodist University (SMU) alumni network after graduation.
            • Students attend an in-person immersion at the SMU campus in Dallas, Texas.
            • The curriculum is truly interdisciplinary, bringing together subjects that data scientists use in the field every day.
            Show more [+]
            • Online Courses