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Where Should I Use My GI Bill?

A friend of mine who shares my veteran status asked me how he can search for a college that accepts Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits. Although there several ways to go about the search, I just showed him what I did during my search for a suitable college offering bachelors and graduate degrees.

In both cases, I started with an internet search. For the undergraduate search, I only considered the schools that were nearest to me. I came across two state schools that were within an acceptable driving distance. After comparing two, I arrived at a decision. I was happy with my choice, but knew more about the benefits that were associated with graduate school I was searching for and the process.

To start with, have a look at numerous degree programs being offered at several colleges whose distance is within reasonable limits. The school’s website will show you what classes you need to finish their program. Searching for more schools equips you with better abilities to evaluate the situation at hand and avoid classes that are irrelevant to your program. Some programs and schools may also have admission requirements that you may fall short of, such as specific GPAs, academic background and test scores. It is important to know the requirements before you can apply. Right now, you should be able to come up with a short list comprising 2-5 schools which you can follow up.

Veterans should find out how each school accommodates them by using the Veteran Resources offered by each prospective school. In case the school provides scanty information on the subject, you have to research further. You should get in touch with the Veterans Resources office by phone, in person for purposes of establishing a point of contact or mail. The person who is your point of contact should be in a position give you a bulk of answers.

Veterans might not know whether they should ask the following questions or not:

Am I supposed to pay an application fee? Application fee waivers for veterans are usually offered by most schools. Ask before you can apply.

Which VA official is supposed to certify me? Make sure you have the name and contact information of the certifying official for a specific school. This is the person who will ensure that your tuition and housing allowance are paid.

How much will be my MAH? This question is really important and may have an impact on which school you can attend. You can use the GI Bill Comparison Tool to see the cost of your MAH.

Who do I contact for certain information? Every school is supposed to have a directory for each department specifically, the admissions, records, Veteran Affairs and financial aid.

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