* This site is privately owned and is not affiliated or endorsed by the Social Security Administration or any other government agency.

Educational Assistance Programs


Educational Assistance Programs, under VA benefits, refer to financial aid and support provided to eligible veterans, service members, and their dependents to pursue further education or training. This may encompass various initiatives like the Post-9/11 GI Bill, Montgomery GI Bill, and the Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance Program. These programs aim to assist with tuition, housing, books, and other educational needs tied to approved schooling or vocational programs.

Key Takeaways

  1. Educational Assistance Programs (EAP) offer financial support to eligible veterans, active duty service members, and their families for tuition, fees, books, and other educational expenses.
  2. These programs include the Post-9/11 GI Bill, Montgomery GI Bill, Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance, Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment, and others, each with its specific eligibility criteria and benefits coverage.
  3. Applicants can apply for the benefits via online portals, mail, or in-person at VA offices, and are advised to explore multiple resources and support services available, such as academic and career counseling, tutoring, and more to make the most out of their educational journey.


The VA benefits term “Educational Assistance Programs” is important because it encompasses the support and financial aid provided to eligible veterans, active servicemembers, and their families by the Department of Veteran Affairs.

These programs help individuals acquire new skills, pursue higher education, or transition to a civilian career by offering assistance in the form of tuition reimbursement, housing allowances, or supplies stipends.

The most notable programs include the Post-9/11 GI Bill, Montgomery GI Bill, and the Yellow Ribbon Program.

By investing in educational assistance, the VA fosters personal and professional growth, enhances the workforce, and demonstrates a commitment to supporting those who have served their country.


The purpose of Educational Assistance Programs under VA benefits is to provide financial assistance and support to eligible veterans, active-duty service members, and their families in acquiring higher education or advanced training. These programs aid in facilitating access to quality education, enhancing the prospects of securing meaningful employment, and ultimately improving the quality of life for veterans and their dependents.

By reducing the financial burden associated with higher education, these assistance programs encourage service members to pursue their educational goals, leading to a more highly skilled and competitive workforce amongst veterans. VA Educational Assistance Programs cover a wide range of educational endeavors, including college degree programs, vocational and technical training, apprenticeships, licensing, and certification courses.

This wide scope ensures that beneficiaries have ample opportunities to choose the best educational path according to their interests and career aspirations. Furthermore, these programs often extend beyond traditional classroom education, as they may encompass tutorials, entrepreneurship training, and even work-study programs.

This holistic approach to education and training ensures that service members and their families have the resources and support necessary for a successful transition to civilian life, fully equipped with the knowledge and skills required to thrive in their chosen careers.

Examples of Educational Assistance Programs

Post-9/11 GI Bill (Chapter 33): The Post-9/11 GI Bill is a comprehensive educational assistance program available to veterans and service members who have served on active duty for at least 90 days since September 10,

This program covers the cost of tuition and fees, provides a monthly housing allowance, and offers a yearly book and supplies stipend. Eligible individuals can use the benefits for college degrees, vocational and technical training, on-the-job training, and even flight training.

Montgomery GI Bill (Chapter 30 and Chapter 1606): The Montgomery GI Bill offers educational assistance for service members and veterans in two different categories: Active Duty (Chapter 30) and Selected Reserve (Chapter 1606). The Active Duty program provides a monthly benefit for up to 36 months, which can be used for college degrees, vocational and technical courses, correspondence courses, apprenticeship, and job training. The Selected Reserve program offers similar benefits to members of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard Reserves, as well as the National Guard.

Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance (DEA) Program (Chapter 35): The DEA program provides education and training benefits to eligible dependents and survivors of veterans who are permanently and totally disabled due to a service-related condition or who have died while on active duty or as a result of a service-related condition. The DEA program covers various educational expenses, such as college degrees, certificate programs, apprenticeships, and on-the-job training, and provides a monthly benefit payment for up to 45 months of enrollment.

FAQ: VA Educational Assistance Programs

What types of educational assistance programs are available for veterans?

There are several educational assistance programs available for veterans, including the Post-9/11 GI Bill, the Montgomery GI Bill (Active Duty & Selected Reserve), the Reserve Educational Assistance Program (REAP), and the Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance (DEA) program.

How do I apply for VA educational assistance programs?

You can apply for VA educational assistance programs through the Veterans On-Line Application (VONAPP) website or submit an application at the nearest VA regional office. You can also call the VA Education Call Center at 1-888-GI BILL-1 (1-888-442-4551) for assistance.

How much financial assistance can I receive under the Post-9/11 GI Bill?

Under the Post-9/11 GI Bill, eligible veterans can receive up to 100% of the tuition and fees at the most expensive in-state public institution, a monthly housing allowance, and a stipend for books and supplies. The amount of financial assistance depends on the length of your qualifying service on active duty.

How long can I use the education benefits under the Post-9/11 GI Bill?

You can use the education benefits under the Post-9/11 GI Bill for up to 36 months. The benefits must be used within 15 years of your last day of active duty service.

Can I transfer my Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits to my family members?

Yes, you can transfer your Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits to your spouse or dependents. You must be an active-duty member or a Selected Reserve member, have at least six years of service, and agree to serve an additional four years. To apply, visit the Department of Defense Transferability Application website.

What is the Yellow Ribbon Program?

The Yellow Ribbon Program is a voluntary agreement between the VA and a participating institution to cover tuition expenses exceeding the annual maximum cap for private or foreign institutions under the Post-9/11 GI Bill. The institution agrees to contribute a specified amount, which the VA matches, thus reducing the out-of-pocket expenses for the veteran.

Related VA Benefit Terms

  • Post-9/11 GI Bill (Chapter 33)
  • Montgomery GI Bill (Chapter 30)
  • Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (Chapter 31)
  • Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance (Chapter 35)
  • Reserve Educational Assistance Program (Chapter 1607)

Sources for More Information