Few military benefits available to veterans and their families are as beneficial and easy to use as the GI Bill. Whether you’re looking to jumpstart your post-military career with a degree or expand your horizons with some higher learning, it’s an amazing program. That said, the time commitment it takes to earn a two or four year degree may be unfeasible. If you work full-time, run a busy household, or otherwise can’t attend classes at a specific location, literally going to school may not be in the cards. But that doesn’t mean you need to give up on your dreams for higher education. Because using your GI Bill online to take classes or even attain a full degree has never been easier.
GI Bill for Online Classes
Just as you might use the GI Bill towards tuition attending school in the real world, you can receive similar funding for an online degree or certification. It’s available to virtually all those who qualify for GI Bill benefits. The sole exceptions are those who are otherwise eligible for the standard benefits as Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance.
How to Apply for Online GI Bill Benefits
The short and sweet of it is that applying for GI Bill benefits is pretty much the same whether you’re taking classes at school or remotely. Once accepted into a GI Bill approved school, program, or online college, assemble the necessary paperwork and go through the fairly easy process. Same as everybody who wishes to utilize the program.
Online Education Options
Online Colleges and Universities
The most common way to use GI Bill benefits in the digital world is through an online college, of which there are many. Granted, a number of so-called online colleges were exposed in recent years as less than legitimate. But don’t let those bad apples spoil your plans to get a degree from home. Just do your research before you pick the places you apply to. Numerous consumer watchdogs and publications, like US News and World Report, do a good job of identifying the best among truly legit online colleges.
Other Remote Learning Programs
Certain programs of study that don’t lead to a college degree of one level or another are also eligible. Granted, a lot of the non-degree programs the standard GI Bill pays for includes training you can’t do solely online. After all, things like advanced pilot or mechanical training require you to learn on actual planes and equipment. But many courses and certifications attainable through correspondence training, either through the internet or old fashioned mail, are GI Bill eligible
If you’re curious about a specific school, training program, or just what’s in your area, the Department of Veterans Affairs has a handy GI Bill comparison tool. Use it to check both availability and potential benefits.
Online GI Bill BAH
Just as for those who attend classes in person, GI Bill for full-time virtual education includes a basic allowance for housing. It is not, however, based on the location where you take most classes (the current standard for those going to physical schools). Anyone using the GI Bill online receives the same BAH. It’s currently set at half the national average for an E-5 with dependents.
Current BAH for Those Using GI Bill Online: $894.50 per month
With the rapid and continuous increase in internet capabilities, more and more major colleges offer courses and full degrees online. Not to mention the other vocational and educational programs that qualify for the GI Bill. As such, it’s never been easier to make use of the benefits you’ve earned wherever you are. So go ahead, expand your mind and open up new job opportunities. You don’t even have to get off your couch to do it.