The reasons people enlist in the military fall into two categories. The first include pride and service: defending their country, family tradition, duty and honor, and fighting terrorism. The rest include personal betterment: turn their lives around, improve themselves, learn new skills, and get a job that pays well.

Pursuing an education to get a career doing what you love for the rest of your life is another part of the American Dream veterans fight for. Getting a VA loan is easier now, more than ever, so what’s stopping you?

The Post 9/11 GI Bill

The Post 9/11 GI Bill covers tuition and fees, a housing allowance, and books and supplies for Veterans who served after September 10, 2001. Eligibility is determined based on length of service and type of discharge.

The bill currently reimburses 100 percent of tuition and fees if you attend a public college or university and up to $23,671.94 per year for private or foreign colleges or universities. If Veterans do not plan to use their Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits, they may now transfer their eligibility to a spouse or child.

The Yellow Ribbon Program

If you choose a public institution of higher education as a private or non-resident student whose tuition is above the current rates, you may qualify for additional payments under the Yellow Ribbon Program.

Schools who sign up for this program reach agreements with the VA to extend additional tuition dollars to veterans. These awards usually amount to an additional $1,000 to $1,500 per year, and these funds are not debited against your annual allowance. There are a limited number of these awards, so apply early.

Monthly Housing Allowance

In addition to tuition coverage, you will receive a Monthly Housing Allowance (MHA) similar to the amount received by an E-5 as a Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH). The MHA is based on the ZIP code where the school is located.

Books/Supplies Stipend

An annual allowance for books and supplies of $1,000 is available once you have enrolled for classes.


Generations of Americans have joined the military specifically to earn their tuition to college when they are discharged. Serving your country will teach discipline, work ethic, confidence, and follow-through. You'll return home more mature, knowing what you want to study, and with the financial means to make your American dream a reality.

If you’re planning on going to college soon, or are preparing for college, make sure to check out our College Prep section!