If you have served our country through the armed forces or are the dependent of someone who has, you likely have access to many outside resources to help you pay for a college degree.
If you are a veteran or service member, you may be eligible for multiple chapters of the GI Bill. Some GI Bill chapters can be more advantageous depending on your current situation/goals and future situation/goals. Taking some time to map out how your GI Bill will fit into your academic goals could end up saving you time and money down the road. Please take a few minutes to follow the Educational Road Map for Success to learn about what you may be eligible to receive.
Post-9/11 GI Bill (Chapter 33): The latest and greatest GI Bill; began August 1, 2009; pays up to 100% of tuition and fees directly to the school, up to $1,000 annually for books, and a Monthly Housing Allowance (MHA) payment directly to the student. Eligibility: you must have served at least 90 days of active duty after September 10, 2001 or have served 30 continuous days and been discharged with a service connected disability to qualify for this benefit.
Montgomery GI Bill – Active Duty (Chapter 30): This was the standard active duty GI Bill until the introduction of the Post 9/11 Bill. Eligible service members would have elected to pay into this program during their first year of service. Student receives a monthly check directly to them to help cover educational expenses.
Montgomery GI Bill Top-Up (MGIB Top-Up): If you are already using Ch. 30, simply submit your signed TA approval form to the VA Regional Processing Office that handles your claim (for most DU Students it will be the St. Louis Regional Processing Center). Important: These claims are handled differently from claims for Ch. 30 without TA. For Top-up claims, you will not need to check in with the SAU VA Certifying Official. We will not need an enrollment certification on VA Form 22-1999. You will not need to check for approval of the program for VA benefits; approval is not an issue. That’s because Top-up is payable for any course for which TA is payable under DoD criteria.
Montgomery GI Bill – Selected Reserve GI Bill (Chapter 1606): This is the standard GI Bill for service members that serve in the National Guard or the Reserves of one of the Branches of Service and have no active duty time outside of training. Students receive a monthly check directly to them to help cover educational expenses.
Reserve Educational Assistance Program (Chapter 1607): This GI Bill is available to members of the Guard or Reserves that served more than 90 consecutive days of active duty for contingency operations. It will pay a percentage of the Chapter 30 rate based on the amount of time served. Students receive a monthly check directly to them to help cover educational expenses.
Vocational Rehabilitation (Chapter 31): To be eligible for this benefit a veteran must have a service connected disability rating of at least 10% or a memorandum rating of 20%. This benefit will pay the full cost of tuition, fees and books to the school and a monthly living stipend will be paid directly to the veteran. If the veteran is eligible for the post 9/11 GI Bill, they may elect to receive the BAH payment for that benefit in lieu of the living stipend. Discuss this with your vocational rehabilitation counselor.
Yellow Ribbon Program: The Yellow Ribbon agreement provides opportunities for Veterans and their dependents to study programs at institutions whose tuition and fees exceed the standard payable rates. Institutions that voluntarily enter into a Yellow Ribbon Agreement with the VA choose the amount of tuition and fees that will be contributed, and the VA will match the same. Specifically, the agreement states that students receiving the Post-9/11 GI Bill at the 100% payment rate will have 100% of their tuition covered by the VA. Students who attend private institutions in Michigan without the Yellow Ribbon program are capped at $19,198.31 annually. However, with the Yellow Ribbon Program, Spring Arbor University agrees to pay up to 50% of tuition and fees that exceed $19,198.31 and the VA matches the same – which gives our eligible students no annual tuition limit. For more detailed information, click here.
In addition to VA benefits, the U.S. Government offers benefits to active military personnel. You can find additional information regarding these programs at Military.com.
If you are in the Michigan National Guard, you are eligible for a 30% discount off of tuition.* This discount replaces any existing financial aid that a student may receive.
To apply for the National Guard military discount, complete the Michigan Army and Air National Guard Grant Application Form. Once you have certification from your unit in section C, you must turn it in to the State office (address is on the bottom of the form). The State official will then certify it and forward the approval to the school. For more instruction on completing the form, contact the State Education Office by calling 517.481.7646. For more information on how it may impact your financial aid eligibility, call the SAU Financial Aid Office at 517.750.2900.
To learn more about the various programs offered by the State of Michigan for Michigan Air and Army National Guard Reservists, click here.
If your spouse or parent served in the military, you may be eligible for:
- A transfer of unused educational benefits
- Survivor & dependents assistance
Transfer of benefits: Veterans can often transfer some or all of their unused educational benefits to their dependents. Skim the Veterans section to see which benefits your veteran may be eligible for.
Survivors & Dependents Assistance (Chapter 35): This benefit is available to the dependents (spouses and children) of service members who received a permanent and total disability or died in connection of their service. Students receive a monthly check directly to them to help cover educational expenses.
Veterans without Benefits
Are you a military (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard) veteran whose VA education benefits have expired or are exhausted? If so, Spring Arbor University wants to help!
A 15% tuition reduction is available for individuals who:
- Have a DD214 copy
- Were released under a condition other than “Dishonorable”
- Meet the FAFSA Definition of Veteran
To begin the process, complete the Military and VA Benefits Verification Form and submit it along with a copy of your DD214.