16 May Get an Additional 12 Months of G.I. Bill Benefits
I have always found it interesting that the VA only gives 36 months of educational benefits. This is more than enough for an Associates Degree, but not enough for a Bachelor’s Degree. They also limit some non credit training and have a minimum length for eligibility. In short, they do not clearly define what your G.I. BILL is to be used for. Lastly, if you run out of G.I. BILL or want to go for a bachelor’s degree then what?
There is a two-pronged approach to fixing this problem.
1) Enroll in a 2+2 program. This basically means that you will enroll in an Associates Program with a guarantee that it will fully transfer into a Bachelor’s Degree. Complete the Associate’s Degree then evaluate how much you have left on your G.I. BILL. You may end up adding a few extra concentrations or pick up some training if you are not in need of a Bachelor’s. With Industry certifications, you may not need a G.I. BILL for your intended career.
2) If you do need a bachelor’s, enroll in the bachelors after completing the Associate’s, then before you run out of your G.I. BILL (ideally in the last 30 days) you need to apply for the Rule of 48. This allows you an extra 12 months if you can show that you will graduate within 12 months. Here is the breakdown; An associate’s Degree will take 16 – 24 months to complete depending on your transfer credits. This leaves you
12 months left (worst case), completing your bachelors degree will take another 24 months total, this leaves you short by 12 months. This is perfect for the Rule of 48. This rule works if you are using another chapter of the G.I. BILL other than Chapter 33. There is also an exception made for dependents and spouses that we will talk about later.
Watch for this:
If you are eligible for the Post-9/11 G.I. BILL and another benefit program (like the Montgomery G.I. BILL – Active Duty), you must make an irrevocable election in writing before receiving any Post-9/11 G.I. BILL benefits. This means you cannot change back to the other program after you receive any Post-9/11 G.I. BILL benefits. You
must make this irrevocable election in writing by form, the website or by letter. This is fairly simple to do on the VA site electronically. This will add an additional 12 months, allowing you to graduate.
All veterans have military training that qualifies for credits. We first review these credits, give you the maximum allowable transfer credit then develop a plan to show you when you will graduate and how much G.I. BILL you will need, we will also help you determine if the rule of 48 is something you can benefit from. Lastly, if you run out of G.I. BILL you can take advantage of several scholarships and discounts designed for veterans that have run out of funding. In all cases, it is still our goal to get you graduated without any out of pocket costs. This is possible with ALU’s generous scholarship program which paid out over 1 Million in 2014 to help veterans finish their training and education.