GI Bill Non-College Degree ProgramsUpdated: October 12, 2022
Some service members want to attend a specific training program rather than a four-year college. They may be eligible to use their GI Bill benefits to pay for one of these programs.
The Department of Veterans Affairs website lists various GI-Bill-approved non-college degree programs for those who want on-the-job training, work-study, business training and more. These include:
- Veterans technology education (VET TEC) courses
- Flight training
- Entrepreneurship training
- Co-op training
- On-the-job training and apprenticeships
Who Qualifies for GI Bill Benefits for Non-College Degree Programs
Veterans, service members and qualified dependents (spouses and children) may qualify to use the GI Bill for non-college degree programs when they attend a VA-approved school. You can search for eligible providers through the VA’s GI Bill Comparison Tool.
What Benefits You Can Receive
Depending on the program you attend, you may receive the following benefits from your GI Bill, according to the VA:
- Tuition and fees
- Stipend for books and supplies
- Monthly housing allowance
How much you receive and what benefits you receive depend on several factors, including which GI Bill program you use, the specific program you enroll in, and the nature and duration of your coursework, according to the VA. In some cases, you may also qualify for a one-time rural benefit of $500 if you relocate from a highly rural area.
The VA defines highly rural areas as having six or fewer people per square mile. To qualify for the benefit, you must either relocate at least 500 miles to attend school or travel by air when there is no land-based transportation.
Check the following articles for the current rates for your specific situation:
- Post-9/11 GI Bill Payment Rates
- Montgomery GI Bill Rates: Active Duty
- Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB) Rates: Selected Reserve
- Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance Rates
How to Apply
You can apply online for VA education benefits to attend a non-college degree program. You will need to submit the following as part of your application:
- Social Security number
- Bank account direct-deposit information
- Education history
- Military history
- School information
Request an Application and Apply by Mail
You can also apply by mail. Call the VA at 888-442-4551 to request a paper copy of the application. You’ll need to mail it to the VA regional claims processing office for the school you want to attend.
Apply in Person
You can apply in person at any VA regional office or at your school. Check with the registrar or financial aid office.
Apply With a Veterans Service Officer (VSO)
A VSO can help you apply for VA education benefits of any kind. You can approach any VA-approved VSO such as the DAV, AMVets, state or regional offices with veteran programs, etc.
Joe Wallace is a 13-year veteran of the United States Air Force and a former reporter for Air Force Television News
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