How to Use the GI Bill® to Pay for College
- Submit your application. Identify your status as a veteran or service member in order to waive your application fee. Apply as an undergraduate or graduate student.
- Allow six to eight weeks to receive a decision from admissions.
- Apply for Financial Aid using the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by the priority deadline.
- Once you have received a decision letter from the Office of Undergraduate Admissions, contact our office for your next steps, i.e. New Student Deposit Fee waiver and processing your benefits.
Contact the Office of Veterans Affairs before applying for benefits.
Federal Veteran Financial Benefits
Here are six major educational funding benefit programs:
- Chapter 33 Post 9/11 GI Bill®
- Chapter 30 Montgomery GI Bill® Active Duty (MGIB-AD)
- Chapter 31 Vocational Rehabilitation & Employment Program
- Chapter 35 Survivors and Dependents Educational Assistance (DEA)
- Chapter 1606 Montgomery GI Bill® Selected Reserve (MGIB-SR)
- Chapter 1607 Reserve Educational Assistance Program (REAP)
1. Post 9/11 GI Bill®
Most of the veterans studying at UMass Boston are using the benefits of the Post 9/11 GI Bill® (a.k.a. Chapter 33). Service members and veterans who served on active duty on or after September 11, 2001 are eligible for these benefits.
- Three years of Active Duty (AD) time qualifies you for 100% of benefits based on full-time enrollment. This includes your cost of attendance, a $1,000 book stipend, and E5 Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) with dependents, based on UMass Boston’s 02125 ZIP code.
- For service of over 90 days, but less than three years, you receive between 40% and 90% of these benefits.
- Active Duty members and their spouses do not receive the BAH, but are entitled to the book stipend. Children of AD members and spouses of veterans utilizing Chapter 33 are eligible for BAH.
- You receive up to 36 months of these benefits, prorated for the number of days you are enrolled and based on the Academic Calendar.
- Transferring this benefit to a dependent must be completed with the Department of Defense prior to applying for VA benefits.
- If you paid into education benefits while on Active Duty prior to the Post 9/11 GI Bill®, you qualify for a stipend.
- Chapter 30 does not pay for cost of attendance or a book stipend. If you exhaust all 36 months of the Montgomery GI Bill®, you may be eligible for 12 months of Post 9/11 GI Bill® benefits.
3. Vocational Rehabilitation
Chapter 31, also referred to as “Voc Rehab,” is a program that veterans with a service-connected disability are eligible to apply for to extend their current educational benefits.
4. Chapter 35 Survivors and Dependents Education Assistance (DEA)
The DEA benefit is available to dependents of a veteran who has died or is permanently disabled due to a service-connected disability. Qualified children must be between the ages of 18 and 26 to receive up to 45 months of educational benefits. The period of eligibility for spouses ranges from 10 to 20 years.
5. Select Reserve GI Bill® (SELRES)
SELRES, also referred to as Chapter 1606, is for actively drilling reservists with no active duty time (training only). Chapter 1606 pays a stipend. If you are eligible for a “kicker,” and provide proper documentation, that “kicker” amount is applied to your stipend. When applying for Chapter 1606 Select Reserve GI Bill®, please include your Notice of Basic Eligibility (NOBE) or a DD214, if applicable.
6. Reserve Educational Assistance Program (REAP)
REAP or 1607 is a benefit based on your activation of 90 days or more as a reservist in response to war or natural disaster. Chapter 1607 is a benefit calculated by your activation time and education/training pursuit.
Other Programs and Credits
Massachusetts Veteran Tuition Credit
To qualify for this tuition-only credit, you must have already been accepted into a degree program. As a degree-seeking Massachusetts veteran, you will receive the tuition waiver when you provide us with a copy of your DD214 (Member-4) showing an Honorable Discharge. The credit applies to state-funded programs offered at UMass Boston. As a tuition-only waiver, it does not cover your UMass Boston fees (curriculum, service, mandatory or lab fees, etc.).
Continuing and Professional Studies (CAPS) offers many evening, weekend, summer, and online courses. Fees for courses offered through CAPS are structured differently than those of our other colleges. CAPS course fees can be waived, but some restrictions still apply. For example, you may not use this credit for courses that you take as a non-degree student. Contact us to learn the stipulations, which apply to your situation.
Yellow Ribbon Program
Because UMass Boston is a public university, it does not participate in the yellow ribbon program as tuition and fees are already waived. Please contact the UMass Boston Veterans Affairs Office for more information.
*GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government website.