How to Use the GI Bill® to Pay for College
- Submit your application for admission to the University. 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:
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 and cost of tuition.
- Children of Active Duty members utilizing Chapter 33 are eligible for BAH, book stipend, and cost of tuition.
- Spouses of veterans are are eligible for BAH, book stipend, and cost of tuition.
- 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.
Whether these benefits expire depends on when you were discharged from active duty.
- If your service ended before January 1, 2013, your Post-9/11 GI Bill® (Chapter 33) benefits will expire 15 years after your last separation date from active service. You must use all of your benefits by that time or you’ll lose whatever’s left.
- If your service ended on or after January 1, 2013, your benefits won’t expire thanks to a new law called the Forever GI Bill® - Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act.
To learn more about the Forever GI Bill® visit va.gov
- If you paid into education benefits while on Active Duty, 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.
- For additional information on the qualification categories visit va.gov.
Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E), sometimes referred to as the Chapter 31 program, provides services to eligible Service members and Veterans with service-connected disabilities to help them prepare for, obtain, and maintain suitable employment or achieve independence in daily living.
Find out if you’re eligible for VA education benefits for dependents and survivors (also called Chapter 35 benefits). If you’re a dependent spouse or child—or the surviving spouse or child—of a Veteran, you may qualify for Chapter 35 benefits or job training through a GI Bill® program. For more information visit va.gov.
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).
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 credit 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 credit, 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
UMass Boston is a yellow ribbon program approved school. 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.