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Veteran Services

Education Programs and VA

Detailed federal program descriptions are available at the Department of Veterans Administration Education Benefits & Services home page at:

New Benefit Begins July 1, 2012  VRAP

VRAP Applications Are Closed

May 15, 2012 10:30 AM

We are accepting VRAP applications now. Please visit eBenefits to apply. Remember, to complete the application, you will need to know your direct deposit information (bank routing number and account number), the name and location of your school, the program you wish to pursue, and the applicable high demand occupation.

Email Notification for VRAP Program Available

April 30, 2012 7:38 AM

You can now sign up to be notified of new developments in the VRAP program and receive a reminder email when we will begin accepting applications. Click here to be added to our email list.


Federal Programs - G.I. Bill

Chapter 30: Montgomery G.I. Bill- Active Duty

  • Veterans who began active duty for the first time after June 30, 1985.
  • Military retirees who entered the service (or agreed to delayed entry) before 01/01/1977 and who were eligible to receive chapter 34 benefits (Vietnam era education program on 12/31/1989)
  • Veterans that were voluntarily or involuntarily separated from the service because of a reduction in personnel.
  • Veterans who converted their education benefits from chapter 32 to chapter 30.

Chapter 32: Veterans Educational Assistance Program (VEAP)

Individuals must have initially entered active duty from 01/01/1977 to 06/30/1985 and must have enrolled and contributed to VEAP before 04/01/1987. VEAP is a voluntary contribution and matching program. The veteran's contributions were matched on a $2.00 for $1.00 basis by the Government.

Chapter 33:The Post-9/11 GI Bill

Changes to the Post-9/11 GI Bill Based on P.L. 111-377

On January 4, 2011, President Obama signed the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Improvements Act of 2010 into law. The legislation amended the Post-9/11 GI Bill, modifying the rules governing the way VA makes eligibility, award and entitlement calculations. The provisions vary in their effective dates, with some effective on the date of enactment (January 4, 2011) and the later provisions effective on October 1, 2011.

Effective Date of Enactment (January 4, 2011)

The following types of entry level and skill training are now excluded from the computation of total aggregate service needed to qualify for Post-9/11 benefits:

  • Army One Station Unit Training
  • Coast Guard Skill Training
  • Active duty service obligation (ADSO) associated with Coast Guard Academy graduation
  • An Honorable character of service is now required for all service periods ending on or after January 4, 2011, including those with the following separation reasons:
  • A Condition Interfering With Duty (CIWD)
  • A condition Existing Prior to Service (EPTS)
  • A Hardship (HDSP)
  • CIWD, EPTS, and HDSP discharges prior to January 4, 2011, that are not Dishonorable may still be qualifying.

Effective Immediately but Not Payable until October 1, 2011:

Expands the Post-9/11 GI Bill to include National Guard members who are on active service under title 32 U.S.C. orders, “for the purpose of organizing, administering, recruiting, instructing, or training”; or under section 502(f) “for the purpose of responding to a national emergency.”

Effective 60 Days after the Date of Enactment (March 5, 2011)

Limits active duty members to the net cost for tuition and fees prorated based on the eligibility tiers (40%-100%) previously established for Veterans.

Same limitations apply to transferee spouses of active duty servicemembers;

This will apply to terms beginning on or after March 5, 2011;

Applies to degree programs with a rate of pursuit of more than one-half time.

Effective August 1, 2011

For Veterans and their transferees: Simplifies the tuition and fee rates for those attending a public school and creates a national maximum for those enrolled in a private or foreign school. NOTE: The Yellow Ribbon Program still exists for out-of-state fees and costs above the cap.

Pays all public school in-state tuition and fees;

Private and foreign school costs are capped at $17,500 annually and are prorated based on eligibility tiers (40% - 100%).

Prorates housing allowance by the student’s rate of pursuit (rounded to the nearest tenth). Example: A student training at a rate of pursuit of 75% would receive 80% of the BAH rate;

For Active Duty Members and their transferees: creates a national rate for those active duty members enrolled in a private or foreign school pursuing a degree.

Pays all public school in-state tuition and fees;

Private and foreign school costs are capped at $17,500 annually and are prorated based on eligibility tiers (40% - 100%);

Housing Allowance rates will change effective August 1 of each year, not January 1;

Allows those who are eligible for both Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (chapter 31) benefits and Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits to choose a higher subsistence allowance equal to the basic allowance for housing payable to an E-5 with dependents based on the zip code area where the school is located.

Allows VA to pay MGIB (chapter 30) and MGIB-SR (chapter 1606) “kickers” or college fund payments on a monthly basis instead of a lump sum at the beginning of the term. Kickers will be paid regardless of rate of pursuit or eligibility for the Monthly Housing Allowance. The applicable (MGIB or MGIB-SR) full time kicker rate will be multiplied by the rate of pursuit.

Break or interval pay is no longer payable under any VA education benefit program unless under an Executive Order of the President or due to an emergency, such as a natural disaster or strike.

Students using other VA education programs are included in this change and monthly benefits will be pro-rated in the same manner;

Entitlement that previously would have been used for break pay will be available for use during a future enrollment.

Allows reimbursement for more than one license or certification test (previously only one test was allowed).

Allows reimbursement of fees paid to take national exams used for admission to an institution of higher learning (e.g., SAT, ACT, GMAT, LSAT). NOTE: Entitlement will be charged for these fees/tests.

NOAA and PHS personnel are now eligible to transfer their entitlement to eligible dependents

Effective October 1, 2011

Allows a student on active duty to receive a books and supplies stipend.

Allows students to use the Post-9/11 GI Bill for:

Non-college degree (NCD) programs: Pays actual net cost for in-state tuition and fees at public NCD institutions. At private and foreign institutions, pays the actual net costs for in-state tuition and fees or $17,500, whichever is less. Also pays up to $83 per month for books and supplies;

On-the-job and apprenticeship training: Pays a monthly benefit amount prorated based on time in program and up to $83 per month for books and supplies;

Flight programs: Per academic year, pays the actual net costs for in-state tuition and fees assessed by the school or $10,000, whichever is less;

Correspondence training: Per academic year, pays the actual net costs for in-state tuition and fees assessed by the school or $8,500, whichever is less.

Housing allowance is now payable to students (other than those on active duty) enrolled solely in distance learning. The housing allowance payable is equal to 1/2 the national average BAH for an E-5 with dependents. NOTE: The full-time rate for an individual eligible at the 100% eligibility tier is $673.50 for 2011.

Chapter 35 : Survivors' and Dependents' Educational Assistance (DEA)

You must be the son, daughter or spouse of:
  • A veteran who died or is permanently and totally disabled as the result of a service-connected disability. The disability must arise out of active service in the armed forces.
  • A veteran who died from any cause while such service-connected disability was in existence.
  • A service member missing in action or captured in the line of duty by a hostile force.
  • A service member forcibly detained or interned in line of duty by a foreign government or power.
  • A service member who is hospitalized or receiving outpatient treatment for service connected permanent and total disability and is likely to be discharged for that disability. This change is effective December 23, 2006.

Chapter 1606: Montgomery G.I. Bill- Selected Reserve

The Montgomery GI Bill- Selected Reserve program may be available to you if you are a member of the Selected Reserve. The Selected Reserve includes the Army Reserve, Navy Reserve, Air Force Reserve, Marine Corps Reserve and Coast Guard Reserve, and the Army National and the Air National Guard.

To Qualify, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Have a six-year obligation to serve in the Selected Reserve signed after June 30, 1985. If you are an officer, you must have agreed to serve six years in addition to your original obligation. For some types of training, it is necessary to have a six-year commitment that begins after September 30, 1990.
  • Complete your initial active duty for training (IADT).
  • Meet the requirement to receive a high school diploma or equivalency certificate before completing IADT. You may not use 12 hours toward a college degree to meet this requirements.
  • Remain in good standing while serving in an active Selected Reserve unit.

Chapter 1607: Reserve Educational Assistance Program (REAP)

Eligibility will be determined by the Department of Defense (DoD) of Department of Homeland Security (DHS), as appropriate. Generally, a member of a Reserve component who serves on active duty on or after September 11, 2001 under title 10, U.S. Code, for at least 90 consecutive days under a contingency operation, is eligible for REAP. There is no specific time frame to use REAP, however, your eligibility generally ends when you leave the Selected Reserves.

National Guard members are eligible if their active service extends for 90 consecutive days or more and their service:

  • authorized under section 502(f), title 32, U.S. Code,
  • authorized by the President or Secretary of Defense for a national emergency, and
  • supported by federal funds.


State Programs

California Department of Veterans Affairs
Veterans Dependents Educational Assistance

The dependent child, spouse or unmarried surviving spouses of a service connected disabled or deceased veteran may be entitled to tuition and fee waiver benefits at any campus of the California State University system, University of California or a California Community College. To be eligible, students must:

  • Have a parent who is a disabled veteran (0% or more disabled); or
  • Have a spouse who is service-connected (S/C) deceased or rated 100% S/C disabled.
  • Be a child earning less than $11,369 per year (student’s income, not parents’). Note: there is no income limit for a spouse or children of S/C deceased or 100% S/C veterans.
  • Attend a California Community College, California State University, or a University of California school.
  • Provide proof of the student's relationship to the veteran such as a copy of a birth or marriage certificate.

To obtain complete eligibility requirements and assistance in applying for these valuable benefits, please contact your local County Veterans Service Office or your school's veterans office. Contact information for the veterans or financial aid office for many California public colleges and universities is available from the Education section CDVA's California Veterans Resources Database.

You may also contact CalVet at (916) 653-2573 or by mail:

California Department of Veterans Affairs
Division of Veterans Services
1227 O Street, Suite 105
Sacramento CA 95814

You may also download an application form to fill out. When the form is completed, contact your nearest County Veterans Service Office (CVSO).


Last Updated: 11/8/13