Understand Your Benefits
As a veteran or military dependent, you have many options for financial assistance to help reach your educational goals. The descriptions below can help you determine which option is the best match for you.
Learn more about your education benefits at www.vets.gov
Tuition Assistance/Top Up
For: recipients of the Montgomery GI Bill – all branches of active duty or Post-9/11 GI
Benefit: up to 100%
For specific eligibility criteria, contact your Base/Post Education Center or follow the links below:
Active duty members may elect to use the MGIB "Top-Up" in addition to their service-provided TA to cover high-cost courses. Top-Up benefits may be an option if you plan to use tuition assistance to complete a degree program while on active duty, and don't plan to continue your education after service. Top-up can also be helpful for just taking a few courses with TA while on active duty; reserving most of your GI Bill benefits for after service to complete your education.
Department of Defense TA DECIDE
Department of Defense TA DECIDE is a dynamic information and comparison tool is designed specifically to aide participants of DoD's Tuition Assistance (TA) program in making informed choices on schools and education programs. TA DECIDE provides you with high value, actionable information on educational costs and outcomes to compare educational institutions that you may be considering.
Credit for Service
For: Active duty, veterans
The Joint Services Transcript (JST)* is an academically accepted document approved by the American Council on Education (ACE) to validate your military occupational experience and training along with the corresponding ACE college credit recommendations. All military transcripts need to be submitted to Cal Lutheran for admission.
*The JST has replaced the Coast Guard Institute Transcript, the Army/American Council on Education Registry Transcript System (AARTS) and the Sailor/Marine American Council on Education Registry Transcript (SMART).
Yellow Ribbon University
For: Post 9/11 GI Bill recipients
Benefit: up to 100% of tuition coverage
As a Yellow Ribbon University, Cal Lutheran will fund tuition and fee expenses that exceed amounts payable under the Post-9/11 GI Bill. The Yellow Ribbon Program was established by the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2008, allowing colleges and universities to voluntarily enter into an agreement with the VA to fund tuition and fee expenses that exceed amounts payable under the Post-9/11 GI Bill. A Certificate of Eligibility along with a copy of DD-214 or Transfer of Entitlement Letter must be submitted.
After the maximum cap for the Post-9/11 GI Bill for a private institution ($23,671.94 for the 2018-19 year) has been reached, Cal Lutheran will contribute 50% of remaining tuition and fees and the VA will match that amount.
Chapter 30: Montgomery GI Bill
For: Active Duty, Veterans, 6-year reservists who are actively drilling
Benefit: up to 36 months of full time education benefits, based on service and program enrollment
The Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB) is available to all who enlist in the US Armed Forces. Benefits are generally payable for 10 years following release from honorable active service.
Active Duty: Learn more
Reservists: Learn more
Chapter 31: Vocational Rehab
For: transitioning servicemembers within six months prior to discharge from active duty,
veterans within one year following discharge, any servicemember, veteran or dependent
eligible for a VA education benefit
Benefit: personal assistance with education and employment placement
Vocational Rehabilitation is for disabled service-connected veterans. Each school is assigned a vocational rehabilitation specialist who will assist both the veteran and the school’s certifying official.
Chapter 33: Post 9/11 GI Bill
For: Post 9/11 active duty, veterans, or individuals honorably discharged with a service-connected
disability after 30 days of service. May be transferable to dependents.
Benefit: up to 36 months of education benefits, and may include a monthly housing allowance, a stipend for books and supplies and one-time rural benefit payment.
The Post 9/11 GI Bill benefit is for those who qualify for any GI Bill program. The VA will pay your tuition & fee payments directly to the school. Payments and maximums are based on your VA eligibility percentage.
Chapter 35: Dependent Education Assistance Program
For: dependents of a military parent or spouse
Benefit: up to 45 months of full time education benefits
The Dependents Educational Assistance Program is the only benefit for individuals without military service. It is for the dependents of a member of the Armed forces who died while on active duty or as the result of a disability that VA has determined as service-connected or is 100% permanently and totally disabled for a service-related reason.
Chapter 1606: Montgomery GI Bill / Selective Reserves
For: Selected Reserve or National Guard servicemembers (not active duty).
Benefit: up to 36 months of education benefits
The Montgomery GI Bill - Selective Reserves is for individuals in the Selected Reserve or National Guard (not active duty) who remain in good standing while serving. You must be currently and actively drilling and under a six-year contract and are eligible for benefits as long as you remain in the reserves.
The Montgomery GI Bill pays a set benefit based on the number of classes you are taking, referred to as your "training time."