Working World

November 2016

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16 November, 2016 l Working World l H ave you been out of the service for more than ten years? Were you able to use your GI Bill benefits before time ran out? If not you are not alone. More than 40 percent of all GI Bill eligible veterans miss out on using their benefits. In most cases it is simply because time ran out. Most veterans think this means they can't afford to go back to school. You might be surprised to know that the GI Bill is only one of hundreds of programs to help veterans afford a college degree. Your other options include scholarships, veterans discounts, state veteran education and job training programs, vocational rehabilitation, and federal student aid, loans and grants. Education is essential for your career, don't let the lack of GI Bill benefits stop you from reaching your education and career goals. Most colleges and universities have Veterans Centers to help you access benefits from all sources. Visit the School Finder to get started today. GI BILL PAYS FOR TESTING PROGRAMS Most veterans are not aware that the GI Bill can be used to pay for college entrance exam preparation courses. Entrance exams, like the SAT, ACT and GRE are often required or used to gain admission to an institution of higher learning or graduate school. You can also take tests like the CLEP, AP, or DSST to get college credit for prior knowledge or experience. Who Is Eligible? Any veteran, service member, or military dependent who is eligible for the: • Post-9/11 GI Bill • Fry Scholarship • Montgomery GI Bill Active Duty (MGIB-AD) • Montgomery GI Bill Selected Reserve (MGIB-SR) • Survivors & Dependents Assistance (DEA) may be eligible to pursue training in preparatory courses. What Kind of Tests Can You Take? The following tests are approved for reimbursement: • SAT (Scholastic Assessment Test) • LSAT (Law School Admission Test) • GRE (Graduate Record Exam) • GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test) • AP (Advanced Placement Exam) • CLEP (College-Level Examination Program) • ACT (American College Testing Program) • DAT (Dental Admissions Test) • MAT (Miller Analogies Test) • MCAT (Medical College Admissions Test) • OAT (Optometry Admissions Testing) • PCAT (Pharmacy College Admissions Test) • TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) • DSST (DANTES Subject Standardized Tests) • ECE (Excelsior College Examinations) • PLA (Prior Learning Assessment) testing How Much Can You Be Reimbursed? You may receive the VA-approved cost of the test up to $2,000 per test. Although VA will reimburse a Veteran for required test fees, some fees connected to the testing process are not covered. The following test fees may be covered: • Registration fees • Fees for specialized tests • Administrative fees The following fees are not covered by VA: • Fees to take pre-tests (such as Kaplan tests) • Fees to receive scores quickly • Other costs or fees for optional items which are not required to take an approved test There is no limit to the number of tests you can take, however your GI Bill entitlement will be reduced based on the cost of the test. You may be reimbursed for retaking a test that you didn't pass. You can also retake tests you passed if the test is required for re-certification or to retain a license you already have. For the Post-9/11 GI Bill The amount of entitlement reduced is proportionate to the cost of the test compared to a monthly entitlement charge rate. Your entitlement charged is rounded to the nearest non-zero whole month; this means even low-cost tests are charged one month of entitlement per test. For all other GI Bill programs The amount of entitlement reduced is proportionate for the cost of the test compared to your full-time monthly rate. How to Apply Follow these steps to apply: • First apply for GI Bill benefits using the VA's Online Application. • Complete a VA Form 22-0810 (Application for Reimbursement of National Exam Fee). 5 MUST KNOW GI BILL FACTS Fact #1. You have 10 - 15 years to use your GI Bill benefits. Once you have separated from the service you have 10 years to use all of your benefits under the Montgomery GI Bill and 15 years to use your Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits. Although separating from service "starts the clock" on your 10- year time limit, you should know that if you rejoin active-duty service for more than 90 days during the 10- year peri- od, your 10-year clock is reset. In other words, you get 10 years from your last discharge. Example: Seaman Smith left active duty and joined the Navy Reserve. Three years later she returned to active duty with seven years remaining on the MGIB clock. At that point, the clock is reset at the 10-year mark when she leaves the active duty service again, at which point the 10-year clock will start ticking again. She now has a fresh 10 years left to use ALL of her benefits or she will lose her remaining balance, which then returns to Uncle Sam. Fact #2. Veterans Can Look Beyond the GI Bill FEATURE ARTICLE by Terry Howell

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