Anoka-Ramsey Community College Veterans Services Office, and the college as a whole, is preparing for a dramatic increase in veteran-students this fall semester thanks to recent changes in veterans benefits.
The Post-9/11 GI Bill, rolled out by the federal government Saturday, Aug. 1, is the most comprehensive education benefit to be offered veterans since President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the original G.I. Bill for World War II veterans in 1944.
The maximum benefit under the law will allow every eligible veteran, service person, Reservist and National Guard member to attend a public college or university for free for four years. They are also eligible for a monthly housing stipend and the cost of a certificate and licensing.
Over the next decade, $78 billion is expected to be paid out for the new bill which along with free tuition to a public institution, includes:
- Increased eligibility timeframe from 10 to 15 years after military separation expires.
- Ability to transfer benefit eligibility to spouses and dependent children in certain instances
- Housing stipend,
- Up to $1,000 a year for books
- Tutoring stipend
- Cost of certificate and licensing
- Benefits on a pro-rated basis for anyone with 90 days active duty (40 percent of benefit) to 36 months of active duty (100 percent of benefit)
“This new law enables qualified veterans to go to college and actually focus on their course work instead of worrying about how it will be paid for,” says Phil O’Donnell, Anoka-Ramsey Community College’s Director of Veterans Services. “The emphasis on reservists and guardsmen benefits rewards them more effectively than ever before, particularly at community colleges where these veteran-students can try out many approaches to post-secondary education and find their footing.”
Anoka-Ramsey has been hosting a series of informational evenings at both the Cambridge and Coon Rapids campuses as well as “Vets Express Days,” which expedites the registration process for veterans.
Along with the Veterans Services Center, Anoka-Ramsey Community College also offers on-campus Military Education Resource Centers for veterans to make contact with other veterans and find the social support they need to succeed.
For more information about the new Post-9/11 GI Bill, visit http://www.gibill.va.gov.
For more information on Anoka-Ramsey Community College’s veteran programs and becoming a veteran-student, call 763-433-1334 or visit our Veterans Web page.