Chapter 33 – Post 9/11 GI Bill

Chapter 33, Title 38 U.S. Code

Post 9/11 GI Bill

For additional information about CH 33, visit the GI BILL website:

Eligible Individuals
Generally, an individual who served a minimum of 90 days on active duty after September 10, 2001, will be eligible for educational assistance under the Post-9/11 GI Bill. Active duty served as a member of the Armed Forces or as a result of a call or order to active duty from a reserve component is qualifying active duty service.

Period of Eligibility
If the individual was released from active duty prior to January 1, 2013, there is a 15-year time limitation for use of benefits.  For individuals whose last discharge date is on or after January 1, 2013, the time limitation has been removed.  

In order to retain eligibility, after meeting the service requirements, an individual must:

  • Be honorably discharged from Armed Forces; or
  • Be released from Armed Forces with service characterized as honorable and placed on the retired list, temporary disability retired list, or transferred to the Fleet Reserve or the Fleet Marine Corps Reserve
  • Be released from Armed Forces with service characterized as honorable for further service in a reserve component

Chapter 33 Entitlement
Individuals eligible under Chapter 33 are generally entitled to 36 months of educational assistance. 

Students eligible for more than one benefit only have to relinquish one benefit to receive Chapter 33.

Chapter 33 elections are irrevocable. However:

  • Election requests can be withdrawn if the Regional Processing Office receives the withdrawal request before a certificate of eligibility is issued or a payment processed.
  • Election requests can be changed if the Regional Processing Office receives the change request before a certificate of eligibility is issued or a payment processed. The student must request the change in writing

Length of Service Percentage
Eligible students receive a percentage of the Chapter 33 benefit for tuition and fees, monthly housing allowance, and book stipend based on their length of service. The percentage is determined by the student’s aggregate active duty service after September 10, 2001. All creditable active duty and qualifying call-up service are combined to determine the aggregate service.

Length of service percentages are described in the following table:


Service Requirements
(Aggregate active duty after 9/10/01)

% of Maximum Benefit Payable
At least 36 months 100
At least 30 continuous days on active duty (Must be discharged due to service-connected disability) 100
At least 30 months, but less than 36 months (1) 90
At least 24 months, but less than 30 months (1) 80(3)
At least 18 months, but less than 24 months (2) 70(3)
At least 12 months, but less than 18 months (2) 60
At least 06 months, but less than 12 months (2) 50
At least 90 days, but less than 06 months (2) 40

Chapter 33 Benefit Payments
Depending on the student’s situation, Chapter 33 benefits can include payment of tuition and fees, a monthly housing allowance, a stipend for books and supplies, college fund (“kicker”) payments, a rural benefit payment, and a Yellow Ribbon Program benefit. Chapter 33 differs from other education Chapters in that each type of payment is issued separately, with some payments made directly to the school and others directly to the student.

Monthly Housing Allowance
A monthly housing allowance is paid directly to the student at the beginning of each month for the previous month. The housing allowance is prorated by the student’s length of service percentage and the student's rate of pursuit (enrollment).

For training beginning on or after August 1, 2018, the monthly housing allowance payments are based on the Department of Defense’s Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) for an “E-5 with dependents” for the zip code of the campus or training location where the student physically attends the majority of their classes.

Active duty personnel (including those on terminal leave) and their spouses utilizing transferred entitlement are not eligible for the housing allowance. Once separated from active duty, students (and their spouses) will become eligible to receive the monthly housing allowance on the first day of the month following separation.

For students affected by the Colmery Section 501 (first used Chapter 33 on or after January 1, 2018) will receive the capped Department of Defense rate based on the physical campus location where he or she is taking the majority of their credit hours.

Students not affected by Colmery Section 501 (first used Chapter 33 prior to January 1, 2018) will continue to receive the uncapped VA monthly housing allowance rates.

The monthly housing allowance is subject to “Grandfathering Rules”. A student will be paid the same monthly housing allowance rate for as long as he or she remains continuously enrolled at the same school (same facility code). Continuously enrolled means no more than a 6-month break in training in enrollment.

Note:  Certain students may have been paid higher rates than authorized during the delayed systems implementation of Colmery sections 107 amd 501, however, overpayments to students will not be recouped by the VA.

Rate of Pursuit and the Housing Allowance
Rate of pursuit applies specifically to Chapter 33. It differs from training time, which is used for all other Chapters. Schools certify actual credit. VA calculates rate of pursuit by dividing the number of credit (or credit hour equivalents) being pursued by the number of credit considered to be full-time by the school. The resulting percentage is the student’s rate of pursuit.

Examples: If full-time is12 credits, then rate of pursuit for:

  • 6 credits (or credit equivalents) is 50% (6 ÷ 12 = 50%)
  • 7 credits (or credit equivalents) is 58% (7 ÷ 12 = 58%)

The housing allowance is paid if the student’s rate of pursuit is more than 50%. Rate of pursuit determines whether a student receives or doesn’t receive the housing allowance. If pursuit is more than 50% the student receives the housing allowance. If the rate of pursuit is 50% or less, then the student doesn’t receive the housing allowance.

Distance Learning and the Housing Allowance
Individuals only enrolled in distance learning courses will be eligible for a monthly housing allowance equal to 50% of the national average of all Basic Allowances for Housing. Rates will be multiplied by the rate of pursuit rounded to the nearest multiple of 10. NOTE: Basic eligibility requirements for Monthly Housing Allowance benefits (e.g. students with a rate of pursuit >.50) remain unchanged.

Books and Supplies Stipend
The books and supplies stipend is a lump sum payment (each quarter, semester or term attended) paid directly to the student when the school’s enrollment certification is processed. The stipend is prorated by the student’s length of service percentage.

The books and supplies stipend pays $41.67 per credit certified, up to 24 credits for the academic year (08/01/YY-07/31/YY). The start date of an enrollment period determines the academic year the enrollment period belongs to. The maximum stipend is $1,000 per academic year.

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