GI Bill Now Covers Flight Training

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As of Oct. 1, changes to the Post-9/11 GI Bill have taken effect that include flight-training benefits for veterans. The new benefits aim to provide support for short-term vocational training in addition to the traditional college-degree programs. The change is not expected to create a major new wave of pilots, however, as happened in the post-World War II era. Only 160 veterans per year, out of about 13,000 who are expected to use the new vocational benefits, will likely enroll in flight schools, the Army Times reported. The benefits will pay up to $10,000 per year to cover flight-school fees and tuition. The bill also provides some housing subsidies and pays tuition for some online courses as well.

The guidelines to qualify for the program are complex, but in general, only those who served in active duty on or after Sept. 11, 2001, are eligible. The bill provides up to 36 months of education benefits, which generally can be used up to 15 years after release from active duty. Some veterans also may be able to transfer their benefits to dependents. More details can be found at the Department of Veterans Affairs website.