Could the Post 9/11 GI Bill provide more than 36 months of education benefits? If the proposed bill HR2108 – GI Bill STEM Extension Act of 2017 passes both the House and Senate, and gets signed by the President, that is exactly what would happen to a select set of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) students using their Post 9/11 GI Bill.

extended gi bill Eligibility

To get access to the extended benefits, a student must:

  • Be currently using or have used their Post 9/11 GI Bill.
  • Have exhausted all 36 months of their Chapter 33 (Post 9/11 GI Bill) entitlement.
  • Apply for the extended benefits.
  • Be enrolled in one of the STEM majors that leads to a post-secondary degree requiring more than the standard 128 semester (192 quarter) credit hours.

Qualifying Stem Programs

Students must already have a post-secondary degree in one of the fields below and be currently enrolled in the same field leading to a teaching certification. STEM fields qualifying for the additional education benefit include:

  • biology or biomedical science;
  • physical science;
  • science technologies;
  • computer and information science and support services;
  • mathematics or statistics;
  • engineering;
  • engineering technologies or an engineering-related field;
  • a health profession or related program;
  • a medical residency program;

Extended Benefit Information

The amount received by qualifying students is limited to one $30,000 payout for nine months of instruction. Total program payout is capped at $100 million per year. That is enough money to fund 3,334 students per year. However, prioritization of benefits goes to students needing the most credit hours to complete their program of instruction.

This initiative helps support former President Obama’s 100k in 10 movement (still in place and active) whose mission is to supply 100,000 teachers in the STEM disciplines by the year 2021. As of this writing, 40,000 STEM teachers have been trained through the 100k in 10 program. Could you be one of the remaining 60,000 teachers needed?

If America is to remain competitive in the sciences and technology, then our students need more STEM teachers so they can learn what they will need to keep America a strong player at the international level well into the future. If you are getting out of the military soon and have a degree in one of the qualifying fields, this may be an option you can use once you run out of Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits to help pay for your teaching certification either at the secondary or post-secondary level. Be part of tomorrow’s future!

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Kness retired in November 2007 as a Senior Noncommissioned Officer after serving 36 years of service with the Minnesota Army National Guard of which 32 of those years were in a full-time status along with being a traditional guardsman. Kness takes pride in being able to still help veterans, military members, and families as they struggle through veteran and dependent education issues.