For direct online access to VA benefits and resources, create an account here.

A masters in business administration (or management), otherwise known as an MBA, can be not only a huge boon to your résumé, but it can put you on the path to either running a successful enterprise, or even starting your very own (you can read more on that here). After all, veterans do run just over 2.5 million small businesses in America currently.

This post will talk about the process of getting into graduate school — one that offers a masters program, and, enrolling in it for free or at a much lower cost, by using the resources and benefits provided by the United States government. Namely, the benefit offered by Department of Veterans Affairs (the G.I. Bill being just one of them — an undergraduate degree, of course, is a prerequisite to this process).

I’m a Veteran — Where Do I Begin?

If you’ve already signed up for G.I. Bill benefits, you can check them here.

If you haven’t signed up yet, first make sure you’re eligible (here), then apply for the G.I. Bill itself by going here.

If you’re successful in attaining your benefits, you’ll receive a Certificate of Eligibility (COE). Hold onto this, for a moment, you’ll need it later …

I Have G.I. Bill Benefits (a COE!), Now What?

Before you can use the bill to pay for graduate school tuition, housing and other expenses, you need a school to accept you as a student. Before applying to these institutions, however, you’ll need to take one of two standardized test of all wannabe MBAs: the GRE or the GMAT.

Taking either one of these exams will cost a fee. Thankfully, as a military veteran, there’s a good chance you can have this waived, by going through this program here. It’s called the National Testing Program.

Finding the Right School

There are many factors that go into deciding upon a list of grad schools to apply to (location, weather, programs, focus, etc.). Also, depending on the institution, your benefits may go further at one place, rather than the other — tuition-wise, namely.

Use this G.I. Bill tool to narrow down your search and gain confidence in your shortlist of places to apply.


Apply to the schools you wish to attend.

Choose a School!

Once you choose an institution that has accepted you as a student, you may enroll. While it depends upon the school, either way, you have to submit your COE to the financial aid office at some point — this is the credential that will get your tuition covered by whatever G.I. Bill benefits you have at your disposal (again, you may check them here).

Still Have Tuition Left to Pay?

There are benefits for veterans should they find themselves with tuition left to pay that wasn’t covered by their G.I. Bill (for other G.I. Bills and programs, like the Montgomery, Select, REAP, VR&E, Dependents Educational Assistance click here).

One is the Yellow Ribbon Program.

The other is the Tuition Assistance Top-Up program.

They may be able to take care of the remaining money owed.