For direct online access to VA benefits and resources, create an account here.
The Post-9/11 G.I. Bill (Chapter 33) is utilized every year by current and former service members to widen their net for future opportunity through the means of a higher education. One such route can come beyond undergraduate college or university study — and can even add a most impressive title to the beginning of your surname.
This post will talk about getting into medical school. Or, the process of earning a medical degree for free (or at a much lower cost) by using the resources and benefits provided by the United States government, namely, the Department of Veterans Affairs (the G.I. Bill being just one of them).
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’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 med school tuition, housing and other expenses, you need a med school to accept you as a student. Before applying to these institutions, however, you’ll need to take the standardized test of all wannabe students of the law: the MCATs.
Taking this exam 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 choosing a list of medical schools to apply to (location, programs, focus, prestige, weather 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.