Wisconsin GI Bill

The benefit

The Wisconsin GI Bill gives qualifying college students tuition and segregated fees for 128 credits or 8 semesters, whichever is longer. It is a tuition remission, which means students are not charged for the tuition and fees.

This tuition benefit can be used at any University of Wisconsin institution (including UW–Madison) and Wisconsin Technical College. It can be used for either undergraduate or graduate study. Any unused part of the benefit can transfer to another qualifying school.

This tuition remission is not retroactive: it only applies to current and future enrollment.

The requirements

You, your parent*, or spouse (the veteran)

The veteran must have honorably served in the U.S. Armed Forces (including Reserves or National Guard). There are several different qualifying periods of service, described in this document.

They must have a service-connected disability rating of 30% or higher.

Starting in 2017, eligible veterans now include those who began active duty when they were residents of states other than Wisconsin. This change in state law is so new, some related Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs and UW System documents have not yet been updated to reflect this. Please keep this in mind as you read documents from these organizations.

The veteran must have been a Wisconsin resident for the past five years. If deceased, they must have been a Wisconsin resident at the time of their death.

* “Parent” can mean biological parent, adoptive parent, step-parent, head of your household, or anyone who considers you as their child (paternity/maternity has been established or acknowledged).

You (the student)

You must be a “resident for tuition purposes,” as determined by your college/university. UW–Madison students can confirm their residence status in Student Center, under the “Personal Information” tab.

You must have been a Wisconsin resident for five years.

To qualify as the child of a veteran, your age on the first day of the semester must be at least 17 and no older than 25.

If you are the surviving spouse of a qualifying veteran, you cannot be remarried.

The process

This is a two-part application process. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions about how to apply or use these benefits.

First step

The veteran applies for the Wisconsin GI Bill through the Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs.

The veteran will need a copy of their:

  • separation of service document (DD-214);
  • disability rating letter;
  • documentation of Wisconsin residence for the past five years.

Military service records can be requested from archives.gov.

Contact the County Veterans Service Officer for the Wisconsin county or tribal nation where your parent/spouse lives for assistance with the Wisconsin GI Bill application.

Second step

After you have received a letter (WDVA form 2031) confirming the successful award of the Wisconsin GI Bill, you apply to your college/university to be qualified to use these benefits. Use WDVA form 2029.

For UW–Madison students, please contact us so we help you with this process. In addition to the WDVA form 2029, you will also supply documentation confirming your Wisconsin residence for the past five years and that you meet the other requirements. Use this affidavit of residency.

If you are planning to use these benefits at a different UW school or Wisconsin Technical College, please contact their certifying official (here’s the list).