How to apply for education benefits

Guidance on how to apply, what benefits are available, and who is involved in the process.


As a veteran, the most common way to apply for education benefits is through the GI Bill. There is the Post 9/11 GI Bill® and a Wisconsin GI Bill. In many cases you can apply for both, and consider other kinds of benefits you may be eligible for.

An overview of applying

  1. Prepare to apply & determine what education benefits you’re eligible for.

  2. Apply for eligible benefits.

  3. Apply for financial aid.

  4. Complete the certification process.

  5. Receive your education benefits.

There are some differences in this process based on what kind of benefits you apply for.

News udpates

Prepare to apply

There are a variety of education benefits that veterans at UW-Madison can apply for. The recommended way to understand what benefits you are eligible for, is to take the Benefit Eligibility Survey.

What benefits may I be eligible for?

Answer some questions about your situation to we will provide guidance on federal and state education benefits you may be eligible for.

An exterior view of the Memorial Union building

Tuition vs. the Cost of Attendance

Tuition rates for resident, nonresident, international and Minnesota are published for each semester. The cost of attendance is an estimate of tuition, fees, and other considerations like course materials, books, housing and more.

Doors at the Memorial Union

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Documents you'll need

  • Your Social Security Number
  • Bank account direct deposit information
  • Education and military history
  • Basic information about UW-Madison

Applying

Post 9/11 GI Bill® education benefits


Apply at the same time you apply to UW-Madison, or as soon as possible after applying.

How to apply for the Post 9/11 GI Bill®

Wisconsin GI Bill education benefits


Apply at the same time you apply to UW-Madison, or as soon as possible after applying.

How to apply for the Wisconsin GI Bill

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Can I apply for both Post 9/11 GI Bill® and Wisconsin education benefits?

Yes.  Typically the Post 9/11 GI Bill® is applied first, then the Wisconsin GI Bill is used to make up the difference.

Using Post 9/11 GI Bill® + Wisconsin GI Bill benefits together

Apply for financial aid

You can use the Post 9/11 GI Bill®, Wisconsin GI Bill and receive federal financial aid.

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is a recommended step in applying for and receiving other types of financial aid.

How to apply for FAFSA

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Maximizing your financial aid benefits

It is highly recommended to apply for FAFSA because it’s possible to receive scholarships, grants, and other forms of financial aid that won’t need to be paid back.

Applying for the Post 9/11 GI Bill® wont affect any financial aid you apply for.  It may have an affect if you apply for the Wisconsin GI Bill.

As a veteran, your Cost of Attendance might be different from a traditional student.  It’s recommended to have a conversation with a specialist from the Office of Financial Aid who can help work out what your costs might be, and how to best offset those costs.

Financial Aid contacts for veterans
Pade Thao
Maggie Zabinski

Other types of available benefits

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The Fry Scholarship, for surviving children and spouses of service members.

The Marine Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry Scholarship provides Post 9/11 GI Bill® benefits to the children and surviving spouses of service members who died in the line of duty after Sept. 10, 2001. Eligible beneficiaries attending school may receive up to 36 months of benefits at 100%


Applying

Apply for the Fry Scholarship

Veterans Readiness & Employment (Chapter 31).

Formerly called Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment, this program is also known as Chapter 31.

Veterans Readiness & Employment (VR&E) can help veterans find meaningful, sustainable careers and connect you with training or other opportunities to help you reach your employment goals. Veterans and service members typically need a service-connected disability rating of at least 20% to be found eligible.

You can apply for VR&E if you are eligible for Post 9/11 GI Bill® and can elect to receive the monthly housing stipend at the GI Bill rate.

Effective Fall 2019: Veterans who are living in Wisconsin and begin using VR&E within 3 years of discharge from active duty are required to be charged tuition that is equal to the in-state rate.


Applying:

  1. Apply through US Department of Veterans Affairs eBenefits.
  2. If you are found eligible, you will be asked to schedule a meeting with a Vocational Counselor.
  3. Your counselor will provide needed authorizations to the school, but please email us to communicate your intent to use benefits early.

Apply through eBenefits

The Montgomery GI Bill Selected Reserve, or MGIB-SR (Chapter 1606).

The Montgomery GI Bill Selected Reserve (MGIB-SR) is also known as Chapter 1606.

It provides a monthly stipend for up to 36 months to current members of the Reserves and National Guard. Eligibility for this program is determined by your reserve component, and the VA makes the payments.

If you are also eligible for the Post 9/11 GI Bill®, you must choose between the two benefits.


Applying:

  1. Apply early. It can take 45-60 days for the VA to issue a certificate of eligibility.
  2. Email us your certificate of eligibility once you receive it.
  3. Once certified, you will have to use WAVE (or 877-823-2378) to verify your enrollment started on the last calendar day of the month before you receive your payments.

If you don’t have your certificate of eligibility by the time you enroll in classes, make sure we know your intent to use benefits.

Apply for the Montgomery GI Bill Selected Reserve

Survivors and Dependents Educational Assistance, or DEA (Chapter 35).

The Survivors and Dependents Educational Assistance (DEA) or Chapter 35 program offers up to 36 months of education benefits to dependents of veterans with a 100% service-connected disability rating, who died while on active duty, or who died as a result of a service-related condition. A child may generally use the benefit until the age of 26 except in certain cases.


Applying:

  1. Apply early! It can take 45-60 days for the VA to issue a certificate of eligibility.
  2. Email us your certificate of eligibility once you receive it and provide us with your full file number (we can’t find you in the VA’s system without it).

If you don’t have your certificate of eligibility by the time you enroll in classes, make sure we know your intent to use benefits.

Apply for Survivors and Dependents Educational Assistance

Yellow Ribbon Program (YRB) for non-residents.

UW-Madison has a limited number of Yellow Ribbon Program slots to cover fees for Non-resident students who are eligible for the Post 9/11 GI Bill® at 100%. You can use the YRP until your benefit expires.

Contact us once you’ve been accepted to the university to ask about availability – we’ll need your certificate of eligibility to secure a slot.


Applying:

Apply for the Yellow Ribbon Program

Tuition Assistance (TA).

Tuition Assistance (TA) is available for current active duty, Reserve, and National Guard members. The Department of Defense (DoD) has directed a uniform per semester hour cap of $250 for tuition assistance (TA) and an annual ceiling of $4,500.


Applying:
The Services are authorized to establish Service specific eligibility criteria to manage TA funds; therefore, you should first work through your assigned unit to use TA.

Tutorial Assistance.

Tutorial Assistance is a supplement to your regular federal benefit. The monthly rate of tutorial assistance may not exceed the cost of tutoring or $100. The maximum amount payable is $1,200.

There is no entitlement charge for the first $600 under the Montgomery GI Bill. There is no entitlement charge under the Post 9/11 GI Bill® or DEA.

Eligibility:

  • Enrolled at least half-time
  • Deficiency in a course which is part of your declared program
  • Enrolled in the deficient course during the semester or term in which the tutoring is received for the course

Applying:

  1. Find an approved tutor. If your desired subject isn’t listed below, check out the department’s website to look for an approved tutor list.
  2. Complete the application

Tutorial Assistance Application (pdf)

Wisconsin National Guard Grant.

Enlisted members of the Wisconsin Army National Guard may receive 100% of in-state tuition (not including segregated fees) reimbursed while earning their first bachelors degree. A new application form must be submitted every semester.


Applying

Apply for the Wisconsin National Guard Grant (pdf)

More financial aid.

There may be more options to pay for tuition that may help offset the cost of attending UW-Madison.

  • Bucky’s Tuition Promise – A commitment to WI resident students; it guarantees a period of free tuition & segregated fees to incoming freshmen and transfer students whose family’s household adjusted gross income is $60,000 or less.
  • Badger Promise – A commitment to WI resident, first-generation college students; it guarantees a period of free tuition & segregated fees to those who have successfully transferred from any of the two-year UW Colleges or select liberal arts associate degree programs.
  • FASTrack – Designed to assist Wisconsin Badgers from low-income households pay for college through a combination of grants, scholarships, and work-study.
  • Banner – Designed to assist Nonresident Badgers from low-income households pay for college through a combination of grants, scholarships, work-study, and some loan.
  • Scholarships Grants – Students must apply online for UW-Madison scholarships through the Wisconsin Scholarship Hub (WiSH). Scholarships can also come from outside and private sources.
  • Grants – Available from both the Federal and State governments as well as UW-Madison for undergraduate students working towards a first bachelor degree. General eligibility is based on your financial need. Grants do not need to be repaid.
  • Work Study – A federal student aid program that provides part-time employment while you are enrolled in school to help pay your education expenses.
  • Student Jobs – Even if your are not offered Federal Work Study, UW-Madison and the surrounding community are full of opportunities for students to work. Our Student Jobs website is updated daily with new opportunities, both on and off campus.
  • Loans

Explore these Financial Aid options

Certification process overview

During this step of your education benefits applications, eligibility is determined for things like:

  • Enrollment at UW-Madison.
  • The benefits applied for meet criteria.
  • The courses being taken meet degree requirements.
  • Veteran or Veteran Spouse/Child status.
  • Academic GPA requirements.

These will vary based on the kind of benefit applied, and are covered in each specific application.

Explore the certification process

After you apply

The steps after you apply will vary according to the benefits applied for. Details are included in the application process.

Receiving your education benefits

The steps after you apply will vary according to the benefits applied for. Details are included in the guide: “How to best use your education benefits.”

Contact

University Veteran Services
school certifying officials

Call us at:
608-265-4628

Email us at:
veterans@wisc.edu

Location pin for University Veterans ServicesUniversity Veterans Services
333 East Campus Mall
10th floor, Suite 10320
Madison, WI 53715


Monday - Friday
9:00am - 4:00pm

Appointments

Drop-ins are always welcome, but appointments are encouraged.

Current students can make an appointment using Starfish.