Applying for Post 9/11 GI Bill® education benefits

The steps involved in applying for education benefits from the Post 9/11 GI Bill®, also known as Chapter 33.


The Post 9/11 GI Bill® provides up to 36 months of assistance to veterans and active duty service members with 90 days aggregate active duty (excluding entry and skill training) after September 11th, 2001. It can also be transferred to dependents before the veteran leaves service.

When should you apply?

Apply for the Post 9/11 GI Bill® at the same time you apply to UW-Madison, or as soon as possible after applying.


It can take 45-60 days for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to issue a certificate of eligibility.

The certificate is one of the necessary steps in the process to complete before you receive any benefits.

Three military connected students holding up the American Flag

Things to do first

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1. Determine what education benefits you may be eligible for.

2. Gather the following documents and information.

  • Social Security number.
  • Bank account direct deposit information.
  • Education and military history.
  • Basic information about the school or training facility you want to attend or are attending now.

3. Explore the other federal benefits you might be eligible for.

There are several other federal benefits to explore, including the Fry Scholarship for the children and surviving spouses of service members.

Other federal benefits

4. Apply for, and explore Financial aid.

First complete The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). It’s the first step in applying for other types of financial aid, which can be used in addition to the Post 9/11 GI Bill®.

Apply for FAFSA       Types of Financial Aid

Other types of financial aid might include

  • Bucky’s Tuition Promise – A commitment to Wisconsin 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 Wisconsin 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

5. Start the certification process.

This is a step where you tell UW-Madison what types of education benefits you plan to use. The courses you choose to take need to be “certified” in order to receive your full benefits.

There are more steps you’ll need to take in the future to complete the certification process, which will be explained on this page.

Start the certification process

How eligibility works

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) determines eligibility. Academic institutions like UW-Madison don’t determine eligibility. For questions on eligibility or the status of your certification, contact the VA.

Explore which active duty time counts towards your Post 9/11 GI Bill®.

Eligibility for Active Duty Veterans    Eligibility for Reserves & National Guard    Eligibility for Service Academy & ROTC graduates

What does the GI Bill cover?

The benefit pays the in-state cost of tuition, a monthly housing allowance, and a book stipend. Based on eligibility, benefit users can have 50-100% of costs covered.

The benefit can also be used to reimburse fees for tests like the SAT or ACT.

See how much you can get covered at UW-Madison using the GI Bill comparison tool.

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Test fees that are covered

You can use part of your education benefit to be reimbursed the cost of certain tests for licensing/certification or national tests. Common national tests include:

  • SAT (formerly “Scholastic Assessment Test”).
  • ACT (American College Testing).
  • TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language).
  • GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test).
  • GRE (Graduate Record Examination).
  • LSAT (Law School Admission Test).
  • MCAT (Medical College Admission Test).

Executive & Evening MBA Students

Students in our Executive or Evening MBA programs are charged fees for international travel each semester the Post 9/11 GI Bill® will not cover. To get a better idea of this cost, please contact our office or the admissions staff for your respective program.

Applying and tuition costs

Applying

The application is made through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) website.

In addition to the online application, you can also choose to apply by mail, in person, or with the help of a trained professional through the VA website.

The GI Bill helps pay tuition for eligible veterans

Tuition costs

Tuition rates are published for each semester. The cost of attendance is an estimate of tuition, fees, course materials, books, housing, and more.

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Resident rates.

You will be charged equal to the in-state tuition rate if any of the following applies to you:

  • You are a veteran, living in Wisconsin, and begin using your Post 9/11 GI Bill®.
  • You are the dependent of a veteran, living in Wisconsin, and you begin using your transferred Post 9/11 GI Bill®.

If you exhaust your Post 9/11 GI Bill®, UW-Madison will continue to charge you equal to the in-state rate through the completion of your degree.

Non-Resident Coverage for In-State Tuition

Yellow Ribbon Program (YRP) 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 Yellow Ribbon Program 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.

Apply for the Yellow Ribbon Program

Apply for financial aid too

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

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

How to apply for FAFSA

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Maximizing your financial aid.

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 Federal Post 9/11 GI Bill® won’t 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 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

Complete the certification process

This step is after the applying, and before you receive your education benefits.  The courses you choose to take need to be “certified” in order to receive your full benefits.

The process includes:

  1. Selecting your benefits in MyUW Student Center.
  2. University Veterans Services verifying your courses meet degree requirements.
  3. University Veterans Services certifying you to the VA.

After you apply

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1. Receive an Certificate of Eligibility (this may take 45-60 days after applying).

The Department of Veterans Affairs will most email your Certificate of Eligibility (COE), also known as an award letter.  Save this email.

You can also choose to be mailed a paper Certificate of Eligibility

If you need a replacement Certificate:

  • Call the VA Education Call Center at 888-442-4551, Monday through Friday, 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. CT.

For questions on eligibility or the status of your certification, contact the VA.

2. Create an electronic version of the Certificate of Eligibility.

If you were sent an electronic version of the Certificate, you can skip this step.

If you received a paper copy, scan the Certificate and save it as a PDF. Alternatively, take a photo of the Certificate.

3. Upload any relevant documents into MyUW Student Center

These documents might include:

Upload the documents into the MyUW Student Center, and select “Veterans Benefits.”

Login to MyUW Student Center

Receiving your education benefits

After you apply, and successfully complete the certification process, you’ll receive your benefits. For returning students, you’ll need to confirm what benefits you want each semester.

Roles and responsibilities

Student
responsibilities


  • Applying for education benefits
  • Confirming benefits each semester
  • Enrolling in courses required for your program(s)
  • Providing UW-Madison any relevant documentation

University Veteran Services responsibilities


  • Advising on the proper use of benefits
  • Certifying enrollment through VA policy
  • Contacting you if we encounter any issues

Department of Veteran Affairs responsibilities


  • Determining eligibility for benefits
  • Processing certification
  • Issuing payment to you, the school, or both

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.