Types of Veterans Affairs' Programs:
The Department of Veterans Affairs administers several educational programs. Each program is referred to by the chapter of the law creating it. Below is a general description of the programs.
Chapter 30: The Montgomery GI Bill - Active Duty is the most common and newest program. It is for individuals who have been on Active Duty since July 1, 1985, and who paid into an education fund for one year. Students receive 36 months of full-time benefits.
Chapter 31: Vocational Rehabilitation is for disabled veterans who go through a testing process to determine if they are eligible for the benefit. If eligible, the VA sends an Authorization to McNeese. Full tuition, fees, books, and possibly even parking are paid by the VA to the school. In addition, the student gets a monthly check depending on training status.
Chapter 35: The Dependents' Educational Assistance Program is the only benefit for individuals without military service. It is for the dependents of a member of the Armed Forces who died while on active duty or as the result of a service-connected disability, or is 100 percent permanently and totally disabled for a service-related reason. Dependents have a VA file or claim number that is related to the parent or spouse under whom they are eligible.
Chapter 1606: The Montgomery GI Bill - Selective Reserves (formerly Chapter 106) is for individuals in the Selected Reserve or National Guard (not on active duty). They must be currently and actively drilling and under a 6-year contract. They are only eligible for benefits as long as they remain in the reserves.
Chapter 1607: REAP (Chapter 1607 of title 10 U.S. Code) is a new benefit providing educational assisstance to members of the reserve components - Selected Reserve (Sel Res) and Individual Ready Reserve (IRR) - who are called or ordered to active service in response to a war or national emergency, as declared by the President or Congress. This new program makes certain reservists who were activated for at least 90 days after September 11, 2001 either eligible for educational benefits or eligible for increased benefits.
For more information, about veterans' educational benefits:
Visit the Department of Veteran Affairs' website at www.gibill.va.gov or call 1-888-GIBILL-1
Visit the McNeese State University Veterans Affairs Office located in Kaufman Hall or call 337-475-5625.