If you've served in the military, you may now be wondering about the next steps for your professional life. Luckily, many new veterans are eligible for the Post-9/11 GI Bill, which helps fund school tuition or job training. Many veterans end up finding passion in business and are able to use the GI Bill to earn a Master of Business Administration degree, kickstarting a prolific career. If you're a business-oriented veteran looking to spruce up your skills with a degree, keep reading to learn how to make the most of your GI Bill to do so.
Why an MBA?
Before we get into the process of using the GI Bill to get an MBA, let's talk about why you should get an MBA at all.
First, you'll make a great applicant. Roughly 4% of MBA applicants are veterans, which adds up to about 5,400 people. That's enough like-minded people to form a solid support network, but certainly a small enough population that you'll stand out from non-veteran MBA applicants. Plus, the military will have instilled in you discipline, an eye for detail, and technical skills that will put you at a great advantage in business school.
Second, having an MBA will broaden your job prospects. Many people, veterans included, think that they can manage a business given their passion alone. While passion will get you a long way, business school training is invaluable. You'll learn specific managerial skills, niche softwares that are standard in the industry, and most importantly, you'll build a lot of connections. Once you earn the MBA, you'll be well equipped to either run your own small business or take over positions at larger companies.
Am I Eligible?
Once you've decided that an MBA is right for you, the next step is to confirm if you're eligible for Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits. The most typical way military personnel become eligible for these benefits is by having served at least 90 days on or after September 11, 2001. However, you are also eligible if you served for at least 30 days with a disability-related honorable discharge, or if you received a Purple Heart after any amount of service. These benefits can also be transferred by a veteran to a dependent child. Eligible veterans can receive up to 36 months of benefits, which may include tuition as well as fees for housing, books and supplies, and moving. These costs vary for each person, though, so visit the official VA website for more info.
Additionally, some veterans may receive additionally benefits under the Yellow Ribbon Program. This is key for those who want an MBA, as Yellow Ribbon can cover out-of-state, private school, and graduate school costs that are not covered by the Post-9/11 Bill. To receive Yellow Ribbon benefits, you must qualify for the maximum Post-9/11 Bill benefits and also attend a school that offers the Yellow Ribbon Program. You can find out more here.
How to Use the Post-9/11 GI Bill
If you're eligible, getting the Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits is pretty simple. First, you'll have to apply for education benefits. You start with a simple questionnaire that determines which forms you must fill out. Once you submit those forms, you will find out about your benefits around 30 days later. Upon receiving your Certificate of Eligibility, you can submit it to your school, who will make a determination on your Yellow Ribbon benefits.
It's as simple as that! With all these potential benefits, you may be able to attend business school and earn an MBA for next to no cost. Then, you'll be poised to pursue your passion and enjoy a profitable career. There is no better time and no better way to get rewarded for your service in the military. For even more financial tips for veterans, stay up to date with the PS Group.