The New GI Bill education benefits will be effective for programs starting after August 1, 2009. To be eligible, you must have had at least 90 days of active duty since 9/11/01, or have been honorably discharged after at least 30 days with a service connected disability. Full benefits require 36 months active duty, or discharge from service with a service connected disability, but reduced benefits are available for lengths of active duty between 90 days and 36 months.
The bill covers tuition and fees up to the cost of the most expensive public college in the state. Tuition and fees are paid directly to the school. There is a $1000 per year stipend for books and supplies, and a housing allowance which varies depending on the region. Private colleges can be paid up to the maximum public college tuition and fees and can also participate, through the Yellow Ribbon initiative, in a program which allows colleges to waive tuition and fees above the maximum otherwise allowed. That additional amount will be matched by the government.
VA’s website has more information about the education benefits. You can find this information at
Since the details of the program are still a “work in progress,” you can also sign up for email notifications of changes or developments in the program.