GI Bill Study Abroad Clarification Issued


Students eligible for college funding under the GI Bill have a wonderful benefit available to them. But with so many people living and working abroad, taking college classes at foreign schools and having those classes covered under the GI Bill has been a challenge.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs the GI Bill.

To clear the confusion and to offer clarification on what the federal government will or will not pay, the Veterans Administration has issued fresh guidelines.

Eligibility Tests

Those guidelines emphasize three “tests” to help eligible recipients determine if they qualify for funding:

1. Students must be enrolled in courses that will apply to their program.

2. The programs at the “host” school in the foreign country must be approved.

3. VA cannot pay any fees specific to studying abroad unless the student is required to study abroad as part of their program.

GI Bill funding can only be used to pay for study abroad if it is a mandatory part of a student’s academic program and those benefits cannot be used to reimburse arbiter study-abroad programs. The VA issued a worksheet detailing the rules affecting study abroad students.

Bill Anniversary

June 22 marked the 66th anniversary of the GI Bill, signed into law by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. That law is formally known as the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944.

Before the second world war, very few Americans could afford to go to college. With the passage of the GI Bill, higher education opportunities were suddenly within reach of millions of Americans. According to government records, 49 percent of college admissions in 1947 involved GI Bill recipients.

Important Changes

By the time the original GI Bill ended, July 25, 1956, 7.8 million of the 16 million World War II Veterans had participated in an education or training program. The bill was revamped in 1984 and again in 2009.

Under the changes approved in 2009, the law gave Veterans with active duty service on, or after, Sept. 11, 2001, enhanced educational benefits to cover more expenses, provide a living allowance, money for books and the ability to transfer unused educational benefits to spouses or children.

For details about the Post-9/11 GI Bill for Veterans, please visit

Adv. — Not a veteran? Visit for student aid information including loans, grants and scholarships.


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