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Prospective Students with Military Backgrounds

The State University of New York welcomes students with military experience. Thousands of veterans are enrolled across the SUNY System. A variety of benefits encourage college enrollment for veterans and provides financial assistance to make it easier to pursue higher education. To explore the education benefits you qualify for and complete an application, visit Veterans Affairs (VA) benefits.

The information here will provide an overview of the kinds of benefits that are available to Veterans. Please contact the organizations identified below and/or Financial Aid Offices at SUNY campuses to ask questions or receive additional information.

The New GI Bill

The content below provides detailed information on the new GI Bill for the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America. This organization can be found at The information and chart below are from this Web site.

Post 9/11 Veterans Education Assistance Act (S.22/H.R. 2702)

This proposed benefit will cover the full cost of education at any public school in the country and many private schools. To qualify for the benefits a veteran has to have served at least 90 days of active duty service post-9/11 and have remaining entitlement. Only post 9/11 active duty service counts toward this benefit. Any remaining Chapter 30 or 1607 entitlement can be converted into this new education benefit. There is no requirement to buy-in to qualify and the benefits last for 15 years after separation.

This benefit discards the outdated benefits system and replaces it with a WWII-style GI Bill that provides upfront tuition payments directly to the school, provides a book/supply stipend of $1,000/yr and a monthly living stipend.

The tuition payments can be used at any public or private school but are capped at the cost of the most expensive public school in the state - IAVA's GI Bill Calculator. However, more expensive private schools offering a veterans-only scholarship will see that scholarship matched dollar for dollar up to the full cost of tuition.

The monthly living stipend will be based on the Department of Defense Basic Housing Allowance (BAH) for that region. The stipend will be pegged to the E-5 with a dependent rate for the zip code of the school.


Paid upfront to the school at the beginning of each term

Capped at the tuition cost of the most expensive public school in the state

More expensive schools offering veterans scholarships will be matched dollar for dollar


$1,000/yr. paid upfront and divided by academic term

Monthly Living

Based on DoD's BAH rate for E-5 w/dependent

Using zip code of the college/university

Time to Use Benefit

15 years



Reservists will continue to receive a percentage of the active duty rate based on the length of their active duty service. However, this new benefit will allow reservists to accumulate active duty service from multiple tours (more service = higher benefits). Lastly, every reservist called to active duty will now have 15 years to use their benefits, no longer just those that do 8 years of active duty or select reserve.

90 Consecutive Days

40%   (Tuition, Books, & Living Stipend)

6 Cumulative Months

50%   (Tuition, Books, & Living Stipend)

12 Cumulative Months

60%   (Tuition, Books, & Living Stipend)

18 Cumulative Months

70%   (Tuition, Books, & Living Stipend)

24 Cumulative Months

80%   (Tuition, Books, & Living Stipend)

30 Cumulative Months

90%   (Tuition, Books, & Living Stipend)

36 Cumulative Months

100%   (Tuition, Books, & Living Stipend)

Time to Use Benefit

15 years (see above)

Buy-in Requirement


Scholarships and Awards for Veterans:

The New York State Higher Education Services Corporation (HESC) guarantees federal student and parent loans, offers loan management services, and provides guidance for college planning. In New York State, HESC also administers the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) and other state specific grants and scholarships. HESC provides financial information for veterans called the Military Corner. For any questions, contact HESC at 1-888-697-4372 or e-mail at

Instructions for Students Called to Active Military Duty:

For students who are called to active military duty, need to withdraw from school, or return to school after military duty, the following scenarios detail how to handle your Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL). It is important to contact your school, lender, or guarantor when appropriate.

  1. Withdrawal from school: Contact your school to ask if a full refund or credit (to be used for future classes you take when you return) can be provided to you. If you are being deployed you will need to provide the school with deployment papers from your commanding officer. When you return, the school will work with you to get you re-enrolled in your program. For those students who take out student loans, contact your lender. They will maintain your loans in an "in-school" status for up to three years while you are on active duty. This means your loan will not go into repayment.
  2. Loans that are in the "grace period": Contact your lender. The grace period for your student loan begins the day after you are no longer enrolled in school at least half time. You typically receive a 6-month grace period. Your grace period can be extended for up to three years during the time you are on active duty up until the time you re-enroll in classes.
  3. Loans in repayment:
    • Forbearance: You or a member of your family, need to contact your lender. You are eligible for an initial 15-month forbearance due to a military mobilization. During a forbearance period, no payments need to be made on your student loan. Interest that accrues on your loan during this period will be capitalized (added to the principal of the loan) unless you make arrangements with your lender to make interest only payments.
    • Deferment: For those of you who took out your loans prior to July 1, 1993 or all of your loans were disbursed after July 1, 2001, you may be eligible to receive up to three years of a military deferment (cessation of payments). If you qualify for the military deferments, the government will pay the interest accrued on your subsidized loans. To apply for a deferment, contact your lender.
  4. Loans in Default: You, or a member of your family, need to contact your guaranty agency. Collection activities will cease during your active duty service.


SOCAD is the Servicemembers Opportunity Colleges (SOC) degree program for the Army. It consists of colleges that offer associate and bachelor's degree programs on or accessible to Army installations worldwide.

Troops to Teachers (TTT) - A national program designed to assist eligible military personnel to transition to a new career as public school teachers in targeted schools. Registered participants may be eligible for financial aid. can walk you through one of your biggest decisions. From their college search engine, to their tips and advice columns, you can decide the best path to follow.

Veterans Tuition Awards (VTA) are awards for full-time study and part-time study for eligible veterans matriculated at an undergraduate or graduate degree-granting institution or in an approved vocational training program in New York State.

The Montgomery GI Bill - Active Duty, called "MGIB" for short, provides up to 36 months of education benefits to eligible veterans.

The National Association of Veterans Upward Bound Project Personnel (NAVUBPP) is the professional association for Veterans Upward Bound (VUB) staff personnel. Veterans Upward Bound projects are funded by the U. S. Department of Education and serve eligible veterans across the nation.

Additional Resources:

U.S. Army and Army Reserves

U.S. Navy


National Guard

FinAid (Information for Veterans and their Dependents)


United States Department of Veterans Affairs

Contact Information:

New York State Higher Education Services Corporation (HESC)
99 Washington Avenue
Albany, NY 12255
Telephone: 1-888-697-4372

Department of Veterans Affairs Eastern Regional Office
PO Box 4616
Buffalo, NY 14240-4616
Telephone: 1-888-442-4551

United States Department of Veterans Affairs
Education (GI Bill): 1-888-442-4551
VA Benefits: 1-800-827-1000

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