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Welcome to Veteran Education Benefits 101, where we’ll be taking an in-depth look at how the G.I. Bill and the Military Tuition Assistance program can help cover the cost of your graduate education at The University of Texas at Austin.

UT Austin is the ideal academic home for veterans and service members who want to continue serving their community as mechanical engineers. We’ve taken every measure to ensure that our Executive Master of Arts in Mechanical Engineering offers as much value as possible to our graduates, many of whom are veterans. Education benefits make our program that much more appealing to veterans who aspire to lead in the field of mechanical engineering.

All About the G.I. Bill

The G.I. Bill, officially known as the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944, has helped veterans and their families cover tuition costs since the end of World War II. Passed in 2008, the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill expands on these benefits and allows unused benefits to be transferred to a spouse or child. Altogether, there are four G.I. Bill programs mechanical engineering students may qualify for:

  • Post-9/11 G.I. Bill
  • Montgomery G.I. Bill Active Duty (MGIB-AD)
  • Montgomery G.I. Bill Selected Reserve (MGIB-SR)
  • Survivors’ and dependents’ assistance

Which G.I. Bill Is Right for You?

Choosing which G.I. Bill program to apply for can be challenging if you’re eligible for more than one education benefit. Keep in mind that you can only receive one benefit at a time, although that may not be the case for long. Don’t worry, though! Receiving the maximum education benefits allowed by the Department of Veterans Affairs (V.A.) is as simple as doing a little comparing and contrasting.

Post-911 Bill vs. Montgomery G.I. Bill

Both the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill and the MGIB-AD provide up to 36 months of tuition assistance, but only the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill will cover the full cost of your tuition at UT Austin (if you qualify for the maximum benefit) while paying a housing allowance based on 50% of the national average. Considering that it can also cover the cost of books, supplies and relocation fees, applying for the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill is often, but not always, the better option.

If you’re ineligible for 100% of the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill, you may be better off applying to the MGIB-AD. Here’s something else to consider: If you took part in the $600 MGIB Buy-Up program, you’ll only receive additional benefits through the Montgomery G.I. Bill.

Survivors and Dependents

A veteran’s dependent or surviving spouse or child may be eligible for education benefits through the Fry Scholarship or the Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance (DEA) program. Benefits can help cover the cost of tuition, housing, books and supplies, but in a similar fashion to the G.I. Bill, individuals can only choose one when applying.

Applying for G.I. Bill Benefits

We encourage you to use the G.I. Bill Comparison Tool to estimate your benefits and pick the G.I. Bill program that’s right for you. Consider that while the Montgomery G.I. Bill offers 36 months of benefits, the MGIB-AD offers far higher payment rates than the MGIB-SR, which is open to Reserve and National Guard members. A little due diligence can go a long way toward receiving the maximum education benefits you’re entitled to.

To apply for G.I. Bill benefits, you’ll first need to be admitted to UT Austin and registered for courses. You’ll then complete and submit the G.I. Bill Questionnaire and submit any supporting documents using G.I. Bill Document Uploads. If you’re using Montgomery G.I. Bill benefits, you’ll also need to verify your attendance with the V.A. Payments sent via direct deposit should arrive within 10 days of verifying your enrollment. UT Austin’s Veteran and Military Affiliated Services can walk you through the benefits application and certification process if needed.

All About Tuition Assistance

Available to active duty, National Guard and Reserve Component service members in all four service branches and the U.S. Coast Guard, the Military Tuition Assistance program is another resource that may help cover the cost of your education at UT Austin. Tuition assistance pays up to:

  • $250 per semester credit hour
  • $4,500 per fiscal year (October 1 through September 30)

While V.A. education benefits remain available years after a service member has left the military, tuition assistance is only available to students while they’re on active duty, so it’s best to take advantage of it while you can. In the event that tuition costs exceed what’s covered by tuition assistance, students can use Tuition Assistance Top-Up and pay the difference with funds from the MGIB-AD or the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill. This will, however, impact the amount of funding available after they’ve left the military. Again, we recommend that students use the G.I. Bill Comparison Tool to ensure that G.I. Bill benefits will cover their needs once they leave the military.

Click on the link to your corresponding branch for more information on tuition assistance eligibility requirements and the application process:

Rise Through the Ranks at UT Austin

Over 1,000 veterans, service members and family members are using their G.I. Bill benefits to attend UT Austin, and you can be the latest to join their ranks. UT Austin’s 100% online MS in mechanical engineering program can help you transition to a career where your communication, leadership and problem-solving skills will be appreciated and rewarded. As a graduate student, you’ll be eligible to receive education benefits from the G.I. Bill or V.A. Tuition Assistance, and as a mechanical engineer, you’ll continue to serve your community by overcoming engineering challenges standing in the way of technological progress.  

Ready to join your fellow veterans and service members at UT Austin? Apply to our 100% online MS in mechanical engineering program to pursue a worthwhile career as an engineering leader.


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