Military Educations Benefits Explained: Post 911 GI Bill and More

If you are looking to further your education and are attached to the military in any way, make sure you take full advantage of your military education benefits, specifically the GI Bill. Don’t let it go to waste. Here are some of the basics of what you should know about your military education benefits and what they can do for you.

Military education benefits you may be eligible for include:

The Post-9/11 GI Bill (New)
The Montgomery GI Bill (Traditional)
The Reserve Education Assistance Program (REAP)

What exactly is the GI Bill?

The GI Bill is actually a variety if bills in place to help active military, veterans and their family members pay for a higher level of education. This involves financial assistance for education-related expenses such as tuition, books, supplies and housing allowances.

David Munõz from Colorado Springs, former Senior Airman/E4 of the United States Air Force, has this to say about the Post 9/11 GI Bill that he is currently using to pay for a 2 year educational program:

“The Government pays my school directly for my tuition and fees, sends me a $500 stipend every semester for books, and gives me a monthly living allowance based on my zip code. All of this allows me to attend school full-time and focus on studies without having to work a full-time job. It’s working out great for me.”

Top 5 Benefits of the GI Bill

The money is totally non-taxable.
It works for a variety of educational program types.
There is usually enough money to cover all educational expenses, and depending on the program, living expenses as well.
With the added funds for living, you may be able to go to school full time and not have to work on the side, allowing you to focus on your studies and finish faster.
It’s good for 10 years after you leave the service and will likely cover your entire educational experience.

What can these benefits be used for?

Vocational or occupational training
Technical training
Undergraduate degrees
Graduate degrees

How do I apply for the GI Bill?

You can apply for the GI Bill with the Department of Veterans Affairs by filling out a simple form.

When and how do I use my benefits?

You can begin using your military benefits after two years of service. Although you can use your educational benefits as an active duty service member, it is advised that you wait until after you have completed your service to get the most out of it.

Who do I contact for more information about military education benefits?

The Department of Veterans Affairs
Your commanding officer
A financial advisor at your chosen college campus

1 – The Post-9/11 GI Bill

The US Department of Veteran Affairs describes the Post-9/11 GI Bill as “financial support for education and housing to individuals with at least 90 days of aggregate service on or after September 11, 2001, or individuals discharged with a service-connected disability after 30 days. You must have received an honorable discharge to be eligible for the Post-9/11 GI Bill.”

If this applies to you, check out this list of approved training opportunities and find something that fits your lifestyle. Career-focused training programs are a great way to get started.

Approved Training for Post-9/11 GI Bill

Graduate and undergraduate degrees
Vocational, technical trades, or career training
On-the-job training, flight training
Correspondence training
Licensing and national testing programs
Tutorial assistance

What might be a little confusing is that they also say training and apprenticeships are not covered under this bill, but are due to be added as of October 1, 2011, along with many other benefits covered under the MGI Bill that were left out of the new bill.

2 – The Montgomery GI Bill

The US Department of Veteran Affairs describes the Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB) as “available for those who enlist in the U.S. Armed Forces. Under Chapter 30, Active Duty members enroll and pay $100 per month for 12 months; and are then entitled to receive a monthly education benefit once they have completed a minimum service obligation. Under Chapter 1606, a reservist must be actively drilling and have a 6-year obligation in the Selected Reserve to be eligible.”

This bill will apply to the majority of military seeking financial assistance for education. It can be used for a variety of educational programs ranging from graduate to vocational studies.

3 – The Reserve Education Assistance Program (REAP)

The US Department of Veterans Affairs explains REAP as a program that “provides educational assistance to members of National Guard and reserve components – Selected Reserve and Individual Ready Reserve (IRR) – who are called or ordered to active duty service in response to a war or national emergency as declared by the President or Congress.”

Eligibility depends on active duty served on or after Sept.11, 2001. If you have served at least 90 consecutive days or an accumulated total of three or more years, you may be eligible for these benefits. Eligibility based on continuous service constitutes payments based on the number of continuous days served, while eligibility based on active duty service accumulation of three or more years constitutes the full allowable payment.

If you are a reservist in any branch of the military, make sure to look into these benefits and take advantage of what you are eligible for; you won’t regret it.

Approved Training for REAP

Undergraduate, graduate, or post-graduate courses
State licensure and certification courses
Courses for a certificate or diploma from business, technical or vocational schools
Cooperative training
Apprenticeship or on-the-job training
Correspondence courses
Independent study programs
Flight training;
Entrepreneurship training
Remedial, deficiency, or refresher courses needed to complete a program of study
Preparatory courses for tests required or used for admission to an institution of higher learning or graduate school

Contact your local College or Technical School to find out how to use your military benefits and get your education today.

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The Educational Benefits of Toddler Crafts

As children grow, you must help them realize their potentials while honing their skills by providing them with good and challenging toddler crafts. As parents, you have to learn with them and research about the topic so that you will be able to make your kids do the kinds of activities where they will learn while having fun. Through this, they will be able to maximize their time doing things that will help them as they grow older and help you figure out where they are good at.

If you are not familiar with various toddler crafts that will suit your children and where they gain lots of benefits from, you may want to dig deeper about the subject first. You will find lots of recommendations about these crafts on the internet. You may want to visit websites or blogs of parents like you and pre-school teachers who can give the best inputs regarding the matter. You must also consult the teachers of your children to help you figure out the kinds of activities that you can make your children do whenever they are at home. They can help you figure out the strengths and weaknesses of your kids and address each with the kinds of crafts that can help them become better and improve on the areas that they find difficult to accomplish or decipher.

Here are some of the educational benefits of various toddler crafts that can inspire you to search more and implement things as soon as possible.

1. They will easily associate images with words.

2. The activities will help them to be able to read faster.

3. They will learn the right colors that should be used depending on the images presented.

4. It will be easier for them to learn how to write and draw.

Educational Benefits of Children’s Teamwork Exercises

There are considerable educational benefits to children’s teamwork exercises – but don’t tell them that! The reality is, by providing a group of children with a challenge to work with, they may improve communication, leadership and problem solving skills – but as far as they know, they’ll just be having a whole lot of fun. A great way to get children working as a team is to involve them in school fundraising. In addition to promoting cohesiveness among a group, this will give the children a shared sense of purpose, as they work together to help raise funds for the improvement of their school.

By having fun together in a challenging atmosphere, children learn to apply themselves, and become incredibly motivated. The team aspect also ensures there is no ‘hiding place’, so all children become involved and have something to contribute. This can be hugely beneficial for quieter children, who will have the opportunity to find their special skill, and gain recognition which they may previously have shied away from.

Similarly, natural extroverts will have a positive platform for their personality, where leadership skills and creative input is very important. Teamwork among children dramatically improves communication, and as a result, empathy. The result can be old breaking down of barriers, new friendships are formed and children are naturally encouraged to work with others perhaps outside their day-to-day clique of friends.

This improved communication, productivity and group dynamic will have a lasting impact on a class setting. There are many schools fundraising ideas which promote team building among kids as well as helping to generate cash for school trips, equipment and improved facilities. Another good fundraising idea is producing your own school Christmas cards.

The team can draw on each child’s talents to design, produce and sell schools Christmas cards,. This can include ideas for themes, painting and drawing, writing of messages, marketing and selling the cards. By involving the various skills and contributions of children, each child is celebrated individually while gaining a sense of belonging to a team.

Taking Advantage Of Learning Toys That Offer Educational Benefits For Your Child

As a parent, you might not realize there are learning toys that offer educational benefits for your child because there are so many different types of playtime options on the market today. When you need useful parenting tips about educating your child, there are learning toys that can help your child reach crucial developmental milestones in a shorter amount of time. The most important thing about taking advantage of learning toys is to understand the benefits they can offer children of all ages, when selected properly.

As a parent of two daughters, I have found that the maze of learning products might seem confusing at first, but there are many toys that offer little in the way of education. While you want your child to have fun and be entertained, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be aware of spending your money on toys that enhance your child’s learning development.

As an example, there are parents that give little thought to some of the video games or electronic toys that are on the market. But you can spend the same amount of money on learning toys and games that will give them a competitive advantage, for years to come. With the proper learning toys, your children can have fun and be entertained for hours, while being challenged, intellectually.

There are educational learning systems that incorporate everything a child wants, including electronic, computer-like toys that feature learning games for children of all ages. You can purchase these learning systems affordably and there are a variety of learning videos, games and DVDs that can be utilized by these educational toys. It doesn’t matter what age your child might be, you can gain the upper hand by considering the expert advice of childhood education specialists. It doesn’t cost any more to challenge your child’s mind and teach them skills they will use for many years to come.

Research has proven that learning toys can give your child an educational advantage that will help them exceed in school and in life. When you might not have the time you would like to take care of teaching your child everything there is to know, it is comforting to know you can take advantage of educational learning toys that are fun and entertaining.

VA Education Benefits for Today

United States veterans earn VA education benefits while in service to their country. It is important to know the regulations of the program and to keep abreast of the latest changes to ensure you have adequate funds to complete your education.

New GI Bill

Recent changes in the GI Bill were made to overhaul the outdated Montgomery GI Bill. The Montgomery Bill, though useful, had far outlived its time, and many of the features of that benefit package were not particularly helpful to prior military personnel.

The new GI Bill was previously called the Post-9/11 GI Bill, and it cures some inadequacies of its predecessor by including tuition payments that go right to the school, a book and supply stipend, and a housing allowance. In other words, it gives you more of the tools you need to undertake successfully your education post-military.

The new benefit became effective August 1, 2009, and veterans are eligible to apply at anytime.

Who is Eligible?

Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine service members that are currently on active duty can use their benefits, as well as members in training overseas. Veterans must have a minimum of 90 days service after 9/11/2001 to be eligible for VA education benefits under the new GI Bill. Reserve members and National Guard members must have a minimum of three years active time since 9/11/2001 to be eligible.

Veterans are deemed eligible by percentage of the maximum amount based upon how long the active duty service was. Finding out what those percentages mean in dollars and cents can help with the decision about which degree or training will work best for the individual situation.

Setting Things Up

Check into the different options for training or educational program. Once the decision is narrowed to just a few choices, verify that these programs are approved to accept VA education benefits. Questions like these can typically be answered by the financial aid office in each particular school. Also, if you need help deciding on a program, meet with a counselor and look at the available degree programs.

Filling out an application is easy. The form is called the Veterans Online Application (VONAPP) by completing form 22-1990. If you are eligible as far as length of service and other than a dishonorable discharge, you do not have to have been eligible or have participated in the old bill to qualify for this new package of VA education benefits.

Once you apply, you can also qualify for a monthly housing allowance equivalent to the amount available to an E-5 with dependents. Of course, active duty military students do not get to double dip on housing.

A few other points of good news:

· You also qualify for an annual book and supply stipend of $1,000.

· You do not have to pay tax on your VA education benefits.

· You can apply and start next semester.

· You now have as long as 15 years to take advantage of the new VA education benefits. Time starts counting as of the day of your discharge from active duty.

If you are a veteran and want to use your VA education benefits, make a call or visit the military specialists at a campus of the school you want to attend. Do bring your DD-214 or Certificate, or your Certificate of Eligibility (this is for 22-0557) if you have already applied.

Denise Gabbard is a Professional Writer and SEO and Social Media Consultant. She believes strongly in taking care of our returning veterans, and urges all veterans to get complete information about VA Education Benefits

The Montgomery GI Bill Has Great Educational Benefits For Active Duty & Selected Reserve

You’re in the military and decided that you wanted to further your education while servicing your country. Many others from the military workforce choose to do this also. You are definitely not alone. The military helps its labor force follow their individual career path by providing training, experience, and financial assistance.

Most of the militia benefit from the Montgomery G.I. Bill rather they are in active duty or in a selected reserve. It really doesn’t matter if you’re in active duty or in a selected reserve because you receive just about the same benefits. The Montgomery G.I. Bill (MGIB) provides each group up to 36 hours of educational benefits. Then, you can use those hours to work towards a degree, certificate, on-the-job training, flight training, and other equivalent courses.

The main difference between MGIB-AD and MGIB-SR is the eligibility of the military workforce. The Selected Reserve is for the members of:

o Army Reserve
o Navy Reserve
o Air Force Reserve
o Marine Corps Reserve
o Coast Guard Reserve
o Army National Guard Reserve
o Air National Guard

Yet, those who are on active duty get the option of the $600 Buy-Up Program unlike those using MGIB-SR. Service members can add an additional $600 to the G.I. Bill. In result, they would receive an increase in their monthly benefits. Just by adding $600 to your G.I. Bill you can get a return of up to $5400 worth in additional MGIB benefits.

Each of these benefits helps you financially get through school. It’s made very simple for all military personnel. The hardest part is applying, only because that takes time.

I found a great source that will help you with further information on how to claim your GI Bill Benefits if you are eligible.

The Educational Benefits of an Outdoor Kid’s Playhouse

Among the many benefits of an outdoor kid’s playhouse, that which many parents fail to appreciate is connected to their education. In fact, the educational benefits of an outdoor kid’s playhouse are possibly more important than the social benefits and those connected with their physical development.

Most children would rather play than do schoolwork, particularly the younger children. To take that further, even more would rather play in an outdoor playhouse than do their homework, and you might even hesitate installing an outdoor wooden playhouse for your child just for that reason. However, are you sure you know your kids well enough to make that assumption?

The Outdoor Playhouse Learning Environment

In fact, if you did build or purchase a kid’s playhouse in your backyard, and furnished it with some chairs and table, you might be pleasantly surprised. Your children love being outdoors, and paradoxically probably love even more being inside their own outdoor playhouse. Even though they are inside a playhouse they still look upon it as being outside, if you get the drift, and so how do you think they would react to doing their homework in an environment they love without the stress of being inside when their friends are outside playing?

Statistics show that they will love it. Your kids will love doing their homework in their own kid’s ‘school’ playhouse, and might even play at one being the teacher and the others the pupils while do their homework. Once the schoolwork is over, the playhouse turns into a castle, a doll’s house or a witch’s house. However, the important factor is that for the time needed, it was their own schoolroom and their homework got done. Not rushed, but completed properly!

The school has been taken out of their schooling, so it is a unique way of them doing their homework. They can do it at their own table and chair, they can use the playhouse loft area or even lie on a beanbag by an open window. They can use their imagination as they do in their play, because in a certain way, doing homework in their outdoor playhouse is a form of play.

A Rewarding Experience

You can design a form of rewarding your son or daughter, such as each homework hour could be rewarded with an extra hour playing in the playhouse. Or perhaps two hours of play for each hour of homework? Maybe they can save up the hours earned for a whole day in their outdoor playhouse some weekend. That is one way of teaching your child time management and responsibility.

Nevertheless, even if you don’t apply any reward scheme, your children will love using a kid’s playhouse for their homework. It appears so adult to them, doing their own work in their own small house just like mummy and daddy do, and a kid’s playhouse can provide you with many benefits connected with your children’s development.

Apart from the social benefits in learning how to get along with other children and share tasks, there are the educational benefits. These are not just connected with the fact that the homework actually gets done properly, and not rushed just before teatime or bedtime.

An appreciation of how to use their time properly is a definite benefit, and so is the concept of work bringing rewards. These concepts will help throughout their entire time in education, from junior school, through high school to university or college. If your children can develop from an early age the concepts of the importance of focusing their study during quiet time and of the rewards that such study bring, then they will be a good foundation for their future, and you will have done well as a parent.

It is amazing how varied the benefits of a kid’s outdoor playhouse can be, and by installing a wooden playhouse in your backyard you will not only make your kids love you for it, but will also be laying the foundation for a sound academic future.

Educational Benefits of Juggling and Circus Skills

Please note that the words “juggling” and “circus skills” are interchangeable on this page. The art of throwing objects in the air such as balls, rings and clubs, as well as manipulating objects such as diabolo, devil stick, spinning plates all offer the same benefits for willing pupils!

EDUCATIONAL BENEFITS

Improves and Increases:

Mathematic Skills
Physics (newtons Laws etc)
Performance and Drama
Appreciation of the Arts
Techniques of Learning
Concentration
Imagination and Creativity
Problem Solving
Dyslexia

Cognitive Benefits – To succeed in juggling, students must understand a pattern, set targets for their throws and work on the rhythm and timing of their throws.

The evidence for many Educational Benefits can be found in the book: Teaching Elementary Physical Education – by Robert P.Pangrazi.

A great break in the daily routine – During extensive academic work periods (such as daily lunch breaks from work/studies), physically active study (such as juggling) can help students return to their work/studies feeling refreshed and more productive. Kinaesthetic and Physically active learners will love to learn juggling especially! If you introduce juggling breaks/intervals into your regular studies/school day, then you will see these types of learners improve academically!

Appreciation of the Arts – Once you have seen how easy juggling is to learn the basics, then you begin to see how many hundreds of thousands of tricks are out there for you to master. Any time you see someone juggling, you then begin to appreciate the amount of time and effort they will have put into achieving such a routine! If students work on putting together a show at the end of their workshop, they begin getting a small glimpse of what it is like to work in the entertainment industry.

Imagination and Creativity – once you get involved with juggling, you can let your imagination run wild and experiment with the tricks you have learned. You may end up inventing a new trick, or even just a different way of achieving a trick just by imagining different patterns and different routines that may be possible!

Good for your brain – Studies have shown that people who challenge their brains and use them for complex tasks throughout their life have a reduced incidence of alzheimers disease.

Improves Student Behaviour – Schools with juggling programmes tend to report quite satisfactorily that student behaviour has improved amongst the pupils who tend to create the most trouble.

Helps Dyslexia – It has long been thought that juggling can help disabilities such as dyslexia, attention deficit disorders and hyperactivity. This is through the knock-on effect of all the other benefits such as improved concentration, problem solving etc.

Problem Solving – Students learn to break each juggling trick down into its small component parts, learn each of the parts, then learn how to combine each part to form the trick. If they get stuck at any particular point in juggling, they can guarantee that someone more experienced will be able to offer advice to help further.

Juggling Can Boost Brain Power – Learning to juggle can cause changes in the brain, scientists have found. Using brain scans, the researchers showed that in 12 people who had learnt to juggle, certain brain areas had grown. But three months later, during which time people stopped juggling, the brain had gone back to its normal size. To read more on this amazing discovery, please visit the article on the BBC News Website.

I have also written articles about the Social & Physical Benefits of Juggling. Links to all the further research can be found here Benefits of Juggling and Circus Skills

Veterans and Education: Are Our Veterans Getting the Education Benefits They Deserve?

In honor of Veterans Day and those who have served our country, we’d like to take some time to look at the educational benefits available to veterans and the men and women who currently serve. Veterans returning from military service are enrolling in college programs in record numbers, but many of our veterans are finding the college experience far less than favorable. They’ve fought for our country honorably – they shouldn’t have to fight for their education benefits too.

Let’s take a look at the education benefits available and how colleges across the nation are working to improve the services they extend to our veterans all the way from World War II to Iraq and Afghanistan.

The implementation of the new GI Bill, renamed the Post-9/11 GI Bill, helps to connect American’s veterans to higher education by significantly expanding the education benefits available to veterans. The new GI Bill helps veterans to earn their degree by paying the full tuition and fees at over 4,000 colleges and providing a monthly living and book and supply stipend.

But many still find that the government’s education programs for service members are inadequate. A loophole in the Bill can often make student loans non-deferrable. Loans can be deferred during times of military service, but when student loans are held by multiple banks, the deferment process can often be undermined. Roy Brown and Eli Williamson, two Army vets, decided to help. Brown and Williamson created Leave No Veteran Behind, a non-profit organization that helps struggling veterans manage their debt and pay off their loans. Loans that veterans take out before entering the service and classes that are interrupted by deployment, for example, are not covered under the GI Bill. The pair recently helped 26-year Air Force veteran Doris Barren, now 51, pay off her entire $5,000 student loan. As they see it, it’s one down, one million to go.

The “culture shock” of reclamation to the civilian world of college campuses is also difficult for veterans, a recent study from the National Survey of Student Engagement found. The transition from military to civilian life is unquestionably hard and the reported lack of support on college campuses can only make the transition more difficult. Of 11,000 veterans surveyed, many reported feeling “disconnected” from the school they attend. The report suggests that college campuses and administration seek out ways of more effectively engaging veterans and providing them with “supportive environments that promote success.” Brian Hawthorne, a student veteran who served twice in Iraq with the Army and is now a graduate student at George Washington University urges educators to understand the differences between veterans and traditional college students, and to provide student veterans with the network of support systems they need.

Many colleges are trying to combat these issues and make the higher education process and experience easier for veterans in hopes that, one day, organizations like Leave No Veteran Behind will be out of work. Colleges have traditionally given honor students and athletes first dibs on classes or “priority registration.” Now, across the nation, student veterans are being given the same opportunity. Prominent ground colleges, like the University of Arizona, are giving veterans the opportunity to register for classes early, ensuring that the classes they want and need to take are available. In 2009, the state of California mandated that all state schools give veterans and current service members priority registration. Additionally, online schools offer veterans a multitude of education opportunities with flexible class scheduling and extensive student services.

A number of corporations are also trying to increase the availability of education benefits for veterans by donating millions of dollars to veteran education programs. Microsoft has given $2 million in cash and $6 million in cutting-edge software to organizations that provide veteran education, skill training and job placement. The money will also be used for services such as career counseling and childcare. An officer in the Navy for nine years, Ross Janson is one veteran who has taken advantage of the Microsoft funding. Janson is taking computer and technology courses at Veterans Inc., one veteran’s organization that received Microsoft funding, to prepare himself for a civilian job in an increasingly tech-driven economy.

Department store super-power Wal-Mart has also contributed, giving $10 million over a five-year period to non-profit organizations that offer veterans job training and higher education or continuing education opportunities. J.C. Penny recently gave $1 million for 5,000 veterans to purchase business clothes for their new civilian workplace. Robert Kotick, CEO of Activision Blizzard, the gaming company which produces popular video games like Call of Duty, was persuaded by the sheer number of unemployed veterans to establish a $1 million foundation to support them. The company recently announced an additional $1 million gift.

Student Veterans of America, a student run organization which helps student veterans transition into college and earn their degree, is one of the countless student-run organizations that many colleges offer to their veterans. There are currently 300 college chapters and Michael Dakduk, the deputy executive director of the organization, hopes that the number of chapters nationwide continues to expand. Through his work, Dudak says what amazes him the most is the number of veterans “succeeding, despite the obstacles.”

So on this Veterans Day, remember that giving back to those who have served and protected our nation through war and strife is the most important thing that we as a nation can do. By continuing to offer veterans educational benefits and increasing these benefits as early and often as possible, we can honorably serve those who have so honorably served us.

Educational Benefits of US Army Service – Beyond the GI Bill

When most people think of education and the Army they immediately think of the GI bill, but veterans and US Army active duty personnel are entitled to more. With choices including the Reserve Educational Assistance Program (REAP), the Post Vietnam Era Veterans’ Educational Program (VEAP), and the Montgomery GI Bill you will be able to pursue your professional dreams with Army support. Protecting our country is an important job, and the time you give the US Army should not keep you from reaching long-term professional goals. Your Army service can actually become the doorway to an educational future that might not otherwise be in reach.

Respecting Our Army Veterans

The US Army is committed to honoring the service of its dedicated service people and has tools available to guide you step-by-step to the best choice or combination of benefit programs for you. Some of the important determining factors in selecting the right combination are the length of your active service, whether you desire to attend school full or part time, and if you need a housing allowance. Take advantage of the planning tools the Army offers on its easy to navigate site to consider different combinations.

Since the Army made changes in 1984 to the GI Bill, creating the Montgomery GI Bill, benefits available to veterans have only improved and choices expanded. In exchange for active duty US Army personnel forfeiting $100 pay per month for a year to the Montgomery GI program they receive a significantly increased educational benefit for 36 months.

The Army makes this option even more attractive by including a buy-up option. While on active duty US Army service personnel can contribute up to $600 toward their Montgomery Bill. The Army matches this contribution 8 to 1, for every dollar the service person contributes, the Army contributes 8. What investment has a return of this magnitude!

US Army Support

The Army understands the importance of having time to adjust to life outside the service. Reconnecting with family and finding jobs and housing can be a challenging adjustment when leaving. US Army veterans have up to 10 years to use these benefits. There are informal and formal educational opportunities while in the Army that simply can’t be measured.

Training experienced during your Army service would cost you thousands of dollars in the civilian world. When you add to that the significant educational support the US Army offers for its active personnel and veterans and the Army is a choice that simply can’t be beat.