Many Veterans and service members turn to higher education to further develop their skills and careers both in and out of uniform. There are a variety of education benefits and resources provided by both the federal government and the State of Utah. These benefits can be in the form of tuition funds, scholarships, educational programs, or other financial aid.
Federal Education Benefits
VA education benefits help Veterans, service members, and their qualified family members with needs like paying college tuition, finding the right school or training program, career counseling, and covering other education expenses. Below you will find details on the most commonly used education benefits from the Federal Government. Learn how to apply for and manage the education and training benefits you've earned at www.va.gov/education.
The Post-9/11 GI Bill® helps Veterans pay for school, job training, housing and other education expenses. You may be eligible if you meet at least one of the requirements listed below.
At least one of these must be true:
- You served at least 90 days on active duty (either all at once or with breaks in service) on or after September 11, 2001, or
- You received a Purple Heart on or after September 11, 2001, and were honorably discharged after any amount of service, or
- You served for at least 30 continuous days (all at once, without a break in service) on or after September 11, 2001, and were honorably discharged with a service-connected disability, or
- You’re a dependent child using benefits transferred by a qualifying Veteran or service member
You can receive up to 36 months of benefits, including:
- Tuition and fees. If you qualify for the maximum benefit, the VA will cover the full cost of public, in-state tuition and fees. Rates for private and foreign schools are capped and those rates are updated each year.
- Money for housing (if you’re in school more than half time)
- Money for books and supplies
- Money to help you move from a rural area to go to school
GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government Web site at https://www.va.gov/
Learn more: Federal VA – Post-9/11 GI Bill®
The Montgomery GI Bill® (MGIB) can help qualified Veterans and active duty members of the military reduce the cost of education and training programs. This benefit can be used to pay for up to 36 months of costs for various educational programs including:
- College degrees (undergraduate and graduate)
- Technical or Vocational Training
- Distance/Online Courses
- Apprenticeships/Job Training
- Flight Training
- Licensing and Certification Tests
- Entrepreneurship Training
- Entrance Examinations
Veterans and current service members may be eligible for education benefits through this program if they were honorably discharged and meet the requirements of one of the four categories outlined by the VA.
Learn more: Federal VA – Montgomery GI Bill® (MGIB)
Veterans with a service-connected disability that limits their ability to work or prevents them from working, Veteran Readiness and Employment (formerly called Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment) can help. This program helps qualified Veterans explore employment options and address education or training needs. In some cases, your family members may also qualify for certain benefits.
Learn more: Federal VA – Veteran Readiness and Employment
A dependent spouse or child—or a surviving spouse or child—of a Veteran may be eligible for education or job training benefits through a GI Bill program. If you’re the child or spouse of a service member and one of the descriptions listed below is true of the service member.
- The service member died in the line of duty after September 10, 2001, or
- The service member is missing in action or was captured in the line of duty by a hostile force, or
- The service member was detained (held) by force while in the line of duty by a foreign government or power, or
- The service member is in the hospital or getting outpatient treatment for a service-connected permanent and total disability, and is likely to be discharged for that disability. A service-connected permanent and total disability is a disability resulting from your service that doesn’t go away.
You may be eligible for VA education benefits (Chapter 35 benefits) if you’re the child or spouse of a Veteran and one of the descriptions listed below is true of the Veteran.
- The Veteran is permanently and totally disabled due to a service-connected disability, or
- The Veteran died while on active duty or as a result of a service-connected disability
If you’re a dependent who doesn’t meet the above criteria, you may still qualify for VA education benefits if the Veteran or service member transferred some or all of their Post-9/11 GI Bill entitlement to you while they were on active duty.
The Tuition Assistance Top-Up program helps Veterans and service members cover tuition costs that exceed what is covered by Montgomery GI Bill or Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits.
Learn more: Federal VA – Tuition Assistance Top-Up
State Education Benefits
The State of Utah has several education benefits available to Veterans and service members.
The Utah Department of Veterans and Military Affairs is the State Approving Agency for Veterans Education (SAA) for the state of Utah. The SAA performs all duties necessary for the inspection, approval, and supervision of schools, training establishments, and other educational institutions to ensure standards and requirements are met for Veterans utilizing their GI Bill funds. These standards are defined in Title 38, U.S.C.
Learn more: State Approving Agency
Active duty military and veterans that have been released from active service within the 12 months of attending school will receive tuition at the rate of in-state tuition at public degree granting and certificate granting schools. Contact your school admissions office to apply.
The Purple Heart Tuition Waiver provides Purple Heart recipients with a tuition waiver at all public institutions of higher learning in Utah. This benefit can be used toward a degree up to and including a Masters Degree. To receive this benefit the Veteran must submit proof that they are a Purple Heart recipient to the State Institution they are attending. Contact your school admissions office for more information.
The Scott Lundell Military Survivors Tuition Waiver provides that surviving dependents of service members killed in action on or after September 11, 2001 are eligible for a tuition waiver at state schools. Contact your school admissions office for more information.
The Veterans Tuition Gap Program is a supplemental grant provided by the State of Utah that can cover tuition, fees, and books for veterans who are attending institutions of higher education in Utah and whose benefits under the federal program have been exhausted or are not available. Contact your school admissions office for more information.
Members of the Utah National Guard can find education benefits Information and obtain assistance from the UTNG Education Services Office.
Learn more: UTNG - Education Services
The ACE Program is designed to assist Utah veterans, members of the Active Components, actively drilling members of the Guard and Reserve and their respective spouses, overcome barriers to employment or better employment. It is intended to provide an avenue for eligible participants to gain employment in the civilian job market by capitalizing on their past experience, training and knowledge or by assisting them with short-term training that leads to a certificate or license.
Learn more: Accelerated Credentialing to Employment
Utah Educational Institutions
Utah is home to 16 public universities and technical colleges who are happy to serve and assist military and Veterans students utilize their education benefits and receive an education. Visit the links below to learn more about the Veterans support services at each institution.
- Utah State University
- Weber State University
- University of Utah
- Utah Valley University
- Southern Utah University
- Utah Tech University (Previously Dixie State University)
- Salt Lake Community College
- Snow College
- Bridgerland Technical College
- Davis Technical College
- Ogden-Weber Technical College
- Tooele Technical College
- Mountainland Technical College
- Uintah Basin Technical College
- Dixie Technical College
- Southwest Technical College
Accredited Schools Online is a nonprofit organization that provides guides to understanding online degree and certificate options available for Veterans using their GI Bill along with scholarship and additional resources.
Learn more: Accredited Schools Online - Veterans
The American Council on Education reviews military training (courses) and experiences (occupations) with the goal of awarding equivalent college credits for those experiences.
Learn more: ACE - Military Evaluations