Education and Training
Massachusetts Department of Higher Education
The Department of Higher Education is designated by law as the State Approving Agency (SAA) responsible for approving and supervising programs at educational institutions and training establishments in Massachusetts which offer education and training to veterans and other eligible persons under the GI Bill. These programs must have SAA approval before veterans and other eligible persons may receive educational benefits (GI Bill) from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs under the authority of Title 38, U.S. Code and Chapter 1606 Title 10.
Through outreach and advocacy, the SAA also promotes veterans education and related benefits in Massachusetts so that all veterans, service members, and dependents know what state and federal programs and other resources are available to further their education and training goals. The SAA also informs veterans and students regarding new programs in veterans education. Outreach efforts target veterans and key members of the education and training community to communicate all programs to best meet the needs of our veterans.
State Education Benefits:
Massachusetts veterans as defined by M.G.L. ch. 4 § 7 clause 43, who are not in default of any federal student loans and who are legal residents of Massachusetts may be eligible for any state-supported course in an undergraduate degree program or certificate program offered by a public college or university.
Veterans will be eligible on a space-available basis for a waiver of full or partial tuition based on proper documentation of the eligibility of the veteran. Space availability shall be determined in accordance with normal practices and procedures as published by each institution, i.e., the individual college or university. Contact the veterans’ representative at the college or university for details.
Suffolk University Upeward Bpound Program
Under Chapter 130 of the Acts of 2005, National Guard members are eligible for a waiver of state college and state university fees and tuition. For more information, you may contact the Veterans Representative at the college or university, or visit the University of Massachusetts veterans’ website at: www.umass.edu/veterans.
National Guard Tuition and Fee Waiver
Members of the National Guard are eligible for a waiver of both fees and tuition at all state colleges and universities. Please contact the college or university veterans’ representative for details about this program.
Upward Bound Program
The Veterans Upward Bound (VUB) Program has one location in Massaschusetts: Suffolk University. VUB is a free pre-college program to help veterans develop the academic and person skills necessary for success in a program of post-secondary educations. VUB services include workshops, tutorials, and classroom-based instruction on high school diploma equivalency, computer skills, and developing college and career awareness. All Veterans Upward Bound classes and supplies are free for qualified veterans.
In order to qualify, an applicant must:
- Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident
- Have served over 180 days on active military duty or have a service-connected disability Reservists serving on or after September 11, 2001, shorter terms of service may provide eligibility)
- Have a military discharge other than dishonorable
- Have academic need
- And, applicants must qualify in one of the following two ways:
- They must be a potential first-generation college graduate (their primary caregiver had not graduated from a four-year higher education institution before the applicant turned 18), OR
- They must meet income guidelines for the program. These are based on federal taxable income and family size. Please call for detailed guidelines.
For eligibility requirements, contact:
Veterans Upward Bound Program
73 Tremont, Suite 7025
Boston, MA 02108
Federal Education Benefits:
Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment
The Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Program assists veterans who have service-connected disabilities with obtaining and maintaining suitable employment. The program will provide veterans with education, training, assistance with finding employment, and other services which are determined by the veteran’s skills and employment goals. Independent living services are also available for severely disabled veterans who are not currently ready to seek employment. Additional information is available on VA’s website at: http://www.vba.va.gov/bln/vre/.
A veteran must have a VA service-connected disability rated at least 20 percent with an employment handicap, or rated 10 percent with a serious employment handicap, and be discharged or released from military service under other than dishonorable conditions. Service members awaiting medical separation from active duty may also apply if their disabilities are reasonably expected to be rated at least 20 percent following their discharge.
The Montgomery G.I. Bill provides certain education benefits to eligible veterans for many different education programs, including college, graduate degrees, vocational and apprenticeship training. Most G.I. Bill benefits expire 10 years after the date a veteran left military service. For a complete list of educational programs, visit: http://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill/.
To be eligible for the G.I. Bill, veterans must generally have served on active duty after June 30, 1985, had their military pay reduced by $100 a month for first 12 months, and meet certain minimum service requirements. For a complete list of eligibility criteria visit the VA website at: www.gibill.va.gov. For more information about how to your G.I. Bill benefits call 1-888-GI-BILL-1 (1-888-442-4551) to speak to a benefits counselor.
Post-9/11 Veterans Education Assistance Act of 2008
The Post-9/11 G.I. Bill provides education benefits to individuals who served on active duty on or after September 11, 2001. This federal program provides increased benefits for veterans pursuing an approved education program at an approved degree-granting institution. You may be eligible if you served at least 90 days on active duty and were honorably discharged, released and placed on the retired list or transferred for further service in the Fleet Reserve, Fleet Marine Corps Reserve or other reserve component of the Armed Forces.
Benefits under the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill include payment for a percentage of tuition and fees, monthly housing, and books and supplies. This federal benefit has state-specific implications since the cost of tuition and fees varies by state and is based on the highest in-state undergraduate rate. A monthly housing allowance based on the zip code of the college/university and a book stipend of $41.67 per credit of up to 24 credits or $1,000 per academic year is also part of the program. For more information, download and view a VA brochure at: http://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill/docs/pamphlets/ch33_pamphlet.pdf
VA Regional Office
P.O. Box 4616
Buffalo, NY 14240-4616
Toll-free: 1-888-GI-BILL-1 (1-888-442-4551).
If you qualify for the Post 9/11 GI Bill and your school participates in the VA’s Yellow
Ribbon Program, you may qualify for additional benefits. For more information visit:
Disabilities and Education
If you have a documented disability, your educational institution may be required to provide you with certain accommodations, if you notify them of your situation. Even if you do not have a disability under military or VA standards, you may still have a disability that qualifies for accommodations in an academic setting. Also, not all disabilities as determined by the military or VA will qualify for accommodations in academic settings. The U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights is responsible for ensuring that postsecondary institutions comply with federal civil rights laws, including those that protect individuals with disabilities. For more information on your rights, visit www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/letters/back-to-school-2008.html.