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Many veterans turn to higher education to further their skills and training after serving their country. You can also learn more about student veteran benefits through ODVA by clicking here.

Benefits and Programs

The Oregon National Guard State Tuition Assistance (ONGSTA) program provides 100% funding for tuition at no more than the state residency rate to eligible Oregon Army and Air National Guard members at Oregon public universities and Oregon community colleges. The ONGSTA program provides an additional opportunity for eligible ONG members to obtain an associate or baccalaureate degree without being concerned with the obstacles of paying out of pocket tuition costs.

For more information:

The Veterans Educational Bridge Grant is administered by ODVA to help veterans achieve their educational goals. This grant is specifically designed to provide some support to veterans who find themselves unable to complete their academic or training programs on time, due to the unavailability of a required class or training hours or debt on a student account that prevents registration. As a result, veterans in these programs may be under financial strain and decide to go to work without completing their post-secondary goals.

The Veterans Educational Bridge Grant alleviates some of the financial stress that may be encountered when attempting to complete a program, by offering grants of up to $5,000 to veterans who meet the eligibility requirements (as outlined in OAR Chapter 274).​

For more information: Veterans Educational Bridge Grant webpage

The Post-9/11 GI Bill provides financial support for education and housing to honorably discharged veterans 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. This benefit provides up to 36 months of education benefits; generally benefits are payable for 15 years following your release from active duty.

Who qualifies?

You qualify for this benefit if you:

  • Served at least 90 days aggregate service on Title 10 Active Duty or Title 32 Active Guard Reserve Duty on or after September 11, 2001 or;
  • Were discharged with a service-connected disability after 30 days; and
  • Received an honorable discharge.
  • Maintain enrollment at more than half-time in a VA-approved training program. Programs include undergraduate or graduate degrees, vocational training, licensing and certification exams, in addition to others.

What’s included?

  • Full tuition and fees paid directly to your school (you must be an in-state student attending a public institution).
  • If you attend a private or foreign school, tuition & fees are capped at the national maximum rate of $18,077.50.
  • A Monthly Housing Allowance (MHA) equal to the active duty Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) for an E-5 with dependents. Click here to determine your MHA.
  • If you are attending solely by distance learning, you will receive one half of the BAH national average.
  • MHA is not payable to individuals on active duty or those enrolled at half-time or less.
  • An annual books and supplies stipend of $1,000.
  • A one-time rural benefit payment.
  • Transferability of benefits to dependents and spouses of veterans with six years of active duty service.

For more information: Federal VA: Post-9/11 GI Bill


The Pat Tillman Foundation’s Tillman Military Scholars program is another great resource for removing financial barriers to higher education.

Each year, this program awards a select number of scholarships to veterans across the country to cover not only direct study-related expenses such as tuition and fees, but also other needs, including housing and child care. Both veterans and their spouses are eligible to apply.

For more information:  contact your campus veteran services office or visit Tillman Military Scholarship​

For qualified veterans, the Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB) can be a valuable resource for reducing the cost of education and training programs. This benefit can be used to pay for up to 36 months of costs for many different programs including:

  • College degrees (undergraduate and graduate)
  • Technical or Vocational Training
  • Distance Learning or Correspondence Courses
  • Apprenticeships/Job Training
  • Flight Training
  • Licensing and Certification Tests
  • Entrepreneurship Training
  • Certain Entrance Examinations

Generally, these benefits must be accessed within 10 years of your separation from active duty. Unlike the Post-9/11 GI Bill, the Montgomery GI Bill is not transferable to veterans’ family members.

Who Qualifies?

You may be eligible for this benefit if you have an honorable discharge and you have a high school diploma or GED, and if the nature of your service meets all of the requirements of one of four VA qualification categories.

For more information: Federal VA: Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB) Benefits​

Top-up allows the federal VA to reimburse you for all or a portion of the charges for your college courses that are not covered under certain military education programs. The amount of this benefit can be equal to the difference between the total cost of a college course and the amount of Tuition Assistance (TA) that is paid by the military for the course.

Who qualifies?

To be eligible for the Top-up benefit, you must be approved for federal TA by a military department and be eligible for either Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB) – Active Duty benefits or the Post-9/11 GI Bill.

For more information: Federal VA: Tuition Assistance Top Up​

This federal program provides additional funds toward your education expenses at a number of participating colleges and universities nationwide. It is meant to fill the payment gap in situations where the maximum amount awarded by your Post 9/11 GI Bill falls short of the total cost of attendance at your school.

Institutions voluntarily enter into a Yellow Ribbon Agreement with VA and choose the amount of tuition and fees that will be contributed. VA matches that amount and issues payments directly to the institution, with no additional charge to your GI Bill entitlement. Contact your institution to see if they participate in the Yellow Ribbon Program.

Who qualifies?

To access this benefit, you must:

  • Be entitled to the maximum benefit rate of the Post 9/11 GI Bill.
  • Not be on active duty or a spouse using transferred entitlement.
  • Dependent transferees may be eligible in certain circumstances.
  • Be attending an institution participating in the Yellow Ribbon Program.
  • Your school must certify your enrollment to the VA.
  • ​Your school must have not offered Yellow Ribbon to more than the maximum number of individuals, as stated in their participation agreement.

For more information: Federal VA: Yellow Ribbon Program​

This program, formerly known as Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Services, ​provides benefits and services that enable transitioning service members and Veterans with service-connected disabilities and an employment barrier, to prepare for, obtain and maintain suitable employment, and to the maximum extent possible, achieve independence in daily living. 

This federal VA program provides education and job training to aid your transition back into the civilian workforce. It applies to veterans in general, but also has specific provisions for disabled veterans and their family members.

Find out more: Federal VA: Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Services​

You can receive college credit for certain types of education and training you received in the military, saving you money and time as you pursue your education goals.

All universities and local community colleges throughout Oregon accept guidance from the American Council on Education (ACE), which provides recommendations on how to award academic credit for military training.

To claim college credit for military training, request a transcript from your military service branch and submit it to your local higher learning institution.

Request a transcript: Veterans of the Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, and Navy can access their Joint Services Transcript (JST) online by visiting the JST website.  Air Force veterans should contact the Community College of the Air Force (CCAF)​ to receive transcripts.

Attending college in Oregon is now more affordable for some recently-relocated veterans thanks to an Oregon law eliminating out-of-state education costs. Oregon House Bill 2158, signed into law in the summer of 2013, states that if you are a veteran of the armed forces pursuing undergraduate studies at a public institution in Oregon, you will pay tuition rates and fees no greater than the Oregon resident rate — even if you are not yet considered a permanent resident of the state.

These savings also apply to veterans’ dependents using transferred benefits, as well as orphans of veterans who died on active duty.

Note: Certain online-only programs may be excluded from this program.

This benefit does not apply to graduate students or active duty military members or their dependents.

For Graduate Students

Similar to the above program, HB 4021, signed into law in the spring of 2014, reduces out-of-state tuition costs for nonresident veterans attending graduate school in Oregon.

Under this program, qualified student-veterans will have their nonresident tuition reduced after all other VA benefits and Gift Aid (grants and fee remissions) have been deducted. Loans received through financial aid do not fall into this category.

For more information: contact the veterans’ service office or financial aid office at your local institution.

Are you a veteran seeking training in the construction, industrial or manufacturing trades? If so, you may be able to use your veterans’ educational benefits for apprenticeship programs such as Oregon Apprenticeship Opportunities Statewide.

This program, offered through the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) in partnership with Oregon businesses and local apprenticeship committees, offers career opportunities through paid on-the-job training and education, with a focus on building and industrial career fields.

If an existing apprenticeship program does not have an approved veteran’s program in place, you can coordinate the establishment of a new training program by communicating with an employer and the Apprenticeship and Training Division.

For more information: Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI)​: Apprenticeship and Training Division

This program offers education and training opportunities to eligible dependents of veterans who are permanently and totally disabled due to a service-related condition or of veterans who died while on active duty or as a result of a service-related condition.

Benefits may be used for degree and certificate programs, apprenticeship, and on-the-job training. If you are a spouse, you may take a correspondence course. Remedial, deficiency, and refresher courses may be approved under certain circumstances.

Find more information: Federal VA: Survivors' and Dependents' Education Assistance Program (DEA)​

VEAP is available if you elected to make contributions from your military pay to participate in this education benefit program. The government matches your contributions on a 2-for-1 basis.

Educational programs for which these benefits may be used include college degree and certificate programs, technical or vocational training, flight training, apprenticeships, and licensing and certification tests, as well as various others.

Benefit entitlement is for one to 36 months, depending on the number of monthly contributions. You have 10 years from your release from active duty to use VEAP benefits. If the entitlement is not used after the 10-year period, your portion remaining in the fund will be automatically refunded.

If you are currently on active duty and wish to receive VEAP benefits, you must have at least three months of contributions available.

For more information: Federal VA: Veterans Educational Assistance Program (VEAP)​

You can change your direct deposit and contact information online, by mail or by phone. The following benefit information can be changed:

  • Disability compensation benefits payment and contact information
  • Pension benefits payment and contact information
  • Education benefits payment information
For more info: Federal VA: 

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

Did you know?

11,073 Oregon veterans used federal education benefits in 2015, including almost 9,000 who used the Post-9/11 GI Bill®.
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