Veteran Educational Benefits - Southwestern Illinois College

‘‘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®.”

Required Documents

Apply online through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs website.

Required documents vary according to the chapter that covers your eligibility. For questions about the chapter, contact the SWIC Office of Financial Aid, Veteran Services, & Student Employment at the Belleville Campus at 618-222-5288 or the Sam Wolf Granite City Campus at 618-797-7336.

Chapter 30 Montgomery GI Bill®:  provides up to 36 months of education benefits to eligible veterans

If you are currently in service, you may be eligible after two years of active duty. Please consult with the Education Services Officer at your installation, or call the toll-free number 1-888-442-4551 (1-888-GI BILL 1)®, for information about your eligibility.

If you are separated from service, you may be an eligible veteran if you:

  • Entered active duty for the first time after June 30, 1985;
  • Received a high school diploma or equivalent (or, in some cases, 12 hours of college credit) before the end of your first obligated period of service;
  • Received an honorable discharge;
  • Continuously served for three years, OR two years if that is what you first enlisted for, OR two years if you have an obligation to serve four years in the Selected Reserve AND entered Selected Reserve within a year of leaving active duty.

Note: Different rules apply if you entered active duty before July 1, 1985, and in certain other cases. Call our toll-free number below for more information.

Chapter 1606:  Montgomery GI Bill® Selected Reserve (MGIB-SR)

National Guard and Reserves who have completed the initial Active Duty for training and 180 days of service in the Selected Reserves; may be eligible for up to 36 months of benefit.

Chapter 31- Vocational Rehabilitation Benefits

Program designed to help veterans with service-connected disabilities become suitably employed, maintain employment, or achieve independence in daily living. Services generally last up to 48 months and include counseling, education and training, financial aid, assistance, and, if needed, medical treatment. Eligibility is available for those who served on or after September 16, 1940, those with service-connected disabilities are rated at least 20% by the VA, you need Vocational Rehabilitation to overcome an employment handicap, and it has been less than 12 years since the VA notified you of your qualified SCD.

Chapter 33- Post-9/11 GI Bill®: provides up to 36 months of financial support for education and housing to individuals with

  • At least 90 days of aggregate service after September 10, 2001 or individuals discharged with a service-connected disability after 30 days.
  • You must have received an honorable discharge
  • Some of the benefits of the Post- 9/11 GI Bill® go towards tuition and fees, a monthly housing allowance, books and supplies, and a one-time rural benefit payment.
  • Benefits can be transferred to dependents

Chapter 35- Survivors’ & Dependents’ Educational Assistance

Chapter 35 is an education benefit program for eligible spouses and children of veterans who died, or is permanently and totally disabled, as a result of service and service members missing in action or captured in the line of duty by hostile forces or forcibly detained.

  • Spouses of disabled veterans have 10 years from the date the VA establishes eligibility
  • Those whose spouses died while on active duty have 20 years.
  • Children may use benefits between the ages of 18 and 26.
  • Amount awarded is based on the educational program.

Verification of Enrollment

All students who are receiving either the Active Duty or Selected Reserve Montgomery GI Bill® must verify their enrollments monthly to receive payments.

You can verify your enrollment one of two ways:

  • Call 1-877-823-2378
  • Visit the VA’s Web Automated Verification of Enrollment- WAVE. Instructions are provided on the website.

VA Payment Questions

Call the Veteran’s Regional Processing Office at 1-888-442-4551.