Although the Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act was signed into law by President Donald Trump on Aug. 16, 2017, there are still major changes to come.

The act, also known as the Forever GI Bill, is a step in the right direction by allowing those veterans who served honorably to continue pursuing their educational goals.

Many provisions of the Forever GI Bill went into effect Aug. 1. These include:

  • Purple Heart recipients who were Honorably Discharged, regardless if they were Active Duty, Reserves, or in the National Guard, at the time of receiving the Purple Heart, will now be entitled to 100% benefit of the Post-9/11 GI Bill, as long as they were awarded the Purple Heart on or after Sept. 11, 2001.
  • Additional eligibility for Reservists. More specifically, when Reservists were ordered onto Active Duty to be medically evaluated for a potential disability, receive medical care, or complete an eligible DoD healthcare study on or after Sept. 11, 2001, this active duty time now counts towards Post-9/11 GI Bill eligibility.
  • Monthly Housing Allowance (MHA) for the Post-9/11 GI Bill is now to be calculated by the zip code of where the student attends the majority of their classes.
  • Monthly Housing Allowance will not be the zip code of where the institution of higher learning is located. This specifically affects those students attending a satellite campus for the majority of that semester’s coursework.

One of the most interesting changes to education benefits from the new Forever GI Bill will not be implemented until Aug. 1, 2019. This provision is geared at giving veterans an additional nine months of Post-9/11 GI Bill benefit, as long as it is in a STEMM (science, technology, engineering, math, and medicine) field of study. This additional time will be given to eligible veterans who: