PRIORITY NOTICE: GI Bill benefits available for high school students

The Maine Department of Education, the Military Interstate Children’s Compact Commission (MIC3), and the Maine State Approving Agency for Veterans Education sponsor the following message:

Some of your high school students may be eligible for thousands of dollars of GI Bill benefits while attending high school.

Maine has nearly 130,000 veterans, many of whom have service-related disability ratings from the Veterans Administration or have suffered a service-related death.

If a veteran has a 100% Permanent and Total service-related disability rating, or is deceased as a result of military service, their spouse and children may qualify for Dependents Educational Assistance. This is also known as Chapter 35 of the GI Bill.

Many are aware that this benefit can be used for colleges, trade schools, adult education programs, and apprenticeship programs. However, many are unaware that an eligible child can use these same benefits while attending high school, once the child reaches the age of 18.

The Chapter 35 benefit currently pays more than $1,000 per month (full time rate). The benefit is non-taxable. Additionally, up to five months of benefits can be used while in high school without being charged against the basic 45 months of full-time eligibility. This benefit often provides an amazing “nest egg” to cover day to day household costs or additional costs associated with obtaining a post-secondary education.

The real challenge is identifying these people and putting them in contact with an agency to assist them through the paperwork. The Maine State Approving Agency for Veterans Education can assist eligible family members and school officials with completing the necessary paperwork. But they need help in identifying those who are eligible. There is no “magic list” identifying eligible veterans and their family members. That’s where our school partners can help.

If you become aware that a high school student may qualify for this benefit, worth over $50,000, please have them contact Robert Haley of The Maine State Approving Agency for Veterans Education at 207-582-2100 or via email at