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More veterans eligible for Minnesota GI Bill benefits

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Governor Mark Dayton recently announced a new expansion of eligibility for Minnesota GI Bill benefits.

This session, Dayton signed a measure designed to give more Minnesota veterans access to the financial aid resources they need to pursue a higher education. For many Minnesota veterans who were previously ineligible for GI Bill benefits, that could mean up to $10,000 to help pay for college or other post-secondary studies.

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Previously, only veterans who served after September 11, 2001 were eligible for this benefit. Under the new law, any veteran younger than 62 who has served honorably in any branch of the armed forces during any time period may be eligible for Minnesota GI Bill benefits.

"Expanding the GI Bill to all Minnesota veterans will help veterans get the education and training they need to find good jobs," Dayton said.

Under the new law, benefit amounts from the enhanced Minnesota GI Bill remain the same. A full-time student may receive up to $1,000 per semester or term of enrollment, $3,000 per state fiscal year, and $10,000 in a lifetime (up to age 62). Part-time students may receive $500 per semester or term of enrollment, and a minimum award of $50 per term.

Apart from the expansion, previous eligibility requirements also remain the same.

The Minnesota GI Bill was established in 2007 to provide postsecondary educational assistance to eligible Minnesota veterans who served on or after September 11, 2001.

Funds from the program are tied to financial aid and are paid directly to the higher education institution.

Minnesota veterans can find more information about the bill and learn how to apply for GI Bill benefits at www.MinnesotaVeteran.org.

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