DoD Updates the Education MOU

August 19, 2013 | Terry Howell

The DoD issued a proposed rule to update the DoD Volutary Education Partnership MOU. Colleges and universities which intend to participate in the DoD’s Tuition Assistance program must sign memorandum.

The proposed rule  incorporates the Executive Order known as the “principles of excellence” which President Obama issued in 2012 into the MOU. Institutions which sign the agreement required to provide servicemembers resources which explain the cost of attendance, and provide academic student support services to servicemembers and their families.

The new rule will also stop colleges and universities from using “unfair, deceptive, and abusive recruiting practices” to entice servicemembers to enroll.

The proposed new rule is available in the Federal Register at . The Department of Defense is accepting commentson the proposed rule until the end of September.

Read more about Military Tuition Assistance.

About Terry Howell

Before becoming the Managing Editor for, Terry served 20 years in the U.S. Coast Guard as an Aviation Electrician’s Mate and aircrewman. In his final role in the Coast Guard, Terry served as a Career Development Advisor, where he provided career, finance, education, and benefits counseling to servicemembers and their families. Since retiring from the Coast Guard, Terry has authored the book, The Military Advantage, managed the content for TurboTap, the DoD's online transition program and VAforVets, the VA's transition assistance website. Terry earned both his Bachelor's and MBA at Corban University using Military Tuition Assistance and his GI Bill benefits to help cover the cost.


  1. I was told by the VA education that I could not get anymore education to advance my career . unless I was fired .
    Michael J Chavez MSGT USMC Retired

    • What kind of work do you do and does your VA disability get exasperated with the type of work you do? Do you have more than a 20% disability? If you are working and have more than a 20% disability, you will not qualify for the Chapter 31 Vo-Rehab. And I'm assuming you retired awhile back…your education benefits expired after 10 years, if you had Chapter 30, the new 9-11 doesn't expire for 15 years after getting out, with 4 years of service. Thank you for your service to us and our country!

    • What level degree do you have? Have you exhausted all education benefits?

  2. Aviation Ordnance Chief Tim Henderson says:

    I retired Jan 2009, Post 9/11 GI Bill allowed a short window for our GI Bill to be tranferred to our kids 6/7 months after I was out and not informed we could transfer to our family so now my portion wont be used to help my family

    • Sir,
      Unfortunately the program is a retention tool. It must have been transferred while on active duty. A suggestion is to use your education benefits for you and you can use the MHA and books to assist your children in their education. Depending on income, they are still eligible for scholarships, etc., as are you. I am a VA contractor and was an Education and Training Manager in the AF.

  3. Jill R. Wilkins says:

    My husband, USAF Reservist Major Wilkins, RN, died in 2008 before he could transfer the benefits. Does that mean our children can't use the GI Bill?

    • Your children qualify for the Survivors and Dependents Education Benefits. Use application 22-5490 at You also qualify if you have not remarried. Your children must be under age 26 I believe. Please check into this and the Marine Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry Scholarship. Google: Scholarships for Military Children. Also, check under your military family. IE. if you are Air Force, check with the education office and online. I will also tell you is full of scholarships! Search box: type in…. SCHOLARSHIPS OR SCHOLARSHIPS FOR DEPENDENTS. I can assure you there is so much money out there for our military men/women and their families! I'm glad for that but it sure would be nice to see money for the men/women who served before 9-11-01! My husband is 70% with Navy and 100% with Social Security. My children can't get a break. I do financial aid and veterans education benefits at a university and while I'm thankful for those who do get this assistance I sure feel for those of us who don't yet suffer from accidents on ships, deaths before their eyes on the flight decks. Some of the Post 9-11 folks I see with 100% disability are no different than you or I, yet it seems others can't get help because they are border line poor, border line (what the government calls) disabled! With their crazy calculations and such. God bless our country and the men and women who protect it!

      • My husband was serving in the Air National Guard (27 yrs) and died from a non service related death. Do our children qualify for the GI bill? Or anything? I have been searching for answers. Thanks for your help.

        • As long as he served on active duty after Sept 10, 2001, and died in the line of duty, your children should qualify for the Marine Gunnery Sergeant Joe David Fry Scholarship. There is also Dependents Educational Assistance. You can find the information on

      • Marcie,

        Dang, I like to see posts like your's (full of ideas and a LINK) to go with what you've posted. I wish more of these blogs, posts and media, etc. would list a SOURCE.


    • Yes, your kids can get his gi bill, If he died on active duty or call the VA at 1-800-827-1000, press 104

    • Ma'am,

      There are also multiple service organizations (DAV, VFW, etc.) that sponsor scholarships for those in your situation.

  4. Patricia Roldan says:

    I'm in school under the VRAP program, which says you haven't had a job recently, and you're not allowed to work while receiving these benefits. Though I can understand somewhat the reasoning behind this, as a single person, it's extremely difficult to pay the rent, the bills, and everything else with virtually very little income other than my retirement. My college won't allow me to apply for Financial Aid as I have a prior degree from vocational rehab over ten years ago. This doesn't seem right and is extremely stressful.

    • You can work once you are enrolled in VRAP…

    • VValerie M says:

      You were to be verifiably unemployed at the time you applied for the VRAP. You are not required to remain unemployed. You can apply for VA Work-Study with a Veterans Rep in the state employment agency, the VA, or state VA Benefits counselor. And you can get a job so long as it is flexible to allow for your time in the classroom. Good luck.

  5. Public College says:

    The MOU also requires a complaint system and dictates a schools refund policy. We signed the last one, but will not be signing this unless major changes are made.

  6. Donna Davis says:

    My husband signed up prior to 1955. We have TriCare for Life.

    I need to go back to school in order to go back to work as an RN. I haven’t worked since 2009 due to on the job injury and permanent disability. My husband has now had a Stroke.

    Is their any education financial aid or help for spouses of Retired Military? My husband was 21 yrs USAF Master Sargeant. I think maybe there might be a pre 1955

  7. StrokerMcgurk says:

    What the hell is MOU?

    • Public College says:

      It is a Memorandum of Understanding, or a contract, that colleges/universities must sign or the school is not eligible to receive Tuition Assistance (TA) funding. While it is designed to 'protect' servicemembers from predatory schools, during the last version all the for-profits signed immediately. The less expensive state schools looked at some of the requirements, knew they were impossible (ie how much aid you can get before you apply) and said, um, no. End result is that SMs almost had only for-profits to choose from until DOD backed off some requirements. Now here we go agian, DOD MOU ver 3. Doesn't look good.

  8. William Parks says:

    I have used all of Gi bill for school except one month is any other programs also in btw jobs and also 10 percent

  9. I’m active duty Navy, currently pursuing a degree with a school that just recently, and somewhat reluctantly, signed the MOU. Their main concern was the cost of implementing the required changes. I’ve already completed 12 credits with them. If they don’t sign this latest version do I need to find another school? Is there some sort of grandfather clause that allows you to finish your degree IAW the rules and policies In place when you established a degree plan? I really like the school I’m at now and I’m hoping I can finish up my degree here. Thanks.

    • As I have been informed, the DOD MOU is mandatory to sign if the school wants to receive the Federal Tuition Assistance money which Soldier, Sailors, Airmen and Marines are eligible to receive while serving.
      No Grandfather clause

  10. Cali Garcia says:

    An MOU is Memorandum of Understanding, its an agreement to do certain things from both parties.

  11. Charles Fann says:

    I am a Army Vet 1965-1968 I used part of my GI Bill unfortunately many, many years ago. I'm 67 years old and going to college. Not eligible for VRAP, is there anything else I may be eligible for.

  12. In 1988, I signed for the Montgomery Bill. After beginning discharged from the US Army, i had 10 years to use it or lose it. I lost it. I am also 30%, but was denied VA Rehab. Can I appeal the decision

    • Valerie M, says:

      I am not a VA rep, but I belive that you can appeal, or reapply. VA VR&E has a 12 year window to use or lose benefits from the date of your award, or upgrade to your award.

  13. Does anyone know any way of transferring education benefits to children under the Post 9/11 G.I. Bill Post-Retirement?
    We had been told "No", but were never informed prior to Army retirement that if we wanted our children to benefit that this would need to be done prior to retirement.
    Any suggestions would be helpful. We haven't inquired in over a year or two.

    • Cianne,

      Just saying you were not told is not going to get Congress to change the Law. This information is in the out briefing at all posts/bases, but you must go to them. I do know that now these briefing are mandatory.


    • Cianne…unfortunately the transfer must be completed prior to retirement. This is a common issue regarding the lack information given to service members regarding the transferring of educational benefits,

      • Tim,

        Most soldiers skip many of the out briefings so that is why they don't know. I do know, that the information is out there and not hiding, its just up to the soldier to take some initiative when getting out of the service. This "I wasn't told" chit doesn't get it.

        • Perhaps the briefings are different when you are medically retired, because he attended all the briefings and I went with him to the final meeting in review of his services and service record and the information was never put "out there" in any way. But I appreciate the comment. We were looking for any information anyone had. Thanks.

      • Thanks for the comment. There was a great deal of disorganization when he was medically retired. He was supposed to be transferred to wounded warriors for a few months from his signal company but his people didn't bother with that either. I appreciate the info.

  14. Deborah Thompson says:

    My spouse retired in 1998 with 20 years of service in USN. Are their any benefits available to me for educational assistance?

  15. lynwood brown says:

    I Have served in 1975-1975, 1981-1987. I want to know if you can assist my son with financial aid. We reside in Los Angeles, but my son attends college in Texas. Texas Southern University

    • lynwood Brown says:

      My son , is attending Texas Southern University . He applied as a full time student but he did not have enough of financial assistance to get housing and a meal ticket. He is currently in Texas , Even thou I am not active I served for 11 years and I need immediately help or information where I may be able to get assisatance for my son.