GI Bill benefits

Hello,

I understand that students are not allowed to use GI Bill benefits for the airline pilot program. Does ATP not accept them, or does the VA not allow ATP to utilize the program? Thanks in advance.
David

Hi David,

The VA will only pay for Part 141 training. While there’s nothing wrong with Part 141 training it does not allow for accelerated training and therefore ATP cannot conform to their requirements. Now while it may then seem like a no brainer to look for a Part 141 school, keep in mind the lost earning potential of spending another few years training will be considerably more than the cost of ATP. You can use your benefits for examiner fees which are almost $7000.

Adam

Thanks Adam, that clears things up quite a bit. I had no idea that I could use the GI Bill for examiners fees! I can do that in the airline pilot program at ATP??

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David,

Yes, you can use your GI Bill to cover examiner’s fees. Call the admissions department for the specifics on how to do this.

Chris

Hello David

Were you a pilot in the military by chance?

Thanks Chris! And Hunter, I’m currently active duty enlisted as a flight engineer. Finished PPL last year.

David,

Please check in with us as you go through the process, we are always happy to help.

Chris

WILCO, thanks again.

-David

GI Bill will cover oral/written exam fees which can total around $6-7k for 9 month ATP program. However, each exam that the GI Bill pays for will count as one month used towards the 36 months you’re given as a veteran. For example, if you have the GI Bill pay for 6 FAA exams, that will leave you with only 30 months remaining for your education benefits. President Trump has recently updated the education benefits for veterans called the Forever GI Bill. This allows members to use their GI Bill forever, not just 15 years past your separation date like it was before this new Bill. Also in this new Forever GI Bill there are provisions that will do away with the one exam = one month. It will eventually be a prorated amount, but they won’t retroactively correct what has already been done, mind you.

Additionally, another thing to note is that financing is almost certain as a student at ATP. But as an AD or Guard/Reserve member, you will qualify for the Servicemember Civil Relief Act (SCRA). Just mention this to your lender and they will reduce your interest rate between 4-6%. Mentioning the SCRA will save you a lot of money!! Hope this helps.

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Jordan,

Good information, thanks for posting it.

Chris

Big caveat to the SCRA and the reduced interest rates, it only applies to debts (loans) that were in place prior to your enlistment.
Debt taken on after entering active duty do not qualify for reduced interest.
i.e. loans for ATP

Also for Guard/reservists, the reduction in interest would only apply while on active duty orders. Monthly drills would not qualify as active service.

Spent countless hours researching this myself. Tried to give a brief synopsis of those important parts.
Military.com, DOJ, and many other sources list out all the specifics of the SCRA.

My personal experience as an Air National Guard member with SCRA: I applied for SCRA benefits through Sallie Mae while on Title 10 orders (federal active duty), even though I would need the loan dispersements while off orders and only in monthly drill status while at ATP. Sallie Mae offered me the SCRA benefits and reduced my loan interest to 5%. Sallie Mae also mentioned they would consider any veteran for SCRA benefits if they were on orders or active duty within 12 months of applying for the reduced interest rate through SCRA.

Additionally, I’ve was able to apply SCRA benefits to my personal credit cards that I opened before AND after I enlisted in the service and currently use now. Reduced interest rate, annual fees waived and even reimbursed back to me as well! My personal experience is the SCRA benefits WERE applicable to my finances after entering active duty, even as a Guard member in monthly drill status, as long as I was on active duty within 12 months.

Bottom line: If you’re a veteran in the reserve, guard, or active duty status, it is worth asking about. Alot of other squadron buddies told me I wouldn’t qualify for SCRA benefits for ATP or my credit cards, but my research proved differently. When in doubt, ASK!!

There may even be a way to qualify for ZERO PERCENT interest on loans if you received hostile fire pay at some point.

Check this out:
http://www.dodlive.mil/2018/01/25/reduce-the-cost-of-student-loans-with-0-interest-relief/

Hope this helps somebody save some money!

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So Jordan,

Just to clarify, I applied for Sallie Mae financing for ATP in December to start the ACPP when I get off active duty next month. That means I can give them a call and get my interest rate possibly reduced to 5% through SCRA benefits?

Kenroy.

Fantastic response man. Thank you.
I’m calling Sallie Mae back tomorrow.
I’m also in the air guard, 12 years on the tanker. Spent all of last summer over in CENTCOM title 10, got off orders in september. At the time I was told very bluntly that SCRA would haveq only applied to the potential ATP loan if I had it prior to enlistment and IF the gave it to me, it would stop after orders ended. Hearing that I never pushed the issue but now I’m going to.
5% would be a huge reduction in my current rate and could help tremendously on future payments.

Crazy how much different information is out there.

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Yes, Kenroy. I would absolutely call!

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Thanks @J0rdan I will give them a call when I can, that would definitely help out on payments. @Bmsewell let us know how it goes.:+1:t5:

Kenroy.

So to update,
Called Sallie Mae military service line and worked with the rep on the phone. The request was put in for the SCRA benefit and I was told to expect a response in a few days.
Received a new document online today and it was a denial for SCRA benefits.
The document stated the loan was not eligible because it was dispersed after my period of qualifying active duty had ended.

Again for clarity, I’ve been in the Air Guard for 12 years. Multiple title 10 deployments. Combat zone, hostile fire pay, imminent danger pay, the whole 9 yards. Most recent active duty was Feb 2017 through September 2017 and was title 10 in combat zone.
Loan was applied for an approved in October 2017, started instrument up program in March 2018.
Still was denied.

At this point, everything lines up with what I have been told so far.
Apparently there is a large amount of ambiguity and inconsistency in how people receive this benefit.

About the only thing I can do is wait to deploy again and then apply while I’m try.

Stupid.

Another update;

Basically no confirmation about the Zero percent interest option for having received hostile fire/imminent danger pay while in a combat zone.
So far the consensus I’ve been given is that this only applies to federal student loans and the Sallie Mae, Wells Fargo variety of loans for ATP are privately no go there.