Post 9/11 GI BIll and Certs - are they covered?

colemiccolemic Member Posts: 1,568 ■■■■■■■□□□
Can someone confirm to me that the Post 9/11 GU Bill covers certifications exams? I am looking to take the CISM in December, IF I can get it reimbursed. Value's not there for me otherwise, since work won't pay for such a steep exam.

I believe it will, just want to verify before I pull the trigger... I am also aware of how it works, if it is covered (charged one full month) but I am at a point where I am just trying to squeeze the last few drops out of my remaining GI Bill, not going back to school.

Thanks!

Mike C
Working on: CCSP, definitely, maybe. On the twitters: @mcole1008
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Comments

  • zxbanezxbane Member Posts: 740 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Mike,

    From my understanding you can use it for certifications and like you mentioned they will likely take a month of eligibility from your remaining post 9/11 GI bill. As long as you don't plan to try and go to school with the remaining months then that is a smart move. I will have 3 months left on mine after I finish my MBA and plan to use them for certification reimbursement as well.
  • stryder144stryder144 Senior Member Member Posts: 1,684 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Here is a link you will find useful. In summary, if the monthly GI Bill payment is $1600 and your test is worth $800, then it would be worth 1/2 month but rounded to a full month.
    The easiest thing to be in the world is you. The most difficult thing to be is what other people want you to be. Don't let them put you in that position. ~ Leo Buscaglia

    Connect With Me || My Blog Site || Follow Me
  • SephStormSephStorm Member Posts: 1,732
    You can validate the cert and its reimbursement cost (575 for CISM) here: WEAMS Public

    EDIT: https://gibill.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/153/kw/certification

    You may receive the Licensing and Certification benefit if you are eligible for one of the following:

    1. The Post 9/11 GI Bill
    2. The Montgomery GI Bill - Active Duty
    3. The Montgomery GI Bill - Reserves
  • colemiccolemic Member Posts: 1,568 ■■■■■■■□□□
    Good deal, thanks guys.
    Working on: CCSP, definitely, maybe. On the twitters: @mcole1008
  • jvrlopezjvrlopez Member Posts: 911 ■■■■□□□□□□
    You can find more details and the form (VA form 22-0803) to submit here:

    Licensing and Certification - Education and Training

    I haven't seen anywhere to submit it electronically (ebenefits, etc) but I've mailed it in 3 times and it's been reimbursed in about a month.

    The nice thing is that you will be reimbursed pass or fail.

    Just a heads up, last time they denied my claim for my CISSP as it "wasn't an approved test," so I responded with a screenshot from their WEAMS site that showed CISSP as an eligible exam. So now I always include that just to be sure. Don't forget your receipt and score print out!
    And so you touch this limit, something happens and you suddenly can go a little bit further. With your mind power, your determination, your instinct, and the experience as well, you can fly very high. ~Ayrton Senna
  • zxbanezxbane Member Posts: 740 ■■■■□□□□□□
    jvrlopez wrote: »
    You can find more details and the form (VA form 22-0803) to submit here:

    Licensing and Certification - Education and Training

    I haven't seen anywhere to submit it electronically (ebenefits, etc) but I've mailed it in 3 times and it's been reimbursed in about a month.

    The nice thing is that you will be reimbursed pass or fail.

    Just a heads up, last time they denied my claim for my CISSP as it "wasn't an approved test," so I responded with a screenshot from their WEAMS site that showed CISSP as an eligible exam. So now I always include that just to be sure. Don't forget your receipt and score print out!

    Were you charged a month worth of eligibility for every exam you had reimbursed basically?
  • colemiccolemic Member Posts: 1,568 ■■■■■■■□□□
    I'm gonna wait for the CISM until June... we're having a baby next month, and the exam is the the day after my birthday, and the test site is 3 hours away = no bueno with the wife.

    Also WEAMS is awful. I can't get any search terms to pull up. However, if you leave it blank, you can flip through 40+ pages of results, and try to find the cert you need. Lots of other interesting certs, such as Certified E-Discovery Specialist, may have to poke around me to see what all is there.

    also found:
    ADVANCED DIACAP VALIDATOR CERTIFICATION - $1800 WOW.
    ADVANCED RISK MANAGEMENT FRAMEWORK 301 EXAM $1800
    Business Continuity Expert Technology Architects $200
    CERTIFIED RUNNING TECHNIQUE SPECIALIST - $895 - who'd have thunk there'd be a cert for that?
    Working on: CCSP, definitely, maybe. On the twitters: @mcole1008
  • colemiccolemic Member Posts: 1,568 ■■■■■■■□□□
    zxbane wrote: »
    Were you charged a month worth of eligibility for every exam you had reimbursed basically?

    Can't speak for him, but I believe that's the way it works... Post 9/11 is designed to encourage vets to focus on getting degrees, not work-related certs. It's quite a price to pay, but for some (like me) it makes sense - it's better than letting those dollars go to waste altogether. I am done w/ school, so there's no downside for me, really.
    Working on: CCSP, definitely, maybe. On the twitters: @mcole1008
  • zxbanezxbane Member Posts: 740 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Yeah that's the situation I will be in as well. I finish my MBA in March and will have roughly 3 months of eligibility left. I plan to use them for 3 certs such as CISA and maybe a couple others.
  • EngRobEngRob Member Posts: 247 ■■■□□□□□□□
    colemic wrote: »
    I'm gonna wait for the CISM until June... we're having a baby next month, and the exam is the the day after my birthday, and the test site is 3 hours away = no bueno with the wife.

    Congrats!! First one? Will be joining you in Dec with a bouncing baby boy! icon_cheers.gif

    colemic wrote: »
    CERTIFIED RUNNING TECHNIQUE SPECIALIST - $895 - who'd have thunk there'd be a cert for that?
    Off topic - that's kinda cool, I need to take a look into what method they teach. I'm into the POSE running technique and personally believe that modern footwear have made it easier and more comfortable to run with poor form and put our bodies at risk of strain and injury.

    Back on topic - All the best on the CISM whenever you pull the trigger. Getting it reimbursed is pretty great for a $800 exam.
  • jvrlopezjvrlopez Member Posts: 911 ■■■■□□□□□□
    zxbane wrote: »
    Were you charged a month worth of eligibility for every exam you had reimbursed basically?

    No, I wasn't charged a month per every exam. I've had 5 exams reimbursed and only gave up a certain amount of benefits. I got about $1800 paid back and I only lost a month and some change in my benefits.
    VA will pay for MULTIPLE tests, effective August 1, 2011. However, your entitlement will be reduced by one month for every $1460 paid by VA.

    JMU - Post-9/11 and Licensing / Certification Tests
    And so you touch this limit, something happens and you suddenly can go a little bit further. With your mind power, your determination, your instinct, and the experience as well, you can fly very high. ~Ayrton Senna
  • stryder144stryder144 Senior Member Member Posts: 1,684 ■■■■■■■■□□
    jvrlopez wrote: »
    No, I wasn't charged a month per every exam. I've had 5 exams reimbursed and only gave up a certain amount of benefits. I got about $1800 paid back and I only lost a month and some change in my benefits.



    JMU - Post-9/11 and Licensing / Certification Tests

    And this is why so many Vets are frustrated with the VA. The documentation says one thing and yet the experiences of vets proves otherwise.
    The easiest thing to be in the world is you. The most difficult thing to be is what other people want you to be. Don't let them put you in that position. ~ Leo Buscaglia

    Connect With Me || My Blog Site || Follow Me
  • JockVSJockJockVSJock Member Posts: 1,118
    As a person who just got out of Active Duty and trying to use their GI Bill for certs I'm finding out that the majority of the brick-and-mortar colleges don't cover certs because they typically don't have accrediation.
    ***Freedom of Speech, Just Watch What You Say*** Example, Beware of CompTIA Certs (Deleted From Google Cached)

    "Its easier to deceive the masses then to convince the masses that they have been deceived."
    -unknown
  • nman99nman99 Member Posts: 35 ■■□□□□□□□□
    JockVSJock wrote: »
    As a person who just got out of Active Duty and trying to use their GI Bill for certs I'm finding out that the majority of the brick-and-mortar colleges don't cover certs because they typically don't have accrediation.

    So are you talking about taking the course for a certification or just taking the tests?

    From my experience the Tests are pretty much always covered because it has nothing to do with a school and you fill out the paperwork yourself after you take it (no interaction of a school or va certifying official). As far as the courses are concerned, I have been to a few local community colleges that offer Network and Sysad courses that are part of a degree progam but are to be used for learning towards an actual certification also.

    Also what is a "accredited" certification ?
  • JockVSJockJockVSJock Member Posts: 1,118
    nman99 wrote: »
    So are you talking about taking the course for a certification or just taking the tests?

    From my experience the Tests are pretty much always covered because it has nothing to do with a school and you fill out the paperwork yourself after you take it (no interaction of a school or va certifying official). As far as the courses are concerned, I have been to a few local community colleges that offer Network and Sysad courses that are part of a degree progam but are to be used for learning towards an actual certification also.

    Also what is a "accredited" certification ?

    I currently live in San Antonio.

    The company Rackspace has bootcamps called Open Cloud Academy for CCNA and RedHat Linux. I am not able to use my GI Bill benefits because they are not accredited. They claim it takes 2 years to get that status, however their program hasn't been around for 2 years. I don't know how they are trying to get accredited or not.

    However there is a local community college called Alamo Community College where they have week long bootcamps for Wireshark, CEH, CISSP, RedHat Linux. When I talked to them, they have been in existence for more then 15 years, and they are not accredited either, so I can't use my GI Bill to take the bootcamps either.
    ***Freedom of Speech, Just Watch What You Say*** Example, Beware of CompTIA Certs (Deleted From Google Cached)

    "Its easier to deceive the masses then to convince the masses that they have been deceived."
    -unknown
  • nman99nman99 Member Posts: 35 ■■□□□□□□□□
    JockVSJock wrote: »
    I currently live in San Antonio.

    The company Rackspace has bootcamps called Open Cloud Academy for CCNA and RedHat Linux. I am not able to use my GI Bill benefits because they are not accredited. They claim it takes 2 years to get that status, however their program hasn't been around for 2 years. I don't know how they are trying to get accredited or not.

    However there is a local community college called Alamo Community College where they have week long bootcamps for Wireshark, CEH, CISSP, RedHat Linux. When I talked to them, they have been in existence for more then 15 years, and they are not accredited either, so I can't use my GI Bill to take the bootcamps either.

    I see what your saying. Ya I have had problems also with boot camps even if they are at colleges (especially online live or just online self pace) for being accredited and being able to use GI bill benefits for.

    What I have found though is to find either an online school (if that is what you need) or a local school that has an actual Computer Science or IT related degree program, sign up for the course that you want and then get out of the college after the fact. The only problem here being that they wont be in boot camp form (will just be a regular semester course most likely) but at least this way you can still get it covered, also finding a school that has a course that is used for learning towards a certification (usually in the description of the course if they think it gives enough information towards one) is sometimes a little difficult, but worth it in the end.

    Also as far as boot camps go, the only company that I know of to offer on site boot camps that are covered by the GI Bill are from New Horizons (all over the country). Again the only problem with new horizons and the whole gi bill system in general is that a course must be part of a "program" that you are signed up for, that is for degree programs, but specifically to new horizons they have like the CCNA program which will let you under the gi bill do the 2 part class or the expedited version (so with this option you can't just take like the CISSP boot camp unless they actually offer a "program" for security that has that course listed).

    Either way if you go with New Horizons or some other school just make sure to ask them if the "program" is covered because typically the individual courses themselves don't matter as long as they are part of the "program" that you signed up for.

    Hope this helps
  • colemiccolemic Member Posts: 1,568 ■■■■■■■□□□
    Bootcamps aren't covered under Post 9/11 unless they are part of a degree, they were (at 60%) under CH. 30.

    Agreed it's frustrating, documentation clearly doesn't align with real-world experiences.
    Working on: CCSP, definitely, maybe. On the twitters: @mcole1008
  • zxbanezxbane Member Posts: 740 ■■■■□□□□□□
    The OP is talking about reimbursement for self-study and paying out of pocket for the certifications. That and going through bootcamps are handled different from my understanding of the Post 9/11. With that said though I have found places in the DC area that take Post 9/11 for boot camps as well.
  • emerald_octaneemerald_octane Member Posts: 613
    Definitely all over the place. I've been told that I can submit tests that aren't WEAMS approved as long as I give an explanation of what its for. I got my VCP this way but it was only $100 or so after the class discount so I figured why bother.

    But here is another secret. Get into the SANS training as a work study participant (Class, exam attempt and such for $900). When you send it in, make sure you highlight the part in your receipt that shows the exam attempt because the line item shows the amount then a zero next to it, but the VA will take it anyway. GISP class+attempt paid for with 1 month of Ch. 35.
  • zxbanezxbane Member Posts: 740 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Definitely all over the place. I've been told that I can submit tests that aren't WEAMS approved as long as I give an explanation of what its for. I got my VCP this way but it was only $100 or so after the class discount so I figured why bother.

    But here is another secret. Get into the SANS training as a work study participant (Class, exam attempt and such for $900). When you send it in, make sure you highlight the part in your receipt that shows the exam attempt because the line item shows the amount then a zero next to it, but the VA will take it anyway. GISP class+attempt paid for with 1 month of Ch. 35.

    Oh wow, thanks for this. I have been wanting to get into some SANS training but was deterred due to the cost. I never thought of using the Post 9/11 for the work study programs. It is great to hear they will reimburse that!
  • colemiccolemic Member Posts: 1,568 ■■■■■■■□□□
    @EngRob - Congrats to you as well! My first, but have two awesome stepsons who will make great big brothers to their little sister. :)

    And I am back on for the CISM in December, LOL... just hard to make plans when you don't know exactly when she will be here. :) Due date is Dec 2, but doc says probably won't make it that long, so who knows. Can't wait though!
    Working on: CCSP, definitely, maybe. On the twitters: @mcole1008
  • zxbanezxbane Member Posts: 740 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Congrats and best of luck, I just had my first one this time last year. One thing I will say, sleep now while you have the chance!

    Good luck on the CISM as well, I wanted to take the CISA in December but I'll be moving that weekend for a new job opportunity so had to pull out of that.

    I passed the CISM this past June, as most others I recommend one read through the Review Manual and then spend the rest of the time on the Q*A Database/book. I'm sure you'll pass easily!
  • SephStormSephStorm Member Posts: 1,732
    JockVSJock wrote: »
    I currently live in San Antonio.

    The company Rackspace has bootcamps called Open Cloud Academy for CCNA and RedHat Linux. I am not able to use my GI Bill benefits because they are not accredited. They claim it takes 2 years to get that status, however their program hasn't been around for 2 years. I don't know how they are trying to get accredited or not.

    However there is a local community college called Alamo Community College where they have week long bootcamps for Wireshark, CEH, CISSP, RedHat Linux. When I talked to them, they have been in existence for more then 15 years, and they are not accredited either, so I can't use my GI Bill to take the bootcamps either.

    They haven't explained the situation to you well. The program must submit for "accreditation" from the VA. I'm not aware of a a time limit. A bootcamp can be approved just as much as a school, but organizations rarely go through the process. For instance, Training Camp, CED Solutions, and formerly Security University all are approved. For these programs the full cost of the program is covered. The catch is you may have to take the course at a specific location, the one that was accredited. I had something like 9k approved to take SU training for a year.

    You can search for approved institutions here: WEAMS Public

    As for the SANS training, that is weird, that shouldn't have happened, they only pay for the cost of the cert which is something like $999. You must have slipped through the cracks, grats.
  • colemiccolemic Member Posts: 1,568 ■■■■■■■□□□
    Technically, the cost is $900 through the work-study program, so to me that makes sense that amount would be reimbursed... wouldn't be the case for a full-blown SANS training course.
    Working on: CCSP, definitely, maybe. On the twitters: @mcole1008
  • emerald_octaneemerald_octane Member Posts: 613
    SephStorm wrote: »
    As for the SANS training, that is weird, that shouldn't have happened, they only pay for the cost of the cert which is something like $999. You must have slipped through the cracks, grats.

    It's possible, though I wonder if it could be argued that the class itself is technically free because you're working and instead paying full price for the test voucher itself, something like that. And yes I was only reimbursed the $900, although it's listed at $999 via weams. As always, YMMV.

    Because, to the credit of the education officers, they realize that some exams may include additional training material "bundled" in, for example Pearson offers the CCNA along with their practice question set at a discount if you buy them together. It'd be unfortunate for us to be penalized for purchasing the extra training material.
  • jvrlopezjvrlopez Member Posts: 911 ■■■■□□□□□□
    If you're in San Antonio, try New Horizons for CCNA and CompTIA courses with exams at the end. My buddy spent a good deal of his benefits there and they were accepted no problem. He did A+, Net+, Sec+, CCENT, CCNA, and CCNA Security.

    Edit: I meant SiloTech as mentioned below.
    And so you touch this limit, something happens and you suddenly can go a little bit further. With your mind power, your determination, your instinct, and the experience as well, you can fly very high. ~Ayrton Senna
  • NovaHaxNovaHax Member Posts: 502 ■■■■□□□□□□
    When I lived in San Antonio, I always used SiloTech. The founder is former military and several of the employees are as well. They could be very helpful in giving you a run down of what you can apply it towards, and can also help you get the ball rolling.

    Silotech Group, Inc
  • zxbanezxbane Member Posts: 740 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I have a question for those that have used the post 9/11 for cert reimbursement. Are you able to utilize that while also using the 9/11 GI Bill for actively going to school?

    I'm currently enrolled in an MBA program but would also like to get reimbursed for a certification, can I apply for that right now or do I have to wait until I am done with school first?
  • NovaHaxNovaHax Member Posts: 502 ■■■■□□□□□□
    zxbane wrote: »
    I have a question for those that have used the post 9/11 for cert reimbursement. Are you able to utilize that while also using the 9/11 GI Bill for actively going to school?

    I'm currently enrolled in an MBA program but would also like to get reimbursed for a certification, can I apply for that right now or do I have to wait until I am done with school first?

    Back when I was in, I had asked this question to one of the military academic advisors and they said no. Also worth mentioning that the person who told me that did not seem real reliable and I'm pretty sure she was searching Google on her computer to answer each question I asked her. So this is my round-about way of saying "I don't know."

    What would you guys do without my meaningful contributions to these discussions?
  • colemiccolemic Member Posts: 1,568 ■■■■■■■□□□
    We're all experts here. ;)
    Working on: CCSP, definitely, maybe. On the twitters: @mcole1008
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