Coding Bootcamps for Veterans: GI-Approved Programs
- Coding bootcamps are a popular option for veterans looking for their next career.
- Bootcamps can be pricey, so it is good to get any financial assistance offered.
- Many bootcamps accept the GI Bill, which can make it easier to pick the right program.
- Using VET TEC funding instead of the GI Bill could make more sense, depending on the situation.
For many leaving the military, figuring out what to do next can be challenging. Going back to get a four-year education can take too much time. Many veterans need to enter the workforce quickly to be able to support themselves and their families.
Coding bootcamps that accept the GI Bill offer a unique opportunity for veterans to transition into the tech industry after their military service. The GI Bill provides financial support to eligible veterans to help them cover the cost of education and training programs.
Some coding bootcamps that accept the GI Bill also offer programs specifically designed for veterans. They may include additional resources and support to help you navigate the transition from military to civilian life. Some bootcamps also provide mentorship and networking opportunities to help you connect with other professionals in the tech industry.
What Is the Post-9/11 GI Bill?
The Post-9/11 GI Bill provides educational benefits to veterans and service members who served on or after September 11, 2001. To qualify, at least one of the following must be true:
- You have served at least 90 days of active duty; or,
- You have been honorably discharged with a service-related disability after at least 30 days of continuous duty; or,
- You have been honorably discharged after receiving a Purple Heart; or
- You are the dependent child of a qualifying service member.
Qualifying service members can receive benefits for up to 36 months. These benefits can be used to pay for tuition and fees for eligible educational programs, housing, and educational materials such as books. The amount of benefits you receive depends on how much time you have served.
Featured Coding Programs
What Is the Forever GI Bill?
The Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act, usually referred to as the "Forever GI Bill," was passed in 2017. The bill updated and improved many of the benefits offered by the Post-9/11 GI Bill.
Under the Forever GI Bill, veterans can use their GI Bill benefits at any point during their lifetimes. Under the Post-9/11 GI Bill, veterans had a 15-year limit to using their benefits.
Benefits for veterans who served only briefly also increased under the Forever GI Bill. Service members who served at least 90 days but less than six months receive 50% of the maximum benefit under the Forever GI Bill, as opposed to the 40% previously provided under the Post-9/11 GI Bill.
VET TEC Coding Training
The Forever GI Bill also included additional funding for technology-focused educational programs. The Veteran Employment Through Technology Education Courses (VET TEC) program, which was introduced as part of the Forever GI Bill, provides funding for programs in computer programming, software, data processing, information science, and other high-tech areas.
Attending a VET TEC program does not count as using your GI Bill. To be eligible for the VET TEC program, you must qualify for the GI Bill and have at least one day of GI Bill entitlement left. You cannot participate in the program while serving in active duty.
The VET TEC program covers tuition for VA-approved, full-time educational programs. It also provides a housing allowance for the duration of the program.
Can GI Benefits Pay for Coding Bootcamps?
Most people know that the GI Bill pays for college, but they may not be aware that it can also pay for non-college degree programs. The GI Bill can pay for vocational programs, such as EMT training, as well as coding bootcamps. However, the coding bootcamp must be approved by the VA to qualify for GI Bill funding. Some bootcamps may also qualify for funding as part of the VET TEC program.
Which Bootcamps Accept GI Bill Funding?
Coding bootcamps that accept GI Bill funding include, but are not limited to:
- Code Fellows
- Code Platoon
- Eleven Fifty Academy
- General Assembly
- Tech Elevator
- Turing School
- We Can Code IT
You should contact the bootcamps you are interested in directly to see if they accept the GI Bill. Some bootcamps accept GI Bill funding only for certain programs or locations, and many don't have this information on their website.
Which Bootcamps Accept VET TEC?
Numerous bootcamp programs also accept VET TEC, including:
- Flatiron School
- Learn Academy
- Skills Distillery
- Zip Code Wilmington
- Code Platoon
- Fullstack Academy
- Code Fellows
- We Can Code IT
- Divergence Academy*
*These bootcamps are “preferred” providers, meaning the bootcamp agrees to refund the tuition and fees if a student does not find meaningful employment within 180 days of completing the program.
VET TEC vs. GI Bill
Although you can use your GI Bill to pay for some coding bootcamps, receiving funding from the VET TEC program may be a better option if the bootcamp you're interested in attending is included on the list of approved VET TEC programs. That way, you'll still have your GI Bill benefits available later if you decide to enroll in a college degree program.
Are Bootcamps a Good Alternative to Traditional College?
They can be. Our 2021 Bootcamps Trends Report found that "Almost half (48%) of all business leaders surveyed, and 56% of those from tech companies and organizations that hire for tech roles, said that bootcamps will play a pivotal role in meeting future workforce training needs."
What Other Funding Is Available for Veterans at Coding Bootcamps?
Unfortunately, bootcamp students do not qualify for federal financial aid, including federal student loans. However, prospective bootcamp students can find other funding options. Many bootcamp providers offer scholarships for veterans, service members, and their families.
Bootcamps also offer financing options, such as payment plans, income share agreements, and deferred tuition plans. Many bootcamps partner with private lenders to provide loans specifically designed for bootcamp students.
Bootcamps For You
Frequently Asked Questions About Using the GI Bill for a Coding Bootcamp
Can you use the GI Bill for a coding bootcamp?
Yes, many coding bootcamps accept GI Bill funding. Check with the bootcamp provider to make sure you can use your GI Bill for the program you want to apply for.
Is it worth doing a coding bootcamp as a veteran?
Attending a coding bootcamp can help a veteran jump-start their career in technology without having to attend a college degree program. Coding bootcamps can be worth it if you want to start a new career quickly.
What are the best coding bootcamps for veterans?
VA provides a list of approved VET TEC training providers, including preferred providers. VA-preferred providers offer a money-back guarantee if a student is unable to find in-field employment within 180 days of completing the program.
Other coding bootcamps not included on this list may also qualify for GI Bill funding and offer money-back guarantees. You should always confirm directly with the bootcamps you're interested in applying to. Bootcamps that offer scholarships to veterans may also be a good choice.
GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government Web site at https://benefits.va.gov/gibill/index.asp.
DISCLAIMER: The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, constitute professional financial advice; instead, all information, content, and materials available on this site are for general informational purposes only. Readers of this website should contact a professional advisor before making decisions about financial issues.
Feature Image: Inti St Clair / Tetra images / Getty Images