With all the news surrounding the positive effects of acupuncture in rehabilitation and pain management, have you ever wondered if you could use your military G.I. Bill to study acupuncture? Perhaps acupuncture has personally helped you deal with the effects of prolonged deployments? Perhaps you utilized acupuncture while recovering from a PT injury? Perhaps you heard that the military started hiring licensed acupuncturists to serve on base and in the veteran’s centers?
Whatever sparked your curiosity, the answer is YES!
- Yes, you can use your G.I. Bill to go to acupuncture school.
- Yes, studies have shown acupuncture to be effective in rehabilitation and pain management.
- Yes, the military has started hiring acupuncturists.
Both the Montgomery G.I. Bill (Chapter 30) and the Post 9/11 G.I. Bill (Chapter 33) can be used to pay for your acupuncture school.
As a veteran, it’s the perfect time to start exploring the field of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine as a career, but with so much information (and misinformation) floating around, and so many places competing for your G.I. Bill – Where do you start?
As a veteran who just recently started acupuncture school and is using the G.I. Bill to pay for it, here is what I learned that can help you navigate this transition from soldier to student.
- The first thing to know is that the percentage of tuition which will be covered is going to be based on your time of service.
- If you have Post 9/11 G.I. Bill educational benefits, you should find out what percentage of tuition you qualify for (80%? 100%?) and how many months of benefits you are entitled to. You can get that information from your V.A. counselor or by calling the V.A. Education Benefits Line (1-888-442-4551).
- Note, if you currently have the standard Montgomery G.I. Bill, it may be worth your while to convert it to the Post 9/11 G.I. Bill. The main advantage of doing this is that the Post 9/11 pays for a percentage of your school tuition as well as providing BAH/MHA equal to rank E-5 for your school’s zip code. Here is a link to a user-friendly calculator to determine your BAH.
- If in doubt, double check with your V.A. counselor to see which G.I. educational benefit makes the most sense for you to use.
- Acupuncture school can be relatively expensive, so having your tuition covered by the Post 9/11 Bill in addition to BAH is an enormous advantage. If you decide to convert your standard Montgomery G.I. Bill to the Post 9/11 G.I. Bill, here is the link to getting you set up with Post 9/11 G.I. Bill. Click on the option that allows you to Apply Online and you will be redirected to the VONAPP portal. Make sure that you have your DD214 handy, you’ll need it to input your last date in service and etc.
It’s a very exciting time to be in the field of acupuncture and the opportunities for veterans are especially promising. So whether you have always been interested in acupuncture or your time in service has exposed you to this amazing medicine, now is a great time to explore your opportunities in Traditional Oriental Medicine.
In the next post is this series, I’ll share what I found to be the most important questions every veteran should ask when choosing a college of acupuncture and Oriental medicine.
About the Author:
Nicole Pamintuan is a veteran of the U.S. Army. She served from 1996-2004. As a civilian, she has been a holistic educator for over 10 years. She is currently a master’s student at Emperor’s College of Traditional Oriental Medicine and the school’s veteran’s liaison. She can be reached at email@example.com.