The GI Bill Can Pay for Testing

Sailor Taking Exam

Most veterans are not aware that the GI Bill can be used to pay for college entrance exams and preparatory courses. Entrance exams, such as the SAT, ACT and GRE, are often required or used to gain admission to a college or graduate school. You can also take tests such as CLEP, AP, or DSST exams to get college credit for prior knowledge or experience.

Who Is Eligible?

Any veteran, service member, or military dependent who is eligible for one of the following may be eligible for test reimbursement:

What Kind of Tests Can You Take?

The following tests are approved for reimbursement:

  • SAT (Scholastic Assessment Test)
  • LSAT (Law School Admission Test)
  • GRE (Graduate Record Exam)
  • GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test)
  • AP (Advanced Placement Exam)
  • CLEP (College-Level Examination Program)
  • ACT (American College Testing Program)
  • DAT (Dental Admissions Test)
  • MAT (Miller Analogies Test)
  • MCAT (Medical College Admissions Test)
  • OAT (Optometry Admissions Testing)
  • PCAT (Pharmacy College Admissions Test)
  • TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language)
  • DSST (DANTES Subject Standardized Tests)
  • ECE (Excelsior College Examinations)
  • PLA (Prior Learning Assessment) testing

How Much Can You Be Reimbursed?

You may receive the Department of Veterans Affairs-approved cost of the test.

Although the VA will reimburse you for required test fees, some fees connected to the testing process aren't covered. The following test fees may be covered:

  • Registration fees
  • Fees for specialized tests
  • Administrative fees

The following fees are not covered by VA:

  • Fees to take pre-tests (such as Kaplan tests)
  • Fees to receive scores quickly
  • Other costs or fees for optional items which are not required to take an approved test

There is no limit to the number of tests you can take. However the VA will reduce your GI Bill entitlement based on the cost of the test.

You can be reimbursed for retaking a test that you didn't pass; as well as for courses to prepare for exams.

How is Your GI Bill Entitlement Charged?

Your GI Bill entitlement will be charged proportionally based on the cost of the test.

Your total months of entitlement to VA education benefits will be reduced each time you use your benefits for a test. For the Post-9/11 GI Bill, the amount your entitlement is charged is based on an annual maximum amount and is rounded up. For example, in the 2023-2024 academic year, you are charged one month of GI Bill benefits for each $2,262.59 used. This amount rises to $2,348.36 in 2024-2025.

Keep Up With Your Education Benefits 

Whether you need a guide on how to use your GI Bill, want to take advantage of tuition assistance and scholarships, or get the lowdown on education benefits available for your family, can help. Subscribe to to have education tips and benefits updates delivered directly to your inbox.

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