Now the GI Bill Is for Families, Too

You can transfer education benefits to your spouse and kids.

One of the best things about the new GI Bill, which took effect August 1, 2009, is that if you are a service member, you may transfer your benefits -- the full cost of in-state tuition and fees at a state school for up to 36 months, plus a stipend for housing and books -- to your spouse and children.

If they attend a more-expensive private college or grad school or pay out-of-state tuition, they may receive additional financial assistance from the Yellow Ribbon program; more than 1,200 U.S. colleges participate and agree to cover some extra costs beyond the GI Bill limits.

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Kimberly Lankford
Contributing Editor, Kiplinger's Personal Finance

As the "Ask Kim" columnist for Kiplinger's Personal Finance, Lankford receives hundreds of personal finance questions from readers every month. She is the author of Rescue Your Financial Life (McGraw-Hill, 2003), The Insurance Maze: How You Can Save Money on Insurance -- and Still Get the Coverage You Need (Kaplan, 2006), Kiplinger's Ask Kim for Money Smart Solutions (Kaplan, 2007) and The Kiplinger/BBB Personal Finance Guide for Military Families. She is frequently featured as a financial expert on television and radio, including NBC's Today Show, CNN, CNBC and National Public Radio.