VA GI Bill® Education Benefits



The GI Bill is available for training at Non-College Degree (NCD) institutions, including GIA. The Department of Veterans’ Affairs evaluates each school’s programmes individually.

GIA On-Campus programmes certified for Montgomery Bill (GI Bill) or Post-9/11 benefits:

  • Graduate Gemmologist, full-time on campus (26 weeks): Carlsbad or New York
  • Graduate Diamonds, full-time on campus (7 weeks): Carlsbad or New York
  • Graduate Colored Stones, full-time on campus (19 weeks): Carlsbad or New York

  • Jewelry Design & Technology, full-time on campus (26 weeks): Carlsbad or New York
  • Graduate Jeweler, full time on campus (26 weeks): Carlsbad Campus Only
  • Jewelry Design, full time on campus (9 weeks): Carlsbad or New York
  • Comprehensive CAD/CAM for Jewelry, full-time on campus (7 weeks): Carlsbad or New York

GIA’s Distance Education, eLearning and Lab Classes are NOT eligible for VA benefits at this time, as evaluated by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs.

Post-9/11 GI Bill (Chapter 33) for Non-College Degree Programmes (NCD)

VA pays the actual net costs for tuition and fees or up to $23,671.94, whichever is less, depending on the amount of funds available in the veteran’s account. This is an annual amount for which you may be eligible to be awarded once per military fiscal year (begins on 1 August and ends on 31 July of the following year). 

Veterans may also qualify for a monthly housing allowance. More information is available on the www.gibill.va.gov website.

Montgomery GI Bill (Chapter 30)

The VA will pay a monthly stipend directly to a student with VA Chapter 30 education benefits for the duration of their class when enrolled in an eligible programme. VA benefits are separate from any other type of financial assistance you may be eligible to receive.

VA Chapter 30 education benefit money is sent directly to you after you start classes and is not available to use for tuition, so you are responsible for paying tuition in full on or before your first day of class. You may wish to apply for federal financial aid (student loans and grants) or for a GIA scholarship to help pay your tuition. Use this link to apply for federal financial aid for GIA programmes or for information about GIA scholarship applications: www.gia.edu/gem-education-financial-aid. For additional information about applying for federal financial aid (grants and low-interest student loans), call 800 421 7250, ext. 4005.

Montgomery Bill benefits expire ten years after your discharge date: confirm your eligibility with the VA office that maintains your records. For more information, go to: www.benefits.va.gov/gibill.

Federal Financial Aid or GIA Scholarships

You may also apply for federal financial aid (student loans and grants) or for a GIA scholarship to help pay for your tuition. Use this link to access information about how to apply for federal financial aid or a GIA scholarship: www.gia.edu/gem-education-financial-aid.

Other VA Programmes

You may qualify for other VA programmes to help with your GIA tuition, such as Reserve Educational Assistance (REAP), Survivors & Dependents Assistance (DEA), Veterans' Educational Assistance Programme (VEAP), Transfer of Post-9/11 Benefits to Dependents (TEB), and others. Check with the VA for eligibility.

How to Apply for VA Benefits

Apply for Montgomery Bill or Post-9/11 education benefits at www.gibill.va.gov. Click on Education & Training and choose “Apply for Benefits” for information about how to complete and submit an application (online, in person or by post). When approved, you will receive a Certificate of Eligibility.

How to Apply and Enrol at GIA

1. Send a copy of your Certificate of Eligibility to GIA, either by post or email:

          Office of Student Financial Assistance, MS 7
          GIA World Headquarters
          The Robert Mouawad Campus           
          5345 Armada Drive
          Carlsbad, CA 92008

2. Send GIA a copy of your DD-214 discharge documents and the Prior Education Form for Veterans (request a copy from us) with copies of your transcript(s). GIA evaluates the previous education and training of all veterans and eligible persons applying for veterans’ benefits. If credit is warranted, the course will be shortened and the Veterans' Administration will be notified.

3. You may enrol in your GIA programme when your Certificate of Eligibility is issued and a copy has been sent to GIA. Providing documents to GIA does not automatically enrol you in courses. You must call +1 760 603 4000 or contact us to enrol. Please make sure you mention VA benefits in your enquiry.

4. After you enrol, and in advance of the start date of your programme, GIA will confirm with the VA that you are enrolled in an eligible programme and certify your enrolment. The VA will then authorise payment to GIA towards your student account.

5. 30 Days prior to start of your programme we suggest that you check your current enrolment status on the eBenefits link at www.gibill.va.gov.

Important Note: Students are required to pay a 10% deposit and application fee when they enrol in class. This must be paid by the student; it cannot be paid with anticipated VA benefits or financial aid. The deposit will be applied to the student’s tuition account.

If you have any questions regarding your VA benefits, please contact the VA office directly.

GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about the education benefits offered by VA is available on the official U.S. government Web site at www.benefits.va.gov/gibill.