VET TEC is a high-tech training pilot program that doesn’t use GI Bill benefits and pays a monthly housing stipend to students in the program. VET TEC stands for Veteran Employment Through Technology Education Courses. In other words, veterans can attend a coding bootcamp for free without using any GI Bill benefits!
Of course, many coding bootcamps now accept the GI Bill. But VET TEC is different from the GI Bill:
Veterans only need one day of unexpired GI Bill benefits. And the program itself doesn’t use GI Bill benefits. So for example, if you already used your GI Bill education benefits on a 4-year degree, then you could still apply for VET TEC and take a coding bootcamp.
VET TEC pays a monthly housing stipend to students in the program (on a first-come, first-serve basis)
You apply via the VA instead of applying to the bootcamps itself (as you would using the GI Bill).
Also, schools are paid differently than the GI Bill operates. As Maggi Molina, an advisor at Operation Code, says: "The biggest benefit to veterans is that it's essentially the full GI Bill benefit without actually using your GI Bill. Because bootcamps only get the full tuition payment after a veteran gets hired, bootcamps have an incentive to get veterans jobs."
The VA will pay the Bootcamp in stages:
An initial 25% of tuition and fees when the Veteran enrolls and attends.
Another 25% when the Veteran completes his or her training program.
The remaining 50% once the Veteran secures meaningful employment in his or her field of study.
FYI: See a full list of bootcamps that accept the GI Bill. And compare the GI Bill vs VET TEC vs VRRAP here.
A bootcamp is “preferred” if they agree to refund tuition and fees to the VA if the student completes the program and does not find meaningful employment within 180 days.
9 Preferred Bootcamp Partners
5 Non-Preferred Bootcamp Partners
Coding bootcamps can apply to be a VET TEC partner here.
Apply online here. You’ll receive a letter from VA with a decision.
Choose a coding bootcamp from the VA’s list of approved providers (above).
Tell the bootcamp you are eligible for VET TEC and interested in their program. You may need to pass a coding challenge and be admitted to the bootcamp as well (it depends on the bootcamp).
An important reminder that your living stipend will depend on your location and whether you're taking the bootcamp online vs in-person.
The living stipend for students attending an online bootcamp is $938.50 per month, which is half of the national average for in-person bootcampers.
The living stipend for students attending an in-person bootcamp is based on the zip code of the school, but the national average is $1877 per month.
In 2023, there aren't as many coding bootcamps that have in-person classrooms and accept VET TEC. Here are a few bootcamps that do:
Liz is the cofounder of Course Report, the most complete resource for students researching coding bootcamps. Her research has been cited in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, TechCrunch, and more. She loves breakfast tacos and spending time getting to know bootcamp alumni and founders all over the world. Check out Liz & Course Report on Twitter, Quora, and YouTube!
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