Attention A T users. To access the menus on this page please perform the following steps. 1. Please switch auto forms mode to off. 2. Hit enter to expand a main menu option (Health, Benefits, etc). 3. To enter and activate the submenu links, hit the down arrow. You will now be able to tab or arrow up or down through the submenu options to access/activate the submenu links.
Get more information on the Veterans Benefits Banking Program
Get more information on the VA Anti-Harassment and Anti-Sexual Assault Policy

Education and Training

The 85/15 Rule

The 85 percent rule, or 85/15 rule, prohibits Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) from paying benefits to students who are enrolling in a program when more than 85 percent of the students that are already enrolled in that program have any part of their tuition, fees, or other mandatory charges paid for them ("supported") by the school or by VA under Title 38 or Title 10. In other words, at least 15 percent of the students enrolled in a given program must be self-supported ("non-supported"), or VA cannot pay benefits for newly enrolling GI Bill® students.

The provisions of the 85/15 rule do not apply to the following types of programs:

  • Farm cooperative training programs.
  • Flying clubs (also known as "aero clubs") operating under regulations of the Armed Forces.
  • Veterans pursing a program that leads to a high school diploma or equivalency certificate, or who are taking a refresher, remedial, or deficiency course.
  • Educational and training institutions that do not assess tuition, fees, or other mandatory charges.
  • Approved programs offered at accredited educational institutions and vocational flight schools approved under 38 CFR 3672 with a current 35 percent exemption.
  • Approved programs with fewer than 10 supported students enrolled. (Visit Reporting Requirements to find out how to document enrollment of fewer than 10 supported students for any programs not otherwise exempt from all provisions of the 85/15 rule.)

All other approved programs offered at non-exempted educational and training institutions must follow the 85/15 rule.

Establishment of the 85/15 Rule

Congress adopted the 85/15 rule as a way to combat the predatory school abuses that occurred after the implementation of the Servicemen's Readjustment Act of 1944. To this day, the 85/15 rule remains an important safeguard to the integrity of the GI Bill.

Effect of the 85/15 Rule on VA beneficiaries enrolled in programs at an approved school

VA cannot pay benefits for a program if more than 85 percent of the students in that program are having any part of the cost paid by VA or the school. When the ratio of supported students to non-supported students exceeds 85 percent, GI Bill students may continue to receive benefits as long as they remain enrolled in the program.

Are students using the Veterans Readiness and Employment (VR&E) and Survivors' and Dependents' Educational (DEA) affected by the 85/15 rule?

Students who receive benefits under VR&E or DEA programs count as supported students under the 85/15 rule, but they may receive benefits even when enrolling in a program that exceeds 85 percent supported students.


Additional 85/15 Webpages
85/15 FAQS Full-Time Equivalency Suspension and Review
Restricted Aid Supported and Non-Supported Students Reporting Requirements
35 Percent Exemption DoD Exemption Education Service Waiver