The Jack Mountain Bushcraft School is approved by the Maine State Approving Agency for Veterans Education Programs for the use of GI Bill ® benefits as a non-college degree institution for training veterans and other eligible persons.
VA Approved Jack Mountain Bushcraft School Programs:
- The Wilderness Bushcraft Semester – 9 Weeks, Spring & Fall.
- The Boreal Snowshoe Expedition – 2 Weeks, Winter.
- The Wilderness Canoe Expedition Semester – 4 Weeks, Summer.
In addition to the information on this page, you should listen to episode 23 of our podcast, “What Veterans Need To Know About Jack Mountain.”
To apply Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits to our programs:
- Fill out our registration form.
- Pay a deposit to hold your spot on the course. This deposit will be repaid to you 100% when we receive your tuition from the VA. To pay a deposit, visit our Tuition page.
- We will need a copy of your “Post-9/11 GI Bill Statement of Benefits”, that you get from the VA. For more information on this document, scroll down.
- We’ll fill out the forms for the VA’s new registration system immediately prior to the course. We’ll need to get your social security number to fill out the form. We’ll do this over the phone.
- If you have previously attended another school or college using GI Bill benefits, you will need to fill out a Request For Change Of Program Or Place Of Training Form (VA Form 22-1995). The completed form should be sent to:
VA Regional Office
Buffalo, NY 14240-4616
- When filling out any paperwork with the VA, be sure to use the exact wording on the course title (Wilderness Bushcraft Semester, Boreal Snowshoe Expedition, Wilderness Canoe Expedition Semester), or you will get a letter back saying we are not an approved school.
Deposit Policy: Your spot on a course is not secured until we receive your deposit. Deposits are non-refundable and non-transferable in case of cancellation. If a course is already full, we will refund 100% of your deposit. Your deposit will be repaid to you 100% when we receive your tuition from the VA.
Methods of Payment: We accept checks, money orders, cash (in person only, never send cash to us or anyone else), Wise currency transfers and credit cards via PayPal. If interested in a Wise currency transfer, contact us for details. Our preferred method of payment are money orders and checks and Wise currency transfers. They should be sent to:
Jack Mountain Bushcraft School
PO Box 77
Ashland, ME 04732
If the GI Bill does not pay 100% of the tuition, the individual is responsible for the balance. We will figure this out in advance of the course.
Facility Code: 28022019. Used by the VA to identify approved training centers.
GI Bill Benefits: For more information on GI Bill benefits and their rates, visit the GI Bill site.
Refund Policy for Veterans Using GI Bill Benefits
The school will refund the unused portion of prepaid tuition and fees on a pro rata basis. Any amount in excess of $10.00 for an enrollment of registration fee will also be prorated.
Catalog For GI Bill Students
We have a catalog with pertinent GI Bill information. Download The latest JMBS Catalog (pdf).
Post-9/11 GI Bill Statement of Benefits
From the VA:
The Post-9/11 GI Bill Statement of Benefits is a document generated through the Vets.gov portal that provides details on remaining entitlement, eligibility percentage, and benefit end date for beneficiaries who have already applied for the Post-9/11 GI Bill. We encourage schools to accept this document in lieu of a Certificate of Eligibility (COE) to verify students’ entitlement and eligibility for Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits. The information is real-time data pulled from the same system used by VA education benefit processors.
This downloadable statement will help reduce wait times associated with requesting a new COE and free up our Call Center resources to assist more callers. New applicants will still be required to apply on vets.gov, and will receive their initial COE in the mail after processing.
Beneficiaries who have applied for education benefits and received a decision must create a vets.gov account to access the Statement of Benefits. With a username and password, beneficiaries can access the Statement of Benefits by completing the following steps:
1. Log in to Vets.gov
2. Select “Your Account”
3. Choose “Get your Post-9/11 GI Bill Statement of Benefits”
4. Click “Print Statement of Benefits”
Frequently Asked Questions Regarding GI Bill Use
Does the GI Bill cover 100% of the tuition?
Yes. Veterans also receive their BAH (housing allowance). BAH is only paid while courses are in session. With the yearlong immersion program, during the interim periods between courses, BAH is not paid.
What if I don’t have 100% of the GI Bill benefits to cover the course?
The student is responsible for paying any tuition the GI Bill doesn’t cover. We require that this tuition balance is paid in advance of the course, as is our policy for non-GI Bill students.
Will the GI Bill pay for college credits through Western State Colorado University?
No. Western Colorado University can not process GI Bill benefits for students enrolled at the Jack Mountain Bushcraft School. If you want to get the college credits that Western State Colorado University offers, you have to pay out of pocket for them.
How do I apply for GI Bill benefits?
Online at www.gibill.va.gov through VONAPP (VA Online Application).
Do I qualify for Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits?
Post- 9/11 GI Bill is based on your period of service on active duty since September 10, 2001. To review the exact requirements for eligibility please review the information at www.gibill.va.gov. You may also visit this site for information
How do I receive payment of my VA benefits?
VA will send Chapter 33 (Post 9-11) tuition/fee payments directly to the school. All other payments will be issued to the student. The VA makes payment directly to the veteran by (1) direct deposit or (2) mailing a check to the mailing address on file at the VA.
Under Montgomery GI Bill (Ch 30 and 1606) and REAP: If you attend school, you must verify your enrollment each month by using the WAVE or IVR system or by calling the toll free 1-877-823-2378. Remember that you cannot be paid for a month until the month is over and you verify that you were still in attendance for that month.
Is there a representative of the VA I can contact to verify information about the Jack Mountain Bushcraft School?
Contact the Maine State Approving Agency for Veterans Education Programs at http://www.msaa.maine.edu/contact_us.htm. You can also type ‘Jack Mountain Bushcraft School’ into the ‘Institution Name’ field on the WEAMS Institution Search page, but you must specify ‘Non College Degree’ as the program type.
Will I receive BAH during the program?
Yes. However, there is always a significant lag time between when the course starts and when BAH benefits begin coming in. Some past students experienced hardship as a result of not having any money saved for the beginning of the course. Plan to have spending money for at least the first month of the course before you begin receiving BAH. Also, please note that the VA calculates BAH based on the cost of living where the school is located. With this in mind, you should be aware that BAH in rural places like northern Maine is significantly lower than if you were to attend a school in New York City.
How does the VA determine how many months worth of benefits a program will use?
This is how we understand this process, but it is always a good policy to check with someone from the VA and verify anything your read online regarding your benefits. The amount of GI Bill benefits a person has remaining is often calculated in months. To translate months to dollars, you first need to determine what the maximum amount the VA will pay for the GI Bill on a given year. This changes from time to time, so make sure the number you get is still accurate. For 2023, we went to this site (Federalregister.gov) and it showed a rate of $27,120.05.
To determine how many months of benefits a program such as ours would require, take the maximum yearly benefit ($27,120.05) and divide it by 12, for 12 months. So for 2023, 1 month of GI Bill benefits translates to $2260 worth of tuition. Then take the total tuition for the course in dollars and divide by $2260 (the monthly rate). This should give you how many months of GI Bill benefits a course will require.
About The GI Bill
GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government Web site at http://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill.