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Can I Still Use My $50,000 Navy College Fund?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: Sir, I have a few questions if you have the time to answer them. The first question is when I originally joined the Navy instead of taking a bonus I decided to take a $50,000 college scholarship fund, my question is does the fund work with the G.I. Bill, or has it been discontinued or something like that? I have not heard about this program in a long time. The second question I have is if there is a list of schools in Mass. and Vermont that accept the G.I. Bill, and their tuition rates compared to the State average? Thank you for your time in advance.

A: The real question is how many years have you been out of the Navy? The college scholarship fund works in conjunction with the Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB) and that particular GI Bill has a 10-year shelf life. So if it has been more than 10 years, your MGIB has expired along with your college fund.

If it has been less than 10 years, then you can still use both your MGIB and college fund. Be sure to send the VA documentation on your Navy College Fund as far as how much you signed up for. Otherwise, they will not know.

Many veterans are also confused on the actual college fund amount. While you signed up for a $50,000 fund, that is a total amount including the MGIB, so what the MGIB was paying at the time you signed up multiplied by 36 months has to be deducted from the total amount. Whatever is left is your actual college fund and it will be divided into 36 monthly payments. That is what you will get for your scholarship fund payment each month, plus the MGIB monthly amount which by the way is $1,426 per month. You can most likely expect your college fund amount to be around a couple hundred bucks a month added to your MGIB payment.

It was very misleading how the DoD worded that incentive program. Most think they actually have an additional $50,000 plus the MGIB and that is not so.

You can get a list of VA-approved schools in Mass and Vermont by using the Weam’s School Search Feature. While it will give you the max tuition and fees for each school, it does not give you the amount each school charges. You would have to look up that information on each school’s website.

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