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Can I Take A Trade School Course With the GI Bill?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: Can I take a trade with the GI Bill?

A: For right now, it depends somewhat on which GI Bill you have. The Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB) is much more liberal as far as paying for trade training verses the Post 9/11 GI Bill. With the Post 9/11 GI Bill, the only way it will maybe pay for a trade course is if the course is taught at a school also teaching degree programs, but even that is not a guarantee.

The MGIB will pay for trade, technical, licensure and certification courses regardless where they are taught, as long as the school is VA-approved.

However, with the passage of the GI Bill 2.0, that will change starting on August 1st. From that point on, the Post 9/11 GI Bill will function more like the MGIB in that it will start paying for trade courses at  all VA-approved schools.

If you qualify for both GI Bills, there are several things to consider. One, if you have not used any of your MGIB benefits yet, and you transfer to the Post 9/11 GI Bill, once you use up all of your Post 9/11 GI Bill transferred benefits, you will get your $1,200 MGIB contribution back.

If you used up part of your MGIB benefits and then transferred to the New GI Bill, then you would get a prorated amount back. If you used up all your MGIB benefits and then switched, you could get an additional 12 months of Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits, but no contribution back.

I know you are planning to take a trade course right now, but these are all things to think about in the future.

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