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Do I Get More Housing Allowance Attending a Foreign School Under the Post 9/11 GI Bill?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: My name is Brian. So I understand that if I change from Post 9/11 to Montgomery GI Bill then I will get more housing allowance over there ya? I’m planning to go to a Cebu University.

A: To fully understand the difference between the two GI Bills, we have to clarify a couple of things. First, if you only have the Post 9/11 GI Bill now and you are still on active duty, you would have to pay the $1,200 contribution fee to be eligible for the Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB). Second, if you had the Montgomery GI Bill and already switched to the Post 9/11 GI Bill, you can’t switch back to the Montgomery GI Bill (nor would you want to – let me explain).

It is true that under the MGIB, you would get up to $1,648 per month to go to school and only $1,429 per month under the Post 9/11 GI Bill. But you have to consider more – much more – than just the rates of payment between the two GI Bills.

Under the MGIB, the amount you get each month goes toward paying tuition, fees, books, etc. Under the Post 9/11 GI Bill, the VA would pay up to $19,198.31 per year towards your tuition, plus you get your housing allowance and a book stipend of about $500 per semester for up to two semesters per year.

So on the surface, it looks like you get more per month under the MGIB (and you do), but when you factor in costs, the Post 9/11 GI Bill is the clear choice.

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