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Does the Post 9/11 GI Bill Require a Contribution Fee Like the Montgomery GI Bill?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: Does the Post 9/11 GI Bill require a “pay-in” like the MGIB? I enlisted in ‘04 with SLRP, so I naturally did not pay the $1,200 that my peers paid for the MGIB. I served my initial contract (4 years) and re-enlisted for 2 more, but didn’t finish those as I was selected for Warrant Officer Candidacy School. I’ve since served as an Active Duty W.O. I applied for GI Bill benefits to work on my Master’s degree previously, but was told that I had no benefits…was I mislead or did I apply for the wrong benefit?

A: No, unlike the MGIB, the Post 9/11 GI Bill is free in return for your military service; ninety days of eligible service after September 10, 2001 gets you the minimum benefit of 40%. Serve 36 months get 100% of the benefit. Being you served for four years, you should be at the top tier percentage.

If you checked the 9B box (Montgomery GI Bill – Active Duty) in Part II on your VA Form 22-1990, then it would have come back disapproved. However, try again and this time check box 9A (Post 9/11 GI Bill) and see what happens. Also don’t forget to check 9F. As it says, this block has to be checked if this is your first request for Chapter 33.

Once you get your Certificate of Eligibility, then take a copy of it with you when you enroll in school. It will show which GI Bill you are authorized to use, and how many months of eligibility you have left to use.

Because you are still serving on active duty, the VA would pay your tuition (up to the resident rate if you are going to a public school or up to $19,198.31 per year if attending private) and you would get the book stipend, but you would not get the housing allowance. The book stipend calculates out at $41.67 per credit per semester with a $1,000 per year cap.

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