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If I Had SLRP and Reenlisted, Can I Get the Post 9/11 GI Bill?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: I joined the Army in 2006 and gave up the MGIB for the Student Loan Repayment Program. I have recently reenlisted for another 5 years putting my ETS date near 2015. Because I gave up the MGIB back in ‘06, am I eligible for the Post 9/11 GI Bill?

A: You started to gain eligibility for the Post 9/11 GI Bill sometime in 2009. When you signed up for SLRP, you incurred a three-year commitment. After serving those three years, you started to acquire eligibility for the Post 9/11 GI Bill. You have about one-year of eligibility already putting you at the 60% tier right now; three years will get you to the 100% mark.

As long as you are still on active duty, you might want to consider using Tuition Assistance (TA). The Army will pay 100% of your tuition up to $250 per credit (with a $4,500 per year cap). If your per credit rate is more than what TA pays (or if you hit your annual cap early in the year), you can use the Tuition Top-Up program to pay what TA will not. While the Tuition Top-up amount does come out of your GI Bill entitlements, you use your GI Bill at a much slower rate than if you were not using TA.  Before using Top-Up though, I would advise you to wait until you are at the 100% level of the Post 9/11 GI Bill, so you can get all of the difference paid by your GI Bill instead of just a percentage.

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