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If I Originally Had the Old Montgomery GI Bill, Does It Transfer to the New Post 9/11 GI Bill?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: I joined the Army in Oct 2008 and I was told I was receiving the original GI Bill. I’m getting out in Oct 2012 to go to school. Does my original GI Bill transfer to the New GI Bill?

A: It can if you want it to (and why wouldn’t you). When you signed up for the Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB), the new Post 9/11 GI Bill was not even in existence yet, so that was the only option you had at that time. And before the GI Bill 2.0 significantly changed the Post 9/11 GI Bill, there were some situations where it was better to stick with the MGIB, including attending a vocational or technical school not connected with a degree awarding institution of higher learning.

But since the change, the Post 9/11 GI Bill generally pays for the same type of training as did the MGIB, however, at a much higher rate.

Instead of getting a fixed monthly rate of $1,473 per month as a full-time student, and you having to pay for your own tuition, fees, books and other education-related expenses, now you get your tuition/fees paid in full directly to your school (public) and you get a monthly housing allowance and a book stipend each semester, up to $1,000 per year.

If you plan on attending a private school, then the VA will pay up to $17,000 per year in tuition and fees and you still get your housing allowance and book stipend. With either type of school, it is a lot better deal than using the MGIB for the same type of training.

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