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Is the Montgomery GI Bill or Post 9/11 GI Bill Better for Me Once I’m Out?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: Can you tell me the differences between the MGIB and the Post 9/11 and which one would be better for me once I get out the Army.

A: If you had asked this question before August 1, 2011, I would have said it depends on your educational goal. The reason? The Post 9/11 GI Bill would not pay for many of the non-degree programs where the Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB) would pay.

However, now after the implementation of GI Bill 2.0, the MGIB and Post 9/11 GI Bills almost mirror each other as far as the training each pays. So it basically comes down to what percentage of the Post 9/11 GI Bill you will have. If you serve a normal three-year enlistment, then the Post 9/11 GI Bill will be the better deal.

The other thing that could impact on this decision is if you plan on attending a school in a state that does not charge veterans tuition – there are six of them. A big part of the New GI Bill is the VA pays tuition directly to your school. If you don’t have that, then you are left with them paying you only the housing allowance and book stipend.

Depending on the housing rate for your school’s area, the MGIB could pay you more than the Post 9/11 GI Bill, even if you do have to pay your own tuition.

With the New GI Bill, you still get 36 months of education entitlement just as you would under the MGIB, however, the Post 9/11 GI Bill is free – unlike the MGIB where you have to make a $1,200 contribution. In the end you will have to work the numbers, but in most cases if you qualify for more than 60% of the Post 9/11 GI Bill, it will end up paying you more.

Comments  (2)

What if I already paid the 1,200 for the MGIB and I want to transfer to the Post9/11 GI bill? Will that money just be a waste?

posted by Pittman
1:39 pm on September 5, 2012

No it doesn’t go to waste. If you switch to the Post 9/11 GI Bill with all 36 months of MGIB benefits left, you get your $1,200 back once you have used your final month of OPoist 9/11 GI Bill entitlement. Your $1,200 will come as part of your last housing allowance payment.

If you switch with only some of your MGIB entitlement left, then you will get a prorated amount of your $1,200 back – 1/36th of $1,200 for each month you transferred over to the New GI Bill.

posted by Ron Kness
10:03 am on September 9, 2012
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