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Will the VA Pay for Tuition Spanning Across Two Years and Two GI Bills?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: Hi Ron, I plan on exhausting my Chapter 30 benefits in 12 months, then applying for the Post 9/11 GI Bill extension. Because of timing, this 12 months will span two different academic years. My question is will the VA pay for both years tuition? Thanks, Greg

A: It certainly will! To transition from the Montgomery GI Bill to the Post 9/11 GI Bill, calculate the date when you think you’ll run out of Chapter 30 benefits. Then go to the eBenefits website and fill out VA Form 22-1990.

In Part II Block 7, put a check before “9F”. To figure out an effective date – when you want your Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits to start – add about two weeks to the date you calculated when you’ll run out of Chapter 30 benefits. It doesn’t matter if you run out of Chapter 30 benefits before this date – the key point is you do not want to have Chapter 30 benefits left on this date.

Otherwise, you won’t get your additional 12 months of Post 9/11 GI Bill. However if you run out of MGIB benefits before this date, your Post 9/11 GI Bill will kick in before your estimated effective date – as a matter of fact, the day after you run out of Chapter 30 benefits it’ll start.

As far as the boxes below the effective date line, check the Chapter 30 box as the GI Bill you are giving up. Yes, I know you don’t have anything left under that GI Bill, but that is the block you have to check.

In return, you’ll get a Certificate of Eligibility (COE) that you’ll need to hand in a copy when you register as a Post 9/11 GI Bill student. On your COE, you’ll notice you will have an additional 5 years of time to use your 12 months of benefits. So spanning two academic years is no problem.

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