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With My Active Duty and Selected Reserve Service, How Much Should I Get Each Month from My GI Bill?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: I paid in the standard $100 per month my first year on active duty, was released from active duty September 24, 2001, and served in the National Guard (only drills and 5 weeks ADT) until March 24, 2005. I am currently enrolled in one 3-credit course for a 6-week summer semester. I am having trouble figuring out how much reimbursement I am eligible for.

A: Let’s start out by discussing what GI Bills you have to work with. First, you were not in the National Guard long enough to get the Montgomery GI Bill – Selected Reserve (MNIG-SR) – also known as the Reserve GI Bill. You would have had to enlist for at least 6 years to get it.

And you don’t have enough time on active duty after September 10, 2001 to qualify for the Post 9/11 GI Bill; it requires serving for at least 90 days after that September date. Nor does it sound like you had any New GI Bill qualifying time while serving in the National Guard. You needed some mobilization time on a Title 10 order in support of a contingency operation which is sounds like you did not have.

So the Montgomery GI Bill – Active Duty that you signed up for and paid in your $1,200 is probably the only GI Bill you have. If you served at least three years on active duty, then you should get $1,648 per month to go to school full-time for up to 36 months. If you did not serve for at least three years, then the most you could get would $1,395 per month.

If you choose to go to school less than full-time, then you monthly amount would be prorated accordingly. In other words, if your school used 12 credits as their full-time mark and you were taking 9 credits, then you would get 9/12ths or 3/4th of the total authorized amount.

Because you are in a summer session, the number of classes required for full-time status is usually cut in half. So if your school uses 6 credits as their summer session full-time status and you are taking one 3-credit class, then you would get half of the monthly amount or about $824 per month. Out of that amount, you would have to pay tuition and buy books.

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