dcsimg
This website is not affiliated with the U.S. government or military.
Military student

The Montgomery and Post-9/11 GI Bills: Which One is Right for You?

After World War II, Congress saw a chance to help returning veterans. With millions coming back from the war without jobs, along with the still vivid memories of the Great Depression, Congress knew offering a way to help soldiers attend school was about more than just helping veterans--it could help prevent another collapse of the economy.

While most in Congress were in agreement about the education assistance and home loan guarantee portion of the GI Bill, they disagreed on the unemployment provision. In the end, the Bill passed intact and President Roosevelt signed the first veterans' GI Bill into law on June 22, 1944. As a result, millions jumped at the chance to attend a GI Bill college and get an education. By 1947, 49 percent of college students were veterans.

The next big GI Bill change came in 1984 when Sonny Montgomery introduced legislation to update the original bill. The new Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB) was the result.

The last major change to the GI Bill came in 2008 when the Post-9/11 GI Bill passed. A radical departure, the Post-9/11 GI Bill includes a housing allowance, book stipend, and a dependent transfer option. While not perfect for every Army servicemember or recently discharged veteran, it is light-years ahead of its Army GI Bill predecessors.

Post-9/11 GI Bill Eligibility

Minimum eligibility starts with as little as 90 days of Army active duty service with full benefits kicking in at 36 months or more of service. If you were discharged with a service-connected disability, you can be eligible with as little as 30 days of service. In all instances, an honorable discharge is required.

The Post-9/11 GI Bill Features

The Post-9/11 GI Bill has four unique features not found in any previous Army GI Bill, specifically:

  • A housing allowance to help cover living expenses
  • A book stipend
  • The Yellow Ribbon program to help make private and out-of-state tuition more affordable
  • A dependent transfer option for those who are eligible

The Post-9/11 GI Bill focuses upon students attending degree-producing GI Bill schools which means it generally does not pay for trade, technical, license, or certification programs at non-degree producing GI Bill schools.

Housing Allowance and Book Stipend. With the Post-9/11 GI Bill, the VA pays your GI Bill college directly for your tuition and fees, up to the highest in-state, public school undergraduate tuition for the location of the school. As a student, you get paid a monthly housing allowance based on the zip code of your school and up to a $1,000 per year book stipend.

Yellow Ribbon Program. If you attend a private school, are enrolled in a graduate program or pay out-state tuition, ask your GI Bill school if it has a Yellow Ribbon Agreement. If it does, your school may pay up to half the amount of tuition and fees not covered by your Army GI Bill and the VA then matches the school's contribution. This can leave you with very little, if any, school costs left to pay.

Transfer Option. Another great feature of the Post-9/11 GI Bill is the option to transfer remaining education benefits to your spouse, or dependent children, or both. The trick of this option is that the transfer has to take place while you are still serving in the Army--after discharge, you can't add dependents and transfer benefits to them.

The Montgomery GI Bill

After three years of service, full benefits eligibility for the Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB) is established. With this Army GI Bill, veterans all receive the same amount (currently $1,368 per month) and are responsible to pay their own tuition and fees.

The MGIB is more flexible in the educational programs it covers including programs that are:

  • Degree-producing (bachelor's, master's, associate's, etc.)
  • Non-degree producing
  • Licensing
  • Certification

Based on comparison studies, the MGIB may be the better option for servicemembers who:

  • Take online-only courses
  • Attend a public school that does not charge veterans tuition
  • Are at the Post-9/11 GI Bill 40% tier level

Which GI Bill is Right for You?

As the chart below shows, if you strictly go by dollar amounts, the Post-9/11 GI Bill pays you more than the MGIB only starting at the 60 percent tier and above:

MGIB

($1,368/mo. times 4mos.)

Post-9/11 GI Bill Tier Level

Tuition and Fees

(perm term)

Housing Allowance

(times 4 mos.)

Book Stipend

($41.67/credit times 12 credits. Maxes out at 24 credits per year.)

Total per term

$5,472

40%

$1,797

$578 X 4 = $2,312

$500

$4,609

$5,472 *

50%

$2,246

$723 X 4 = $2,892

$500

$5,638

$5,472

60%

$2,696

$868 X 4 = $3,272

$500

$6,468

* While the 50% Post-9/11 GI Bill tier looks like the better option, it is almost a draw when calculated over the whole academic year. This is because the book stipend maxes out at the end of the second term and you are not paid the $500 for the last term of the academic year.

However, keep in mind that there are other considerations you must make besides monetary ones:

  • If you are taking online-only classes, the Post-9/11 GI Bill does not pay a housing allowance and the MGIB may be a better option;
  • If you plan on taking a non-degree-producing course not taught at a degree-producing GI Bill school, the Post-9/11 GI bill does not cover this type of training, but the MGIB does.
  • If you are still in the Army, and plan on transferring Post-9/11 GI Bill education benefits to your spouse or children, you have to do this while you are still serving.

So, which G.I. Bill is right for you? It depends on:

  • Your education goals
  • How you plan on using your GI Bill, whether you wish to transfer benefits to dependents or not
  • Tuition costs

While the Post-9/11 GI Bill is a great addition to the Army GI Bill family, it isn't right for everyone. Be sure to do your homework before you decide to switch. If you decide to switch to the Post-9/11 GI Bill, know you can't change back.

icon legend

This list does not include all schools that accept GI Bill funding or VA Benefits. For a more complete list of schools, click here.

Online
Matching School Ads

  • Full Sail’s curriculum combines elements of creativity, art, business and life skills, technical prowess, and academic achievement.
  • Full Sail offers accelerated programs, so a degree that would normally take four years takes 24 months on average.
  • Students work with industry-standard tools and technologies, allowing them to gain practical knowledge and real-world experience.
  • Join us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram to interact with our community, read about grad success, and see campus images.

Programs: Graphic Design, Bachelor of Science (Online), Internet Marketing, Master of Science (Online), Music Production, Bachelors of Science (Online), more...

At Animal Behavior College (ABC), we're dedicated to helping animal lovers pursue animal careers. Owned and operated by experienced pet industry experts, our school offers hands-on animal career training experience. We offer flexible scheduling and the opportunity to study from home for a portion of the program. For graduates, we also offer the best job placement opportunities available in the nation.

Programs: Cat Training , Veterinary Assistant, Certified Dog Trainer Instructor Course, more...

Liberty University provides a world-class education with a solid Christian foundation, equipping men and women with the values, knowledge, and skills essential for success in every aspect of life.

A liberal arts institution with 16 colleges and schools, Liberty offers programs in fields such as medicine, religion, law, aviation, cinematic arts, psychology, business, and more. Part of the Big South Conference, Liberty fields 20 NCAA Division I athletic teams and 32 Club Sports teams, offering fans an unparalleled college sports experience.

Programs: Doctor of Education: Community Care & Counseling: Marriage & Family, Doctor of Ministry: Evangelism & Church Planting, M.Div: Homiletics, more...

Locations: Lynchburg

Founded in 1766, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, is a leading national public research university and the state’s preeminent, comprehensive public institution of higher learning.

Home to more than 58,000 students from all 50 states and 125 different countries, Rutgers’ mission is to prepare students to become productive members of society and good citizens of the world. That’s made possible by a faculty and staff of over 13,000 members, which includes an Abel Prize winner, Guggenheim Fellows, MacArthur “Genius Award” Fellows, Pulitzer Prize winners, and many more.

Programs: Online Master of Social Work

Locations: New Brunswick

At South College we welcome students from all different stages of life and career.  Whether you are pursing a degree for the first time, going back to school as an adult learner, or furthering your career with an advanced degree, our faculty and staff will partner with you to give your dreams direction.

Programs: Master of Business Admin w/Con Health Care Admin , CERT Public Admin for CMJ Professionals (Grad Level), Master of Business Administration, more...

The goal of earning a master’s degree should be defined by you, not by your circumstances. No matter which path you’ve chosen, a graduate degree can help you advance with your current organization, explore opportunities with a new company, or even start fresh in a new industry. When you earn your master's degree, you’re opening new opportunities for career development that can make a difference for you and your family. Through flexible class scheduling, dedicated career advisors and quality programs, NAU strives to provide a caring and supportive learning environment to ensure your success as a student.

Programs: Master of Business Administration, Aviation Management , Master of Science in Nursing - Nursing Education, Master of Science in Nursing - Care Coordination, more...

#1 Best Online College

 

Northern Arizona University understands the need for flexibility in your learning journey. You can earn your degree alongside life’s commitments by enrolling in NAU Online. With 80+ degree options available, you’re sure to find the perfect degree to match your career goals!

Programs: Computer Information Technology - BS/BA, Small Business Administration - BBA, Liberal Arts - BS/BA, more...

Locations: Flagstaff

Concordia College-New York M.S. Degree Programs Online

Concordia College-New York offers accredited, innovative graduate degrees online to help you advance your career and become a transformative leader. We provide an online graduate experience that combines academic excellence with faith-based values to create ethical, effective leaders ready to improve their workplaces, their communities, and the world at large. Concordia New York is an accredited, nonprofit college with an academic tradition dating back more than 130 years. We offer a quality, affordable education that separates true innovation from trends, and best practices from buzzwords.

Programs: M.S. in Digital Marketing, M.A. in Digital Media

Locations: Bronxville

Fortis Institute can give you the skills you need to train for a career in the healthcare field.

* Programs vary by location

* Please contact each individual campus for accreditation information

Please call on  844-252-4552 to talk to a respresentative.

Programs: Associates in Internet Marketing, Associates in Business Management, Medical Billing and Coding Online, more...

Change the World with American University

Be a part of something bigger than yourself. At American University, we strive to help you develop your professional interests and indulge in your passion for making a difference. Our online degree programs allow you to gain the advanced skills for active leadership in a variety of fields.

Set Yourself Apart at American University

At American University, our smart, passionate and engaged students and faculty focus their knowledge to create meaningful change. Our strengths in international service and public affairs inspire our sense of social responsibility and a dedication to cultural and intellectual diversity. We're defined by our global perspective, practical idealism and a dedication to public service.

Programs: Master of Science in Measurement & Evaluation, Master of Science in Nutrition Education, Master of Arts in Economics - Applied Economics, more...

Matching School Ads

This list does not include all schools that accept GI Bill funding or who are participating in the Yellow Ribbon Program or VA Benefits. For a more complete list of schools, click here.

Disclaimer: Armystudyguide.com does not guarantee the schools listed above accept GI Bill funding. Please check with the school before enrolling.