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How Does the Navy College Fund Work with the GI Bill?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: I have been out of the service for 5.5 years and have not used any of my benefits. I would prefer to do online classes due to child care needs, but I could manage care for maybe 1 class a week if needed. So I am not sure if it would benefit me more to use the MGIB or switch to the Post 9/11. Also when I enlisted I received if I remember correctly 10k for Navy College Fund, how do I use that? How does that affect either fund I choose? I’m very confused on what and where to go. I went to Navy college campus on base a while back (I am civil service now) and they knew nothing about the NCF. I appreciate if anyone could shed some light on this. Thank you. – Christina

A: Yes, Christina, I can shed some light on your questions. First on the “which GI Bill do I use?” issue. Which GI Bill would be more beneficial to you depends on if you plan to take all your classes online or not. If you can take at least one class on campus per semester that can be applied to your degree plan, you can get up to twice as much Post 9/11 GI Bill housing allowance than if you take all your classes online.

So using this GI Bill and taking all online classes, you would get up to $684 per month in monthly housing allowance (MHA), $41.67 per credit per semester in book stipend money (up to the $1,000 per year limit) and the VA would pay your tuition directly to your school.

If you take a class on campus as explained above, then your MHA is based on the zip code of your school and the number of credits you take, which can amount to twice your online-only rate. In comparison, twelve online-only credits per semester would net you about $3,200 per semester and your tuition would be paid.

Under those same conditions, but using the Montgomery GI Bill, you would net $6,256 per semester, but you have to pay your own tuition, books and other education-related expenses out of that amount.

As far as your NCF, it is a non-issue when comparing GI Bills as you would get the same amount regardless of which GI Bill you would use. Your NCF amount is listed as $10,000, so divide that amount by 36 and you come up with an additional $278 per month that would get on top of your GI Bill benefit.

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