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Are There Any Ramifications to Switching to the Post 9/11 GI Bill Now?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: I started using my MGIB Aug 2012 and have 27 months left of benefits. Are there any ramifications to switching to the Post 9/11 GI Bill now?

A: The only ramification I can think of is that you would not get the 12 additional months of benefits that you would otherwise receive if you would have first exhausted your Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB) benefits first and then switched. But if you do not plan to go any further than a bachelor’s degree, then it isn’t an issue.

As you know, under the MGIB, you receive $1,564 per month and out of that amount you have to pay all your own tuition, fees, books, etc.

Under the Post 9/11 GI Bill, the VA would pay your tuition directly to your school and you would get a monthly housing allowance (MHA) that in many places is equal to or greater than what you get per month under the MGIB. However, there are also places where it is less. Your MHA is calculated based on the zip code of your school and the number of credits you are taking.

You would also get per semester (up to the $1,000 yearly cap) a book stipend calculated at $41.67 per credit, which for 12 credits is another $500 per semester.

So there are many more positive ramifications than negative by switching to the Post 9/11 GI Bill now, unless you need the additional months of benefits and then it may better to wait.

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