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Can I Add More Money to My Montgomery GI Bill?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: I was wondering if I can add more money to my MGIB benefits, because I have about 11 months left, and I will be able to physically go to school starting this fall. However, I prefer to switch to the Post 9/11 so I can use the housing stipend when I relocate for new school. Is that possible?

A: If you are still serving, the military does have such a program where you can add more money to your Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB) – it’s called the Buy-Up program. You can contribute anywhere from $5.00 up to $600.00, however, the monthly increase to your MGIB will be proportionate to the amount you contribute. If you kick in the full $600, you would get a $5,400 boost in education benefits. The part I don’t know is if you can contribute to this program with only 11 months of your MGIB left.

And if you can, don’t do it if you are considering changing to the Post 9/11 GI Bill, because the Buy-Up program cannot be used with the New GI Bill, so you would lose whatever amount of money you put into it.

Just so you know, if you switch with 11 MGIB months left, that is all you will get under the Post 9/11 GI Bill. However, if you first exhaust those 11 months and then switch, you will get an additional 12 months of benefits.

You will have to work the numbers, but you may be better off using your 11 MGIB months and then switching to capture the additional 1 year of benefits.

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