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Can I Use My Father’s GI Bill to Attend a Community College?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: Hi, I recently heard about the GI Bill and I have a few questions. My father is retired military, but my parents are divorced and I live with my mother. How do I receive the benefits, or do I even qualify for them? Would my father have to fill out paperwork? I am interested in attending a community college in the fall, and was interested in knowing if the GI Bill qualified for community colleges or just universities. Thank you for your help.

A: First, if your father is already retired, then he cannot make a transfer to you regardless of which GI Bill he has. If he was still on active duty and had the Montgomery GI Bill, he couldn’t make a transfer either as it does not have a transfer of benefits option.

If he had the Post 9/11 GI Bill, it does have a transfer option, but only if he had served at least 6 years on active duty and agreed to serve an additional four years. The way Congress worded the New GI Bill, the sponsor has to be “on active duty on or after August 1, 2009″ to make a transfer.

The last part is your age. If you are over the age of 26, you could not use transferred benefits even if you had them.

So the short answer is being your father is retired, he will not be able to transfer any benefits to you.

Just so you know, the Post 9/11 GI Bill is generally used to pay for degree-producing courses and non-degree courses taught at degree-producing schools, where the Montgomery GI Bill can be used for both degree-producing and non-degree courses regardless of where they later are taught.

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