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Can I Use My Montgomery GI Bill and Wisconsin GI Bill at the Same Time?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: I live in Wisconsin which has its own GI Bill plus I paid into the Montgomery GI Bill. Wisconsin will pay 100% tuition for any WI school so how does that work with my Montgomery GI Bill?

A: I’m assuming what you are talking about is the Wisconsin GI Bill Tuition Remission program. Under it, you can go to a school that is part of either the University of Wisconsin System or Wisconsin Technical College System for up to 8 full-time semesters or 128 credits whichever is greater. The program waives all tuition charges.

However, they have made a residency change to their program in the Fall of 2013. Before the change you had to be a resident of Wisconsin at the time of entry into active duty service in order to qualify for the remission program. After the change, all you have to do for residency is be a Wisconsin resident for at least 5 years immediately preceding the semester you start school to qualify.

As far as your Federal Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB), you could use that concurrently along with the state Wisconsin GI Bill. Under the MGIB, the money comes directly to you, so it would end up being extra money in your pocket – an extra $1,648 per month.

But before you jump on this band wagon, think about this for a moment. You could also save your MGIB entitlement and use it at a later date – up to 10 years from your last date of discharge. That way you would have it if you plan to get a graduate degree down the road or a second undergraduate degree.

But if you are sure this is the only post-secondary education you’ll pursue, then the best plan might be to now start receiving benefits under the MGIB too.

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