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Can the Montgomery GI Bill – Selected Reserve and Tuition Assistance Be Used at the Same Time?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: Can a service member use Tuition Assistance and request payment of the MGIB-SR? The SM is not eligible for the Post 9/11 GI Bill.

A: Being you are referencing the Montgomery GI Bill – Selected Reserves (MGIB-SR), the servicemember (SM) must be in the National Guard or Reserves. One of the unique features of the MGIB-SR is the SM has to be in the Selected Reserve with less than 10 years of service to use that GI Bill. Once in over 10 years, or upon discharge, the GI Bill expires.

So assuming the SM still qualifies for the Reserve GI Bill, yes he could use it and Federal Tuition Assistance (FTA) together. And as a Reservist or National Guard member, s/he is also getting a monthly drill check which can also be used to pay for tuition.

Not to be overlooked are state benefits. Most of the states and territories provide their state militia and Reservists with some form of benefits. Many states have their own GI Bill which then can be used in conjunction with the FTA and the MGIB-SR. It is worth looking into.

Another form of financial aid worth pursuing is service organizations scholarships, such as the American Legion and Veteran of Foreign Wars. These organizations, among others, readily each give out their own scholarships each year. I recommend applying for scholarships and grants first and only resort to student loans as a last choice.

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