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Exactly How Much Will I Get With My Reserve MGIB and GI Bill Kicker?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: I am veteran reservist of OEF with twelve months active duty time. I enlisted in 2009 with the MGIB and the GI Bill Kicker as incentives. Exactly how much school, book, and housing money am I looking at per month? If I already have scholarships to the university and my GI money covers more than what’s left, can I keep what’s leftover?

A: Being you are in the Reserves, you have the The Montgomery GI Bill – Selected Reserves (MGIB-SR). Unfortunately, it pays considerably less than does either the Post 9/11 GI Bill or Montgomery GI Bill – Active Duty (MGIB-AD). The Post 9/11 GI Bill pays actual tuition and eligible fee charges, where both MGIBs pay a fixed monthly amount, however, the amounts are drastically different. Out of that amount, MGIB users have to pay their tuition, fees, books, and other education-related expenses, but one advantage of the MGIB is the VA doesn’t care how much or how little that costs.

So in your case, yes you will still get the same amount under the MGIB-SR whether you have scholarships helping pay expenses or not. Right now, your MGIB pays a full-time student a parley $337 per month to go to school. That amount is adjusted annually and on October 1st, it will go up to $345.

As far as how much you will get for your Kicker, I can’t say as every military branch pays different amounts, but you can figure it will be $50 either way from $200. It should say on your contract how much you should get. Figuring $545 per month for 36 months, that adds up to $19,620. It is a good thing you also have some scholarships.

You might also want to look at the Post 9/11 GI Bill. With your one-year deployment, you would qualify at the 60% level, meaning the VA would pay 60% of your tuition/fees, and you would get 60% of both the housing allowance and book stipend – that would be 60% of everything after the scholarships pay. You might actually come out better.

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