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How Can I Use The Yellow Ribbon Program With the Montgomery GI Bill?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: Hello, I’ve been in the Army for 12 years and I am about to ETS as an E-5 with no dependents. How much will the Montgomery GI Bill pay for me to go to school? Also do I qualify for the Yellow Ribbon Program? I am a resident of Georgia.

A: Currently, the Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB) pays students $1,564 per month up to 36 months to go to school full-time, if you have served for at least three years or more (which you have). Out of that amount, you have to pay tuition, fees, books and other education-related expenses.

As far as the Yellow Ribbon Program, that is part of the Post 9/11 GI Bill and not the MGIB. But the good news is you also qualify for the Post 9/11 GI Bill too. The minimum benefit of 40% under the New GI Bill comes free of charge just for serving 90 days or more on a Title 10 order. With over three years of service, you are at the 100% tier level.

The only way the Yellow Ribbon program would benefit you is if you:
• attend a private school
• are in a graduate program
• pay non-resident tuition

Because you are a resident in Georgia, if you attend a public school in Georgia, then the Yellow Ribbon Program is not a feature beneficial to you. Under the Post 9/11 GI Bill, your public school tuition would be paid in full.

Also, under the this GI Bill, you would get a monthly housing allowance. It is based on the zip code of your school and the number of credits you are taking. If you were going to school in Atlanta for example, it would pay you $1,164 monthly. While this is less than the MGIB, keep in mind your tuition is already paid under the Post 9/11 GI Bill.

In addition, you also would get the book stipend calculated at $41.67 per credit per semester. There is a $1,000 per year cap on the book stipend, but it is enough for a couple of 12 credit semesters per year.

If you decide to switch to the New GI Bill, go to the eBenefits website and submit VA Form 22-1990. In return you would get your Certificate of Eligibility that you would need when enrolling in school.

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