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How Do I Get Started Using My GI Bill?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: Good afternoon Sir, I would like to better my future and use my GI Bill, I just don’t know how to get started. Please point me in the right direction.

A: Congratulations on trying to better your future. Over the course of a career, college graduates make around twice as much money as their non-college colleagues. The extra money you would make can go a long way to improving your family’s quality of life.

Regardless if you have the Montgomery GI Bill or Post 9/11 GI Bill, getting started is the same – go to the eBenefits website and submit VA Form 22-1990. In return, the VA will send you your Certificate of Eligibility. When you register for school, you need to take that certificate with you, so your school knows you are a GI Bill student.

As far as how much you would get paid, if you are using the Montgomery GI Bill, then you would get up to $1,564 (the new rate as of October 1st) with three years of service. If you served less than three years, then your monthly amount would be less.

If you are using the Post 9/11 GI Bill, then the VA pays your tuition directly to your school and monthly you get a housing allowance based on the zip code of your school and the number of credits you take. At the beginning of the semester, you would also get a book stipend paid at the rate of $41.67 per credit with a $1,000 per academic year cap.

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