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I Would Like to Know Which GI Bill I Have?

Q: I would like to know if I have the Montgomery or the GI Bill

A: Just to prevent any confusion among readers, the Montgomery GI Bill – Active Duty (MGIB-AD) is commonly called the GI Bill. But in reality, there are actually five fairly common GI Bills:

  • Montgomery GI Bill – Active Duty (MGIB-AD)
  • Montgomery GI Bill – Selected Reserve (MGIB-SR)
  • Post 9/11 GI Bill
  • Reserve Education Assistance Program (REAP)
  • Veterans Education Assistance Program (VEAP)

Due to a limited word count, I’ll address the eligibility requirements only on the two most popular, the MGIB-AD and Post 9/11 GI Bills.

If you were in after September 10, 2001 for a minimum of 90 days or more, you are eligible for the New GI Bill (Post 9/11). This GI Bill is free and generally pays for degree-producing courses and some non-degree courses taught at degree-producing schools.

Under the Post 9/11 GI Bill, the VA pays for your tuition and fees directly to your school and you get a monthly housing allowance and book stipend for up to 36 months and you have up to 15 years to use your education benefits.

If you were in after 1984 up through today, then you may have the MGIB-AD provided you signed up for it (usually in Basic Training) and made your $1,200 contribution. It pays for both degree and non-degree producing programs along with licensure and certification programs.

It too provides 36 months of benefits at the rate of $1,426 per month, however under this program, you are responsible for paying your own tuition, fees, books and any other education-related expenses. You only have 10 years from your date of discharge to use these benefits.

If you qualify for two or more GI Bills, you can get a maximum of 48 months of education benefits under the VA’s Rule of 48.

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