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If I Have the MGIB, Can I Switch to the Post 9/11 GI Bill?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: I was approved for the Montgomery GI Bill not knowing I could have gotten the Post 9/11 GI Bill. Is it possible to switch over?

A: It is possible, but depending on your education goals, you may not want to or you may not want to just quite yet. Let me explain.

The Post 9/11 GI Bill only pays for degree-producing programs, so if your goal is attending a trade or technical college to learn a skill, or earn a license or certification, you will want to stay with the Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB) as the Post 9/11 GI Bill will not pay for non-degree courses.

The other thing to think about is if you switch over to the Post 9/11 GI Bill now, you will get your 36 months of benefits you have under the MGIB, if you have not used any yet. If you first exhaust your MGIB benefits and then switch over, you can get an additional 12 months of education benefits. Under the Rule of 48, if you qualify for two or more GI Bills, you can get a combined benefit of 48 months, so you may not want to switch yet. Many veterans are not aware of the Rule of 48 and they miss out on the additional benefits.

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