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If I Switch to the Post 9/11 GI Bill, Won’t I Get An Additional 5 Years to Use My GI Bill Benefits?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: This is confusing to me. This is my situation. I have not used any of my MGIB benefits, but they will expire next month (10 years from my DOS). If I switch to Post 9/11 won’t that extend my time to use the benefits by 5 more years since the MGIB is good for 10 years and the Post 9/11 GI Bill is good for 15?

A: I don’t know why it is confusing to you when you just explained it as well as I could have. Yes, by converting to the Post 9/11 GI Bill, you can extend the time you have to use your benefits by an additional 5 years.

Keep in mind that you would only get the 36 months you have left to use under the Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB) and not get the additional 12 months of Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits. However in most cases you would enjoy a higher rate of pay from the Post 9/11 GI Bill than you would under the MGIB.

For starters, your tuition would be paid for up to the resident tuition rate at a public school or up to $19,198.31 per year at a private school. If your school has a Yellow Ribbon agreement with the VA, and you have to pay out-state tuition, they could pay up to 50% of the unpaid tuition and the VA would pay an equal amount leaving you with little left to pay.

Monthly you would get a housing allowance that averages $1,300 across the United States. Since it is based on the zip code of your school and the number of credits you are taking, yours could be more or less. Also, once per semester you would get a book stipend that calculates out at $41.67 per credit. There is a $1,000 per year cap, but it is usually enough for a couple of semesters.

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