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Is It Best to Use the MGIB for Online Classes and Switch to the Post 9/11 GI Bill for Classroom Classes?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: Is it best to use the MGIB if you’re doing online classes and should I switch to the Post 9/11 GI Bill after completing online to go into the classroom, or keep doing online to exhaust MGIB?

A: If you use your Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB) for online classes, you’ll get paid the same amount as if you were attending classroom classes – up to $1,648 per month provided you served for at least three years and your rate of pursuit is classified as full-time. Out of that amount, you have to pay tuition, fees, books, etc. Over the course of a four-month semester, you would gross $6,592 from your MGIB going to school full-time.

Under the same conditions if you used the Post 9/11 GI Bill, the VA would pay your tuition, but you would also get up to $41.67 per credit per semester in book stipend money and up to $714.50 per month in housing allowance. Over the course of a semester, you would get $3,358 gross ($714.50 X 4 in housing allowance + $500 in book stipend), but your tuition would already have been paid by the VA. So the only other cost out of this amount would be for books.

You’ll have to do the math using your school’s tuition figures to see which one would come out the best for you. The breakeven point between the two GI Bills is $3,234, meaning if your tuition and books exceeds that amount, you are better off using the Post 9/11 GI Bill.

Keep in mind that if you switch to the Post 9/11 GI Bill with MGIB entitlement left, all you get under the Post 9/11 GI Bill is that same number of months of entitlement you had left under the MGIB and not the additional 12 months.

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