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Is It Easy to Switch From the MGIB to the Post 9/11 GI Bill?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: I have 3 months and 19 days of the old GI bill available to me, however my semester is 5 months long. Will I be able to switch over fairly easily to the new GI Bill or will the semester finish out on the old one and start a new one on the new GI Bill?

A: Yes, it will be very easy for you to switch from the Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB) to the Post 9/11 GI Bill. First let your MGIB benefits of 3 months and 19 days run its course. Then switch to the Post 9/11 GI Bill by submitting VA Form 22-1990, either online through VONAPP or download the form and send it in according to the instructions on the form.

You should then get an additional 12 months of education benefit. The change should be fairly seamless.

How your semester will work is the VA will “loan” you the months and days you need to finish out your semester. Then they will reduce your 12 months of additional benefit by the amount they loaned you, so you will actually end up with less than 12 months left at the end of the semester.

When you start your new semester, you will notice some changes. The VA will pay your tuition and fees up to the prescribed maximum amount for your school’s state. You will get a housing allowance paid at the E-5-with-dependents rate for the zip code of your school. You will also get up to $1,000 per year in a book stipend.

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