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What Do I Do with the DD Form 2366-1 for the Montgomery GI Bill $600 Buy-Up Program?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: How do I contribute to the $600 “buy-up” program for the MGIB? I went to my education center and they gave me DD form 2366-1. I don’t know what to do next. Thanks.

A: If you really want to pay into the Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB) Buy-Up Program, you will have to fill out the form they gave you and hand it to your Unit Administrator in your Orderly Room. They will enter it into the pay program and a certain amount of money will be taken out of your pay until you have paid in the required $600.

However, are you sure you want to do that? The reason I ask is the Buy-Up program can’t be used with the Post 9/11 GI Bill and in most cases the New GI Bill pays much better than the MGIB.

For example, the MGIB currently pays $1,473 per month if you attend full-time. The Buy-Up program would pay an additional $150 per month ($5,400/36 months). So you would get $1,623 per month for 36 months and you have to pay your own tuition, fees, books and other education-related expenses and still have money to live on.

Under the Post 9/11 GI Bill, the VA pays your tuition and fees directly to your school and you get a monthly housing allowance and a book stipend calculated at $41.67 per credit (up to the $1,000 per year limit). On average, the housing allowance runs about $1,200 per month – twice that amount if you are going to school on either the East or West Coast.

In most cases using the Post 9/11 GI Bill will pay you more, plus if you switch to it with all 36 months of benefits left, you get your $1,200 MGIB contribution back once you have used up your last month of Post 9/11 GI Bill benefit.

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