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With 27 Months of Service and Not Meeting the 20/30 Rule, Which GI Bill Is My Best Option?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: I have served 27 months & 20 days, got out on a Chapter 8 (pregnancy). Also I signed a paper on about not meeting the 20/30 month rule to receive the basic MGIB benefits. What are my best options, put in an application for the GI Bill or the Post 9/11?

A: What the 20/30 month rule says is that if you enlisted for 24 months, you have to serve at least 20 months to get full GI Bill education benefits; thirty months on a 36 month enlistment. I’m assuming you initially signed up for 36 months.

When you don’t meet your initial enlistment obligation, the most you can hope for is a month-for-month eligibility, meaning you should be able to get 27 months of education benefits from your GI Bill.

As far as which GI Bill would be best for you, I can’t answer that without knowing more information – such as your education goal.

Under the MGIB, you could get up to $1,648 per month and you have to pay your own tuition, fees, books, etc. Under the Post 911 GI Bill, your tuition is paid up to the resident rate, and you get a monthly housing allowance and a book stipend once per semester.

However, I caution you on the housing allowance as online-only students get a different rate than students attending classes on campus – about half as much.

So which GI Bill is best for you depends on where you go to school, if you are attending classes online only or on campus, and your education goal. Generally speaking, most students fair better under the Post 9/11 GI Bill, but you have to factor in your own situation to determined which GI Bill is best for you.

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