An Introduction to the Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB)
The Montgomery GI Bill Active Duty (MGIB), also known as the Veteran's GI Bill of Rights, provides military education benefits to active duty service members and veterans of the Army and other branches of the U.S. military. In order to qualify for Montgomery GI Bill benefits, you must have enrolled in the program while on active duty, and paid in a $1200 lump sum or $100 per month during your first 12 months in the Army or other military service.
Am I Eligible for Montgomery GI Bill Benefits?
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has laid out specific eligibility categories for the Montgomery GI Bill Active Duty. To be eligible for the MGIB, you must:
- Have served for a minimum period of two continuous years or more
- Received an honorable discharge
- Have completed a high school diploma or GED.
Other factors, such as your dates of service, may influence your eligibility, so contact your local Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) office to discuss your specific situation. A quick call or meeting can help you determine your MGIB eligibility.
Montgomery GI Bill Active Duty Benefits
The MGIB provides education benefits for up to 36 months. Students receive a flat rate that is adjusted annually. For veterans with at least three years of service, the payment as of August 2011 is $1,426 per month (increasing to $1,473 per month in October 2011). For students with fewer than three years, the monthly payment is $1,158 (increasing to $1,196). This money is tax-free, and can be used for the following:
- College tuition and fees
- Flight training
- High-tech training
- Technical school
- Vocational school
- Correspondence courses
- Online education
- Apprenticeship/job training
- Licensing and certification exams
- Entrepreneurship training
Your MGIB benefits can be used for tuition, fees, and other costs you incur during your education. In some cases, you may be able to apply your MGIB benefits to remedial or refresher courses. Benefits cannot be used for courses you have successfully taken before.
Taking Advantage of Your MGIB Benefits
In order to receive funds, you must show proof of enrollment once a month. At the end of each month, you can submit verification you were enrolled in courses through the Department of Veterans Affairs WAVE Website.
In most cases, you have a 10 year window to use your MGIB benefits, which are valued at over $40,000. You can qualify for additional MGIB benefits if you opt to participate in the Buy Up program while on active duty. Contributing an additional $600 could increase your MGIB benefits by up to $5400.
More About the Montgomery GI Bill:
- Montgomery GI Bill Selected Reserve (MGIB-SR)
- Montgomery GI Bill - Active Duty (MGIB-AD)
- MGIB-SR Kicker