Reserve Educational Assistance Program
The Reserve Educational Assistance Program was the forerunner to the Post-9/11 GI Bill for members of the Reserve Components ordered to active duty. Read about the Reserve Educational Assistance Program to find out more about eligibility.
Chapter 1607 was the forerunner of the Post-9/11 GI Bill for Selected Reservists (Sel Res) and Individual Ready Reserve (IRR) members called to active duty. Selected Reservists include members of the:
- Air Force
- Marine Corps
- Coast Guard
- Army and Air National Guard
The Individual Ready Reserve of members from the four IRR branches, including the Army, Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps. By comparison, the Montgomery GI Bill - Selected Reserve (MGIB-SR) does not cover members of the IRR. Eligibility for Chapter 1607 benefits are determined by the Department of Defense (DoD), or in the case of the Coast Guard, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
The REAP Eligibility Requirement
Sel Res and IRR members must have served on active duty Title 10 orders, after September 10, 2001, for a minimum of 90 days in support of a contingency operation, such as Iraq or Afghanistan to qualify for the benefit. Disabled members released before reaching 90 days of service due to an injury, illness or disease are also eligible for the minimum benefit.
By comparison, MGIB-SR eligibility includes:
- Enlisting for six years in one of the Sel Res branches
- Completing IADT
- Earning a high school diploma before applying to use the benefits
- Remaining in good standing in a drilling unit
While there isn't a delimiting date under this program like there is with the 14-year MGIB-SR, the member must stay in the Sel Res or IRR to remain eligible for the benefit. Benefits are normally lost upon discharge under both programs.
The REAP Benefit
A member fulfilling the minimum service requirement receives 36 months of benefits. If the member also qualifies for another GI Bill, the maximum combined benefits are capped at 48 months. Educational benefits are calculated based on a percentage of the Montgomery GI Bill - Active Duty (MGIB-AD) and the amount of time spent on active duty orders. Members released due to a disability before serving 90 continuous days qualify at the minimum 40% level.
Currently, full-time students are paid monthly according to the following 2010 figures:
- 90 days of service, but less than 1 year (40%) - $570.40
- 1 year of service, but less than 2 years (60%) $855.60
- 2 or more continuous years of service (80%) - $1,140.80
After three years of service, members qualify for the MGIB-AD should they choose to sign up and make the $1,200 contribution. Students, attending at a rate of less-than full-time, receive an amount directly proportional to the amount of their training time. For example, a half-time student receives half as much as a full-time student.
MGIB-SR students also receive 36 months of benefits, but their pay structure is much different. A full-time student receives $337 per month. In the case of students attending less than fulltime, their monthly amounts are prorated down at the same rate as REAP students.
Types of Training Authorized Under REAP
Members may use either REAP or the Sel Res GI Bill to attend the following training and education programs:
- Undergraduate and graduate degree programs
- Vocational/technical training
- On-the-job/apprenticeship training
- Correspondence training
- Flight training
Students taking correspondence courses, on-the-job/apprenticeships and flight training will experience reduced payments. However, full-time MGIB-SR students receive the same monthly amount regardless of the type of training they take, except for correspondence courses and flight training. As far as transferability, neither GI Bill may be transferred to a spouse or dependent child.
REAP Verses the Post-9/11 GI Bill
Depending on a member's educational goal, the member could also qualify for the Post-9/11 GI Bill which, in most cases, pays more than REAP. The student must be sure of his/her educational goal as once switched to the Post-9/11 GI Bill, the student cannot switch back. With either the MGIB-SR or REAP, benefits are started by submitting VA Form 22-1990 online at the Veterans Online Application website (VONAPP). Once the application is approved, the veteran receives a Certificate of Eligibility which is needed by the school when enrolling as a student using the GI Bill.