Montgomery GI Bill
The Montgomery GI Bill is an educational benefit program offered by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs for those who have served in the military after June 30, 1985. This GI Bill applies to both those who served in Active Duty and who served in the Selected Reserve (including the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps Reserves as well as in the Army or Air National Guard). If you meet the criteria, you can use the educational benefits towards a university or college degree or certificate, apprenticeship or on-the-job training programs, online or distance courses and professional courses (including flight training, high-tech training and certification exams).
You may also qualify for the Montgomery GI Bill if you served before 1977 and have any time remaining under the Vietnam-Era GI Bill.
Montgomery GI Bill Benefits
The benefits you receive under the Montgomery GI Bill are dependent on many factors, such as the type of education you are pursuing and the time you served on active duty in the military or in the Reserve/National Guard. Generally, you have up to ten years after honorably being discharged from service to use these education benefits, although there are exceptions.
- Funding towards post secondary education for up to 36 months. Benefits are paid on a monthly basis and depend on whether you are studying full or part time and what educational program you are pursuing. For example, as of October 2011, if you are studying full time at a degree-granting university, you may be eligible for $1,473/month. Visit the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ Rate Tables page for an updated version of monthly benefit amounts: http://www.gibill.va.gov/resources/benefits_resources/ rate_tables.html
- If you are still on active duty, you may be eligible for a full reimbursement of tuition or training course fees of programs you pursue while serving.
There are several detailed criteria that define whether you are eligible for the education benefits under the Montgomery GI Bill. The safest route to determine if you qualify is to file a claim with the Department of Veterans Affairs in order to receive a formal decision. An application form can be found at: http://gibill.va.gov/documents/VA_22_1990.pdf.
The following are general criteria for eligibility:
- If you are no longer serving in the military, you must have been honorably discharged.
- You must have a High School Diploma or equivalent.
- If serving or have served under active duty, you must have chosen to participate in the Montgomery GI Bill program during your enlistment or basic training period; this leads to a deduction of $100/month for the first year from your income which will go towards your education benefits.
- If you enlisted into the military for a three or more year period, you must have served or serve three years to meet eligibility requirements.
- If you enlisted into the military for a two-year period, you must have served or serve two years to meet eligibility requirements.
- You may be eligible for the Montgomery GI Bill if you did not serve the minimum amount of required years if you were involuntarily or voluntarily separated from the military for reasons approved by the Department of Veterans Affairs.
- You must have started your military service after June 30, 1985 (unless you have a remaining claim via the Vietnam-Era GI Bill).
* If your active duty/service commenced after August 9, 2009, instead of being eligible for the Montgomery GI Bill, you may qualify for the Post 9/11 GI Bill.