Montgomery GI Bill

The Montgomery GI bill, otherwise referred to as MGIB, is an educational assistance program provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

Under this program, veterans can receive monthly benefits that will help pay for a number of educational needs. Montgomery GI bill benefits can be used towards college, technical school and a variety of other educational certificate or training programs.

The Montgomery GI bill rates will vary based on what type of education you are receiving as well as your enrollment status. For example, you will receive a lower benefit rate if you are enrolled in school part-time versus full-time. In any case, the rates increase each October in order to reflect the increases in tuition costs. Below, learn about the Montgomery GI bill eligibility requirements, find out how to apply and discover what benefits you can receive once approved.

How does the Montgomery GI bill work?

The Montgomery GI Bill is available to active duty servicemembers and reservists who are seeking a degree or undergoing certain types of training that require a tuition fee. The bill has two main programs:

  • The Montgomery GI Bill Active Duty program, also known as Chapter 30 or MGIB-AD.
  • The Montgomery GI bill reserve program, also known as MGIB-SR.

Veterans, reservists and active-duty service members must meet the eligibility criteria for the appropriate program and then submit an application to the VA. Upon being approved, beneficiaries are entitled to receive assistance for a maximum of 36 months. Service members may use their benefits for the Montgomery GI Bill at any time during the 10-year period following their approval for the MGIB program. However, if a beneficiary is called to active duty service for 90 or more continuous days, he or she may receive a new 10-year period in which to use the benefits, which begins after the servicemember’s most recent separation from active duty.

Montgomery GI Bill Eligibility Requirements

The Montgomery GI Bill qualifications vary, depending on whether you are a current or former active-duty servicemember or if you are a current or former reservist. You are eligible to receive benefits under the MGIB-AD (active duty) section of the program if:

  • You have been honorably discharged.
  • You have a high school diploma or GED, or have completed 12 hours of college credits.
  • Your first period of active duty service started on or after June 30, 1985.
  • You have your military pay reduced by $100 a month for 12 months or pay a lump sum of $1,200 to enroll.
  • You served continuously for three or more years.

Note: You can qualify for the Montgomery GI Bill if you served for two years due to the fact that your enlistment lasted for that period of time. Alternatively, you can qualify after serving for two years if you were obligated to serve in the Selected Reserve and you completed that service within one year of separating from your active-duty service.

If you want to benefit from the Montgomery GI Bill Selected Reserve program, you need to meet different qualifications. First, you need to have served in the Selected Reserve for a 6-year obligation that started on or after June 30, 1985. Second, you need to have completed your initial active duty for training, otherwise known as IADT. Third, you need to have either a high school diploma or GED before completing your IADT. And finally, you need to have been in good standing when you were serving in an active reserve unit.

Related Article: Yellow Ribbon Program

There are additional Montgomery GI bill eligibility criteria to consider if you were enlisted before June 30, 1985, if you had an early separation from the military or if your discharge status is anything other than honorable. Call 888-442-4551 if you have any questions about your eligibility.

What are the current Montgomery GI Bill rates?

You will receive a different Montgomery GI bill rate based on which type of degree or training you are completing, your enrollment status and whether you are receiving MGIB-AD or MGIB-SR benefits. Furthermore, for MGIB-AD, your monthly benefit rate will also differ depending on whether or not you served for three years on active duty. For example, serving for two years will result in a lower monthly benefit amount than you would get if you served for three years. Refer to the tables below to see what your benefits will be for MGIB-AD and MGIB-SR.

MGIB-AD Rates for Education Institutions

Enrollment Status Active duty enlistment of three years or more (monthly rate) Active duty enlistment of less than three years (monthly rate)
Full-time $1,994.00 $1,619.00
¾ time $1,495.00 $1,214.25
½ time $997.00 $809.50
Less than ½ time but more than ¼ time Up to $997.00 Up to $809.50
¼ time or less $498.50 $404.75

MGIB-AD Rates for Apprenticeships and On-Job Training

Training Period Active duty enlistment of three years or more (monthly rate) Active duty enlistment of less than three years (monthly rate)
First six months of training $1,495.00 $1,214.25
Second six-month period of training $1,096.70 $890.45
Remainder of training $697.90 $566.65

MGIB-SR Rates for Education Institutions

Enrollment Status Monthly Rate
Full-time $384.00
¾ time $287.00
½ time $191.00
Less than ½ time $96.00

MGIB-SR Rates for Apprenticeships and On-Job Training

Training Period Monthly Rate
First six months of training $288.00
Second six-month period of training $211.20
Remainder of training $134.40

What can you use Montgomery GI bill benefits for?

Benefits you receive from the Montgomery GI Bill can be used for a variety of purposes. Once you are deemed eligible for benefits, your monthly payment can be used to cover tuition and other course fees for:

  • College degrees.
  • Certificate programs.
  • Technical and vocational courses.
  • Flight training.
  • Apprenticeships and on-the-job training.
  • Licensure and certification tests.
  • Entrepreneur training.
  • Correspondence courses.
  • Entrance exams.

The VA Montgomery GI bill does not cover costs such as a basic allowance for housing (BAH) or textbook fees. Although under the Montgomery GI bill bah is not an option, there are other VA programs that provide a housing allowance, such as the Post-9/11 GI Bill. Note that a Montgomery GI bill transfer is not an option, meaning that you cannot choose to transfer your benefits to your children or dependents.

How to Apply for the Montgomery GI Bill

You can apply for Montgomery GI Bill benefits online, in person or through the mail. Applying online is the easiest method. However, if you prefer to apply in person, it is easy to do so at a VA regional office or even at your school. To apply through the mail, you will need to call 888-442-4551 to request a copy of VA Form 22-1990 (Application for VA Education Benefits). Keep in mind that dependents are not eligible for assistance through the Montgomery GI bill. Instead, they may apply for the Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance program.

No matter how you apply, you will need to provide the same basic details about yourself. The Montgomery GI Bill application requires the following information:

  • Your Social Security Number
  • Your military history
  • Information about the education or training program you want to complete
  • Your educational background
  • Your bank account information in order to set up direct deposit

Related Article: Veterans Educational Assistance

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