Montgomery GI Bill
The Montgomery GI Bill is one way to have the VA pay for your schooling. While these days it might be best to go with the Post 9/11-GI Bill instead, the Montgomery GI Bill is still an option. Here is some information about this bill to help you make your decision.
The first GI Bill, which was called the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act, started in June of 1944 to help ease the transition into civilian life for soldiers after the war. The Montgomery GI Bill was named after Mississippi congressman G.V. “Sonny” Montgomery after congress revamped the VEAP law in 1984. Since 1984 there have been changes such as the compensation amounts being raised.
Montgomery GI Bill
There are two types of the Montgomery GI Bills, MGIB-AD, and MGIB-SR.
Montgomery Bill – Active Duty (MGIB-AD or Chapter 30)
This type of GI Bill gives educational benefits to veterans and service members who have served at least two years of active duty.
There are a variety of programs you can use the bill for:
- College degrees and certificate programs
- Technical or vocational programs
- Flight training
- Apprenticeships or on-the-job training
- High-tech training
- Licensing and certification tests
- Entrepreneurship training
- Certain entrance examinations
- Correspondence courses
- Some remedial, deficiency and refresher courses may also be approved.
Montgomery GI Bill Eligibility
- Benefits are payable for ten years after your release from honorable active duty service.
- You can receive up to 36 months of educational benefits.
- The Buy-Up program will increase your monthly benefits. For that $600 that you paid, you may receive up to $5400 in additional GI Bill benefits. You must, however, do this while you are still active duty. It is important to note that this can only be used with the Montgomery GI Bill and not with the Post 9/11-GI Bill.
- To be eligible for this type of Montgomery GI Bill, you will need to have had an honorable discharge, and a high school diploma, or a GED, or in some cases 12 hours of college credit. You also must meet the requirements of one of four categories listed on the VA website.
- You would apply by filling out the VA Form 22-1990.
Montgomery GI Bill – Selected Reserve (MGIB-SR)
- This type of GI Bill is for the education and training for members of the Selected Reserve. This includes Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard Reserve as well as the Army National Guard and the Air National Guard.
- You can use this GI Bill for all the same types of training listed above for active duty, and you will also receive up to 36 months of benefits.
- To qualify, you must have a six-year obligation to serve in the Selected Reserve and signed up after June of 1985. If you are an officer, you will need to have agreed to serve six years in addition to your original obligation. For some types of training, you will need to have a 6-year commitment after September 30th, 1990.
- You also must complete your initial active duty for training (IADT)
- You will need to have a high school diploma or equivalent before your completion of IADT. You are not able to use 12 hours of college credit for this requirement.
- You will need to remain in good standing while serving in an active Selected Reserve unit.
- If you were discharged due to a disability not caused by misconduct, you would be able to retain eligibility.
- You might be able to extend your eligibility period if you are ordered to active duty. Your eligibility does end the day you leave the Selected Reserve.
- To apply you need to fill out the VA Form 22-1990.
Montgomery GI Bill vs Post 911 GI Bill
One of the most significant differences between the Montgomery GI Bill and the Post 911 GI Bill is the amount you receive from the VA for school. For the Montgomery GI Bill, you would receive a monthly rate to use for school. For example, if you had completed an enlistment of at least three years and going to school full time, you would receive $1,928 a month with the 2017 rates. You can check what the current Montgomery GI Bill rates are on this website.
The Post 9/11-GI Bill will pay for 100% of the tuition and fees at a Public college or university, and up to a certain amount at a private school based on the current cap. You could then use the Yellow Ribbon Program if your school takes part in that program to make up the difference.
Both programs are for 36 months of benefits, but with the Post 9/11-GI Bill, you will be eligible for 15 years after separation instead of 10. The Montgomery GI Bill also does not cover books and living expenses as the Post 9/11 one does.
In some cases, if you have used up your Montgomery GI Bill benefits you might be able to qualify for 12 months of the Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits. Please contact the VA to find out for sure.
The Montgomery GI Bill is one way to find money to go to college. Check and see if this program is the right one for you and your needs.
RELATED GI Bill Links:
Here’s the latest on the Forever GI Bill and Post 911 GI Bill transferability
About the author
Julie Provost is a freelance writer, blogger, and owner of Soldier's Wife, Crazy Life, a support blog for military spouses. She lives in Tennessee with her National Guard husband and three boys.