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If I am eligible for the Active Duty GI Bill, the Reserve GI Bill, or REAP will I be able to switch to the Post-9/11 GI Bill?

If you are eligible for MGIB-AD, MGIB-SR, or REAP on August 1, 2009, and you have met the eligibility requirements for the Post-9/11 GI Bill, you may elect to receive benefits under the new program.

Benefit Comparison

For many eligible participants, the Post-9/11 GI Bill is a better alternative than other education benefit programs, such as the Montgomery GI Bill - Active Duty, Montgomery GI Bill - Selected Reserve and the Reserve Education Assistance Program (REAP). However, this decision depends on several factors, including the type of education or training you plan to take and the amount of benefits received under each program.

To see case studies showing the difference between the Post-9/11 GI Bill and the Montgomery GI Bill (Active Duty) click here.

To see case studies showing the difference between the Post-9/11 GI Bill and the Montgomery GI Bill (Reserves) and the REAP program click here.

What type of training do you plan on taking?

Types of training that can be taken under current GI Bill benefits include college (undergraduate, graduate), certificate programs, on-the-job training, apprenticeship training, flight training, and non-college degree courses. The Post-9/11 GI Bill can only be used for programs taken at a college or university.

To see a breakdown of which types of training are covered under each GI Bill click here.

If you are eligible for the Post 9/11 GI Bill and other GI Bill benefits such as the Montgomery GI Bill you will be required to make an irrevocable choice of which benefit you wish to receive. If, however you switch training programs AND you have eligibility under more than one type of GI Bill you MAY be able to change which GI Bill you draw depending on your eligibility.

For example: you have eligibility under the Post 9/11 GI Bill and the Selected Reserve GI Bill. You can get a degree in electrical engineering under the Post-9/11 GI Bill at a community college, then you can enroll in an apprenticeship program with the electrician's union under the Selected Reserve GI Bill and receive Journeyman certification.

How much money will you get under each benefit?

The monetary issue is most likely a very important factor you will consider before selecting a benefit. While you may think you will receive more money under the Post-9/11 GI Bill, that will not always be the case.

Under the Post 9/11 GI Bill you may receive:

  • a tuition & fees payment (paid directly to the school) not to exceed the tuition & fees at the most expensive state Institution of Higher Learning (IHL)
    For a listing of the maximum tuition & fees for each state click here
  • a monthly housing allowance based on the Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) for an E-5 with dependents. This amount is based on the ZIP code of the location of the school you are attending
    To determine the BAH for your ZIP code click here (link goes to a non-VA website)
  • an annual book stipend of $1,000 paid proportionately based on enrollment
  • you may also receive a one-time rural benefit payment of $500.00 if you reside in a county with 6 persons or less per square mile (as determined by the most recent decennial census) and:
    1. either physically relocate at least 500 miles to attend an educational institution or
    2. travel by air to physically attend an educational institution if no other land-based transportation exists

Under all other GI Bill programs:

  • you will receive a monthly payment at a rate set by Congress that does not vary based on your expenses.

To see a breakdown of the monetary benefits under the various GI Bills click here.

Factors to consider:

  • In some locations the costs of college and housing (which you would receive payment for under the Post-9/11 GI Bill) are less than the payment you would receive under the Montgomery GI Bill.
  • In some states veterans do not have to pay tuition at selected state colleges. The Post-9/11 GI Bill may then pay only the housing benefit and the book stipend. (Since you have no tuition costs the Post-9/11 GI Bill will not pay the college any tuition.) Your payments under other GI Bill programs such as the Active-Duty GI Bill may be higher in these cases. Click here to see other GI Bill rates.
  • If you are eligible for a college fund under other GI Bill programs, you will continue to receive your college fund payments. Rather than receiving them monthly, you will be paid a lump sum payment each quarter, semester, or term that you are enrolled.
  • If you participated in the $600 buy-up under the Montgomery GI Bill or REAP you will not receive that additional benefit under the Post 9/11 GI Bill.

Different amounts payable based on time served.

The Post-9/11 GI Bill payment is based on the amount of service completed after September 10, 2001. Your tuition & fees payment, housing allowance, and book stipend are all based on this percentage. You will receive a larger benefit if you served more active duty or mobilization time.

To see a breakdown of the amount payable based on service completed after September 10, 2001 click here.

For an explanation of the various types of training click here.

Type of Training

Post-9/11 GI Bill

Montgomery GI Bill-Active Duty

Montgomery GI Bill-Reserves

REAP

IHL in residence 1

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

IHL online only &
Distance/Internet Training

Yes 2

Yes

Yes

Yes

NCD 5

See note 5

Yes

Yes

Yes

OJT & Apprenticeship Training

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Flight Training

No 3

Yes

Yes

Yes

Correspondence

No 3

Yes

Yes

Yes

Licensing & Certification

Yes4

Yes

Yes

Yes

National Testing Programs

No 3

Yes

Yes

Yes

Entrepreneurship Training

No 3

Yes

Yes

Yes

Accelerated Payment

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Co-op Training

No 3

Yes

Yes

Yes

Work-Study Program

Yes 3

Yes

Yes

Yes

Tuition Assistance Top Up

Yes

Yes

No

No

Tutorial Assistance

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

1 Degree programs and certificate programs offered by an IHL are approved training under the Post-9/11 GI Bill. An IHL is defined as an Institution of Higher Learning - or a degree granting institution. Certificate and diploma programs offered by institutions that do not grant degrees are not covered.

2 If you are enrolled entirely in an online or distance learning program your payment is limited to the tuition & fees not to exceed the tuition & fees at the most expensive in-state Institution of Higher Learning (IHL). You will not receive the housing allowance.

3 If your training is offered at an IHL you may be eligible for Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits.

4 Limited to one test.

5 Non College Degree (NCD) program. An NCD program offered at an IHL is approved. If offered at other than an IHL it is not approved

Reminder: The Post-9/11 GI Bill is only payable at an Institution of Higher Learning (IHL), you are only eligible for GI Bill benefits for other types of training if you have eligibility under other GI Bill programs such as the Active Duty GI Bill, Reserve GI Bill, REAP, or VEAP. You should contact your Education Service Officer or the VA for more information.

 

Post-9/11 GI Bill

Montgomery GI Bill-Active Duty

Montgomery GI Bill-Reserve

REAP

Tuition and Fees

Paid directly to school.  Not to exceed the highest in-state undergraduate tuition at public IHL.
Proportionate amount paid as listed in table. 
For a listing of the maximum tuition & fees for each state click here

Paid directly to recipient
For rates click here

Paid directly to recipient

For rates click here

Paid directly to recipient.

For rates click here

Housing Allowance
(Based on ZIP Code of school)

Paid at the E-5 with dependents BAH rate.
Not payable for active duty recipients, those training at ½ time or less, or students enrolled entirely in distance learning programs.
 BAH rates can be found here. (external link)
Proportionate amount paid as listed in table. 

Book Stipend

Yearly – up to $1,000
Not payable to individuals on active duty.
Proportionate amount paid as listed in table.

Not Payable

Rural Benefit

One time – up to $500

Not Payable

Time Limit to Use Benefits

15 Years

10 Years

Eligibility normally ends once you leave the service

Can be eligible for 10 years after leaving service

College Fund

Applicable percentage added to Housing Allowance

Added to monthly rate

$600 Buy-up

Not Paid

Paid at applicable rate
Click here to see rates

Not Payable

Paid at applicable rate
Click here to see amounts

For active-duty personnel, the following table applies:

Active Duty Completed after September 10, 2001

Percentage of Maximum Amount Payable

At least 36 months

100%

At least 30 continuous days on active duty and discharged due to service-connected disability

100%

30 months to 36 months

90%

24 months to 30 months

80%

18 months to 24 months

70%

12 months to 18 months

60%

6 months to 12 months

50%

90 days to 6 months

40%

For reservists, the following table applies:

Post-9/11 Service

Percentage of Maximum Amount Payable

At least 36 cumulative months

100%

At least 30 continuous days on active duty and discharged due to service-connected disability

100%

At least 30 cumulative months

90%

At least 24 cumulative months

80%

At least 18 cumulative months

70%

At least 12 cumulative months

60%

At least 6 cumulative months

50%

90 aggregate days

40%

 

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