A Brief Overview of the Montgomery Bill (MGIB)

What it Is

The Montgomery Bill (MGIB) is a benefit awarded to military members and veterans, and is designed to assist with the financial needs associated with education and training costs.

The Value

The Montgomery Bill’s worth is based on the current maximum payment, which can be found here, and is awarded monthly when school is in session, for up to 36 months (9 months per year). Payments are made directly to the student and every recipient will be awarded the annual increased rate, no matter when they began using the benefits.

How the Rates are Determined

The monthly rate is determined by two factors. The first is your student status (full time, part time, etc). Generally, a full time student has a course load of at least 12 credits per semester, or 4 classes.

Secondly, the rate depends on your active duty status. If you are an active duty service member, you will be reimbursed for the actual tuition and expenses. However, once you leave active duty service, the full payment rate will be awarded regardless of the cost of tuition. This is important to note, considering that the VA administers the benefit differently for active duty members versus veterans. For example, a veteran will be charged for one month of benefits per every “current payment rate” of educational benefits used.  This means that it would be more cost effective for the active duty service member, especially in circumstances where tuition is high.

Sailor learning about higher education at career fair.
Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Molly Greendeer

Terms

The benefit is awarded for up to 36 months of traditional education. In other words, the recipient receives coverage of up to eight semesters, or four years.

Eligibility

Before you can apply for Selected Reserve MGIB, you must meet the four eligibility requirements listed below:

#1 Your discharge from active duty MUST be considered FULLY HONORABLE

#2 You must have served at least 2 years of active duty service

#3 You must have obtained a high school diploma, OR equivalency certificate, OR have completed 12 hours toward a college degree

#4 You must contribute $100 a month for the first 12 months you are in active duty OR qualify under Veterans Educational Assistance Program (VEAP) conversion

Length of Eligibility

The duration of MGIB benefits is generally 10 years, starting from the last day of active duty.

Where Can It Be Applied?

The Montgomery Bill can be applied in many areas that are considered training and/or education that you may not be aware of. The following programs and trainings are all covered under the Bill:

Degree Training On-the-Job and Apprenticeship Training Flight Training

Non-College Degree Training Correspondence Courses Licensing and Certification

National Testing Programs    Work-Study Program        Tutorial Assistance

*Keep in mind that the different training types will be allotted varying amounts of financial assistance.

How to Enroll

Although waiting on the process can be a bit time-consuming, the steps towards enrolling are actually pretty effortless. Once you have chosen a VA approved program, you will need to take two final steps to finish the process:

#1  Complete and send in the VA Form 22-1990. In 4-8 weeks you will receive a declaration of eligibility and a benefit letter.

#2 Once you receive your benefit checks, the last step in the process will be completing the VA’s Web Automated Verification of Eligibility process (WAVE) in order to continue receiving your payments.

Want to get started now?

Check out our list of Military Friendly Colleges that we’ve compiled to help you find schools that are Veteran-friendly. The schools listed provide education benefits and resources that are specially designed to help veterans like you further your education.