GI Bill Information
Montgomery GI Bill®
The Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB) is available for those who enlist in the U.S. Armed Forces. MGIB encompasses both the Montgomery GI Bill-Active Duty (Chapter 30) and The Montgomery GI Bill-Selected Reserve (Chapter 1606). Under Chapter 30, Active Duty members enroll and pay $100 per month for 12 months; and are then entitled to receive a monthly education benefit once they have completed a minimum service obligation. Under Chapter 1606, a reservist must be actively drilling and have a 6-year obligation in the Selected Reserve to be eligible.
Post 9/11 GI Bill®
The Post-9/11 GI Bill provides financial support for education and housing to individuals with at least 90 days of aggregate service after September 10, 2001, or individuals discharged with a service-connected disability after 30 days. You must have received an honorable discharge to be eligible for the Post-9/11 GI Bill. For more information visit the federal US Department of Veterans Affairs Post 9/11 GI Bill page.
Who is Eligible? If you are currently in service, you may be eligible after two years of active duty. Please consult with the Education Services Officer at your installation or call 1-888-GIBILL-1 (442-4551) for information about your eligibility.
If you are separated from service, you may be an eligible Veteran if you:
- entered active duty for the first time after June 30, 1985;
- received a high school diploma or equivalent (or, in some cases, 12 hours of college credit) before the end of your first obligated period of service;
- received an honorable discharge;
- continuously served for 3 years, OR 2 years if that is what you first enlisted for, OR 2 years if you have an obligation to serve for four years in the Selected Reserve AND entered Selected Reserve within a year of leaving active duty.
Note: Different rules apply if you entered active duty before July 1, 1985, and in certain other cases.
Are There Any Pitfalls? You should be aware that the following pitfalls could cause you to lose all MGIB benefits:
- General Discharge – You must have an honorable discharge to be eligible for education benefits. A “general” or “under honorable condition” makes you ineligible for education benefits.
- Early Discharge - To be eligible with an early discharge, your separation reason must meet certain requirements. Call 1-888-GIBILL-1 (442-4551) (or if you are on active duty, check with your Education Services Officer) for more information.
How Much Does Federal U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (USDVA) Pay? The monthly benefit paid to you is based on the type of training you take, length of your service, your category, and if DoD put extra money in your MGIB Fund (called "kickers"). Typically, you have ten years to use your MGIB benefits. Check out the USDVA site for Payment Rates.
For details on eligibility and more information on how to apply:
Veteran Readiness & Employment (VR&E) is a program to assist eligible Veterans in achieving maximum independence in their daily life and aid them in becoming a contributing part of society. Federal U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (USDVA) will pay required training costs, such as tuition and fees, books, supplies, equipment, and if needed, special services. While you are in training, USDVA will also pay you a monthly benefit to help with living expenses called a subsistence allowance.
Note: If using Chap 33 Post 9/11 and thinking about using Vocational Rehab, do not exhaust the Post 9/11 GI Bill® benefits completely before applying for Vocational Rehab. If you have some Post 9/11 GI Bill® eligibility remaining you can transition into Vocational Rehab and continue the BAH rate up to the 48 months. However, if the Post 9/11 GI Bill® is exhausted you would have to go with the Vocational Rehab stipend instead.
Application assistance for the VR&E can be obtained from your County Veteran Service Officer (CVSO). You can find your CVSO through the Minnesota Association of County Veteran Service Officers (MACVSO) directory or by calling the Veterans Linkage Line (LinkVet) at 888-546-5838. If you are not from Minnesota you can find your CVSO at the National Association of County Veteran Service Officers.
The Post-Vietnam VEAP is an education benefit for Veterans who paid into VEAP while they were in the service. Eligible Veterans may be entitled to as much as 36 months of training. Eligibility usually ends 10 years after getting out of the service, but the time limit can be longer in certain cases.
Eligible Veterans may pursue any of the following types of training:
- College or university programs
- Business, technical or vocational training
- On-the-job training and apprenticeship programs
- Remedial, deficiency, and refresher training (in some cases)
- National tests
- Correspondence courses
- Flight training (in some cases)
- High school diploma or equivalent
- The cost of tests for licenses or certifications needed to get, keep, or advance a job
The Forever GI Bill has been signed into law and involves many upcoming changes. Some changes are immediate, but many will be phased in over the upcoming years. Please visit the VA's Forever GI Bill website for detailed and up-to-date information.
The Post-9/11 GI Bill® provides financial support for education and housing to individuals with at least 90 days of aggregate service on or after September 11, 2001, or individuals discharged with a service connected disability after 30 days. You must have received an honorable discharge to be eligible for the Post-9/11 GI Bill®. The Post-9/11 GI Bill® also offers some service members the opportunity to transfer their GI Bill to dependents.
The application form for the Post-9/11 GI Bill® (Chapter 33) is available online through the Veterans Online Application website. Once completed, the Federal U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (USDVA) will process your application for Post-9/11 GI Bill® benefits and you will receive a letter explaining USDVA's decision regarding your eligibility for the program. On average it will take 6-10 weeks for your application to be processed.
The decision to use the Post-9/11 GI Bill requires Service Members with eligibility under other GI Bill® Chapters (1606/30) to give up eligibility under ONE of those previous benefits. As this decision is irrevocable, we strongly recommend visiting a Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs Higher Education Veterans Program Regional Coordinator to discuss potential options and assistance in making an informed decision.
Dependents' Educational Assistance is an education benefit for the spouses and children of certain Veterans. Eligible persons can receive up to 45 months of benefits. You may be eligible if the Veteran is found by the Federal U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (USDVA) to be totally and permanently disabled from a service-related disability, OR died because of a service-related disability and you meet one of the following conditions:
- You are married to the Veteran
- You are the deceased Veteran's surviving spouse and you haven't remarried
- You are the Veteran's child and you're at least 18 years old.
Eligible persons can receive up to 45 months of full-time or equivalent benefits for:
- College, Business, Technical or Vocational Courses, High School Diploma or GED, Independent Study or Distance Learning courses
- Correspondence Courses (Spouses Only), Apprenticeship/On-the-Job Training
- Remedial, Deficiency, and Refresher Training (in some cases)
- The cost of tests for licenses or certifications needed to get, keep, or advance in a job
Note: Individuals that qualify for Chapter 35 may qualify also for Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs Survivor/Spouse Dependent Education Benefit
Family members eligible for both Chapter 35 and the Fry Scholarship must elect which benefit to receive.
How Can You Apply?
After finding a program approved for USDVA training, complete VA Form 22-5490 (Application for Survivors' and Dependents' Educational Assistance), and submit it to the USDVA regional office that serves the state where you will train. You can also apply online at Vets.Gov.
For assistance with determining eligibility and applying for DEA you may contact a Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs Higher Education Veterans Program Regional Coordinator. If you have questions about other benefits and programs you may be eligible to receive, please contact your County Veterans Service Officer (CVSO). You can find your CVSO through www.macvso.org or by calling the Veterans Linkage Line at 1-888-LinkVet (546-5838).
Public Law 111-32, the Marine Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry Scholarship, amends the Post-9/11 GI Bill® (Chapter 33) to include the children of service members who die in the line of duty after September 10, 2001. Eligible children attending school may receive up to the highest public, in-state undergraduate tuition and fees, plus a monthly living stipend and book allowance under this program.
Public Law 113-146, further expands the Marine Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry Scholarship to include surviving spouses of service members who die in the line of duty on or after September 11, 2001. This is effective 01 January 2015.
A child may be married or over 23 years of age and still be eligible.
A surviving spouse's entitlement to such assistance is terminated on the earlier of: (1) the date that is 15 years after the date on which the surviving spouse's military spouse died, or (2) the date on which the surviving spouse remarries.
Effective 01 August 2018 the Yellow Ribbon Program will be extended to students receiving payments through the Fry Scholarship.
Note: Eligible dependents cannot utilize Transferred Education Benefits (TEB Chapter 33) and the Marine Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry Scholarship simultaneously.
In addition, family members who are eligible for both Survivors and Dependents Education Assistance (DEA Chapter 35) and the Fry Scholarship must elect which benefit to receive.
The MGIB-SR is an education benefit program that provides up to 36 months of eligibility to members of the Selected Reserve. The program includes Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard Reserves, as well as Army and the Air National Guard. This program does not require active duty service in the regular Armed Forces to qualify. An eligible reservist may get education benefits while in an approved program from Federal U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (USDVA) training.
Who is Eligible?
Eligible Reservist or National Guard member qualifications:
- After June 30, 1985, a signed six-year obligation to serve in the Selected Reserve, AND
- completion of Initial Active Duty for Training (IADT), AND
- high school diploma or GED completed before IADT, AND
- good standing in a drilling Selected Reserve unit
Eligibility for members in the Selected Reserves generally end 10 years from the date of program eligibility if attained prior to October 1, 1992. If eligibility was attained after 1 October 1992 benefits remain in effect as long as the Soldier remains in an active duty drilling status. Medical discharges remain under the 10- or 14-year delimiting date.
The EIOM 15-004 policy updates the previous MGIB-SR Policy (NGB-ARM Policy Number 07-10) and incorporates changes directed per DoDI 1322.17, dated 15 January 2015.
A summary of the changes this policy provides is listed below:
- Eliminates separate eligibility requirements for Soldiers entering under the Civilian Acquired Skills Program and combines eligibility criteria for Non-Prior Service (NPS) enlistees, Prior Service (PS) accessions, and Officers (paragraph 7).
- Removes the requirement to have a High School Diploma or equivalent prior to completion of IADT (paragraph 7).
- Updates the Eligibility Start Date calculation for Prior Service Soldiers to match all Soldier categories (paragraph 8).
- Revises MGIB-SR eligibility upon receipt of a Dedicated Guard (Title 10 USC Section 2107) ROTC scholarship (paragraph 3e of Enclosure 1).
- Extends the time limit for extensions (when required) to 12 months when a SM reaffiliates after an authorized break in service (paragraph 4 of Enclosure 1).
- Prohibits the use of Federal Tuition Assistance (FTA) and the MGIB-SR for the same course per DoDI 1322.25 (paragraph 12b).
- Eliminates concurrent eligibility for MGIB-SR and Montgomery GI Bill® - Active Duty (MGIB-AD) or Post-9/11 GI Bill® (paragraph 13).
Note: Officers in the Selected Reserve OR active duty members from the Selected Reserve after November 29, 1989, call your Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs Higher Education Veterans Programs Regional Coordinator or the toll-free USDVA education number 1-888-GIBILL-1 (442-4551) for additional eligibility requirements.
Reserve Education Assistance Program (REAP) is an education program that provides up to 36 months of education benefits to members of the Selected Reserves, Individual Ready Reserve (IRR), and National Guard, who are called or ordered to active services for a war or national emergency, as declared by the President or Congress. This benefit is based on a percentage of the active duty GI Bill® rate.
Important: As of 11/25/2015 the National Defense Authorization Act became Public Law No: 114-92:
Chapter 1607 Reserve Educational Assistance Program (REAP) has been terminated with this exception.
Unless a Soldier was actively using Chapter 1607 as of fall term 2015, their chapter 1607 GI Bill eligibility no longer exists. For the handful of students who were using 1607, they may continue using the program up until 11/25/2019. Also, the VA has indicated they may suspend payments to service members under REAP until the details of this change are finalized.
"SEC. 555. TERMINATION OF PROGRAM OF EDUCATIONAL ASSISTANCE FOR RESERVE COMPONENT MEMBERS SUPPORTING CONTINGENCY OPERATIONS AND OTHER OPERATIONS.
- IN GENERAL. – Chapter 1607 of title 10, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following new section:
''§ 16167. Sunset
- SUNSET. – The authority to provide educational assistance under this chapter shall terminate on the date that is four years after the date of the enactment of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016.
- LIMITATION ON PROVISION OF ASSISTANCE PENDING SUNSET. – Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, during the period beginning on the date of the enactment of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016 and ending on the date that is four years after the date of the enactment of that Act, educational assistance may be provided under this chapter only to a member otherwise eligible for educational assistance under this chapter who received educational assistance under this chapter for a course of study at an educational institution for the enrollment period at the educational institution that immediately preceded the date of the enactment of that Act.'"
Please contact your local Higher Education Veterans Program Regional Coordinator or contact J-1 Education at 651-282-4589 for any questions regarding Chapter 1607 (REAP) benefits.
If eligible for Chapter 1607 the following still applies:
The DoDI 1322.25 dated 15 March 2011 and incorporating Change 3, effective 07 July, 2014, provides the following new Tuition Assistance/ GI Bill® requirements: "TA will not be authorized for any course for which a Service member receives reimbursement in whole or in part from any other Federal source such as veterans' education benefits (GI Bill® and other programs) and Service-funded programs (ROTC scholarship, education-related incentive or bonus, and advanced civil schooling) when the payment would constitute a duplication of benefits paid to that educational institution." This language prohibits Chapter 1606 Montgomery GI Bill® Selected Reserve (MGIB-SR) or Chapter 1607 Reserve Education Assistance Program (REAP) payments for the same course funded by Federal Tuition Assistance. Service members will have to elect which benefit they wish to use for each course.