Post 9/11 GI Bill vs. Montgomery GI Bill

  • Published
  • By Lanette Hetrick
  • Education and Training Center
Before I go into some of the upcoming changes to the Post 9/11 GI Bill, I need to dispel a few rumors that are quite concerning I have heard over the past few months from students.

First and foremost, members who have the Montgomery GI Bill and are separating or retiring soon do not have to switch over to the Post 9/11 GI Bill before they separate or retire. If a member has the MGIB, they have both bills, unless they received an other-than-honorable discharge ... period. Members may chose to use all 36 months of the MGIB, then request to receive an additional 12 months of Post 9/11, giving the veteran a total of 48 months of educational benefits. Or they may use some of the MGIB, then jump to the Post 9/11, receiving a total of 36 months between the two Bills.

Every active- duty member who has the MGIB has 10 years after their date of separation to use all 36 months of the MGIB and 15 years after their date of separation to use the Post 9/11 GI Bill. If a member was not eligible for the MGIB for various reasons, he or she has the Post 9/11 GI Bill if they fulfilled a certain amount of aggregate time, normally beginning 90 days after technical training, ROTC/Academy service commitment or college loan repayment program commitment.

The only time a member needs to switch to the Post 9/11 GI Bill is if they are transferring that benefit to their dependents. Transferring the Post 9/11 benefit to dependents cannot be done without incurring an additional service commitment, with the exception of those who had an approved retirement date through June 30, 2010, or those who were eligible to retire (served 20 years) on or before Aug.1, 2009. All others will incur a service commitment to transfer the Post 9/11 to their dependents. Therefore, if the member is separating or retiring soon and not transferring the Post 9/11 to their dependents, there is no rush to make a decision for which bill to apply.

Please, do not give up your MGIB benefit without carefully considering the various options you have since your decision is irrevocable.

Now to some of the changes to what is being called Post 9/11 GI Bill 2.0 that will take effect 1 Aug 2011.

· Active-duty service members and their eligible spouses will qualify for the $1,000 annual book stipend.
· Annual tuition will cap at $17,500 for all students, including active duty.
· Students attending 100 percent of their classes online now qualify for half of the housing (living) stipend a month for full-time enrollment.
· Students training at more than half time will receive a prorated housing stipend.
· Students seeking vocational, technical, certificate, on-the-job-training, and apprenticeship programs will be able to use the Post-9/11 GI Bill.
· Benefit may be used multiple times for licensure/certification tests and college exams. Once equaling $1,667, one month of benefit will be used.

These are just a few of the highlights to the Post 9/11 GI Bill 2.0. Please attend the Post 9/11 GI Bill Briefing held every Wednesday at 1 p.m. at the Education Center, where we can answer the majority of your questions.