Montgomery GI Bill

The Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB) is available to those who enlist in the U.S. Armed Forces. There are two main programs:

  • Montgomery GI Bill Active Duty (MGIB-AD) For active duty members who 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.
  • Montgomery GI Bill Selected Reserve (MGIB-SR) For Reservists with a six-year obligation in the Selected Reserve who are actively drilling.

Montgomery GI Bill Active Duty (MGIB-AD)

The MGIB-AD program—sometimes known as Chapter 30—provides education benefits to Veterans and Servicemembers who have at least two years of active duty.

Type of Assistance

Assistance may be used for college degree and certificate programs, technical or vocational courses, flight training, apprenticeships or on-the-job training, high-tech training, licensing and certification tests, entrepreneurship training, certain entrance examinations, and correspondence courses. Remedial, deficiency, and refresher courses may be approved under certain circumstances. Benefits are generally payable for 10 years following your release from honorable active service. Get the Montgomery GI Bill Active Duty pamphlet (PDF).

Available Benefits and Eligibility

Eligible Servicemembers may receive up to 36 months of education benefits. The monthly benefit paid to you is based on the type of training you take, length of your service, your category, any college fund eligibility, and if you contributed to the $600 buy-up program. You usually have 10 years to use your MGIB benefits, but the time limit can be fewer or more years depending on the situation. View current payment rates.

$600 Buy-Up Program. Some Servicemembers may contribute up to an additional $600 to the GI Bill to receive increased monthly benefits. For an additional $600 contribution, you may receive up to $5,400 in additional GI Bill benefits. The additional contribution must be made while on active duty. View increased monthly rates and contact your personnel or payroll office.

Eligibility

You may be an eligible if you have an honorable discharge; AND you have a high school diploma or GED or in some cases 12 hours of college credit; AND you meet the requirements of one of the categories below:

CATEGORY I

  • Entered active duty for the first time after June 30, 1985
  • Had military pay reduced by $100 a month for first 12 months
  • Continuously served for three years or two years, if that is what you first enlisted for or if you entered the Selected Reserve within a year of leaving active duty and served four years (the 2 by 4 program)

CATEGORY II

  • Entered active duty before January 1, 1977
  • Served at least one day between 10/19/84 and 6/30/85, and stayed on active duty through 6/30/88, (or through 6/30/87 if you entered the Selected Reserve within one year of leaving active duty and served four years)
  • On 12/31/89, you had entitlement left from Vietnam-era GI Bill

CATEGORY III

  • Not eligible for MGIB under Category I or II
  • On active duty on 9/30/90 AND separated involuntarily after 2/2/91
  • OR involuntarily separated on or after 11/30/93
  • OR voluntarily separated under either the Voluntary Separation Incentive (VSI) or Special Separation Benefit (SSB) program
  • Before separation, you had military pay reduced by $1,200

CATEGORY IV

  • On active duty on 10/9/96 AND you had money remaining in a VEAP account on that date AND you elected MGIB by 10/9/97
  • OR you entered full-time National Guard duty under title 32, USC, between 7/1/85, and 11/28/89, AND you elected MGIB during the period 10/9/96 – 7/08/97
  • Had military pay reduced by $100 a month for 12 months or made a $1,200 lump-sum contribution

Montgomery GI Selected Reserve (MGIB-SR)

MGIB-SR program provides education and training benefits to eligible members of the Selected Reserve, including the Army Reserve, Navy Reserve, Air Force Reserve, Marine Corps Reserve and Coast Guard Reserve, and the Army National Guard and the Air National Guard. Eligibility for this program is determined by the Selected Reserve components and VA makes the payments.

Types of Training

Assistance may be used for college degree and certificate programs, co-op training, technical or vocational courses, flight training, apprenticeships or on-the-job training, high-tech training, licensing and certification tests, entrepreneurship training, certain entrance examinations, and correspondence courses. Remedial, deficiency, and refresher courses may be approved under certain circumstances. Get the Montgomery GI Bill Selected Reserve pamphlet (PDF).

Available Benefits and Eligibility

You may be entitled to receive up to 36 months of education benefits. View current payment rates.

Eligibility

To qualify, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Have a six-year obligation to serve in the Selected Reserve signed after June 30, 1985. If you are an officer, you must have agreed to serve six years in addition to your original obligation. For some types of training it is necessary to have a six-year commitment that begins after Sept. 30, 1990.
  • Complete your initial active duty for training (IADT).
  • Meet the requirement to receive a high school diploma or equivalency certificate before completing IADT. You may not use 12 hours toward a college degree to meet this requirement.
  • Remain in good standing while serving in an active Selected Reserve unit. You will also retain MGIB-SR eligibility if you were discharged from Selected Reserve service due to a disability that was not caused by misconduct. Your eligibility period may be extended if you are ordered to active duty.

Other Factors to Consider

Your eligibility for the program normally ends the day you leave the Selected Reserve.

An exception exists if you are mobilized or recalled to active duty from your reserve status in which case your eligibility may be extended for the amount of time you are mobilized PLUS four months. For example, if you are mobilized for 12 months, your eligibility period is extended for 16 months; 12 months of active duty PLUS four months. Even if you leave the Reserves after mobilization, you may have additional eligibility under the MGIB-SR.

If your unit is deactivated during the period beginning Oct. 1, 2007, through Sept. 30, 2014, or you are involuntarily separated for reasons other than misconduct, you will retain your original period of eligibility, which is 14 years from the date of your first six-year obligation with the Selected Reserves.