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Education - Montgomery GI Bill (Active Duty)

August 6, 2023

In the United States, the education and well-being of military veterans have always been a priority. Recognizing the sacrifices and services of the men and women in uniform, the U.S. government has continually sought ways to facilitate their transition from active duty to civilian life. Among these initiatives is the Montgomery GI Bill (Active Duty), or MGIB-AD.

Beneficiaries of the MGIB-AD receive a stipulated amount monthly, which can be utilized for tuition, fees, books, and other related educational costs. The amount and duration of educational benefits for veterans typically depend on factors like the length of service, category of enlistment, and type of education or training program.

Program Contact1-888-442-4551
Additional InfoVeteran Education Benefits
Managing AgencyU.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

Understanding the Education - Montgomery GI Bill (Active Duty)

The Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB) is a federal program that provides education benefits to eligible service members and veterans of the United States Armed Forces. It was established to support their pursuit of educational and vocational opportunities after their military service. The MGIB is available to both active duty service members and veterans who meet specific eligibility criteria.

The program offers financial assistance to help eligible veterans cover the costs of educational programs, including college degrees, technical or vocational training, apprenticeships, and other approved educational endeavors. The Education - Montgomery GI Bill (Active Duty) aims to provide service members and veterans with the necessary tools to enhance their skills and knowledge, thereby facilitating a successful transition into civilian life through educational scholarships.

Eligibility Requirements

Eligibility for the Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB) is determined based on specific criteria, and individuals must meet certain requirements to qualify for the benefits. Here is a revised and simplified version of the eligibility categories:

1. Active Duty Service Members

Active duty service members who are currently in service may be eligible for the Montgomery GI Bill - Active Duty (MGIB-AD) after serving two years of active duty.

2. Former Active Duty Service Members (Veterans)

To be eligible as a veteran, individuals must have an honorable discharge and meet one of the following categories:

  • CATEGORY I:

    • Have a high school diploma, GED, or 12 hours of college credit.

    • Entered active duty for the first time after June 30, 1985.

    • Had military pay reduced by $100 a month for the first 12 months of service.

    • And served continuously (without a break) for:

      • Three years, or

      • Two years if that was the agreement when enlisting, or

      • Four years if entered the Selected Reserve within a year of leaving active duty (2 by 4 program).

  • CATEGORY II:

    • Have a high school diploma, GED, or 12 hours of college credit.

    • Entered active duty before January 1, 1977 (or before January 2, 1978, under a delayed enlistment program contracted before January 1, 1977).

    • Served at least one day between October 19, 1984, and June 30, 1985.

    • Stayed on active duty through June 30, 1988 (or through June 30, 1987, if entered the Selected Reserve within one year of leaving active duty and served four years).

    • Had at least one day of entitlement left under the Vietnam Era GI Bill (Chapter 34) as of December 31, 1989.

  • CATEGORY III:

    • Have a high school diploma, GED, or 12 hours of college credit.

    • Don't qualify for MGIB under categories I or II.

    • Had military pay reduced by $1,200 before separation.

    • And one of the following is true:

      • Were on active duty on September 30, 1990, and involuntarily separated (not by your choice) after February 2, 1991, or

      • Involuntarily separated on or after November 30, 1993, or

      • Chose to voluntarily separate under either the Voluntary Separation Incentive (VSI) program or the Special Separation Benefit (SSB) program.

  • CATEGORY IV:

    • Have a high school diploma, GED, or 12 hours of college credit.

    • Had military pay reduced by $100 a month for 12 months or made a $1,200 lump-sum contribution (paid all at once).

    • And one of the following is true:

      • Were on active duty on October 9, 1996, had money left in a VEAP account on that date, and chose MGIB before October 9, 1997, or

      • Entered full-time National Guard duty under title 32, USC, between July 1, 1985, and November 28, 1989, and chose MGIB between October 9, 1996, and July 9, 1997.

Please note that the ability to use MGIB benefits usually expires 10 years after the date the service member was discharged from the Army or released from active duty, but the time limit can vary depending on the situation.

Benefits of the Education - Montgomery GI Bill 

The Education - Montgomery GI Bill (Active Duty) program is an educational assistance initiative offered by the United States government to support active-duty service members and veterans in their pursuit of higher education.

To be eligible for the Education - Montgomery GI Bill (Active Duty) benefits, a person must meet certain criteria:

  • Honorable Discharge: The individual must have received an Honorable Discharge from their active-duty service.

  • Education Requirement: Applicants must have a High School Diploma or its equivalent, or have completed at least 12 hours of college credit.

  • Categorization: Eligibility is determined based on one of the four categories specified on the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Montgomery GI Bill Active Duty page.

The program offers financial assistance to help eligible veterans cover the costs of educational programs, including college degrees, technical or vocational training, apprenticeships, and other approved educational endeavors.

The Education - Montgomery GI Bill (Active Duty) aims to provide service members and veterans with the necessary tools to enhance their skills and knowledge, thereby facilitating a successful transition into civilian life.

Application Process

Here's a step-by-step guide to the application process for the Education - Montgomery GI Bill (Active Duty) benefits:

Step 1: Determine Eligibility

Before starting the application process, make sure you meet the eligibility criteria for the Education - Montgomery GI Bill (Active Duty) benefits. You must be a veteran who has served on active duty, received an Honorable Discharge, and have a High School Diploma (or equivalent) or completed at least 12 hours of college credit.

Step 2: Gather Required Information

Collect all the necessary information and documents needed for the application. This may include your Social Security Number, military service records (DD214), High School Diploma or its equivalent, and any college transcripts if you have completed college credit.

Step 3: Access the Application Form

Visit the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) website to access the VA Form 22-1990, "Application for VA Education Benefits." You can complete this form online.

Step 4: Fill out the Application

Carefully fill out the VA Form 22-1990 with accurate and up-to-date information. Make sure to provide all the required details and double-check for any errors before submitting the application.

Step 5: Submit the Application

Once you have completed the form, submit it through the online application portal on the VA website. Review all the information you entered to ensure its accuracy.

Step 6: Wait for Confirmation

After submitting your application, you will receive a confirmation that your application has been received by the VA. This confirmation will include important details about the processing timeline and what to expect next.

Step 7: Receive Certificate of Eligibility

The VA will review your application and determine your eligibility for the Education - Montgomery GI Bill (Active Duty) benefits. If you are found eligible, you will receive a Certificate of Eligibility (COE) via mail or electronically.

Step 8: Enroll in an Approved Program

Once you have your COE, you can proceed to enroll in an approved educational program of your choice. This could be a college degree, vocational training, apprenticeship, or other approved educational pursuits.

Step 9: Notify School or Training Institution

Inform your chosen educational institution about your COE and eligibility for the Education - Montgomery GI Bill (Active Duty) benefits. They will guide you through the process of using the benefits to cover your educational expenses.

Step 10: Receive Education Benefits

Once enrolled in an approved program, the VA will provide you with up to 36 months of education benefits, based on your eligibility and the duration of your chosen program. These benefits can be used to cover tuition, fees, and other educational expenses.

Remember that the Education - Montgomery GI Bill (Active Duty) benefits are designed to help veterans pursue their educational goals, so take advantage of the opportunities and resources available to you through this program.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the Education - Montgomery GI Bill (Active Duty) program?

The Education - Montgomery GI Bill (Active Duty) is an educational assistance program offered by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to provide up to 36 months of education benefits to veterans who have served on active duty and meet the eligibility requirements.

2. Who is eligible for Education - Montgomery GI Bill (Active Duty) benefits?

You may be eligible for this program if you have an Honorable Discharge, possess a High School Diploma (or equivalent) - or have completed 12 hours of college credit, and meet the criteria under one of the four categories listed on the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Montgomery GI Bill Active Duty page.

3. How do I apply for Education - Montgomery GI Bill (Active Duty) benefits?

To apply, complete the VA Form 22-1990, "Application for VA Education Benefits," online. The form is available on the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) website. Make sure to provide accurate and complete information during the application process.

Conclusion

In many ways, the Montgomery GI Bill (Active Duty) represents more than just financial support. It signifies the nation's commitment to empowering its veterans, offering them a chance to redefine their futures and ensuring that their service to the country does not go unrewarded.

Ready to put your Montgomery GI Bill benefits to use? Dive into our comprehensive guide on 'What Schools Accept GI Bill?' and navigate your path to higher education with ease. Your service has opened doors – now it's time to walk through them!

Michael Blair contributes his expertise to help veterans access government benefits and resources. Through his informative articles and guides, he plays a vital role in empowering veterans and improving their quality of life.
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