Which GI Bill Should I Use, Chapter 30 or 33?

Q: What GI Bill should I use, Chapter 30 or 33?

A: It depends on your education plan. If you are going to:

* be a half-time student or less;

* take all online classes or;

* take a non-degree producing course (such as trade, technical, license or certification course), then stick with the Montgomery GI Bill (Chapter 30).

However, if you plan to:

* be a greater-than-half-time student (so you can get the housing allowance);

* take on-campus or a mix of on-campus and online classes (again so you can get the housing allowance) or;

* take a degree-producing course (so the New GI Bill will pay for your course), then most likely the Post 9/11 GI Bill (Chapter 33) will be the best bet.

But once the effects of the GI Bill 2.0 go into effect later this year, that could change your strategy. After August, the Post 9/11 GI Bill will pay for non-degree courses and up to half of the housing allowance for online-only students.

It is also good to know, if you qualify for both Chapter 30 and 33, and if you exhaust your Chapter 30 benefits first and then switch to the Chapter 33, you can get an additional 12 months of benefits. If you switch to Chapter 33 with Chapter 30 benefits left, then you get the same number of Chapter 33 benefits as you had left under Chapter 30 and not the additional 12 months.

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