The Montgomery GI Bill: MGIB
Enacted in 1984, the mission of the Montgomery GI Bill Active Duty (MGIB-AD) was--and still is--to provide education benefits to veterans and active duty members from the military service branches, including the Army.
To qualify for MGIB benefits, servicemembers have to sign up while on active duty and pay the $1,200 contribution fee, either in a lump sum or as a $100 per month pay reduction for 12 months.
Eligibility for Montgomery GI Bill Benefits
To be eligible for the MGIB-AD, you must meet the Department of Veterans Affairs eligibility requirements, which include:
Having at least three years of continuous active duty service
Receiving an honorable discharge
Possessing a high school diploma or GED
Your dates of service, along with other factors, can affect your eligibility, so contact the VA to verify your MGIB-AD eligibility.
What Does the MGIB Cover?
The MGIB-AD provides up to 36 months of education benefits to go to school. If you are classified as a full-time student, you can receive $1,368 per month to go to school. The tax-free money can be used for a variety of programs, including:
Out of your Montgomery GI Bill benefits, you must pay for your tuition, fees and all other incurred costs during your college education. The MGIB-AD may, in certain cases, be used to pay for refresher or remedial training, but they may not be used to pay for repeat classes you have already successfully completed.
While the Post-9/11 GI Bill may, in some cases, pay more money, the MGIB covers a wider variety of programs. Depending on what kind of training you plan to pursue, the MGIB may be a better choice for you.
Using Your Montgomery GI Bill Benefits
To receive your funds, you must log into the WAVE Website monthly and verify your enrollment. Without logging into WAVE monthly, you can not receive a check for that month.
As a veteran, you have ten years from your date of discharge to use your benefits, which are currently valued at $49,248. If you re-enter active duty for at least 90-days, your 10-year date resets to your most recent date of discharge. For periods of less than 90 days, your delimiting date can be extended, if you were separated for the following reasons:
Increasing Your MGIB Benefits
For an additional $600 contribution, you can increase your $49,248 benefit, up to an additional $5,400, if you opt to participate in the Buy-Up program while on active duty. Another way to increase your monthly MGIB amount is if you qualify for a "kicker." Depending on the kicker available at the time of your enlistment, you could get up to an additional $950 per month on top of your MGIB pay. You have to enlist into certain jobs in selected units to qualify for a kicker.