Montgomery GI Bill - Active Duty Military Education Benefits

What Is the Montgomery GI Bill - Active Duty?

The Montgomery GI Bill - Active Duty, called "MGIB" for short, provides up to 36 months of education benefits to eligible veterans. The benefits may be used for degrees, certificate programs, apprenticeships or on the job training.

Under certain circumstances, refresher and remedial courses may be approved.

Reserve Educational Assistance Program

Montgomery GI Bill benefits can include:

  • College, Business, Technical or Vocational school
  • Tuition Assistance: “Top-Up”
  • On-the-Job Training and Apprenticeship Programs
  • Correspondence Courses
  • Remedial, Deficiency, and Refresher Training (in some cases)
  • Flight Training (in some cases)
  • The cost of tests for licenses or certifications needed to get, keep, or advance in a job
  • National Tests

Note: VA does not approve schools or programs for benefits. Each individual state approves schools and courses. To find out if your school or program is approved for VA educational benefits under the Montgomery GI Bill, contact your school’s VA Certifying Official, or call VA at the toll-free number below.

Who Is Eligible for the Montgomery GI Bill?

If you are currently in service, you may be eligible after two years of active duty. Please consult with the Education Services Officer at your installation, or call the toll-free number below, for information about your Montgomery GI Bill eligibility.

If you are separated from service, you may be an eligible veteran if you:

  • entered active duty for the first time after June 30, 1985;
  • received a high school diploma or equivalent (or, in some cases, 12 hours of college credit) before the end of your first obligated period of service;
  • received an honorable discharge;
  • continuously served for 3 years, OR 2 years if that is what you first enlisted for, OR 2 years if you have an obligation to serve four years in the Selected Reserve AND entered Selected Reserve within a year of leaving active duty.

Note: Different rules apply if you entered active duty before July 1, 1985, and in certain other cases. Call our toll-free number below for more information.

Are There Any Pitfalls?

You should be aware that the following pitfalls could cause you to lose all MGIB benefits:

  • General Discharge. You must have an honorable discharge to be eligible for education benefits. A “general” or “under honorable condition” makes you ineligible for education benefits.
  • Early Discharge. To be eligible with an early discharge, your separation reason must meet certain requirements. Call the VA's toll-free number below (or if you are on active duty, check with your Education Services Officer) for more information.

How Much Does VA Pay?

The monthly benefit paid to you is based on the type of training you take, length of your service, your category, and if DoD put extra money in your MGIB Fund (called "kickers"). Typically, you have ten years to use your MGIB benefits. (Payment Rates)

How Can You Apply?

We strongly recommend that you enlist the services of a Veteran Service Officer before you submit your application for Montgomery GI Bill benefits. They will review your application, helping ensure it has all the information the VA requires. If you do not have a VSO yet, the NVF will help you find one. Simply call us at 888-777-4443.

You can apply by filling out VA Form 22-1990, Application for Education Benefits. You can also apply through the VA's online application.

For More Information, Call the NVF Toll-Free at 888-777-4443.

The VA's GI BILL Hotline is 888-GIBILL-1.