Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB)

Regular Air Force: Retired

Benefit Fact Sheet

Summary

The Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB) provides up to 36 months of education benefits to eligible Service members and Veterans for programs such as: college, business, technical, or vocational school; apprenticeship / on-the-job training; correspondence courses; remedial, deficiency, and refresher training (in some cases); and flight training.

Eligibility

Veteran surrounded by stacks of books Retired Service members and former active duty Service members that have separated from service may be an eligible Veteran for MGIB-AD benefits if they have an honorable discharge and meet the requirements of one of the categories below:

CATEGORY I

All of these are true. You:

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

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

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

And at least one of these is true. You served continuously (without a break) for:

  • 3 years, or

  • 2 years if that was your agreement when you enlisted, or

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

CATEGORY II

All of these are true. You:

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

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

  • Served at least 1 day between October 19, 1984, and June 30, 1985, and stayed on active duty through June 30, 1988 (or through June 30, 1987, if you entered the Selected Reserve within 1 year of leaving active duty and served 4 years), and

  • Had at least 1 day of entitlement left under the Vietnam Era GI Bill (Chapter 34) as of December 31, 1989

CATEGORY III

All of these are true. You:

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

  • Don’t qualify for MGIB under categories I or II, and

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

And one of these is true. You:

  • 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

Both of these are true. You:

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

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

And one of these is true. You:

  • 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

The ability to use MGIB benefits usually expires 10 years after the date the Service member was discharged from the Air Force or released from active duty, but the time limit can be fewer or more years depending on the situation.

Benefit Highlights

The Montgomery GI Bill-Active Duty (MGIB-AD) also known as Chapter 30, provides up to 36 months of education benefits to eligible Service members on active duty and Veterans for a variety of programs. Service members generally have ten years after they leave active duty to use MGIB-AD benefits.

Education programs that qualify under the GI bill include:

  • Attending classes that lead to a college degree like an Associate's, Bachelor's, Master's, or Doctorate Degree

  • Vocational programs that lead to a degree or certificate

  • Accredited independent study such as online or internet training

  • Correspondence training (55% of approved costs)

  • On-the job (OJT) or apprenticeship training - reimbursed at:

    • 75% of the fulltime GI Bill rate for the first six months of training

    • 55% for the second six months

    • 35% for the remainder of the training

    • Service member also receives a salary from employer

  • Flight training - up to 60% of approved charges (must have private pilot license and valid medical certificate)

  • Licensing & certification up to $2,000.00 per exam - pass or fail

  • Entrepreneurship classes offered through the Small Business Development Center or the National Veterans Business Development Center

  • High cost tech courses - up to 60% of the charges may be reimbursed

Payment Rates are based on a number of factors, including:

  • Length of Service member's original enlistment

  • Type of training taken

  • Amount of classes Service member is enrolled in

  • Participation in the GI Bill $600.00 buy-up program

  • Participation in a college fund program

  • Rates determined by Congress which usually change each fiscal year

Current Payment Rates:

The following rates are effective as of 1 October 2020.

For Service members enrolled in full time institutional training:

  • A full-time student who had an original enlistment of three years or more is eligible for $2,122.00 per month.

  • A full-time student who had an original enlistment of less than three years is eligible for $1,722.00 per month.

If a Service member is enrolled for less than full-time institutional training, the rate is adjusted proportionally:

  • A 3/4-time student who had an original enlistment of three years or more is eligible for $1,591.50 per month.

  • A 3/4-time student who had an original enlistment of less than three years is eligible for $1,291.50 per month.

  • A 1/2-time student who had an original enlistment of three years or more is eligible for $ 1,061.00 per month.

  • A 1/2-time student who had an original enlistment of less than three years is eligible for $861.00 per month.

For Service members enrolled in apprenticeship and on-the-job training who had an original enlistment of three years or more :

  • First six months of training are paid $1,591.50 per month

  • Second six months of training are paid $ 1,167.10 per month

  • The remainder of training is paid $742.70 per month

If a Service member is enrolled in apprenticeship and on-the-job training, who had an original enlistment of less than three years:

  • First six months of training are paid $1,291.50 per month

  • Second six months of training are paid $947.10 per month

  • The remainder of training is paid $602.70 per month

Correspondence and Flight

  • A student who had an original enlistment of three years or more is eligible for an entitlement charged at the rate of one month for each $2,122.00 paid.

  • A student who had an original enlistment ofless than three years is eligible for an entitlement charged at the rate of one month for each $1,722.00 paid.

Cooperative

  • A student who had an original enlistment of three years or more eligible for $2,122.00

  • A student who had an original enlistment ofless than three years is eligible for $1,722.00

$600 Buy-Up Program. Some Service members 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.

How to Apply:

Service members can apply online through the Veterans Affairs website or by filling out VA Form 22-1990, Application for Education Benefits. Service member's unit will provide DD Form 2384-1, Notice of Basic Eligibility, when Service member becomes eligible for the program and will code the eligibility into the Department of Defense personnel system so VA may verify.

Additional Information

Chapter 30 of Title 38, U.S. Code
https://uscode.house.gov/view.xhtml?path=/prelim@title38/part3/chapter30&edition=prelim

For more information, please visit the GI Bill webpages maintained by Veterans Affairs:
https://www.va.gov/education/about-gi-bill-benefits/

Montgomery GI Bill - Active Duty:
https://www.va.gov/education/about-gi-bill-benefits/montgomery-active-duty/

Summary of Educational Benefits under the Montgomery GI Bill – Active Duty Educational Assistance Program Pamphlet:
https://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill/docs/pamphlets/ch30_pamphlet.pdf

Post-9/11 GI Bill (Chapter 33):
https://www.va.gov/education/about-gi-bill-benefits/post-9-11/

Montgomery Gi Bill Active Duty (Chapter 30) Increased Educational Benefit:
https://www.benefits.va.gov/GIBILL/resources/benefits_resources/rates/ch30/ch30rates100120.asp

Document Review Date: 30 November 2020