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Comparing the GI Bill Programs

What are the Different Types of GI Bill Programs?

The GI Bill Program is divided into four separate sub categories, each of which is unique in their eligibility standards maximum benefit amounts, and payout type. The different GI Bill Programs include the Post 9/11 GI Bill, the MGIB-AD bill, MGIB-SR, and the REAP Program; with each branch of the Bill targeted to assist veterans and active duty service members according to their unique service to the United States. Let’s take a look at a quick comparison of the different GI Bill Programs, what their exact differences are, and how to apply for each program of the GI Bill.

The Post 9/11 GI Bill Program

Specifically designed for service members called into active duty on or after September 10th, 2001, the Post-9/11 GI Bill offers educational benefits for veterans interested in furthering their education. The funding is applicable to a number of educational and vocational uses, including tuition assistance, admittance fees, and housing costs. In some instances, a relocation allowance is offered to service members in need of transferring locations to attend the school of their choice. While the total payout received from the Post 9/11 GI Bill varies according to service status, length of service, and skills training, it does have the potential to fund up to $21,084.89 for individuals interested in attending private, public, or foreign schools. Monthly housing allowances are paid out in amounts up to $2,700, while book stipends are usually an additional $1,000 grant. In order to qualify for this GI Bill benefit program, applicants must have at least 90 days of total service. Subsequently, to qualify for the maximum payout from the program, service members are required to serve a minimum of thirty-six months of total service.

MGIB-AD Program

The MGIB-AD program, otherwise known as the Montgomery GI Bill for Active Duty, is a VA educational benefits program that offers educational funding and career training for individuals currently enlisted as active duty members of a military branch. Applicants accepted into the program can expect to receive VA educational benefits to use on tuition, books, and career training for up to three years. The exact amount each service member will qualify for depends on their duration of service, college fund availability, active participation in the MGIB-AD $600 buy-in program, and the course of study the individual plans to pursue. In order to be considered eligible for the VA benefits through this program, enlistees are required to have at least a high school diploma or GED, as well as three years of consecutive active duty in one of the following branches: the Army, Navy, Air Force, or Marines. Active duty enlistees are able to apply for the MGIB-AD program by submitting an online application, or by visiting their VA regional office in person.

MGIB-SR Program

The Montgomery GI Bill for Select Reserve members (otherwise known as the MGIB-SR), is a VA educational benefit program that offers vocational and educational funding for military personnel currently enlisted in any branch of the Selected Reserves. This branch of the GI Bill can be used towards college degrees, flight training, vocational training certifications, and other career-oriented personal development activities. The MGIB-SR program has recently been accepted by the Small Business Administration as an appropriate method of payment for establishing a small business. In order to be eligible for the MGIB-SR program, the only requirement is that you complete the duration of your Select Reserve service with an honorable discharge. Once the benefits from your GI Bill become available, up to thirty six months of educational assistance will be ready for use.

REAP Program

Established with the intention of also offering the vast educational benefits of the GI Bill for the Reserves, the REAP (or Reserve Educational Assistance Program) can be used for vocational or institutional courses, as well as for flight training. Unfortunately, the benefits reaped from this program cannot be combined with financial assistance from any other VA programs. The amount that you are awarded by the REAP program is entirely dependent on the duration of your active duty service as a member of the reserves. Any members who serve a minimum of 90 days are eligible for roughly $686.80, while Reservists who serve in active duty for two or more years are eligible for up to $1,373.60. Applications are accepted here, through the U.S government’s VA site.

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