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All-Volunteer Force Educational Assistance

Squirrel started this conversation

This federal aid program is managed by:



To help servicepersons readjust to civilian life after their separation from military service. Assist in the recruitment and retention of highly qualified personnel in the active and reserve components in the Armed Forces by providing education benefits.

Funding obligations:

(Direct Payments) FY 07 $1,991,078,000; FY 08 est $2,164,929,000; and FY 09 est $2,209,673,000.

Uses and Use Restrictions:

The following types of programs may be approved for training under the Montgomery GI Bill: (1) courses at colleges and universities leading to associate, bachelor or graduate degrees (including courses taken via accredited independent study, provided those courses lead to a standard college degree or a certificate that reflects educational attainment offered by an institution of higher learning); (2) courses leading to a certificate or diploma from business, technical or vocational schools; (3) apprenticeship or on-the-job training programs for individuals not on active duty; (4) correspondence courses; (5) flight training, if veteran holds a private pilot license and meets the medical requirements upon beginning the training program; (6) state-approved teacher certification programs; (7) preparatory courses for tests necessary for admission to a college or graduate school; (8) reimbursement for licensing and certification tests approved for veterans; (9) entrepreneurship training; (10) reimbursement for national exams for admission to college or for college credit.

Examples of Funded Projects:

Not applicable.

Program Accomplishments:

For fiscal year 2007, there were 343,751 students trained; the student estimate for fiscal year 2008 and 2009 are 348,153 and 351,927 respectively.

Types of Assistance:

Direct Payments with Unrestricted Use.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance:

Currently, the full-time monthly benefit can range from $873 to over $2,000 depending on the length of the service obligation, military incentives, military career field, branch of service and voluntary contributions. In most cases, benefits last for 36 (48 months when combined with other VA education benefits) calendar months of full-time training. The work-study allowance is limited to the higher of the Federal minimum wage, or the State minimum wage where work is performed. Tutorial assistance can be up to a maximum of $1,200.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance:

Veterans receive monthly payments in most instances. Service members generally receive lump sum payments for each enrollment period. Accelerated payments (one-time payments) equal to 60% of the cost of the course are available for certain high cost, high tech courses leading to employment in high tech industries. Advance payment of the first 2 months of benefits for an enrollment period may be available. Payments for correspondence school training are issued quarterly.

Applicant Eligibility:

What follows is not a complete list of eligibility requirements. For more information on the newest MGIB program changes go to the VA web-site address listed below. A high school diploma or equivalency certificate is always required for eligibility to the MGIB as is an honorable discharge from the qualifying period of service unless the individual is currently on active duty. (1) Individuals initially entering military service on or after July 1, 1985 may be eligible unless they specifically elect not to participate in the MGIB program. Service members can use the MGIB benefit after completing two continuous years of service. Veterans whose initial obligation was 3 years or more may use the MGIB benefit after completing three continuous years of active duty, or less time if discharged early for an acceptable reason. Veterans whose initial obligation was less than 3 years may use the MGIB benefits after serving two years of active duty, or less time if discharged early for an acceptable reason or if they sign up for 4 years in the Selected Reserve. Any period of active duty may be used to meet these requirements, but generally, periods of active duty cannot be combined. (2) Individuals who were eligible for the Old (Vietnam-Era) GI Bill benefits as of December 31, 1989, and served on continuous active duty for 3 years after June 30, 1985, may be eligible for the MGIB. (3) Persons involuntarily separated from the military for certain reasons may be eligible for the MGIB. Likewise, persons who received voluntary separation incentives may be eligible for the MGIB. (4) Persons who converted from VEAP (Veterans Educational Assistance Program) to the MGIB during open seasons from October 9, 1996 to October 8, 1997, or from November 1, 2000 to October 3, 2001, may be eligible for the MGIB. Likewise, certain persons serving full-time under title 32 in the National Guard during the period from July 1, 1985 to November 28, 1989 and who elected the MGIB during the open season from October 9, 1996 through July 8, 1997, may be eligible for the MGIB. In addition, in very limited circumstances, dependents of a veteran or service member may be eligible for the MGIB if the veteran or service member transferred entitlement to those dependents.

Beneficiary Eligibility:

As stated above under Applicant Eligibility.

Award Procedure:

Awards are authorized at the designated VA Regional Processing Office.

Contact Info for Headquarters Office:

Department of Veterans Affairs, Central Office, Washington, DC 20420. Telephone: (202) 461-9800.

Website Address:

Related Programs:


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can i use the va program for school even if i used it in 1983 for farming classes
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