What Does The Montgomery GI Bill Pay For? A Comprehensive Guide

The Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB) is an education benefit program for veterans who served on active duty. But what exactly does it pay for? In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explain the details of what the MGIB covers so you can make the most of your benefits.

An Overview of the Montgomery GI Bill

First, let’s start with a quick overview of the MGIB program The MGIB provides up to 36 months of education and training benefits to eligible veterans There are two main versions – the MGIB Active Duty (MGIB-AD) for those who served on active duty, and the MGIB Selected Reserve (MGIB-SR) for members of the Reserves and National Guard.

To qualify for MGIB-AD, you need an honorable discharge and must have had $100 per month deducted from your paycheck for 12 months. For MGIB-SR, you must have a 6-year service commitment and meet other requirements.

The benefits pay a monthly allowance directly to the veteran that can be used to cover the costs of approved education and training programs. The payment amount depends on factors like length of service. The MGIB will pay up to the full cost of tuition and fees at public schools, or a national monthly maximum at private schools.

Now let’s look at exactly what types of education and training the MGIB will pay for.

College Degree Programs

One of the main uses of the MGIB is to earn a college degree. It will pay the tuition and fees for undergraduate and graduate degree programs at schools approved for VA benefits. This includes:

  • 4-year colleges and universities, public or private
  • Community colleges and junior colleges
  • Online and distance learning degrees

You can use MGIB benefits to earn any type of degree, such as:

  • Associate’s degrees
  • Bachelor’s degrees
  • Master’s degrees
  • Doctoral degrees (such as PhD, MD, JD)

The monthly payment from the MGIB can be used to cover costs like:

  • Tuition and fees
  • Books, supplies, equipment
  • Housing (paid directly to the veteran, not the school)

The maximum payment amounts depend on factors like your length of service. But in general, the MGIB will pay the full cost of tuition and fees at a public school, or up to a national maximum per month at a private school.

Vocational and Technical Training

In addition to college degrees, the MGIB will pay for approved vocational and technical training programs. These include non-degree programs that provide career skills and certification required for many trades and technical occupations, such as:

  • Automotive and aircraft technician training
  • Construction trades
  • Computer and technology training
  • Cosmetology training
  • Medical assistant training
  • Welding training
  • And more

These programs are often offered at technical and trade schools. As long as the program is approved for VA benefits, the MGIB will cover the tuition and fees. The monthly payments can also help with other costs like books, supplies, and equipment.

Apprenticeships and On-the-Job Training

The MGIB can also be used for approved apprenticeship and on-the-job training programs. These allow you to learn skills directly in the workplace, as an alternative to classroom instruction.

Apprenticeships combine paid on-the-job training under the supervision of experienced mentors, along with job-related classroom instruction.

On-the-job training is direct training in the workplace under close supervision, rather than attending organized classes.

The MGIB will pay a monthly allowance during the training period, helping to supplement the lower wages often paid during apprenticeships and on-the-job training.

Licensing and Certification Tests

In addition to paying for training programs, the MGIB will also reimburse you for licensing and certification test fees. This includes exams required to obtain state, national, or industry certifications needed for certain occupations.

For example, the MGIB will pay back the fees for certification tests in fields like:

  • IT and software development
  • Healthcare
  • Aviation
  • Law enforcement
  • Trades such as auto repair or welding

This allows you to take the licensing exams needed to begin your civilian career.

Entrepreneurship Training

Through the Veteran Entrepreneurship Program, the MGIB can also fund approved entrepreneurship training programs. These teach key business skills needed to start and run a successful small business.

If you’re interested in being your own boss, the MGIB will pay for tuition and fees for entrepreneurship courses and training.

Flight Training

For veterans interested in an aviation career, the MGIB will pay for flight training programs leading to an initial pilot’s license. This includes training for private and commercial pilots.

The MGIB will cover 60% of the program costs, including tuition, supplies, and aircraft rental fees. This can significantly reduce the out-of-pocket cost of flight school.

Supplementary Programs

In some cases, the MGIB will also pay for supplementary training programs and services that support your education, such as:

  • Foreign language courses
  • Refresher training to update your skills before enrollment
  • Remedial or deficiency courses if required before you can start regular classes
  • Tutorial assistance services for help learning course material

What the MGIB Generally Does NOT Cover

While the MGIB programs cover a wide variety of education and training costs, there are some things that generally aren’t covered, such as:

  • Housing costs – The MGIB only pays a housing stipend directly to the veteran for full-time programs. It does not pay colleges directly for on-campus room and board.
  • Admission application fees
  • Meals, transportation, medical services
  • Programs not approved for VA benefits

Overall, the Montgomery GI Bill provides tremendous benefits that can cover most of the major costs of education and training for your future career. Understanding exactly what it pays for allows you to maximize your benefits. Be sure to also consider supplemental programs like the Buy Up Program that can increase your monthly payments. With strategic planning, you can leverage your hard-earned MGIB benefits to cover the costs of just about any type of academic or career-oriented training you need to succeed.

What Does The Montgomery Gi Bill Pay For

For on-the-job training and apprenticeships

This is how much we’ll pay you each month based on how far along you are in your training:

  • Months 1 to 6: $1,768.50 for each full month
  • Months 7 to 12: $1,296.90 for each full month
  • After the first year: $825.30 for each full month

Note: To get the full amount listed here, you must have worked at least 120 hours each month. As your payments go down, your entitlement charges also go down.

We’ll pay 55% of the established cost for the number of lessons you complete by mail, online, or in some other way. You’ll need to submit completed lessons to get these payments.

We’ll pay for 60% of the approved charges.

MGIB-AD rates if you served between 2 and 3 years on active duty

Effective October 1, 2023

The MGIB-AD rates listed here are for October 1, 2023, to September 30, 2024. We’ll pay you directly each month. These are sometimes called the “2-year” rates.

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