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What is the GI Bill? Am I eligible?

Feb 24, 2016   |   Military
What is the GI Bill? Am I eligible?

Being a service member, veteran or family member of someone in the military provides some opportunities to pursue your educational goals using military education benefits. One of these benefits is the GI Bill®, which refers to any Department of Veterans Affairs education benefit awarded to servicemembers and eligible veterans of Active Duty, Selected Reserve and National Guard Armed Forces and their families. The benefits are designed to help cover the costs of getting an education or training. GI Bill® eligibility depends on a person's duty status:

  1. The Post-9/11 GI Bill® – Benefits are available for servicemembers who have served on Active Duty for 90 days or more since September 10, 2001. The Post-9/11 GI Bill® can pay your full tuition & fees at school, a monthly housing allowance while attending school, and up to $1,000 a year to use for books and supplies.
  2. The GI Bill® Kicker - Also known as the Army, Navy, or Marine Corps College Funds, or as the GI Bill® Buy Up, this is offered by the DoD as part of an enlistment or reenlistment contract. The College Fund is an enlistment or retention incentive and is commonly awarded in increments of $10,000. It is typically included in his or her monthly GI Bill® payment from the VA. The GI Bill® Buy Up is paid into by the service member and by law, cannot transfer from the Montgomery GI Bill® to Post-9/11 GI Bill®. The College Funds can be transferred and is usually paid in the housing allowance payments.
  3. Montgomery GI Bill® Active Duty - Benefits of over $61,000 in cash and numerous support programs are available for servicemembers and veterans to help with education and training costs. The value of the MGIB is based on the current maximum monthly payment rate of $1,717 multiplied by the 36-academic months limit (4 years of traditional academic education).
  4. Montgomery GI Bill® Select Reserve - The Montgomery GI Bill® SR benefits are available for members of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard Reserves, as well as the National Guard. The MGIB SR benefit is worth over $11,000.
  5. Top-Up - Allows participants to use funding drawn from the GI Bill® to supplement tuition and fees not covered by Active Duty Tuition Assistance. The amount of the benefit can be equal to the difference between the total cost of a college course and the amount of Tuition Assistance paid by the military for the course.

Military education benefits can be confusing and overwhelming. We recommend speaking with an ESO on your base to learn more. At CTU, our dedicated military team is also on hand to help. Our financial aid advisors can help you navigate the many benefits that are available to you and help determine which is best. Learn more about being a military student at CTU:

GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government Web site at

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