The Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB) is an educational benefit for military members and is administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Chapter 30 (MGIB) of Title 38 United States Code is specifically for active duty military members and former service members who served more than three years on active duty and were honorably discharged. Chapter 30 provides 36 months of benefits and can be used up to 10 years after separating from the military. Payments to members who fail a course or drop out of a program may have to be paid back.
College and Vocational Schools
Chapter 30 benefits can be used at any accredited college, university or vocational school that offers certificates, undergraduate or graduate degrees. A cooperative training program, which is a combination of school and job training, is also eligible. As of October 1, 2009, benefits are $1,368 each month for a full-time student.
On-the-Job Training and Apprenticeship Programs
On-the-job training and apprenticeship programs conducted by businesses or unions qualify for Chapter 30 funds. The amount paid depends on the length of training. For the first six months, eligible members can receive $1,026 each month; during the second six months of training, the member can receive $752.40 each month and for any remaining training the member can receive $478.80 each month.
When you enroll in a correspondence course, VA will send you a quarterly form to keep track of completed lessons. You submit the form to the school and they in turn send it to VA to verify progress and payments. Each $1,368 paid to you counts as one month of benefits.
License and Certification Testing
For training programs that require a license or certification test to complete, Chapter 30 funding is available. You can take the test as many times as it takes to pass and can receive up to $2,000 each time you test. You must send the test results to the VA for verification.
High Cost, High Technology Programs
Accelerated payments of Chapter 30 funds are available for high cost, high technology training. The accelerated payment program is designed for scientific and technical fields where tuition is at least twice as high as the normal monthly MGIB payment. For example, if you sign up for a course that costs $5,472 and your normal monthly MGIB payment is $1,368, you effectively receive benefits four months in advance.