The men and women that fight for our country (and their families) are deserving of many things. The GI Bill is just one of the educational benefits provided to eligible service members to support their education and training. It’s an important benefit that can help them expand their skills, complete higher education, or prepare them for a new career after a veteran's service.
But, it’s not always easy to know the GI Bull and how to use the GI Bill. Since you can use these benefits to earn a degree and a rewarding career from Lionel University, we’re here to help. Continue reading as we explore the different types of GI Bills, the benefits associated with each one, and how you can get started using your GI Bill benefits.
What Is The GI Bill?
For those that qualify, the GI Bill is an education benefit from the federal government that provides financial aid for education and training for a military veteran and their family members.
There are, however, a few different types of GI Bills that each have their own standards regarding eligibility. Therefore, before you explore utilizing your benefits, it’s essential to understand the different types of GI Bills to determine which one you are eligible for.
Before we dive in, it’s important to note if the federal government makes changes to any of these bills, those changes could require modifications to the information in the article below. So, for the most up-to-date and accurate information regarding VA benefits and the usage of the GI Bill, you can go to the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs.
Post 9/11 GI Bill
According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, to qualify for the Post 9/11 GI Bill, a service member must meet at least one of the following requirements:
- Served a minimum of 90 days on or after September 11, 2001
- Received a purple heart and honorable discharge on or after September 11, 2001
- Served a minimum of 30 continuous days and were honorably discharged with a service-connected disability on or after September 11, 2001
- Be a dependent of a qualified service member (can be a transferred benefit to dependents)
Post 9/11 GI Benefits
If eligible for the Post 9/11 GI Bill, service members can receive money for tuition assistance, a housing allowance, money for school supplies and books, and in some cases, money to help relocate for school (1).
Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB) Active Duty
The Montgomery GI Bill Active Duty has a few different categories. According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, to qualify for the Montgomery GI Bill Active Duty, a service member must meet all the following requirements in one of the categories:
- Category I: Must have a high school diploma, GED, or at least 12 college credit hours, meet specific requirements regarding the start date of their active duty, have had a reduction in pay during their first year of service, and served continuously for either 3 years, 2 years (if that was the agreement), or 4 years (the 2 by 4 program)
- Category II: Must have a high school diploma, GED, or at least 12 college credit hours, meet specific requirements regarding the start date of their active duty as well as the days served on active duty, and have had a minimum of 1 day of entitlement left under the Vietnam Era GI Bill as of December 31, 1989
- Category III: Must have a high school diploma, GED, or at least 12 college credit hours, must not qualify for MGIB category I or II, and received a specific pay reduction prior to separation
In addition to the above, there are additional requirements regarding your dates of active duty, dates on which you were involuntarily separated, or your voluntary separation under the Voluntary Separation Incentive (VSI) program or the Special Separation Benefit (SSB) program.
- Category IV: You have a high school diploma, GED, or at least 12 college credit hours, and you had a specific year-long pay reduction.
In addition to the above, there are also requirements regarding your time on active duty, money in your VEAP account, or the date you selected MGIB.
Montgomery GI Bill Active Duty Benefits
Recipients of the MGIB typically receive a monthly payment. However, the specific benefits for the MGIB can vary based on the category above that the serviceman falls under, the length of service, the kind of education/training selected, and a couple of other additional factors (2).
Montgomery GI Bill Selected Reserve
Service members that are eligible for this GI Bill are typically in one of the following:
- Air Force
- Marine Corps or Coast Guard Reserve
- Army National Guard
- Air National Guard
According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, to qualify for the Montgomery GI Bill Selected Reserve, the service member must meet requirements regarding the start date and length of their service obligation and specific requirements regarding their education and training.
Montgomery GI Bill Selected Reserve Benefits
Service members that qualify can receive a benefit of up to $407/month for education depending on their time commitment to their training (i.e., full-time, half-time, etc.) and training period (3).
How Do You Use Your GI Bill?
Because there are a variety of different requirements to ensure eligibility and various types of education and training you can choose from, it’s important to contact the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs for support in using your GI Bill.
They have an option to apply online. But, you can also contact them by mail or in person, if needed.
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs can help you determine your eligibility and benefits and guide you through the documentation and steps needed to take advantage of your benefits. In addition, they may also be able to help you identify other potential benefits you weren’t already aware of.
For further guidance on your benefits or to receive more help regarding the application of your GI Bill, check out this link.
You’ll find that your military experience uniquely qualifies you for great roles in the fitness and nutrition industry. And, because personal trainers are in high demand, you can quickly get a job as a personal trainer as you work toward a degree in exercise science. With a degree in exercise science, you’re able to choose from a variety of rewarding careers in fitness and nutrition. These types of jobs let you use your leadership experience and offer a great work-life balance.
Regardless of whether you’re pursuing an associates degree, bachelor’s degree, or master’s degree, at Lionel you earn multiple certifications and specializations along the way. This means you can start working as a fitness and nutrition professional even before graduation day! And, with the help of financial aid, earning your exercise science degree is even more of a possibility.
Check out our programs and contact Lionel today!
- U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (2022). Post-9/11 GI Bill (Chapter 33). https://www.va.gov/education/about-gi-bill-benefits/post-9-11/. Accessed March 10, 2022.
- U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (2022). Montgomery GI Bill Active Duty (MGIB-AD). https://www.va.gov/education/about-gi-bill-benefits/montgomery-active-duty/. Accessed March 10, 2022.
- U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (2022). Montgomery GI Bill Selected Reserve (MGIB-SR). https://www.va.gov/education/about-gi-bill-benefits/montgomery-selected-reserve/. Accessed March 10, 2022