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Case Study: Post-9/11 GI Bill vs Montgomery GI Bill (Active Duty)

Each individual’s case is different, but these examples provide side-by-side comparison of some of the major variables in the programs. If you wish to use these scenarios to help guide your decision, it will be useful to have the following data on hand:

  • Your length of active service performed after 9/10/2001 and the percentage of benefit to which you are entitled (e.g., 36 months – 100%) Click the following link to determine the percentage of Post-9/11 GI Bill benefit payable to you based on your military service Post-9/11 Eligibility and Payments
  • The in-state and out-of-state tuition and fees charged by your preferred school for full-time study (assume that 12 credit hours during the enrollment period of August 15 – December 15 is full-time)
  • Other financial assistance or scholarship information. [Note: VA must determine VA education benefits amounts without respect to other types of financial assistance, such as pell Grants and Stafford Loans.]

In these scenarios, we make the following assumptions:

  • Our veteran completed 36 months of active duty service before separation, entitling him or her to 100% of benefits under both Programs.
  • Our veteran is attending school full time.
  • The first six scenarios assume that the highest in-state tuition & fees for the enrollment period (four months) is $5,800 (scenario #7 assumes low tuition & fees of $3,065.)
  • The housing allowance under the Post-9/11 GI Bill is based on the zip code where the university is located; for these scenarios, the allowance is assumed to be $1000 per month.
  • Under the Montgomery GI Bill – Active Duty, the monthly stipend is $1321.
  • Our veteran paid an additional $600 while on active duty to increase his Montgomery GI Bill – Active Duty benefit rate, which provides $150 each month.
  • See below for more scenarios:

 

Scenario #1: Public University / In-State Tuition and Fees

Program Post-9/11 GI Bill MGIB
Highest in-state tuition $5,800 N/A
Tuition & Fees Charged by University $4,000 $4,000
VA pays on Veteran’s Behalf (Lesser of highest in-state tuition or actual tuition) $4,000 $0
Housing allowance ($1000/month for 4 months) $4,000 N/A
MGIB monthly rate ($1426/month for 4 months) N/A $5,704
Books & supplies $500 N/A
MGIB $600 buy-in ($150/month for 4 months) N/A $600
Benefit paid Directly to Veteran $4,500 $6,304
Tuition & Fees paid by Veteran $0 $4,000
Net to Veteran $4,500 $2,304

 


 

Scenario #2: Public University / Out-of-State Tuition & Fees

Program Post-9/11 GI Bill MGIB
Highest in-state tuition $5,800 N/A
Tuition & Fees Charged by University $10,850 $10,850
VA pays on Veteran’s Behalf (Lesser of highest in-state tuition or actual tuition) $5,800 $0
Housing allowance ($1000/month for 4 months) $4,000 N/A
MGIB monthly rate ($1426/month for 4 months) N/A $5,704
Books & supplies $500 N/A
MGIB $600 buy-in ($150/month for 4 months) N/A $600
Benefit paid Directly to Veteran $4,500 $6,304
Tuition & Fees paid by Veteran $5,050 $10,850
Net to Veteran -$ 550 -$4,546

 


 

Scenario #3: Public University / Veterans pay No Tuition or Fees

Program Post-9/11 GI Bill MGIB
Highest in-state tuition N/A N/A
Tuition & Fees Charged by University $0 $0
VA pays on Veteran’s Behalf (Lesser of highest in-state tuition or actual tuition) $0 $0
Housing allowance ($1000/month for 4 months) $4,000 N/A
MGIB monthly rate ($1426/month for 4 months) N/A $5,704
Books & supplies $500 N/A
MGIB $600 buy-in ($150/month for 4 months) N/A $600
Benefit paid Directly to Veteran $4,500 $6,304
Tuition & Fees paid by Veteran $0 $0
Net to Veteran $4,500 $6,304

 


 

Scenario #4: Private University / Tuition & Fees Higher than State Tuition Cap

Program Post-9/11 GI Bill MGIB
Highest in-state tuition $5,800 N/A
Tuition & Fees Charged by University $10,000 $10,000
VA pays on Veteran’s Behalf (Lesser of highest in-state tuition or actual tuition) $5,800 $0
Housing allowance ($1000/month for 4 months) $4,000 N/A
MGIB monthly rate ($1426/month for 4 months) N/A $5,704
Books & supplies $500 N/A
MGIB $600 buy-in ($150/month for 4 months) N/A $600
Benefit paid Directly to Veteran $4,500 $6,304
Tuition & Fees paid by Veteran $4,200 $10,000
Net to Veteran $ 300 -$3,696

 


 

Scenario #5: Private University / Tuition & Fees Higher than State Tuition Cap
School participates in Yellow Ribbon Program

Program Post-9/11 GI Bill MGIB
Highest in-state tuition $5,800 N/A
Tuition & Fees Charged by University $10,000 $10,000
VA pays on Veteran’s Behalf (Lesser of highest in-state tuition or actual tuition) $5,800 $0
Yellow Ribbon – School Contributes 50% of Remainder $2,100 $0
Yellow Ribbon – VA pays 50% on Veteran’s Behalf $2,100 $0
Housing allowance ($1000/month for 4 months) $4,000 N/A
MGIB monthly rate ($1426/month for 4 months) N/A $5,704
Books & supplies $500 N/A
MGIB $600 buy-in ($150/month for 4 months) N/A $600
Benefit paid Directly to Veteran $4,500 $6,304
Tuition & Fees paid by Veteran $0 $10,000
Net to Veteran $4,500 -$3,696

 


 

Scenario #6: Public University – Distance “on-line” Program

Program Post-9/11 GI Bill MGIB
Highest in-state tuition $5,800 N/A
Tuition & Fees Charged by University $4,000 $4,000
VA pays on Veteran’s Behalf (Lesser of highest in-state tuition or actual tuition) $4,000 $0
Housing allowance N/A N/A
MGIB monthly rate ($1426/month for 4 months) N/A $5,704
Books & supplies $500 N/A
MGIB $600 buy-in ($150/month for 4 months) N/A $600
Benefit paid Directly to Veteran $ 500 $6,304
Tuition & Fees paid by Veteran $0 $4,000
Net to Veteran $ 500 $2,304

 


 

Scenario #7: Public University / Low Tuition & Fees

Program Post-9/11 GI Bill MGIB
Highest in-state tuition $3,065 N/A
Tuition & Fees Charged by University $3,065 $3,065
VA pays on Veteran’s Behalf (Lesser of highest in-state tuition or actual tuition) $3,065 $0
Housing allowance ($1000/month for 4 months) $4,000 N/A
MGIB monthly rate ($1426/month for 4 months) N/A $5,704
Books & supplies $500 N/A
MGIB $600 buy-in ($150/month for 4 months) N/A $600
Benefit paid Directly to Veteran $4,500 $6,304
Tuition & Fees paid by Veteran $0 $3,065
Net to Veteran $4,500 $3,239