I'm sitting in Iraq with my stop loss starting in a couple of weeks and trying to get everything sorted for my ETS in 8 months. I read a bit into the new GI bill and thought it sounds great - BAH pay, covers school, etc. I spoke with someone recently though that mentioned something about school for Texas vets already being covered by a Hazelwood act or something. I read into it some, and apparently you can get it to cover school tuition for Texas schools. They told me that the old GI bill would be a better choice, but didn't really have specifics as to why. I was told that once you sign up and accept the new GI bill, the other one becomes void and you cannot reverse the action, so I want to make sure I do what is best in the long run.
Now honestly, I'm pretty confused as to what kind of benefits the old GI bill actually offers. I know that when I enlisted they gave me 40K or something toward school, and then I put in more money toward it for a year and have the option of paying $600 and boosting it even more. Does anyone have experience with this and able to give specifics as to how much I can actually pocket, and how to find out how much money I currently have in the old GI bill?
Any information would be great.
|Moderator, Veteran's Education|
MSG, USA (Ret),School Certifying Official
1. You can not use the Hazelwood Act money until you exhaust all GI Bill Benefits.
2. The MGIB (which you paid $1200 into) pays (currently) $1321.00 per month (if attending college full time). You would need to look at your enlistment documents to find out exactly how much your Army College Fund is for. Then divide that amount by 36 (for 36 months of benefits). That amount is what you would receive in addition to the $1321.00 per month (or with the Post 9/11 GI Bill as part of the Housing Allowance if you give up your MGIB). If you pay in the extra $600.00 - you would also receive an additional $150.00 per month. So you would have $1321.00 plus College Fund plus $150.00 (if you do the buy up) each month of the semester you attend school. Out of that money, you would pay your tution, books, and living expenses.
3. If you exhaust all 36 months of your MGIB and then apply for the Post 9/11 GI Bill - you would (if eligible) receive up to 12 months of new education benefits - however - the college fund and $600.00 buy up would not carry over because A) the college fund would be exhausted and B) the $600.00 buy up program can only be used with the MGIB. SO, if you are going to only use the Post 9/11 GI Bill and give up your MGIB - do not do the $600.00 buy up program.
4. go to www.gibill.va.gov and read up on all programs and do the math before you apply for any education benefits. Also, find out what it is going to cost you at the school you will be attending - Will the MGIB $1321 plus college fund (plus $600.00 buy up if you buy in) pay for all your education and living expenses?
5. All VA Education Programs benefits are paid at the end of the month. So, you start school this fall on 19 Aug, you get paid during the 1st week of Sept for attending classes in Aug - you attend classes in Sept - you get paid during the 1st week of Oct, etc, etc. This is true for both MGIB and Post 9/11 GI Bill housing allowance. So plan ahead to have some money to live on and buy your books (The Book Stipend under the Post 9/11 GI Bill will help defray the costs of the books - normally not enough to pay for all the books you need for a semester).
All opinions I express on this web site are as a private individual. I am not representing my employer in any shape, means, form, manner or in any official capacity.
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