As you take the next steps toward achieving your educational goals, it’s important to understand the benefits for which you’re eligible.
As a current member of the military, you have a variety of financial resources, such as the Federal Military Tuition Assistance Program and the Top-Up benefit, that are designed to help pay for your education.
The Federal Military Tuition Assistance Program
Before you can apply for Federal Military Tuition Assistance, you’ll first need to visit your installation’s education office. There, you’ll receive college counseling to assist you in developing an education plan. Once that’s done, you can submit your Military Tuition Assistance request.
In order to be considered for Military Tuition Assistance, you’ll need to submit a completed authorization form to your Military University Representative at least two weeks before your class start date.
Depending on your branch, you may be eligible to receive up to 100% Federal Tuition Assistance from military service, with a $250 cap per semester hour and a $4,500 annual limit.
The Top-Up Benefit
If you’re eligible for the Montgomery GI Bill® (MGIB) Active Duty or Post-9/11 GI Bill® and plan to use Military Tuition Assistance (TA), you can use the Federal Assistance Top-Up benefit to cover the difference between your college course cost and the amount that TA will cover.
To use Top-Up, you must be approved for Federal Tuition Assistance and be eligible for Montgomery GI Bill – Active Duty benefits or Post-9/11 GI Bill. To be eligible for MGIB benefits, you must be an MGIB – Active Duty participant and have served at least two full years on Active Duty.
The amount of the benefit is limited to the amount you would receive for the same course if regular Montgomery GI Bill benefits were being paid. In no case can the amount paid by the military combined with the amount paid by VA be more than the total cost of the course.
If you receive the Top-up benefit, your regular VA benefits will be reduced. The amount of entitlement charged for Top-Up payments for MGIB is determined by dividing the amount of the payment by your full-time monthly rate.
The benefit is available for all courses that began on or after October 30th, 2000. A copy of an approved Tuition Assistance Authorization form for the course is required. If you have not requested VA benefits before, you can apply online on the Department of Veteran Affairs website by filling out your VA Form 22-1990, Application for Educational Benefits.
Additional Military Tuition Assistance Resources
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 website at benefits.va.gov/gibill.
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