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Using Your GI Bill

Your Decisions –
Which, Who, How and When to Use Your GI Bill

The First GI Bill Decision

First, you have some decisions to make. Note that the clock does not start on the GI Bill until you get out, at which point you have 10 years to use the Montgomery and 15 years for the Post 9/11. As we type there is a bill in congress to make the benefit good for life.  These rules just changed, for those entering 2013 or later the benefit does not expire, it is good for life.  We are not yet experts on these changes, check with the VA.

Montgomery Or Post 9/11 GI Bill?

At a Navy transition class students were told that for 99% of people, the Post 9/11 is the one to use. The best advice is to contact the VA to be sure you are not in that 1% where the Montgomery is better.

VA Benefits

Access to full information and forms is available through the following Dropbox link.

The GI Bill is designed to help active duty and veterans cover the costs that are associated with education or training, leading to a fruitful life after the military. We have laid out OUR thoughts about the decision. Your decision can be life changing, so you need to be aware of the options and make the best choice for YOU and your family.

The best choice for YOU is invariably good for your family, the reverse is not always true. Thus, we strongly suggest that at least SOME of your GI Bill should be used for yourself. First, YOU did the time, and second, the best thing you can do for your family, is to be successful yourself. How did Trump get to be Trump? A few million from Dad likely sped him along.

Give at LEAST 1% To Your Family Before You Get Out!

A Navy career counselor said that—if you have family to give it to—you should transfer at least 1% to the family member(s) because you must make that selection while on active duty. Once you get in to that process, you can swap it back and forth—even after you leave the service. Once you leave, you can no longer do that.

The Risk Of Giving It ALL To Your Children

Only 23% of people who apply can pass the Army entrance exam. Only 69% of children graduate from high school, and 66% of high school graduates enroll in college. Only 58% of first-time, full-time students earn their 4-year degree within 6 years, and a 2011 New York Times story called College Graduation Rates Are Stagnant Even as Enrollment Rises, a Study Finds reported that "no more than a quarter of part-time students ever graduate."

A recent government study of GI Bill users showed that out of 79 students at a particular well known college, only 2 earned their associate degree on time, and—of 21 who enrolled in a bachelor of science program—only 13 had finished 8 years later. Our point is that using some for yourself guarantees that at least 3% of the money was for sure used—hopefully helping you earn more money to support your children longer since they didn’t graduate – smile.

Use It Now Or Save It for After You Get Out?

Having used the GI Bill to earn his master's degree while still on active duty, Ed Manley walked the talk. We suggest using it when you have an opportunity. This way, when you get out, you can get a job. If you are the 1 in 16 people who uses their total entitlement, then some years down the road you will have to pay then for the last month of entitlement you used now. For many of our graduates, the certifications helped them to get a promotion or pay raise, so they already earned more than they will spend years later. You will use about 3%, 1 month, of your eligibility to complete the entire program leading to MCFBD. We think that putting all those certifications on your resume NOW is a good investment in the future for you AND your family.

What's the Downside Of Using Your GI Bill
While On Active Duty?

If YOU use your GI Bill, and use it all up, then for that last month that you have to pay for way down the road, you will lose the BAQ of an E-5 that you would have gotten if you waited till you got out. So, that translates to maybe $850 to $1,300 depending on your location. But you EARNED 9 certifications which you have for many years and some for life, whereas the $$ for BAQ are long gone. “A bird in the hand” comes to mind.

Items Available through Dropbox include:

  • VA Forms 22-0003 and 22-1990
  • How to Complete the Forms/Process
  • VA Site page showing MCFBD
  • VA Benefits Brochure


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