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Education and Training

Comparison Tool/Payment Rates

You may be eligible for several types of VA education and training benefits, but there are many things to consider before you apply for a GI Bill program. For most participants, the Post-9/11 GI Bill is the best option. Other students would benefit more from the Montgomery GI Bill. The following comparison tools may make it easier to decide which education and training benefits are best for you:

A Decision with Consequences

Your decision to apply for a certain education benefit could impact your eligibility for other benefits. Here are a few factors to keep in mind:

  • If you’re eligible for more than one education benefit, such as the Post-9/11 GI Bill and the Montgomery GI Bill, you must choose which benefit to receive, a decision that’s final and cannot be changed.  
  • If you’re eligible for the Post-9/11 GI Bill and two or more additional education benefits, you must give up one of the additional education benefits. However, you may remain eligible for the benefit or benefits you did not give up.

Use the chart below to compare the education benefits available through the following programs:

  Post-9/11 GI Bill MGIB-AD MGIB-SR REAP VEAP DEA

Minimum Length of Service

90 days active aggregate service (after 9/10/01) or 30 days continuous if discharged for disability

2 yr. continuous enlistment (minimum duty varies by service date, branch, etc.)

6 yr. commitment (after 6/30/85)

90 days active continuous service (after 9/10/01)

181 continuous days active service (between 12/31/76 and 7/1/85)1

Not applicable

Maximum # of Months of Benefits 2

36

36

36

36

36

45

How Payments Are Made

Tuition: Paid to school

Housing stipend: Paid monthly to student

Books & Supplies: Paid to student at the beginning of the term

Paid to student

Paid to student

Paid to student

Paid to student

Paid to student

Duration of Benefits

Generally 15 years from last day of active duty

Generally 10 years from last day of active duty

Ends the day you leave Selected Reserve

Generally 10 years from the day you leave the Selected Reserve or the day you leave the IRR 4

10 yrs from last day of active duty

Spouse: 10 - 20 years 3

 

Child: Ages 18-26

Degree Training

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Non College Degree Training

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

On-the-Job & Apprenticeship Training

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Flight Training

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

Correspondence Courses

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Licensing & Certification

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

National Testing Programs

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Work-Study Program

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Tutorial Assistance 5

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

Yes

Yes

  1. Amount of time varies according to when the Veteran enlisted and entered active duty.
  2. You may receive a maximum of 48 months of benefits combined if you are eligible for more than one VA education program.
  3. Spouses are generally eligible to receive benefits for 10 years. However, spouses of individuals rated total and permanent within 3 years of discharge and spouses of individuals who die on active duty are granted a 20 year eligibility period.
  4. The Individual Ready Reserve (IRR) is a category of the Ready Reserve of the Reserve Component of the Armed Forces.
  5. VA can pay the difference between the total cost of tuition and fees and the amount of Tuition Assistance paid by the military.