It is a common misconception that you must serve on active duty to qualify for GI Bill education benefits. In truth, the Montgomery GI Bill, Chapter 1606 provides up to 36 months of education benefits to members of the Selected Reserves, including the Army National Guard, Air National Guard and Coast Guard Reservists. This is the first benefits program that does not require active duty service time in the Army or other Armed Forces.
Who Can Qualify for Free College Money From the Army?
As a National Guard member or Reservist, you can receive education benefits if you:
- signed a 6-year obligation with the Selected Reserve after June 30, 1985, AND
- completed your Initial Active Duty for Training (IADT), AND
- earned your High School Diploma or GED before you completed your IADT, AND
- are in good standing in a drilling Selected Reserve unit.
Benefits are available for 10 years while you are a Reservist if you became eligible before October 1, 1992, and for 14 years if you became eligible after that date. Service related disabilities can result in time extensions.
Show Me The Money
Benefits are paid according to the type of training you receive. Currently, the full time college benefit is $309 per month. To apply for these benefits, ask your unit for a Notice of Basic Eligibility (DD Form 2384 or 2384-1) when you become eligible. After you select an approved training program, submit VA Form 22-1990, Application for Education Benefits, to the VA regional office that serves the state where you will train. You can also apply online at http://vabenefits.vba.va.gov/vonapp.
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