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Is The National Guard Eligible for Educational Benefits?

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Members of the Selected Reserves of the Army and other Armed Forces, Individual Ready Reserves (IRR) and National Guard who are called to service in response to war or national emergency and who serve for at least 90 days, on or after September 11, 2001, qualify for the new Reserve Educational Assistance Program (REAP). These benefits can fund college or university tuition, correspondence and vocational courses, flight training, distance learning and on-the-job training.

Eligibility Is Easy

National Guard members are eligible for REAP if their active service:

  • extends for 90 consecutive days or more, AND;
  • is authorized under section 502(f), title 32, U.S. Code, AND;
  • is authorized by the President or Secretary of Defense for a national emergency, AND;
  • is supported by federal funds.

Army and other reserve component members who actively serve under a contingency operation are eligible to collect REAP benefits.  It is important to keep in mind that REAP benefits generally end when you leave the Selected Reserves.

Benefit Calculations

REAP benefits are calculated as a percentage of your Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB) award, factoring in the number of continuous days of active duty served. Benefit percentages can range from 40 to 80% of the MGIB 3 year rate.

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Application Process

You can apply online at http://vabenefits.vba.va.gov/vonapp or by submitting a VA Form 22-1990, Application for Education Benefits, indicating you are applying for REAP, and sending it to the VA regional office where you will train.

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