Skip to Content
Your browser is out of date. To use this website, please update your browser or use a different device.
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Montgomery GI Bill Active Duty (MGIB-AD)

The Montgomery GI Bill Active Duty (MGIB-AD) can help you pay for education and training programs. If you’ve served at least 2 years on active duty, find out if you qualify for the MGIB-AD program.

Am I eligible for education benefits through the MGIB-AD program?

You can get education benefits through this program if you were honorably discharged and you meet the requirements of one of the categories below.

One of these categories must describe you

Category I

All of these are true. You:

  • Have a high school diploma, GED, or 12 hours of college credit, and
  • Entered active duty for the first time after June 30, 1985, and
  • Had your military pay reduced by $100 a month for the first 12 months of service

And at least one of these is true. You served continuously (without a break) for:

  • 3 years, or
  • 2 years if that was your agreement when you enlisted, or
  • 4 years if you entered the Selected Reserve within a year of leaving active duty (called the 2 by 4 program)

Category II

All of these are true. You:

  • Have a high school diploma, GED, or 12 hours of college credit, and
  • Entered active duty before January 1, 1977 (or before January 2, 1978, under a delayed enlistment program contracted before January 1, 1977), and
  • Served at least 1 day between October 19, 1984, and June 30, 1985, and stayed on active duty through June 30, 1988 (or through June 30, 1987, if you entered the Selected Reserve within 1 year of leaving active duty and served 4 years), and
  • Had at least 1 day of entitlement left under the Vietnam Era GI Bill (Chapter 34) as of December 31, 1989

Category III

All of these are true. You:

  • Have a high school diploma, GED, or 12 hours of college credit, and
  • Don’t qualify for MGIB under categories I or II, and
  • Had your military pay reduced by $1,200 before separation

And one of these is true. You:

  • Were on active duty on September 30, 1990, and involuntarily separated (not by your choice) after February 2, 1991, or
  • Involuntarily separated on or after November 30, 1993, or
  • Chose to voluntarily separate under either the Voluntary Separation Incentive (VSI) program or the Special Separation Benefit (SSB) program

Category IV

Both of these are true. You:

  • Have a high school diploma, GED, or 12 hours of college credit, and
  • Had military pay reduced by $100 a month for 12 months or made a $1,200 lump-sum contribution (meaning you paid it all at once)

And one of these is true. You:

  • Were on active duty on October 9, 1996, had money left in a VEAP account on that date, and chose MGIB before October 9, 1997, or
  • Entered full-time National Guard duty under title 32, USC, between July 1, 1985, and November 28, 1989, and chose MGIB between October 9, 1996, and July 9, 1997

What benefits can I get?

You may get up to 36 months of education benefits. We’ll pay the benefits monthly. The amount you’ll receive depends on these factors:

  • Your length of service, and
  • The type of educational or training program you choose, and
  • Your category (as defined above), and
  • Whether you qualify for a college fund or kicker, and
  • How much you’ve paid into the $600 Buy-Up program
    Learn more about the $600 Buy-Up program

Note: You usually have 10 years to use your MGIB-AD benefits. This may change depending on your situation.


How do I get these benefits?

Follow the steps below to apply for these benefits.

  1. Make sure we've approved your program

    Before you enroll, contact the school or use the GI Bill Comparison Tool to find out if we’ve approved your program for VA educational benefits. If you have questions, call us at 888-GIBILL-1 (888-442-4551). We're here Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. ET. If you have hearing loss, call TTY: 711. Or submit a question through the GI Bill website.
    Use the GI Bill Comparison Tool
    Ask a question online

    Note: If you want to enroll in a program that we haven’t approved, you’ll need to ask the school to request approval. We can’t take any action until an official from your school (not you) requests approval. If we don’t approve your program, you’ll have to pay all costs at the school, including tuition and fees.

  2. Apply for benefits

    You can submit your Application for VA Benefits (VA Form 22-1990) online.
    Apply online now

    You can also apply by mail, in person, or with the help of a trained professional.
    Learn more about other ways to apply

  3. Ask your school or training program to certify your enrollment


    The certifying official may be someone in your school's financial aid, Veterans affairs, registrar, admissions, or counseling office. For on-the-job training or an apprenticeship, the official may be someone in your school's training, finance, or human resources office.

    Note: You'll then need to verify your enrollment at the end of each month to keep receiving payments. You can verify your enrollment online through our Web Automated Verification system (called "WAVE") or by phone by calling 877-823-2378.
    Verify your enrollment online

How can I use my MGIB-AD education benefits?

You can use your GI Bill benefits in many ways to advance your education and training.
Find out how to use your GI Bill benefits

In some cases, we may help you pay for:

  • Remedial courses (classes some students must take to build up their basic skills in math, reading, or English before they can take regular college courses)
  • Deficiency courses (classes some students must take in order to be admitted to a certain college)
  • Refresher courses (brief courses that help people review and improve their knowledge in a certain subject area)

See current payment rates

Can I qualify for more than one VA education benefit?

Yes. You may qualify for more than one education benefit. If you’re eligible for more than one, you’ll need to decide which to receive. You can’t receive benefits under more than one program at a time.

We can help you make this decision. Call us at 888-GI-BILL-1 (888-442-4551), Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. ET. If you have hearing loss, call TTY: 711.

GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The absence of the registration symbol ® does not constitute a waiver of VA’s trademark rights in that phrase.
Read our Terms of Use

Last updated: