When you enlist in the United States Military there are a number of different options that you have for financing your education. One of these is the Montgomery GI bill, where you participate for 12 months making a deduction from your pay, and then the Veterans Administration and the US Federal Government takes that money, and adds to it providing you with up to 36 months of benefits when you separate from the military. But there are a couple of options that are available to the enlisted Servicemember to increase the amount of education funding that they qualify for. One of these methods is called the Buy Up MGIB Funding option. This is a process where the Servicemember chooses to contribute an additional amount for the first year toward their educational fund.
The Tuition Buy Up program is a method of maximizing the benefits that are payable under the Montgomery GI bill so that when you choose to end your military career you have additional funding available. The Buy Up program allows you to add up to $600 dollars additional in that first year and realize an increase in the benefits when you separate from the military. If you contribute the full additional amount of $600 dollars then you qualify for funds up to an additional $5,400 dollars. This amount is payable over the course of the Montgomery GI bill benefit program, normally up to 36 months. You have to be serving on active duty, and have time to participate in funding the program while still on active duty. You have to be an enlisted Servicemember and be eligible otherwise for the Montgomery GI Bill program in order to participate, but if you qualify then the Buy up program can assist you in gaining quite a financial advantage. The amount of money that is available for a Servicemember is reduced if the person is serving in the Selected Reserve; the full amount is reserved for those persons serving on Active Duty.
The Montgomery GI Bill is a great way to help pay for your education, and it makes good sense to take advantage of the Buy up program to increase the amount of funds available to you. There are at times other programs, all of which are referred to as “Kicker” programs that are available to Servicemembers that can at times increase the educational funds available at separation. All of these programs are strictly voluntary, and they all involve some sort of small financial funding by the Servicemember the first year.