Using the Montgomery GI bill is an excellent way to receive funding for your education. You can receive up to 36 months of benefits using the MGIB if you are on active duty, and healthy amounts of support and funding also if you are in the Reserves. You have 10 years to use your benefits of any kind with the MGIB, 10 years from your last separation from Active duty. During the Congress of 2000, changes where made to the overall Montgomery GI bill. There were two supplementary type benefits that were added to the program, Buy up, and Top up. Both of these programs can directly affect the amount that is available for Servicemembers that currently are serving on Active duty.
Montgomery GI Bill Top Up- Top up is the program for Servicemembers who are on active duty, and it works to supplement the Tuition Assistance program. The top up program works to cover the difference between what the cost is for a college course, and the amount that tuition assistance that is offered by the military pays. The Tuition Assistance program pays for tuition, but the other costs that are associated with a course, such as books, materials, and other associated costs for education. You qualify for Top up if you are in the service, and you have served for at least two years. If you are on active duty service, and you meet the qualifications for military Tuition Assistance, and if you otherwise qualify for the “New GI Bill,” then you will qualify for the Top up program.
There is also the buy up option for users of the MGIB. It is a program that allows a Servicemember to make additional contributions to their account of up to $600 dollars. This will increase their overall amount that a MGIB participant contributes to about $1,800 dollars. This will increase the money that is available for your use to about $150 more a month. This can increase the money that you receive up to an additional $5,400 dollars.
To qualify you have to have joined the service after 1985, and you have to be still on active duty, and be eligible to increase your MGIB contribution by an additional $600 dollars. You can apply simply by talking to your administration personnel support center to increase your MGIB contribution.