New GI Bill

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Rotor
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Re: New GI Bill

Postby Rotor » Tue May 05, 2009 8:37 pm

This just in my inbox:

Your claim was downloaded by the VA Regional Office on May 5, 2009.
You will be contacted soon by that office.
This is an automated response. Please do not reply to this email.

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs


Pretty happy that there's at least some action already. We'll see how long it takes to get real action from a real human! :P

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dapoetic1
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Re: New GI Bill

Postby dapoetic1 » Wed May 06, 2009 6:20 pm

Great Avatar Rotor!!
I got the same email too. I'm pretty excited to see some movement on this thing. I really think in today's age of technology those of us that are used to the snail's pace of the VA of the past will probably be pleasantly surprised by the new innovative features designed to make this process simple and fast.

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bumblebeetoona
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Re: New GI Bill

Postby bumblebeetoona » Wed May 06, 2009 7:29 pm

Can somebody help me figure this out?

-I have about 24 months left of the MGIB.
-I was eligible for both the buy-up kicker and the Marine Corps College Fund (so I was getting two kicker payments every month in addition to my regular payment).
-I was in from 00 to 05 so I am eligible for the new GI Bill.

My question is, what happens to my Marine Corps College Fund? I know the other kicker won't count anymore. But the MCCF was in my contract as part of my enlistment bonus. Does that extra bump just disappear with the new fund? Plus I have no idea which way will get me more money - old GI Bill or new. What should I do?

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Boyk1182
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Re: New GI Bill

Postby Boyk1182 » Wed May 06, 2009 8:08 pm

bumblebeetoona wrote:Can somebody help me figure this out?

-I have about 24 months left of the MGIB.
-I was eligible for both the buy-up kicker and the Marine Corps College Fund (so I was getting two kicker payments every month in addition to my regular payment).
-I was in from 00 to 05 so I am eligible for the new GI Bill.

My question is, what happens to my Marine Corps College Fund? I know the other kicker won't count anymore. But the MCCF was in my contract as part of my enlistment bonus. Does that extra bump just disappear with the new fund? Plus I have no idea which way will get me more money - old GI Bill or new. What should I do?


I'm not familiar with that specific thing (MCCF), but I'd guess that the new GI Bill would be a better option. It depends a lot on the state, price of tuition, BAH rate for the school, etc. What school and zip code? Also, how much would you get through the old GI Bill? It shouldn't be too hard to figure out...

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bumblebeetoona
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Re: New GI Bill

Postby bumblebeetoona » Wed May 06, 2009 8:11 pm

I'm not applying until fall so I don't know what zip code the school will be. I think I was getting $1300 a month or so on the old GI Bill as a full-time student. I'd like to call the VA and ask them what they think about the MCCF, but I don't have hours and hours to wait on hold :evil: .

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Boyk1182
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Re: New GI Bill

Postby Boyk1182 » Wed May 06, 2009 8:23 pm

bumblebeetoona wrote:I'm not applying until fall so I don't know what zip code the school will be. I think I was getting $1300 a month or so on the old GI Bill as a full-time student. I'd like to call the VA and ask them what they think about the MCCF, but I don't have hours and hours to wait on hold :evil: .


Well with the new GI Bill, for example, if you went to a New York School (NYU), you'd get $2,744.00 a month for BAH, up to $970.00 per credit hour, and up to $3,457.00 in fees per semester. You can do the math, but you'd be getting (roughly) $29,100.00 per year in tuition and $32,928.00 per year in BAH. And then up to the max for fees...
Of course New York will probably maximize the new GI Bill more than any other city, but I posted the links so you can figure it out for whatever schools you're considering.

BAH Rates:
http://www.defensetravel.dod.mil/perdiem/bah.html

Tuition and fees chart:
http://www.gibill.va.gov/GI_Bill_Info/C ... d_fees.htm

I'd have to assume the new Bill would be a better bet, but I don't know anything about that MCCF.

CaptainDirtyBird
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Re: New GI Bill

Postby CaptainDirtyBird » Wed May 06, 2009 8:37 pm

So this thing is for everybody. Lets say I do JAG after I get out of law school...can I use the new G.I. to go get a masters or Ph.D in something? Maybe a med degree. I could then be a triple threat...soldier, lawyer, doctor...not quite doctor, singer, dancer...but not bad.

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bumblebeetoona
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Re: New GI Bill

Postby bumblebeetoona » Wed May 06, 2009 8:51 pm

CaptainDirtyBird wrote:So this thing is for everybody. Lets say I do JAG after I get out of law school...can I use the new G.I. to go get a masters or Ph.D in something? Maybe a med degree. I could then be a triple threat...soldier, lawyer, doctor...not quite doctor, singer, dancer...but not bad.


I guess you could, but many grad programs and just about all PhDs have assistantships/fellowships/stipends attached, so you wouldn't need much of the money.

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Rotor
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Re: New GI Bill

Postby Rotor » Wed May 06, 2009 11:16 pm

CaptainDirtyBird wrote:So this thing is for everybody. Lets say I do JAG after I get out of law school...can I use the new G.I. to go get a masters or Ph.D in something? Maybe a med degree. I could then be a triple threat...soldier, lawyer, doctor...not quite doctor, singer, dancer...but not bad.

Yes, it is for everybody, but remember that any time commitment you have (if any) for student loan repayment plans would not count towards creditable service under the GI Bill. If you aren't doing SLRP (or a funded law program), then you'll be 100% vested after 3 years.

And even though some PhDs come with $, I don't think I'd go as far as "most", odds are there would still be tuition/fees over and above what is offered and GI Bill would pay some/all of the difference AND give you 1K/yr for books and the housing allowance to live on.

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dapoetic1
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Re: New GI Bill

Postby dapoetic1 » Wed May 06, 2009 11:54 pm

CaptainDirtyBird wrote:So this thing is for everybody. Lets say I do JAG after I get out of law school...can I use the new G.I. to go get a masters or Ph.D in something? Maybe a med degree. I could then be a triple threat...soldier, lawyer, doctor...not quite doctor, singer, dancer...but not bad.


Yeah Harm...you could definitely be a triple threat. :lol:

You would have to become eligible for post 9-11 GI Bill. If you're not currently eligible based on prior service then you would have to serve at least 3 years on active duty to be able in order to get 100% of benefits. If you plan on transferring them to a spouse or kids then it'll be even longer.
You can of course use the GI Bill for any approved degree program to include, LLM, MD, PhD, LPN, EMT and even a PPL

If you are currently eligible for MGIB and you use it to put yourself through law school you will use approx 27 months of eligibility which means that if you go back to school later you will only have 9 months of eligibility left. so that doesn't leave a lot of money for that med degree!

If you really are planning on doing JAG you should always look into advanced degrees that the military will pay for. While you're on active duty you'll be eligible for tuition assistance which could allow you to take classes toward a masters degree for free without using up your MGIB eligibility. There are a few methods to get free schooling on active duty.

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dapoetic1
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Re: New GI Bill

Postby dapoetic1 » Thu May 07, 2009 12:08 am

bumblebeetoona wrote:I'm not applying until fall so I don't know what zip code the school will be. I think I was getting $1300 a month or so on the old GI Bill as a full-time student. I'd like to call the VA and ask them what they think about the MCCF, but I don't have hours and hours to wait on hold :evil: .


It's highly unlikely that the post 9-11 GI Bill will be less than you $1300/month. Some of the cheapest states (like Indiana) even pay out $1,000 in BAH alone. In addition to that you're getting a few thousand (could be tens of thousands) and you're getting all of your fees paid. I'm guessing with the kicker you're getting no more than $1800/mth or so. But you've got to live on that and pay tuition. The regular GI Bill is really only beneficial for those still on active duty because you're getting your monthly payments plus your active paycheck--otherwise Chapter 33 benefits pay out tons more!

And if you go to a school that uses YRB you're set!!! Hopefully since you're not applying until next year there will be more schools willing to participate and it'll give you more options. Whatever you do avoid schools in California!!!

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Rotor
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Re: New GI Bill

Postby Rotor » Thu May 07, 2009 7:05 am

No need to avoid schools in California. The reason it shows 0 in the tuition line is that CA doesn't charge "tuition" to its in state students. If you are out of state, CA is one of the easier states to get residency, so it would only be a year.

The 13k+ a year that gets covered for fees is roughly a half scholy for the fees I will pay to the school. Not too shabby.

No it's not one of the states giving away the farm with the 5 digit per term fees and it will make funding a private school law program more challenging-- but that is the way the program is supposed to work Considering all the great options for schools there from Stanford on down to some very respectable tier 3s (I know, heresy on TLS), "avoid schools in California" is short sighted.

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dapoetic1
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Re: New GI Bill

Postby dapoetic1 » Fri May 08, 2009 6:18 pm

@rotor- I realize Cali doesn't charge it's undergrad resident's tuition just fees...is it the same for the law school and their other professional/grad schools?
And what do you have to do to gain Cali residency?

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Rotor
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Re: New GI Bill

Postby Rotor » Fri May 08, 2009 8:14 pm

dapoetic1 wrote:@rotor- I realize Cali doesn't charge it's undergrad resident's tuition just fees...is it the same for the law school and their other professional/grad schools?
And what do you have to do to gain Cali residency?

Yep it's the same. Assuming my waiver of nonresident tuition is approved as expected, I won't be charged a dime of tuition. It all gets lumped into professional school FEES. (I spent 3 or more years at and graduated from a CA high school, hence the waiver)

As for residency, almost everyone who tries to qualify 2L year does. Just need to do all the obvious stuff: DL, voter reg, pay TAXES in CA, local bank acct, etc. Most stuff you'd do anyway if you're going to be there 3 years.

It'd be nice if we got tuition over and above the fees, but like I said, it's the way the program works, even if I don't get the best deal in the US.

anthonyc7599
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Re: New GI Bill

Postby anthonyc7599 » Tue May 12, 2009 6:44 pm

The VA is starting to send out response letters. I just got my elegibility letter today. It was date stamped May 8. I applied on April 30.

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Cole S. Law
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Re: New GI Bill

Postby Cole S. Law » Tue May 12, 2009 7:30 pm

anthonyc7599 wrote:The VA is starting to send out response letters. I just got my elegibility letter today. It was date stamped May 8. I applied on April 30.
.

Thanks for the update. Hopefully my letter isn't far behind. Did the letter indicate the percentage you're eligible for or just simply state that you're eligible for "some amount of benefits"?

anthonyc7599
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Re: New GI Bill

Postby anthonyc7599 » Tue May 12, 2009 10:05 pm

Cole S. Law wrote:
anthonyc7599 wrote:The VA is starting to send out response letters. I just got my elegibility letter today. It was date stamped May 8. I applied on April 30.
.

Thanks for the update. Hopefully my letter isn't far behind. Did the letter indicate the percentage you're eligible for or just simply state that you're eligible for "some amount of benefits"?


Yes it did on the first page. I've been for a while so my date of eligibility started 9/11. If you joined after I imagine it will reflect. You should also see an end date (EAS). It gives a percentage based on the time span and spells it out clearly.

Hopefully you hear soon, and hopefully more schools get onboard w/Yellow Ribbon Program.

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Cole S. Law
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Re: New GI Bill

Postby Cole S. Law » Thu May 14, 2009 2:44 pm

Got a letter from the VA. "We have too many cases and are backed up"...in so many words. I really wanted to get my app in on the 1st, but my wife had to go into labor. Thanks. Mine is being processed by the Buffalo office. Anyone have any updates RE: processing speed/VA office?

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Boyk1182
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Re: New GI Bill

Postby Boyk1182 » Thu May 14, 2009 2:50 pm

Cole S. Law wrote:Got a letter from the VA. "We have too many cases and are backed up"...in so many words. I really wanted to get my app in on the 1st, but my wife had to go into labor. Thanks. Mine is being processed by the Buffalo office. Anyone have any updates RE: processing speed/VA office?


I got that same letter, probably verbatim. And my buddy got it a day after me. It said "there may be a delay in processing your file..."

Anybody think this thing will be ready to pay for fall tuition? I called the school I enrolled at and they said to present the GI Bill to them first, and then decide which loans to use to compensate for the difference. But, they said to try to get them that info by the 1st of July. Anyone think this is gonna be possible??

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TonyDigital
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Re: New GI Bill

Postby TonyDigital » Thu May 14, 2009 2:51 pm

Fellow vets...I know this Post 9/11 GI Bill is new but maybe you guys can give me your best guesstimates :)

I have 16 months remaining of my Montgomery GI Bill. In the letter I received from the VA, it states that (paraphrasing) the remaining benefits can be converted into the new Post 9/11 GI Bill. Which is damn awesome considering it's alot more financial benefit for me.

In a separate part of the letter it says if the Montgomery GI Bill is depleted/used up/or whatever wording they used...that we could be eligible for an extra 12 months of Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits. Well after I use up my 16 months I still have...can I get another 12 months of benefits???? I hope that's what that means...I'm sure others got the same letter. What do you all think?

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Rsrcht
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Re: New GI Bill

Postby Rsrcht » Thu May 14, 2009 3:34 pm

TonyDigital wrote:Fellow vets...I know this Post 9/11 GI Bill is new but maybe you guys can give me your best guesstimates :)

I have 16 months remaining of my Montgomery GI Bill. In the letter I received from the VA, it states that (paraphrasing) the remaining benefits can be converted into the new Post 9/11 GI Bill. Which is damn awesome considering it's alot more financial benefit for me.

In a separate part of the letter it says if the Montgomery GI Bill is depleted/used up/or whatever wording they used...that we could be eligible for an extra 12 months of Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits. Well after I use up my 16 months I still have...can I get another 12 months of benefits???? I hope that's what that means...I'm sure others got the same letter. What do you all think?


I called the VA about this. They essentially said yes - with conditions. The extra 12 months could be absorbed by the remainder of a semester using the normal GI bill. So for you, your 1L would be 9 months of MGIB, your 2L would use 9 months of MGIB, and your 3L would use 9 months of the post 9-11 with 1 month of 9-11 benefits left over.

Summary:
16 original MGIB + 2 months MGIB extra to fill out remainder of semester = 18months MGIB
12 months 9-11 minus 2months used for the MGIB = 10 months 9-11
I don't know why it works that way, but that is what the VA official said on the phone. There wasn't anything in the 9-11 CFR about it that I could tell, but I haven't checked the MGIB CFR. Call them to confirm.

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TonyDigital
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Re: New GI Bill

Postby TonyDigital » Thu May 14, 2009 3:42 pm

Rsrcht wrote:I called the VA about this. They essentially said yes - with conditions. The extra 12 months could be absorbed by the remainder of a semester using the normal GI bill. So for you, your 1L would be 9 months of MGIB, your 2L would use 9 months of MGIB, and your 3L would use 9 months of the post 9-11 with 1 month of 9-11 benefits left over.

Summary:
16 original MGIB + 2 months MGIB extra to fill out remainder of semester = 18months MGIB
12 months 9-11 minus 2months used for the MGIB = 10 months 9-11
I don't know why it works that way, but that is what the VA official said on the phone. There wasn't anything in the 9-11 CFR about it that I could tell, but I haven't checked the MGIB CFR. Call them to confirm.


Yea that's odd they would do it that way...why not let me just convert to 16 months of Post 9/11 benefits then grant me another 12 months after I use up those 16 months? Either way...of course i'm not complaining because it's still going to be more than what I originally had!

I'll be applying this fall for next year so I still have time. I was just curious. Thanks for the info Rsrcht...

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Boyk1182
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Re: New GI Bill

Postby Boyk1182 » Thu May 14, 2009 3:54 pm

In case anyone's wondering, I just got off the phone with the VA...

Since I used the GI Bill in the past, he said the claim will go through quickly (ie. easier to convert than to set up for the first time). He said at the end of this month they'll be sending a certificate to give to the school that I'm headed to. He also mentioned that if you exhaust your Bill (beacuse you used the old Ch. 30), you get 12 extra months. The way he mentioned it, it seems like it should be guranteed and pretty easy to do. I guess the next step is to get the certificate to the school, and they'll work out the loans you'll need so you can decline those you don't. Hope this helps anyone wondering the progress of their claim...

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Rotor
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Re: New GI Bill

Postby Rotor » Fri May 15, 2009 9:10 am

From today's Christian Science Monitor:


New GI Bill too popular for the Pentagon's own good?
Veterans are rushing to take advantage of the comprehensive education benefits, raising the question of whether the bill will hurt retention.
By Gordon Lubold | Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor



http://www.csmonitor.com/2009/0515/p02s03-usmi.html

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Cole S. Law
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Re: New GI Bill

Postby Cole S. Law » Fri May 15, 2009 11:54 am

I'm going to say the 27 months I spent in Iraq (and 15 more they had me scheduled for) had more to do with my decision than the GI Bill.




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