All-Volunteer Force Educational Assistance

Published on AidPage by IDILOGIC on Jun 24, 2005

Administered by:

Purpose of this program:

To help servicepersons readjust to civilian life after their separation from military service. Assist in the recruitment and retention of highly qualified personnel in the active and reserve components in the Armed Forces by providing education benefits.

Possible uses and use restrictions...

The following types of programs may be approved for training under the Montgomery GI Bill: (1) courses at colleges and universities leading to associate, bachelor or graduate degrees, and accredited independent study; (2) courses leading to a certificate or diploma from business, technical or vocational schools; (3) apprenticeship or on-the-job training programs for individuals not on active duty; (4) correspondence courses; (5) flight training, if veteran holds a private pilot license and meets the medical requirements upon beginning the training program; (6) state-approved teacher certification programs; (7) noncredit preparatory courses necessary for admission to a college; (8) licensing and certification tests; (9) for service members, reimbursement of costs not paid by military's Tuition Assistance program. Separate work-study and tutorial benefits are also available.

Who is eligible to apply...

What follows is not a complete list of eligibility requirements. For more information on the newest MGIB program changes go to the VA web-site address listed below. A high school diploma or equivalency certificate is always required as is an honorable discharge from the qualifying period of service unless the individual is currently on active duty. (1) Individuals initially entering military service on or after July 1, 1985 may be eligible unless they specifically elect not to participate in the MGIB program. Servicemembers can use the MGIB benefit after completing two continuous years of service. Veterans whose initial obligation was 3 years or more may use the MGIB benefit after completing three continuous years of active duty, or less time if discharged early for an acceptable reason. Veterans whose initial obligation was less than 3 years may use the MGIB benefits after serving two years of active duty, or less time if discharged early for an acceptable reason or if they sign up for 4 years in the Selected Reserve. Any period of active duty may be used to meet these requirements, but generally, periods of active duty cannot be combined. (2) Individuals? who were eligible for the Old (Vietnam-Era) GI Bill benefits as of December 31, 1989, and served on continuous active duty for 3 years after June 30, 1985, may be eligible for the MGIB. (3) Persons involuntarily separated from the military for certain reasons may be eligible for the MGIB. Likewise, persons who received voluntary separation incentives may be eligible for the MGIB.(4) Persons who converted from VEAP (Veterans Educational Assistance Program) to the MGIB during open seasons from October 9, 1996 to October 8, 1997, or from November 1, 2000 to October 3, 2001, may be eligible for the MGIB. Likewise, certain persons serving full-time under title 32 in the National Guard and who elected the MGIB during the open season from October 9, 1996 through July 8, 1997, may be eligible for the MGIB. In addition, in very limited circumstances, dependents of a veteran or service member may be eligible for the MGIB if the veteran or service member transferred entitlement to those dependents.

Eligible Applicant Categories:
Eligible Functional Categories:

Military discharge certificate (DD 214) sometimes required; enrollment certification by institution offering training required in most cases.

Note:This is a brief description of the credentials or documentation required prior to, or along with, an application for assistance.

About this section:

This section indicates who can apply to the Federal government for assistance and the criteria the potential applicant must satisfy. For example, individuals may be eligible for research grants, and the criteria to be satisfied may be that they have a professional or scientific degree, 3 years of research experience, and be a citizen of the United States. Universities, medical schools, hospitals, or State and local governments may also be eligible. Where State governments are eligible, the type of State agency will be indicated (State welfare agency or State agency on aging) and the criteria that they must satisfy.

Certain federal programs (e.g., the Pell Grant program which provides grants to students) involve intermediate levels of application processing, i.e., applications are transmitted through colleges or universities that are neither the direct applicant nor the ultimate beneficiary. For these programs, the criteria that the intermediaries must satisfy are also indicated, along with intermediaries who are not eligible.

How to apply...

Application Procedure:

An application (VA Form 22-1990) may be obtained from any VA Regional Office or from the web site and submitted to the appropriate VA Regional Processing Office.

Note: Each program will indicate whether applications are to be submitted to the Federal headquarters, regional or local office, or to a State or local government office.

Award Procedure:

Awards are authorized at the designated VA Regional Processing Office.

Note: Grant payments may be made by a letter of credit, advance by Treasury check, or reimbursement by Treasury check. Awards may be made by the headquarters office directly to the applicant, an agency field office, a regional office, or by an authorized county office. The assistance may pass through the initial applicant for further distribution by intermediate level applicants to groups or individuals in the private sector.

Deadlines and process...


Veterans have 10 years after release from service to complete their education. The basic 10-year period may be extended for those veterans who were prevented from beginning or completing their chosen program of education because they were held by a foreign government or power or because of a physical or mental disability not the result of their own willful misconduct. The 10-year period can also be extended for persons who reenter active duty for 90 days or more after becoming eligible.

Note: When available, this section indicates the deadlines for applications to the funding agency which will be stated in terms of the date(s) or between what dates the application should be received. When not available, applicants should contact the funding agency for deadline information.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

At least 97.5 percent of applications were processed within 90 days or less in fiscal year 2002 and 98.9 in fiscal year 2003 as of March.

Preapplication Coordination

None. This program is excluded from coverage under E.O. 12372.

Note: This section indicates whether any prior coordination or approval is required with governmental or nongovernmental units prior to the submission of a formal application to the federal funding agency.


Appeals are available through a special board; average response time is 220 days.

Note: In some cases, there are no provisions for appeal. Where applicable, this section discusses appeal procedures or allowable rework time for resubmission of applications to be processed by the funding agency. Appeal procedures vary with individual programs and are either listed in this section or applicants are referred to appeal procedures documented in the relevant Code of Federal Regulations (CFR).


Not applicable.

Note: In some instances, renewal procedures may be the same as for the application procedure, e.g., for projects of a non-continuing nature renewals will be treated as new, competing applications; for projects of an ongoing nature, renewals may be given annually.

Who can benefit...

As stated above under Applicant Eligibility.

About this section:

This section lists the ultimate beneficiaries of a program, the criteria they must satisfy and who specifically is not eligible. The applicant and beneficiary will generally be the same for programs that provide assistance directly from a Federal agency. However, financial assistance that passes through State or local governments will have different applicants and beneficiaries since the assistance is transmitted to private sector beneficiaries who are not obligated to request or apply for the assistance.

What types of assistance...

Direct Payments with Unrestricted Use

Financial assistance from the Federal government provided directly to beneficiaries who satisfy Federal eligibility requirements with no restrictions being imposed on the recipient as to how the money is spent. Included are payments under retirement, pension, and compensatory programs.

How much financial aid...

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

Currently, the monthly full-time benefit can range from $732 to over $1,800 depending on the length of the service obligation, military incentives, and voluntary contributions. In most cases, benefits last for 36 calendar months of full-time training. The work-study allowance is limited to the higher of the Federal minimum wage, or the State minimum wage where work is performed. Tutorial assistance can be up to a maximum of $1,200.

Note: This section lists the representative range (smallest to largest) of the amount of financial assistance available. These figures are based upon funds awarded in the past fiscal year and the current fiscal year to date. Also indicated is an approximate average amount of awards which were made in the past and current fiscal years.


(Direct Payments) FY 03 $1,376,127,000, FY 04 estimate $1,638,147,000 and FY 05 estimate $1,869,878,000.

Note: The dollar amounts listed in this section represent obligations for the past fiscal year (PY), estimates for the current fiscal year (CY), and estimates for the budget fiscal year (BY) as reported by the Federal agencies. Obligations for non-financial assistance programs indicate the administrative expenses involved in the operation of a program.

Account Identification


Note: Note: This 11-digit budget account identification code represents the account which funds a particular program. This code should be consistent with the code given for the program area as specified in Appendix III of the Budget of the United States Government.

Examples of funded projects...

Not applicable.

About this section

This section indicates the different types of projects which have been funded in the past. Only projects funded under Project Grants or Direct Payments for Specified Use should be listed here. The examples give potential applicants an idea of the types of projects that may be accepted for funding. The agency should list at least five examples of the most recently funded projects.

Program accomplishments...

For fiscal year 2002, there were 323,165 trainees; trainee estimates for fiscal years 2003 and 2004 are 335,494 and 345,976, respectively.

Criteria for selecting proposals...

Not applicable.

Assistance considerations...

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Veterans receive monthly payments in most instances. Service members generally receive lump sum payments for each enrollment period. Accelerated payments (one-time payments) equal to 60% of the cost of the course are available for certain high cost, high tech courses leading to employment in high tech industries. Advance payment of the first 2 months of benefits for an enrollment period may be available. Payments for correspondence school training are issued quarterly.

Formula and Matching Requirements

Not applicable.

A formula may be based on population, per capita income, and other statistical factors. Applicants are informed whether there are any matching requirements to be met when participating in the cost of a project. In general, the matching share represents that portion of the project costs not borne by the Federal government. Attachment F of OMB Circular No. A-102 (Office of Management and Budget) sets forth the criteria and procedures for the evaluation of matching share requirements which may be cash or in-kind contributions made by State and local governments or other agencies, institutions, private organizations, or individuals to satisfy matching requirements of Federal grants or loans.

Cash contributions represent the grantees' cash outlay, including the outlay of money contributed to the grantee by other public agencies, institutions, private organizations, or individuals. When authorized by Federal regulation, Federal funds received from other grants may be considered as the grantees' cash contribution.

In-kind contributions represent the value of noncash contributions provided by the grantee, other public agencies and institutions, private organizations or individuals. In-kind contributions may consist of charges for real property and equipment, and value of goods and services directly benefiting and specifically identifiable to the grant program. When authorized by Federal legislation, property purchased with Federal funds may be considered as grantees' in-kind contribution.

Maintenance of effort (MOE) is a requirement contained in certain legislation, regulations, or administrative policies stating that a grantee must maintain a specified level of financial effort in a specific area in order to receive Federal grant funds, and that the Federal grant funds may be used only to supplement, not supplant, the level of grantee funds.

Post assistance requirements...


The educational allowance will not be paid if participants do not pursue their courses in accordance with established policies and regulations of the educational institution they attend, and are not making satisfactory progress as required by law and VA regulations. Students must verify their pursuit at institutions of higher learning and for courses not leading to a standard college degree on a monthly basis. Attendance for OJT/apprenticeship training also must be certified monthly. Students certify lessons completed under correspondence training on a quarterly basis.

Note: This section indicates whether program reports, expenditure reports, cash reports or performance monitoring are required by the Federal funding agency, and specifies at what time intervals (monthly, annually, etc.) this must be accomplished.



Note: This section discusses audits required by the Federal agency. The procedures and requirements for State and local governments and nonprofit entities are set forth in OMB Circular No. A-133. These requirements pertain to awards made within the respective State's fiscal year - not the Federal fiscal year, as some State and local governments may use the calendar year or other variation of time span designated as the fiscal year period, rather than that commonly known as the Federal fiscal year (from October 1st through September 30th).



Note: This section indicates the record retention requirements and the type of records the Federal agency may require. Not included are the normally imposed requirements of the General Accounting Office. For programs falling under the purview of OMB Circular No. A-102, record retention is set forth in Attachment C. For other programs, record retention is governed by the funding agency's requirements.



Title 38 U.S.C., Chapter 30. Also known as the Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB).

Note: This section lists the legal authority upon which a program is based (acts, amendments to acts, Public Law numbers, titles, sections, Statute Codes, citations to the U.S. Code, Executive Orders, Presidential Reorganization Plans, and Memoranda from an agency head).

Regulations, Guidelines, And Literature

38 CFR 21.7000 - 21.7320. "Federal Benefits for Veterans and Dependents," VA Pamphlet 80-01-1, $5.00, available from Superintendent of Documents, P.O. Box 371954, Pittsburgh, PA 15250-7954. The stock number is: 0051-000-00224-5.

Contact information...

Web Sites
Regional Or Local Office


Note: This section lists the agency contact person, address and telephone number of the Federal Regional or Local Office(s) to be contacted for detailed information regarding a program such as: (1) current availability of funds and the likelihood of receiving assistance within a given period; (2) pre-application and application forms required; (3) whether a pre-application conference is recommended; (4) assistance available in preparation of applications; (5) whether funding decisions are made at the headquarters, regional or local level; (6) application renewal procedures (including continuations and supplementals) or appeal procedures for rejected applications; and (7) recently published program guidelines and material. However, for most federal programs, this section will instruct the reader to consult the so-called Appendix IV of the Catalog due to the large volume of Regional and Local Office Contacts for most agencies. This information is provided in Additional Contact Information (see below).

Headquarters Office

Department of Veterans Affairs, Central Office, Washington, DC 20420. Telephone: (202) 273-7132.

Note: This section lists names and addresses of the office at the headquarters level with direct operational responsibility for managing a program. A telephone number is provided in cases where a Regional or Local Office is not normally able to answer detailed inquiries concerning a program. Also listed are the name(s) and telephone number(s) of the information contact person(s) who can provide additional program information to applicants.

Additional Contact Information (Appendix IV)

Due to the large volume of regional and local office contacts for most agencies, full contact information is also provided separately here in a PDF format: