$600 Buy-up Rates for Montgomery GI Bill

Updated: October 26, 2023
In this Article

    The Montgomery GI Bill Buy-Up Program is an optional benefit that helps military members get more money towards their education benefits. 

    Understanding the Montgomery GI Bill Buy-Up Program

    The Montgomery GI Bill Buy-Up Program is a provision that enables active-duty service members to expand their GI Bill benefits. By contributing an additional amount, up to $600, towards this program, service members can receive up to $5,400 more in Montgomery GI Bill Active Duty (MGIB-AD) benefits. 

    Who Qualifies for the Program?

    Eligibility for the Montgomery GI Bill Buy-Up Program depends on a few factors. First, the program is open to service members who joined the military after June 30, 1985, and are still on active duty. The military member must also contribute (pay into) the program a minimum of $20 up to $600 before separating from service. 

    It’s important to note that the program is exclusive to individuals receiving benefits through the MGIB-AD program. Those opting for the Post-9/11 GI Bill are not eligible for the Buy-Up benefit, even if they have already contributed towards it.

    Calculating Payments: An Overview

    The calculation of the additional benefit is straightforward. The extra monthly gets determined by the amount you contribute and your enrollment status (full-time, 3/4-time, 1/2-time, etc.). The program operates on a matching basis, where every $1 contributed adds $1 to your monthly education benefit, up to a total contribution of $600. 

    The contribution can yield an additional $150 per month in benefits over 36 months, summing up to a maximum of $5,400.

    Current Rates and Payment Structure

    The additional benefit you receive per month hinges on your contribution and the extent of your course load. For a full month of enrollment, here’s how the payments pan out:

    • $20 contribution: Adds $5 to your monthly payment for full-time enrollment.
    • $600 contribution: Adds $150 to your monthly payment for full-time enrollment.

    The amounts are prorated based on the number of days of enrollment within a month. For those on active duty or enrolled less than 1/2 time, the payment will not exceed the total cost of tuition and fees. In such cases, a lump sum is provided at the commencement of each term or program.

    Additionally, the rates for apprenticeship and on-the-job training are slightly different, with 75% of the amount paid for the first six months, 55% for the next six months, etc.

    If this amount paidAdd this amount to Full Time paymentAdd this amount to ¾ time paymentAdd this amount to ½ time paymentAdd this amount to less than ½ time but more than ¼ time paymentAdd this amount to ¼ time payment

    Steps to Participate in the Buy-Up Program

    To participate, complete form DD-2366-1. Be sure to retain a copy along with any other relevant documents like your LES or DD Form 1131 if paid in cash. After contributing, submit photocopies of these documents to the VA for claim processing, as they currently lack a direct interface with the Department of Defense to verify additional contributions.

    Written by Veteran.com Team