Frequently Asked Questions
The Military Student Office will help you navigate the system .... to maximize your benefits and complete your education.
What are the Montgomery GI Bill® benefits?
The Montgomery GI Bill (Chapter 30) pays you a monthly rate based on your course load. The educational benefit is capped at 36-months. In order to qualify you must have contributed $1,200 to the program while still on active duty. It does not include either books or basic allowance for housing. This benefit expires 10 years after you leave the military.
The monthly rate for active duty, effective August 1, 2013, is shown on the table below for service less than 3 years and for service of 3 years or more. The monthly rate for reservists (Chapter 1606) is approximately 25% the active duty rate. Check the VA Rate Tables for the latest rates for all service categories.
MGIB Monthly Rate for Active Duty Service
|Academic Load||3 Years or More*||Less than 3 Years*|
|*Must have been active duty and contributed $1,200 |
You can qualify for additional benefits if you contributed to the Buy-up program while still on active duty. If you contributed the maximum Buy-up contribution of $600, you will receive an additional $150 per month for full-time, $112.50 per month for three-quarter time, and $75 per month for half-time (effective October 2009).
The payments are sent directly to you and not to the school. You are required to pay your tuition and fees directly to Stratford at a time set by the Student Accounts Office. Check with the official GI Bill Website for additional Montgomery Bill information
What are the Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits?
The Post-9/11 GI Bill (Chapter 33) does not use the Montgomery GI Bill style system. The new GI Bill provides upfront tuition payments directly to the school, a monthly living allowance, and a book stipend.
Benefits -- Benefits are based on the cumulative months of service since September 11, 2001 (post-9/11). To qualify for the benefit, you must have served at least 90 days of active duty service post-9/11, or have served 30 days and were discharged due to a service connected injury or illness. The following table gives the specific benefit percentages.
New GI Bill Benefits Percentage
|36 Cumulative Months
|30 Cumulative Months
|24 Cumulative Months
|18 Cumulative Months
|12 Cumulative Months
|6 Cumulative Months
|90 Cumulative Days
|Service Connected Discharge
|*Applies to tuition, books, and housing|
Tuition and Fee Cap -- Tuition and fee payments can be used at any public or private degree-granting school but are capped on a per state basis. Virginia is currently capped at $326.00 per credit hour for tuition and at $3,840.00 for fees per term. These caps will be increased to $353.50 and $3,969.50, respectively, on October 1, 2010.
Yellow Ribbon Program -- Since Stratford participates in the Yellow Ribbon program, all tuition and fees are covered if you qualify for 100% benefits under the new GI Bill.
If you are less than 100%, you must pay the difference between Stratford tuition and fees and the cap. At the current time, the fee cap is not exceeded. However, the Stratford tuition of $370 per credit hour for undergraduate courses and $410 per credit hour for graduate courses exceeds the tuition cap. You can cover this difference using Federal student loans or grants
Housing Allowance -- The monthly living stipend is based on the Department of Defense Basic Housing Allowance (BAH) for the region. The stipend is be pegged to the E-5 with dependents rate for the zip code of the school regardless of your pay grade.
Book Stipend -- You will receive $41.67 per credit, but no more $1,000 per year to help pay for books and supplies. Since books are included with your tuition, you get to keep this stipend.
More information -- You can find out more about the Post-9/11 GI Bill at www.newgibill.org.
How long can I receive education benefits?
The Montgomery GI Bill is limited to 36 months regardless of your academic load.
The Post-9/11 GI Bill is limited to 36 months if you are carrying a full academic load. If you are carrying less than a full academic load, this cap is increased proportionately. For instance, if you are attending school with half-time load, the Post-9/11 benefits will double to 72 months. It should be noted that so long as you are attending with a load that is greater than half-time and are taking at least one residential class, you will receive your full housing allowance.
If you have never used the Montgomery GI Bill (Chapter 30), but have used other benefits, such as REAP (Chapter 1607) or Select Reserve GI Bill (Chapter 1606), you may be entitled to receive a total of 48 months of educational benefits. No more than 36 months can be in any one program. Your benefits are maximized if the 36 months is in the Post-9/11 GI Bill.
Near the end of your 36-month benefit period, you may be able to apply for an additional 12-month period, if you are still not finished with school.
What is the Yellow Ribbon program?
The Yellow Ribbon program is a program designed to cover all tuition and fees even if they exceed the allowed cap under the Post-9/11 GI Bill. The schools, which voluntarily join this program, agree to provide a scholarship for half of this funding gap and the VA pays the balance. This program only applies to veterans who qualify for 100% of the benefits under the Post-9/11 GI Bill. It does not apply to the Montgomery GI Bill.
Is Stratford University a Yellow Ribbon School?
Stratford University is a Yellow Ribbon school. Therefore, all of your tuition and fees will be covered if you qualify for 100% of the benefits under the Post-9/11 GI Bill.
How do I apply for GI Bill education benefits?
You must first complete the Veterans Online Application (VONAPP). You will have to select which educational program you wish to use. You will be required to provide supplementary documents to validate your claim. Within about six weeks you will receive your Certificate of Eligibility which you must present to the Military Student Office. Stratford will process your claims from that point forward.
Do I qualify for Basic Allowance for Housing?
You can only receive a Basic Allowance for Housing under the Post-9/11 GI Bill. Your allowance is based on the stipend that would be received by an E-5 with dependents who lived in the same zip code area as your home campus. Your allowance is adjusted by the benefit percentage for which you qualify.
You must be attending school with a greater than a half-time load to receive this allowance. This means that you must take at least two classes each quarter at Stratford to qualify. You should note that the full-time load for undergraduate students is 12 quarter-credits per quarter and for graduate students is 9 quarter-credits per quarter.
At least one course each quarter must have a residential component. This course can either be pure residential or blended instruction.
Can part-time students still get education benefits?
Yes you can. However, you must take a load greater than half-time to qualify for a housing allowance under the Post-9/11 GI Bill.
Is tutorial assistance included in my benefits?
Tutorial assistance may be paid up to $100 per month, not to exceed a total of $1200, under the Post-0/11 GI Bill. Tutorial assistance is not covered under the Montgomery GI Bill.
Can I transfer my education benefits?
You can transfer your GI Bill benefits to either your children or your spouse.
Transferring Post-9/11 GI Bill Benefits -- The Department of Defense (DoD) is authorized to allow individuals who, on or after August 1, 2009, have served at least 6 years in the Armed Forces and who agree to serve at least another 4 years in the Armed Forces to transfer unused entitlement to their dependents (spouse, children). The Department of Defense may, by regulation, impose additional eligibility requirements and limit the number of months transferable to not less than 18 months.
Transferring MGIB (Chapter 30), 1606, or 1607 Benefits -- The Department of Defense is authorized to allow individuals who have served at least 6 years in the Armed Forces and who agree to serve at least another 4 years in the Armed Forces to transfer unused entitlement to their dependents (spouse, children) under chapters 30, 1606, and 1607.
How do I obtain Tuition Assistance?
You must apply for Tuition Assistance with your post education officer. All services have Tuition Assistance programs. Some have online applications. We can help you submit your application to the appropriate individual.
Stratford has a Tuition Assistance scholarship program that reduces the cost of tuition by nearly 50% in order to keep your out-of-pocket expenses to a minimum. All service members, who use TA, automatically qualify for this scholarship program.
When do I have to pay Stratford tuition and fees?
Stratford will let you start your program before you have received your Certificate of Eligibility. We will not make you pay tuition and fees that will be covered by your educational benefits package. You must pay any remaining balance by the end of each quarter. If you payments involve Montgomery GI Bill disbursements, you must make that payment within 10 business days of receiving your check.
What is the toll-free GI Bill hotline?
By dialing 888-GI BILL1 or 888-442-4551, veterans, dependents, school officials, veteran's service officers and others can receive education benefits information, including detailed eligibility criteria and general background on VA programs, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
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