GI Bill

This chart looks more complicated than it really is. First of all, you should only use it to ballpark your personal tuition and fees. In fact, I would recommend that you calculate your situation yourself via the GI Bill calculator and the Yellow Ribbon Program Information by State/School. Secondly, I only use the latest tuition and fees* off of each business school’s website as of March 12, 2012. “Fees” with an asterisk as each school has a variety of fees that may or may not make sense, but I basically include any mandatory fees excluding health care insurance. Third, this analysis is for only for those with 36+ months of active duty service, i.e. those who qualify 100% for the GI Bill. Fourth, this doesn’t include fellowships and scholarships, although I will be making a separate post on schools with veteran-specific fellowships. GI Bill pays 100% of in-state tuition and fees. Most public schools use the Yellow Ribbon Program to erase the difference between in-state and out-of-state tuition rates. The Yellow Ribbon is huge- the Department of Veterans Affairs matches every dollar the MBA program commits-  but you really have to notice the amount of slots. The schools with unlimited, you are golden. I’m going to follow up with analysis on specific schools later, but for now, I just want to highlight that any veteran who has full GI Bill and Yellow Ribbon can attend Ross and Darden for free. Haas has 10 total slots for Yellow Ribbon and Anderson 30, so one can guesstimate that probably half will go to incoming students and the other half going to second year students. Even without Yellow Ribbon, out-of-state students pay only a token cost at Haas and UCLA.


Public Schools:

School Berkeley (Haas) Michigan (Ross) UCLA (Anderson) Virginia (Darden)
Year 1 In-State Tuition & Fees $44,266 $50,575 $45,385 $48,900
Year 2 In-State Tuition & Fees $44,266 $50,575 $45,385 $48,900
Year 1 Out-of-State Tuition & Fees $51,246 $55,575 $52,580 $53,900
Year 2 Out-of-State Tuition & Fees $51,246 $55,575 $52,580 $53,900
GI Bill Tuition Assistance (2 Years) $88,532 $101,150 $90,770 $97,800
Yellow Ribbon Slots 10 Unlimited 30 Unlimited
Yellow Ribbon Amount $10,000 $99,999 $7,500 $2,500
Total Out of Pocket Costs In-State
(2 Years)
$0 $0 $0 $0
Total Out of Pocket Costs for Out-of-State
(2 Years)
$0 $0 $0 $0
Living Allowance per month $2,133 $1,323 $2,175 $1,365

Private Schools:

School Year 1 Tuition & Fees Year 2 Tuition & Fees GI Bill Tuition Assistance (2 Years) Yellow Ribbon Slots Yellow Ribbon Amount Total Out of Pocket Costs       (2 Years) Living Allowance per month
Chicago (Booth) $55,872 $54,252 $35,000 10 $4,540 $56,964 $1,566
Columbia $58,750 $58,750 $35,000 32 $2,500 $72,500 $2,754
Cornell (Johnson) $53,796 $53,796 $35,000 21 $99,999 $0 $1,167
Dartmouth (Tuck)  $56,160 $56,160 $35,000 Unlimited $15,000 $17,320 $1,230
Duke (Fuqua) $52,922 $51,382 $35,000 30 $18,000 $0 $1,161
Harvard Business School $61,396 $61,396 $35,000 60 $10,000 $47,792 $2,274
MIT (Sloan) $52,900 $52,900 $35,000 20 $7,500 $40,800 $2,274
New York (Stern)  $51,942 $51,942 $35,000 25 $10,000 $28,884 $2,754
Northwestern (Kellogg) $54,000 $54,000 $35,000 50 $15,000 $13,000 $1,566
Stanford GSB  $56,928 $56,928 $35,000 Unlimited $9,000 $42,856 $2,076
UPenn (Wharton) $61,082 $61,082 $35,000 30 $10,000 $47,164 $1,623
Yale School of Mgt. $56,530 $56,530 $35,000 50 $5,000 $58,060 $1,923


All this talk about the GI Bill got me thinking…wait a minute, it’s mid March and I’m about to start school in either July or August. We are dealing with the government and a hailstorm of paperwork is about to happen. I probably need to make sure everything is squared away right now. I don’t think I’m starting on the same page as everyone as I have already received my Certificate of Eligibility in January 2011. I pulled out my letter and it states that I’m entitled to 36 months of the Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB), which is what I paid for when I enlisted in 2005. “Under Chapter 30, Active Duty members enroll and pay $100 per month for 12 months.” Beyond the $1,200, I also participated in the “kicker program” for an extra $600. Here is the increased rates chart. The MGIB provides up to 36 months of education benefits to eligible veterans for:

  • College
  • Technical or Vocational Courses
  • Correspondence Courses
  • Apprenticeship/Job Training
  • Flight Training
  • High-tech Training
  • Licensing & Certification Tests
  • Entrepreneurship Training
  • Certain Entrance Examinations

This is a good time to pause and consider what I would be giving up if I converted to the Post 9/11 GI Bill. Here is the chart off of the Veterans Administration’s (VA) website. I am only comparing MGIB-AD to the Post 9/11 GI Bill. Apparently it all looks the same except for the tuition payments. The Post 9/11 GI Bill gives you the following:

  • Tuition: 100% for in-state tuition, $17,500 max per year for private schools, paid to school
  • Housing stipend: E-5 BAH, paid to student
  • Books & Supplies: $1,000 per year, paid to student at the beginning of the term

The MGIB would pay me $1,473.00 per month, plus $150.00 for the kicker for a total of $1,623 per month. It almost makes no sense to use the MGIB because the housing allowance alone under the Post 9/11 GI Bill may be more than $1,623, depending on where you are going to school.

Before we get to conversion, I found this interesting note on the top of the VA page:

Beginning August 1, 2011, break (or interval pay) will no longer be payable under MGIB-AD except during periods your school is closed as a result of an Executive Order of the President or an emergency (such as a natural disaster or strike). For example, if your Fall term ends on December 15th and your Spring term begins January 10th, your January housing allowance will cover 15 days in December and your February housing allowance will cover 21 days in January.

What this means is have some spare cash around and don’t only depend on your GI Bill for everything.

The next step is getting access to Veterans Online Application (VONAPP) and eBenefits. Apparently, it looks like VONAPP is a subsystem within eBenefits as I have two different logins. I’m still trying to figure out why, but anyways, now I remember how I got my certificate of eligibility (COE). For eBenefits, there is a basic account and a premium account. Get a Basic Account instantly, then upgrade to a Premium DS Logon in person at a TRICARE Service Center (TSC). There is a form on VONAPP called “VA Form 22-1990, Application for Education Benefits” and that is what you fill out to get the COE. Apparently this is the same form you use to switch from MGIB to Post 9/11 GI Bill.


Here’s an interesting tidbit on the first page:

“By electing Chapter 33, I acknowledge that I understand the following:

  • I may not receive more than a total of 48 months of benefits under two or more programs.
  • If electing chapter 33 in lieu of chapter 30, my months of entitlement under chapter 33 will be limited to the number of months of entitlement remaining under chapter 30 on the effective date of my election. However, if I completely exhaust my entitlement under chapter 30 before the effective date of my chapter 33 election, I may receive up to 12 additional months of benefits under chapter 33.
  • My election is irrevocable and may not be changed.

I elect to receive Chapter 33 Education Benefits in lieu of the Education Benefit checked below, ”

So basically, if you used 0-35 months of your MGIB, you are entitled to 36 minus what you used. If you used all 36 months of your MGIB, you actually get an additional 12 months of post 9/11 GI Bill for a total of 48 months of benefits. This is kind of interesting, but I don’t really see how veterans would get into this position. For me, it makes more sense to convert it all to the Post 9/11 GI Bill. It took me around 15 minutes to complete the form. I also figured out that I could use the GI Bill to pay for my upcoming GMAT and previous CFA. The question that remains is if it is worth it? That will be the subject of another post later on. Note, I did take a free GMAT and GRE while on active duty through a different Army program, talk to your base education center. Search for other certification / licensing exams here.

3 thoughts on “GI Bill

  1. Pingback: Post 9/11 GI Bill for Business School (update 2012)

  2. Pingback: Post 9/11 GI Bill for Business School (update 2012)

  3. Pingback: Update on GI Bill for CFA | Army JMO

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>