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  • Tuition Assitance Top-Up

    It goes to show that even when you serve on active duty; some VA education benefits slip by you without knowing.

    I been working on my masters since 2009 with five classes to go and when I was in Germany; the out of pocket for my classes were around $250USD. When I changed from UMUC-Europe to UMUC-stateside (which I did not have to when I left Germany); I ended up paying more for out-of-pocket. For the last two classes that I took from Jan to April and applied my FTA through GoArmyEd; I ended up paying $1500USD. The classes were for three credits each so FTA will pay $750.00 and the total course of the class were $1450 so do the simple subtraction and that was what I owed (for that one class so times two).

    BLUF: http://gibill.va.gov/resources/educa...ce_top_up.html

    Tuition Assistance Top-Up

    What is the benefit?

    The amount of this benefit can be equal to the difference between the total cost of a college course and the amount of Tuition Assistance that is paid by the military for the course.
    To be eligible for the Top-up benefit, the person must be approved for federal Tuition Assistance by a military department and be eligible for MGIB-Active Duty benefits or the Post-9/11 GI Bill.

    If eligible, the VA benefit will pay for the difference of the education bill and placed that money into your bank account.

    Go to www.gibill.va.gov

    Select apply for benefits (at the bottom)

    VONAPP

    During the app when it comes to selecting the education benefit - pick Top-Up at the bottom.

    Does not hurt to try.
    Last edited by Chief Kemosabe; April 20th, 2012, 12:50 PM.

  • #2
    Re: Tuition Assitance Top-Up

    Originally posted by fmcityslicker View Post
    It goes to show that even when you serve on active duty; some VA education benefits slip by you without knowing.

    I been working on my masters since 2009 with five classes to go and when I was in Germany; the out of pocket for my classes were around $250USD. When I changed from UMUC-Europe to UMUC-stateside (which I did not have to when I left Germany); I ended up paying more for out-of-pocket. For the last two classes that I took from Jan to April and applied my FTA through GoArmyEd; I ended up paying $1500USD. The classes were for three credits each so FTA will pay $750.00 and the total course of the class were $1450 so do the simple subtraction and that was what I owed (for that one class so times two).

    BLUF: http://gibill.va.gov/resources/educa...ce_top_up.html

    Tuition Assistance Top-Up

    What is the benefit?

    The amount of this benefit can be equal to the difference between the total cost of a college course and the amount of Tuition Assistance that is paid by the military for the course.
    To be eligible for the Top-up benefit, the person must be approved for federal Tuition Assistance by a military department and be eligible for MGIB-Active Duty benefits or the Post-9/11 GI Bill.

    If eligible, the VA benefit will pay for the difference of the education bill and placed that money into your bank account.

    Go to www.gibill.va.gov

    Select apply for benefits (at the bottom)

    VONAPP

    During the app when it comes to selecting the education benefit - pick Top-Up at the bottom.

    Does not hurt to try.
    This is true, but it eats at your Gi Bill eligibility just the same as if the GI Bill was paying for the entire course. So, I think it would be rare that this would actually be useful. It almost has no difference in effect as if you were just using the GI Bill outright.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Tuition Assitance Top-Up

      Thank you Staff Sergeant, that's just the question I wondered when I read the initial post.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Tuition Assitance Top-Up

        Originally posted by ParalegalNCO1 View Post
        This is true, but it eats at your Gi Bill eligibility just the same as if the GI Bill was paying for the entire course. So, I think it would be rare that this would actually be useful. It almost has no difference in effect as if you were just using the GI Bill outright.
        Paying for the entire course?? What? You not making any sense. If a course costs $1400.00 and your FTA pays $750; the top-up is paying just the difference. How is it paying for the whole course?? You are taking a portion of money from the total pool. And based on your end-state of education; the total benefit should still be able to fund for your degree plan.

        So what is the harm if you are going to use it now for a degree you might eventually pursue outside of leaving active duty anyway? The issue might come to play if you are using it for technical certification or the ultimate goal is to pass the benefits down to your children. I though my post was implicit in that regard or explained on the VA's website.

        I am using it for my masters and want to compliment my FTA so I bear no out-of-pocket expense. I am using the benefit now because even if I save it for a rainy day; personally, there might be no desire to take further courses in the future. I already have a bachelors and passing my Post 9/11 GI bill to my children. Using it for the remaining courses is not going to take a great chunk of their benefits.

        You can also apply for grants and scholarships and try to compete for those awarded by Warrant Officer and NCO Associations.

        Think padawan. Sometimes you always try to give your two cents on comments thinking that it nulls and voids something when it actually doesnt. Granted is not applicable and good for every military member. Sheese; not everyone even qualifies.


        So, I think it would be rare that this would actually be useful.
        Wrong again, because I was referred to this by many active duty officers who have already taken advantage of this and gave it rave opinions plus the rep at the education center. Plus for a person who served on active duty now in the reserve components (probably working as well) and pursuing a degree part/full-time; this is additional money to cover the costs .

        Personally, I just dont jump into things without research and thought. You want more facts before responding; go talk to your state's education officer for details why it doesnt make sense to use.
        Last edited by Chief Kemosabe; April 21st, 2012, 06:29 AM.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Tuition Assitance Top-Up

          Sorry my response seems out of whack. We just got hit by a rocket attack when I was typing this and had to head to the bunker but then was told it hit 100 meters outside the FOB. Good to go now.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Tuition Assitance Top-Up

            Does anyone experience an empty area when editing a post? It is like my post went invisible. I wanted to edit my post that the individuals who provided positive feedback were officers that used this program when pursuing their bachelors to apply for OCS/ROTC or while working on their masters. So to those individuals Paralegal, it was not rare and useful. Now is it rare when compared to the military masses? Probably is but look at my case; I was not even aware about it until now; hence the main purpose of my post.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Tuition Assitance Top-Up

              I just found this response on the military.com website for who this program might benefit.

              http://www.military.com/education/co...p-program.html
              Frequently Asked Top-up Questions

              Q: Can VEAP converters and service members eligible for MGIB based on Vietnam Era service receive the Top-up?
              A: Yes, anyone who is eligible for MGIB - Active Duty (not MGIB - Selected Reserves) can receive the Top-up benefits.
              Q: Is this a good deal for me?
              Using Top-up is a good deal if you plan to use TA to complete a degree program while on active duty, and don't plan to continue your education after service. Top-up can also be helpful for just taking a few courses with TA while on active duty. Then you can save most of your MGIB to use after service to complete your education program.
              You need to consider carefully your own situations, and check with your education officer or counselor, before applying for Top-up. For example, if you plan to take expensive courses using Top-up, you need to consider whether you'll take additional training after you're discharged from active duty. If so, you need to understand the effect of using the Top-up. You can then calculate whether your remaining benefits will cover the additional training you might need.
              Q: Is there a limit to the amount of Top-up I can use?
              A: Yes, Top-up is limited to 36 months of payments. For example, if you are paid Top-up for a 3-month course, you use 3 of the 36 months of Top-up.
              Q: Does this mean if I use 36 months of Top-up, I've used up all my MGIB benefits?
              A: Probably not. The 36-month limit for Top-up is based on 1 month used for each month of Top-up paid no matter how much is paid. Your regular MGIB entitlement is based on your full-time monthly rate. For example, if your full-time rate is $1000 and you are paid $500 in Top-up, you only use 1/2 month of your MGIB ($500 is 1/2 of $1000).
              Q: Can the Top-up apply retroactively, to training already received?

              A: Yes, the Top-up can apply retroactively, but you must be eligible for the Montgomery GI Bill, and we can only go back one year from the date your claim was/is received in VA and only for training in terms that began on or after October 30, 2000, which is the effective date of the law. Q: Will DOD pay 100% tuition assistance?
              A: DOD will encourage services to pay 100% TA if their budgets permit, but this could vary from service to service. Of course, if DOD does pay 100%, you won't need to use MGIB Top-up.
              Q: What should I do to apply for Top-up?
              A: If you want to use Top-up for winter term 2001 or later, go ahead and file the claim following the instructions below.
              If you haven't previously filed a claim for MGIB, you should do the following:
              • Request TA from your branch of service. See your education services officer or education counselor.
              • Complete an application for VA education benefits, VA Form 22-1990.
              • Indicate "Top-up" on the VA application in item 1A under the MGIB - Active Duty block.
              • Send your TA approval form, along with the application for VA education benefits, to the VA Regional Processing Office that handles your claim. The address is on the form.
              • If you've previously filed a claim for MGIB and weren't denied benefits, simply submit your signed TA approval form to the VA Regional Processing Office that handles your claim.
              Important: These claims are handled differently from claims for MGIB without TA. For Top-up claims, you won't need to check in with the school official who certifies VA benefits. We won't need an enrollment certification on VA Form 22-1999. You won't need to check for approval of the program for VA benefits; approval isn't an issue. That's because Top-up is payable for any course for which TA is payable under DOD criteria.
              VA determines your eligibility for MGIB. If you're eligible for MGIB, the TA approval form establishes your eligibility for Top-up. No certifications from the school are needed.
              Q: What about the signatures on the TA approval form?
              A: The TA approval form must be signed by the approving DOD officials. Some branches of service require the commanding officer's signature; some require the education service officer's signature.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Tuition Assitance Top-Up

                This....


                Q: Does this mean if I use 36 months of Top-up, I've used up all my MGIB benefits?
                A: Probably not. The 36-month limit for Top-up is based on 1 month used for each month of Top-up paid no matter how much is paid. Your regular MGIB entitlement is based on your full-time monthly rate. For example, if your full-time rate is $1000 and you are paid $500 in Top-up, you only use 1/2 month of your MGIB ($500 is 1/2 of $1000).

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Tuition Assitance Top-Up

                  FYI to TA recipients. Also, I presume that it is the same for NG as well. TA benefit went from 45 to 39 semester hours and since I took some other classes and have to switch degree programs; I exceeded the benefit. The last two classes I will have to out-of-pocket it. I can't complain because I still paid much less than many for a graduate-level program. I am out of the 47% circle again.

                  A review of your Army tuition assistance funded course enrollments indicate that you have reached or exceeded 39 semester hours (SH) of graduate courses and are no longer eligible for Army TA. Any further course enrollment requests will be student funded.

                  If you feel that this hold has been placed in error, you should contact your Army education center for further assistance.

                  Sincerely,

                  GoArmyEd Student Support Services/Helpdesk
                  CONUS Soldiers: 1-800-817-9990
                  OCONUS Soldiers: For the toll-free GoArmyEd Helpdesk number available in your location, check the portal https://www.GoArmyEd.com/public/public_list_numbers.aspx

                  NOTE: THIS IS A SYSTEM GENERATED EMAIL. REPLIES TO THIS EMAIL WILL NOT BE RECEIVED BY GOARMYED SUPPORT STAFF.
                  Last edited by Chief Kemosabe; October 2nd, 2012, 07:50 AM.

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