Members of the National Guard and Reserves may be eligible to receive specific federal and state benefits for veterans. If you are a Minnesota National Guard Member or Reserve Member you may be eligible for additional state benefits. They may also be eligible to receive federal and state grants.
For help to identify POTENTIAL veteran education benefits or incentives that you may be entitled to receive please visit the interactive benefits flow chart provided by the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs Higher Education Veterans Programs.
The Montgomery GI Bill - Selected Reserve is an education program that provides up to 36 months of education benefits to members of the Selected Reserve. This includes the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard Reserves, as well as the Army National Guard and the Air National Guard.
How Much Money Can You Get?
The monthly benefit paid to you is based on the type of training you take, your enrollment level and if DOD put extra money in your MGIB Fund (called "kickers"). View current payment rates.
Reserve Educational Assistance Program (REAP or Chapter 1607)
The Reserve Educational Assistance Program or REAP provides up to 36 months of education benefits to eligible members of the Selected Reserves, Individual Ready Reserve (IRR), and National Guard, who are or were called or ordered to active service in response to a war or national emergency, as declared by the President or Congress.
Generally, a member of a Reserve component who serves on active duty on or after September 11, 2001 under title 10, U.S. Code, for at least 90 consecutive days under a contingency operation, is eligible for REAP. There is no specific timeframe to use REAP; however, your eligibility generally ends when you leave the Selected Reserves.
National Guard members are eligible if their active service extends for 90 consecutive days or more and their service is:
- authorized under section 502(f), title 32, U.S. Code,
- authorized by the President or Secretary of Defense for a national emergency, and
- supported by federal funds
How Much Money Can You Get?
The educational assistance allowance payable under REAP is a percentage of the Montgomery GI Bill-Active Duty (MGIB) rate based on the number of continuous days served on active duty. Persons released before 90 days due to an injury, illness, or disease incurred or aggravated in the line of duty receive the 40 percent rate. Current rates of payment can be found on our website or by calling the toll-free number below:
- Members who serve 90 days but less than 1 year will receive 40 percent of the MGIB 3 year rate
- Members who serve 1 year but less than 2 years will receive 60 percent of the MGIB 3 year rate
- Members who serve 2 or more continuous years will receive 80 percent of the MGIB 3 year rate
The amount VA pays is based on the type of training program and training time (i.e., full time, half time, etc.). If attendance is less than a month or less than full-time, payments are reduced proportionately.
The Federal Tuition Assistance program for eligible National Guard or reserve members pays up to $250 per semester hour, up to $4,500 per fiscal year (October 1 through September 30) for tuition and fees. This benefit may be used in conjunction with other educational benefits. Please note this is not a guaranteed benefit. This program has a finite budget and is paid on a first come, first serve basis so it is best to apply early.
To be eligible, students must be members of the National Guard prior to start of the course. Students can also receive Montgomery GI Bill kicker benefits as long as the soldier is attending school half time or more. Soldiers with Montgomery GI Bill basic benefits may be eligible for the program, pending funding from National Guard Bureau.
To apply, students complete their applications on smms.army.pentagon.mil. Students need to bring a signed copy of the DD 2171-e (printed when completing the application online) to their unit with a copy of their course registration and tuition and fees statement. Applications must be received prior to the start of the course. Federal funding is limited and this benefit is approved on a first come, first pay basis.
Minnesota Veterans Benefits
Minnesota Tuition Reimbursement is available to eligible members of the Minnesota National Guard enrolled in undergraduate and graduate courses.
Minnesota State Tuition Reimbursement (STR) will pay for 100 percent of your tuition (not including student fees) up to the undergraduate rate at the University of Minnesota for 144 semester credits. This benefit is available to current members of the Minnesota Army and Air National Guard and may be used in conjunction with the GI Bill and Federal Tuition Assistance (again, FTA and STR can be combined but only to equal 100 percent of tuition). This benefit is paid to the military member after a final grade is received for the course. Submission of required materials, including tuition fee statement and semester grade report, goes through the designated unit official. Like FTA, STR requires a "C" or better or "pass".
NOTE: State Tuition Reimbursement has been extended to service members who have satisfactorily completed their service contract in the Minnesota National Guard AND who have served honorably in active federal service since September 11, 2001. Eligibility is extended for a period of two years, plus the amount of time equal to the duration of that person's active service.
To apply, you MUST contact your unit full-time representative to obligate funds as soon as you know you will be going to school. You will need to provide the name of the school, approximate start date and number of credits to be taken.
The Minnesota GI Bill program is a new program in 2007 established to provide postsecondary educational assistance to eligible Minnesota veterans who served on or after September 11, 2001. Learn more about the program.
For additional information:
- Contact the Federal Department of Veterans Affairs at www.gibill.va.gov or 1-888-GI-BILL-1
- Your County Veterans Service Officer located in the county in which you live (view contact list)
- The Minnesota Higher Education Veterans Programs Regional Coordinator for the school you are attending or plan to attend (view contact list)