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How to apply for MGIB Selected Reserve

The Montgomery GI Bill for Selected Reserve (MGIB-SR) (Chapter 1606, Title 10) helps members of the Selected Reserve (Sel Res) with educational expenses. MGIB-SR is the only educational benefit program available to members of Reserves without active duty service. The nature of MGIB-SR and the application process is a bit confusing. If you believe you are eligible for MGIB-SR and you are denied benefits, make sure you visit with a VA counselor to determine why your application was denied. It could be something small that is easy to fix.

To apply for MGIB-SR benefits you need to fill out the Application for Education Benefits, Form 22-1990. You can get a copy of this form online from, by calling 1-888-GIBILL-1 (1-888-442-4551) or by writing and requesting the form from your Regional VA Office. You can submit the application online but you will also have to print and sign the signature page and send it in to your Regional VA Office. Your Education Service Officer must also sign your application if you are on active duty. You can also submit a copy of your Notice of Basic Eligibility (DD FORM 2381 NOBE) to help clarify any issues about eligibility. You should be sent a copy of your NOBE from your unit when you become eligible for benefits.

Once you have decided on a program, make sure that the institution is approved for VA benefits. Contact the school’s Financial Aid Office or contact your Regional VA Office to find out if the institution is approved. You then contact the school’s official who handles and certifies enrollment for the VA. The Financial Aid Office or the Registrars Office should know who this person is. This official will need to sign your application verifying your enrollment in the school or program.

If you haven’t yet decided on a program, sending in your application will inform you of your basic eligibility and entitlement. The amounts paid by MGIB-SR increase yearly to reflect the increased costs of education.

MGIB-SR benefits are substantial but as a Reserve member on active duty, you may also be eligible for MGIB-AD or REAP. Going on and off duty complicates Reserve benefits so it is a good idea to use the free educational and vocational counseling services available to you through the VA.

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