The Top-up program allows funds from the GI Bill to be used for tuition and fees for high-cost courses that are not fully covered by TA funds.
- Eligibility. In order to use Top-up, you must be approved for TA by your service branch. You also must be eligible for one of the GI Bill programs, including the Post-9/11 GI Bill, the Montgomery GI Bill-Active Duty (MGIB-AD), or the Veterans Educational Assistance Program (VEAP).
- Application. First apply for TA in accordance with your service branch’s procedures. After you have applied for TA, you will need to complete VA Form 22-1990 to apply for VA education benefits. The form is available online at http://www.va.gov/vaforms/form_detail.asp?FormNo=22-1990. Make sure you specify “Top-up” on the application and mail it one of the education processing offices listed on the form.
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.
How Much Will I Get?
The amount of the benefit is limited to the amount that the person would receive for the same course if regular benefits were being paid. In no case can the amount paid by the military combined with the amount paid by VA be more than the total cost of the course. If you are receiving the Montgomery GI Bill, you will receive the difference between what the DoD pays for the course and the total cost of the course (not to exceed the GI Bill monthly maximum). If you are receiving the Post-9/11 GI Bill your school will be reimbursed the difference between the amount the DoD pays for the course and the authorized maximum tuition and fees for the school.
How Is My GI Bill Entitlement Charged?
Your GI Bill entitlement is charged differently depending on which GI Bill program you are utilizing:
- If you are utilizing the Montgomery GI Bill your entitlement is charged based on the dollar amount of benefits VA pays you. (For example: if the VA reimburses you $2852 you would be charged 2 months worth of GI Bill benefits - $1426 is the current monthly rate of reimbursement – no matter how long it took us to reimburse you the $2852)
- If you are utilizing the Post-9/11 GI Bill your entitlement is charged based on the training time you are enrolled in. If you are going to classes at the 1/2 time training level you will be charged 1/2 month of Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits for each month you are enrolled and receiving GI Bill benefits – (it does not matter how much money you are reimbursed)
How Do I Apply For Tuition Assistance Top-Up Reimbursement?
People who have not requested GI Bill benefits before should apply online using the VONAPP program, click here for more information.
A copy of the Tuition Assistance Authorization form for the course that has been signed by an authorized military official should also be sent to the office handling your claim.
Please include information explaining that you are submitting an application for Tuition Assistance Top-Up benefits in your question and include the file as an attachment.
The Top-up program is not available at this time to persons who are eligible for the MGIB Selected Reserve program.