Tuition Assistance Top-up
- To be eligible for the Top-up benefit, the student must be approved for federal Tuition
Assistance by a military department and be eligible for MGIB-Active Duty benefits.
To be eligible for MGIB benefits, the student must be an MGIB - Active Duty (chapter
30) participant and must have served at least two full years on Active Duty. A reservist
receiving federal Tuition Assistance could use the Top-up program as long and he/she
qualifies for chapter 30. This benefit is only for Active Duty (chapter 30) and Guard/Reserve
The amount of the benefit is limited to the amount that the student would receive for the same course if regular MGIB 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 a student receives the Top-up benefit, his or her regular MGIB benefits will be reduced. The amount of entitlement charged for Top-up payments is determined by dividing the amount of the payment by the claimant's full-time monthly rate.
The benefit is available for all courses that began on or after October 30, 2000. A copy of the Tuition Assistance Authorization form for the course that has been signed by an authorized military official will be required.
- If student hasn't previously filed a claim for MGIB, he/she should do the following:
- Request TA from his/her branch of service from the military education services officer or education counselor at the education center.
- Complete an application for VA education benefits, VA Form 22-1990. The student can get the form at www.gibill.va.gov or at our main office.
- Indicate "Top-up" on the VA application in item 1A under the MGIB-Active Duty block.
- Send Tuition Assistance approval form, along with the application for VA education benefits, to the VA Regional Processing Office:
Department of Veteran Affairs
St Louis Regional Office
P.O. Box 66830
St. Louis, MO 63166
If the student has previously filed a claim for MGIB and was not denied benefits, simply submit the signed TA approval form to the St. Louis VA Regional Processing Office.
Important Note: These claims are handled differently from claims for MGIB without TA. For Top-up
claims, the student does not need to check in with the school official who certifies
VA benefits. VA does not need an enrollment certification on VA Form 22-1999. Top-up
can be used for education programs that are not approved for other benefit programs.
That's because Top-up is payable for any course for which TA is payable under DoD
VA determines eligibility for MGIB. If the student is eligible for MGIB, the TA approval form establishes eligibility for Top-up. No certifications from the school are needed.
What about the signatures on the TA approval form?
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.