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"Top-Up is a program that allows the VA to pay Montgomery GI Bill participants' tuition and fees not covered by Tuition Assistance.

Top-Up is a program that allows GI Bill participants' to use the GI Bill to supplement the tuition and fees not covered by tuition assistance. The amount of the 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.

The following requirements apply:

This benefit is available only to Chapter 30 participants, i.e. students who entered active duty for the first time on or after July 1, 1985 and accepted the GI Bill.
The benefit is retroactive for courses starting on or after November 1, 2000.
The VA is prohibited from paying "Top-Up" for any course starting before November 1, 2000.
Students may receive 36 months of "Top-Up" payments. For example, payment for one or more eight-week courses in the same time frame will cost two months of "Top-Up," while a 16-week course will cost four months of "Top-Up."
Future monthly GI Bill benefits are reduced by the amount of "Top-Up" dollars claimed divided by 36."

Note: This is probably a good thing if one is attending a private university, where they are paying a high tuition for classes i.e. Harvard University and TA in itself doesn't cover the costs. Reading the wordage, if one where to use this for say a community college tuition expense, they may actually lose benefits as it only guarantees 36 months. One needs to be careful with this one..

Gary Michalosky (sandpockets)
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