MGIB Chapter 1606 (Reserves/Guard)
The Montgomery G.I. Bill Chapter 1606 benefits are available to reservists who enlist, reenlist, or extend an enlistment in the Selected Reserve for not less than six years on or after July 1, 1985. For officers, the six-year period is in addition to any other obligated period of service. Eligibility for the program requires that the reservist have obtained a high school diploma or equivalent, complete basic and branch specific skill training, and remain in good standing while serving in an active Selected Reserve unit.
For more information about Chapter 1606 benefits, please visit the Veterans Affairs website or contact VA at 1-888-442-4551.
ATTENTION - Effective Spring 2015 semester and forward - per DOD policy, students may not use Chapter 1606 and Federal TA for the same course.
How to get a copy of your DD-214 Member 4 - Visit https://www.ebenefits.va.gov/ebenefits-portal/ebenefits.portal and create a premium account. This will give you access to your military documents, including your DD-214 Member 4 copy. The Member-4 version is preferred by VA when applying for educational benefits.
To become eligible for Chapter 1606, you must have:
- Completed Basic Training
Completed branch specific skill training
Received your high school diploma or equivalency before applying for benefits
A six-year obligation to serve in the Selected Reserve signed after June 30, 1985
Good standing in an active Selected Reserve unit
Once you become eligible for Chapter 1606, you will receive a DD 2384-1, Notice of Basic Eligibility (NOBE) from your unit.
For more information on Chapter 1606 and eligibility requirements: Chapter 1606 Information about the policies and procedures.
Attention - per DOD policy, students cannot use Federal TA and Chapter 1606 benefits for the same course.
Complete and submit online the VA Form 22-1990, Application for VA Education Benefits, through the VONAPP website.
- Attach your DD214 (Member-4 copy), NOBE, and kicker contract (if applicable) in the application
- The NOBE can be obtained from your unit (or from ROTC/Army National Guard office on campus)
- Completing the VA Form 22-1990 is a "one-time only" application through VONAPP
- Print one copy of the application for your records and one for the JMU School Certifying Official
A Certificate of Eligibility or denial letter will arrive from VA within 12 weeks after submission of the application. Any questions about the content of either letter should be directed to the Veterans Affairs Office at 1-888-442-4551.
At your initial meeting with a JMU VA Certifying Official, please bring the following:
- Copy of VA Form 22-1990 application or VA's Certificate of Eligibility letter (if received)
- DD 214 Member-4 copy
- Kicker Contract (if applicable)
- DD-2384, Notice of Basic Eligibility (NOBE) (available from your unit commander)
- Military or Institution of Higher Learning (IHL) transcript (if you've taken classes at another college)
- JMU form, Request for Veterans Educational Benefits
Important: In order for a course to be included in an enrollment to VA, it must meet major, minor, general education, degree, or allowed elective to reach 120 credits (after all required courses are factored in) for graduation, or an approved certificate or teacher licensure program to qualify. All majors (including tracks and concentrations) and minors must be declared on your transcript.
The JMU Request for Veterans Educational Benefits form is required every semester benefits are requested. After your 1st semester using your benefits, the JMU form will be emailed to you after registering for the upcoming semester. It will require your major advisor to initial and sign for any course needed for your major. No approval is needed for courses outside your major (general education, degree, minors, preps, etc).
If you want to request benefits for an upcoming semester or session, you will need to complete:
- The JMU Request form and return to a School Certifying Official in the Registrar's Office in the Student Success Center. It will be emailed to you during registration and requires an advisor signature for any course needed for your major.
If you have received Chapter 1606 benefits at another college or university, you will need to provide:
- Copy of your VA Certificate of Eligibility
- The VA Form 22-1995, Request for Change of Program or Place of Training,
- JMU form, Request for Veterans Educational Benefits.
JMU's VA Certifying Official will process a student's request for benefits and within 5-8 weeks, VA will generate and mail an active award benefit letter to the student.
After receiving this letter, the student must VERTIFY school attendance in either VA's Web Automated Verification of Enrollment (W.A.V.E.) online system or by phone with the Interactive Voice Response (IVR) at 877-823-2378 to release VA payments. Vertifying attendance, after the initial period, MUST be completed on the last calendar day of every month that the student attends classes.
Failure to do so will result in a delay of payment for the classes attended the month before.
The W.A.V.E.S. online system permits students to perform a multitude of functions, including:
- verify that enrollment has not changed
- report a change in enrollment
- change in mailing address
- inititate or change direct deposit information
- view the enrollment period and monthly benefit amount
- view the remaining entitlement
- sign up for a monthly email reminder
The Interactive Voice Response (IVR) allows students to phone in their monthly verification if there are no changes to the enrollment during the previous month.