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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.

Current Chapter 1606 Rates 

***Attention***: Receiving VA Benefits does not automatically qualify a servicemember/veteran for in-state tuition. There are certain requirements that must be met.  Please direct any questions to Admissions at 540-568-5681 if you are a prospective/in-coming student or contact Linda Combs in the Business Office at 540-568-3745 or combslc@jmu.edu if you are a current student (for reclassification). 

**Update on Interval/Break Pay** - Effective August 1, 2011, break/interval pay is NO longer payable under any VA education benefit unless under an Executive Order of the President or due to an emergency situation such as a natural disaster or strike. 

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.

Eligibility under MGIB Chapter 1606

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

Applying for Chapter 1606 benefits and requesting for the first time:

1.  Complete and submit online to VA: 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 Sgt. Wineguard 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.

2.  A Certificate of Eligibility or denial letter will arive 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.

Once you have applied for the Chapter 1606 Benefit, have been admitted to JMU, paid the deposit, and attended orientation/registered for classes, please contact:

Trudy Ham/Kelly Burch 
VA Certifying Official
Office of the Registrar - Student Success Center 5300
hamth@jmu.edu or burchke@jmu.edu

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 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 initial 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 have previously received MGIB Chapter 1606 benefits while attending JMU

If you wish to request benefits for an upcoming semester or session, you will need to complete:

  • The JMU form and return to a School Certifying Official in the Registrar's Office in Warren Hall. It will be emailed to you during registration and requires an advisor signature for any course needed for your major.
  • If you have made changes to your JMU career (such as going from undergraduate to graduate), you will also need to complete VA Form 22-1995, Request for Change of Program or Place of Training.


If you are receiving MGIB Chapter 1606 benefits at a college or university other than JMU

If you have received Chapter 1606 benefits at another college or university within the past year, you will need to provide:

What happens after I submit the requested forms to the VA Certifying Official?

  • 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 CERTIFY 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.  Certifying 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.