What is The Top Up Program?

The Top Up program is an extension of the GI Bill, which awards educational benefits to those who are currently in the military and those who formerly served in the military. Originally introduced as an act of federal legislature in the 1940s, the GI Bill offered a wide range of benefits to veterans, including home and business loans with lower interest rates and funds for attending college. Depending on your future goals and whether you want to remain in the military, you may use this program in combination with the GI Bill to pay for college.

GI Bill Benefits

The GI Bill helped veterans returning from World War II get help starting their new lives. Construction companies across the country built homes and subdivisions that those veterans bought with the loans they qualified for under the GI Bill. One of the more important aspects of that Bill was that it offered educational benefits. Veterans qualified for different amounts based on the amount of time they served. They used those benefits to pay for tuition and other educational expenses. The GI Bill now awards benefits to soldiers who served overseas or worked in the United States.

Who Can Use the Program

Not everyone qualifies for the Top Up program attached to the GI Bill. According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, those who qualify must also qualify for the Post 9/11 or Montgomery Active Duty GI Bill. The Post 9/11 GI Bill applies to those enlisted in a branch of the armed forces after the terrorist attacks on September 11 in New York City. The Montgomery Active Duty GI Bill is open to any soldier who is currently on active duty status and includes those stationed in America and on bases overseas.

How It Works

The Top Up program is suitable for those who want to further their education but will not get enough from the GI Bill to cover all their costs. The way the program works is fairly simple. If you qualify for GI Bill benefits, you’ll need to sign up to take advantage of those benefits. You can then sign up for the program and decide how much money you want to put into the program every month. Those funds will then become available for your educational costs. You can make up to 36 monthly payments and use those funds while still enlisted.

Using the Money

While the GI Bill lets you use your benefits after retiring from the military, the Top Up program is only available to those currently enlisted. There are a number of colleges that now offer distance learning and online programs for active military personnel. The program will give you money based off the amount you paid and the length of your program. If you sign up for a six month college course, you’ll get money at the beginning of each month. You can use those funds to pay for your tuition, miscellaneous fees and any other costs, including paying for textbooks or supplies for your classes.

The GI Bill awards benefits to those in the military and former military personnel, but you may find that you need more funds to pay for your schooling. The government now offers the Top Up program, which lets you make payments into the program that you can use for your classes while still in the military.