The GI Bill Kicker -- also known as the Army, Navy, or Marine Corps College Funds -- is offered by the DoD through each service branch as part of an enlistment or reenlistment contract, or for other reasons they determine. The College Fund is an additional amount of money that increases an individual's basic monthly benefit and is included in his or her monthly GI Bill payment from the VA.
Each service branch (and not VA) determines who receives the College Fund and the amount received. It may be necessary to send VA a copy of your College Fund contract to ensure the correct amount is added to your monthly benefit.
These kickers can increase your monthly GI Bill payment rate by as much as $950 a month. This means that you can actually boost your regular GI Bill benefit value. The amount you receive is determined by a number of factors including when you enlisted, the length of your enlistment contract, the service you joined, the job you chose and where you chose to serve.
College Funds are also payable under the Post-9/11 GI Bill, but there are some limitations and restrictions. Please call the VA at 1-888-GIBILL-1 to get specific answers on how this may apply to your personal GI Bill benefits.
Note: The Air Force uses the term GI Bill Kicker to refer to the GI Bill Buy-up program, which is available to all active duty GI Bill participants.
The GI Bill Kicker is also available if you choose to join the reserve. You must meet the current requirements and accept the Reserve GI Bill to qualify. If you qualify for the Reserve GI Bill Kicker you could increase your Reserve GI Bill benefit to more than $24,000.
Remember, you can't get your GI Bill Kicker money without receiving the GI Bill. The kicker isn't a separate benefit, but an add-on to your GI Bill benefit.