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Can a School Actually Do This?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

I am enrolling in ITI technical college in Baton Rouge Louisiana. I separated from the military at just under 2yrs. I enrolled in the Post 9/11 GI Bill and I know I only qualify for the 70% of it. The school said they accept the Post 9/11 GI Bill, but only if I qualify for the regular MGIB. They said that what they do is convert the Post 9/11 GI Bill to the old MGIB and the school gives me the money to pay for school and books like the old GI bill. I don’t understand that they accept the Post 9/11 GI Bill but only if you qualify for the old MGIB.

Now I have to take out government financial aid which I have to pay back upon completion of school. I have all that money going to waste and I’m frustrated because the reason I joined the military was for education. Can you please shed some light on this situation. Is the school allowed to do this? Thank you for your time.

I suggest you go back in and talk with the school. Either they didn’t explain something correctly or they did and you misunderstood what they said. In your question as to how they explained to you they are handling the GI Bill, didn’t make any sense at all. I don’t think a VA-approved school would operate that way and risk losing their VA approval. So to find out, I called them.

I read your question to the school’s GI Bill contact person and she said nobody at the school would tell a student they need the old GI Bill to use the New GI Bill. They accept the Post 9/11 GI Bill regardless if the student had the old GI Bill or not.

It also didn’t make sense to me because if you have the old GI Bill, and you switch to the New GI Bill, you give up your entitlement to the Old Bill when you switch – you can’t use two GI Bills at the same time.

Under the Post 9/11 GI Bill, the VA pays them (the school) directly for your tuition and fees up to the in-state maximum (or in your case up to 70% of the in-state maximum). You would be responsible to pay the remaining 30% unpaid balance, which I’m sure you were fully aware. Also, you would get 70% of the housing allowance and up to 70% of the book stipend.

Under the old GI Bill, the VA pays you direct each month ($1,421 per month for a full-time student) and you have to pay the school for all of your tuition and fees. Regardless of which GI Bill you are using, you would get some money directly from the VA, and not from your school only to pay it back to them.

Go back in and talk with one of the VA Certifying Officials and ask that person to explain it again. I think you will have a better understanding of the issue this time around.

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