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Can I Attend College Off of My Step-Father’s GI Bill?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: Can I attend college off of my step-fathers GI Bill? He has been active duty for the last 15 years now, however, I was still wondering if I have to chance to use his GI Bill. Do I still have to be a dependent in his household, or would I be able to leave the house, and go to another college in a different state? Please reply as soon as possible. Thank you!

A: You may be able to use your step-father’s GI Bill to go to school provided:
• he has legally adopted you and
• transfers at least some of his Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits to you and
• you are under the age of 26.

According to the Post 9/11 GI Bill rules, before he can get a transfer request approved, you have to be listed in DEERS as a legal dependent of his, but not necessarily have to live under the same roof.

The second part is he has to want to transfer benefit to you. The benefits belong to him, so he has full control over who he transfers them to. And the third part is you have to be at least 18 but younger than 26 to use your benefits. You did not mention how old you are, so I don’t know if you fit in the age range or not.

As far as where you could go to school, you have a wide variety of schools you can attend – basically any GI Bill-approved school listed in the Weam’s School Search program.

If you attend school using the Post 9/11 GI Bill, the VA would pay your tuition directly to your school. Monthly, you would get a housing allowance and once per semester a book stipend (up to the $1,000 yearly limit). While it would be nice to be “out on your own”, it is much cheaper to live at home if you can find a school that offers what you want.

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