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Can I Extend My Post 9/11 GI Bill Housing Allowance Doing This?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: I transferred 9 months of my Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits to my son who started college this year. The school VA counselor told us that, by certifying only 7 (58% of full time) of the credits he is taking we could apply the remaining 42% to the following year and effectively extend his BAH eligibility by roughly 4 months beyond the 9 months I initially transferred. I can’t find anything on the VA help site to confirm this – are they right?

A: Post 9/11 GI Bill entitlement use is figured by how many credits a student takes per full month of school. So if a school considers 12 credits to be full-time, and a student is taking 12 credits, then the student would use up one month of entitlement per month of school. However, if that same student is only taking 7 credits per term, then he/she only uses up 7/12th of a month of entitlement for each full month of school or about 17.5 days instead of 30 days.

So it is true your son would get the same amount of money for his Post 9/11 GI Bill housing allowance whether he takes 7 credits or 12, and by only using up 17.5 days per month of entitlement instead of 30 days per month, it would extend the amount of time it takes to use his up his entitlement.

However, if he is certified at 7 credits, the VA will only pay his tuition/fees and book stipend at 7 credits, so if your son is taking more than 7 credits, he or you will have to pay the tuition and fees for those extra credits. The Law changed to this process in Jul 09.

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