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Can I Get Reimbursed for Tuition I Had to Pay Before I Got My Post 9/11 GI Bill Certificate of Eligibility?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: Hello, I have been attending college and when my husband (active duty-Post 9/11 GI Bill) became eligible to transfer his benefits to me, he did that. We have received the letter stating that his MGIB benefits were relinquished to establish my Transfer of Benefits eligibility, so we are just waiting for my certificate of eligibility. Anyway, what I am wondering is what tuition will be covered. Is it only the tuition that becomes due after I receive the certificate of eligibility or does it cover tuition that I have had to pay after my husband requested the transfer that was due while the review process is being done? Any help is appreciated greatly.

A: To make it easy to explain, you can’t use something you don’t have yet. Because you would not have Post 9/11 GI Bill eligibility until his transfer request has been approved, you could not claim tuition before that approval date.

As far as what the VA would pay in tuition, it depends on if you attend a public or private school. Different rules for each type of school. For a public school, the VA will pay your school directly up to the resident, undergraduate rate. For a private school they would pay up to $18,077.50 per year. By the way, that figure is going to $19,198.31 per year on August 1st for the 2013/2014 school year.

One other payment you would get is the book stipend. It is calculated at $41.67 per credit per semester with a $1,000 annual cap. That is enough for two 12-credit semesters per academic year.

If your husband is still serving, then you would not get the Post 9/11 GI Bill housing allowance as he is already drawing BAH for you from the military side. However, if you choose to use your benefits after he is out, then you would qualify for the housing allowance which for right now averages $1,300 per month across the U.S. What you would actually receive varies as it is calculated based on the zip code of your school and the number of credits you take.

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