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Can I Use My GI Bill to Go to School in the Dominican Republic?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: I am planning to move to Dominican Republic and I would like to know if I would be able to use my GI Bill in Dominican Republic to pay for my school. And also, if I would be able to get my housing and book stipend.

A: First let’s address the Post 9/11 GI Bill housing allowance and book stipend policy. Because the Dominican Republic is not a possession of the United States, as is Puerto Rico, Guam and the Virgin Islands, it would fall under the foreign school policy.

So you if you were taking at least the number of credits your school considers to be a rate of pursuit of full-time, then you would get the full foreign school housing allowance amount, which I think is now $1,347 per month. If your rate of pursuit was less than full-time, then your housing allowance would be prorated based on percentage of the number of credits taken verses the number of credits needed to be classified as full-time. The book stipend amount remains the same and is paid at the rate of $41.67 per credit.

As far as schools in the Dominican Republic, you have a few VA-approved schools to choose from. The Weam’s School Finder shows eight:
- APEC UNIVERSITY
- INSTITUTO TECNOLOGICO DE SANTO DOMINGO
- PONTIFICIA UNIVERSIDAD CATOLICA MADRE Y MAESTRA
- UNIVERSIDAD CATOLICA NORDESTANA
- UNIVERSIDAD CENTRAL DEL ESTE
- UNIVERSIDAD DEL INSTITUTO CULTURAL DOMINICO-AMERICANA
- UNIVERSIDAD IBEROAMERICANA – DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
- UNIVERSIDAD TECHNOLOGICA DE SANTIAGO

As you can see, there is a mix of public and private schools. If you attend a private school, then the VA would pay up to $17,500 per year in tuition and fees. If you attend a public school, they would pay the resident rate and you would have to make up the difference.

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