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Can I Use My Hazelwood Act Benefits to Work Towards Earning a PhD?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: I’m a Texas Vet and mobilized Army Reservist using TA to finish my master’s degree while I am on active duty. I want to continue on into a Doctoral program, but TA won’t pay above master’s degrees. Can I use Hazelwood Act (150 hours) towards a PhD?

A: You could, but not while you are still serving. The Hazelwood Act is a veterans-only program. Just be sure you meet the requirements to use your Hazelwood Act once you are off mobilization orders, which are:
• Have been a Texas resident upon entry into the military, entered into active federal duty in the State of Texas, or declared Texas as his or her home of record at the time of entry into the armed forces as documented on his or her DD Form 214;
• Have a military discharge of honorable or general, under honorable conditions;
• Served at least 181 days of active duty service (excluding training);
• Not be in default on an education loan made or guaranteed by the State of Texas and not in default on a federal loan if that default is the reason the student cannot use his or her federal veterans’ benefits.
• And the newest requirement is you must live in Texas at the time you use your Hazelwood Act benefits.

You might have one other option though. Depending on how long you have been on active duty, you most likely have at least some or maybe all of the Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits that you can use while on active duty or after you get out. And it does cover up through the doctoral degree.

To get the minimum or 40%, you must have served on a Title 10 order in support of a contingency operation for at least 91 days. Three years of orders get you to the 100% mark. It is worth looking into.

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