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Can I Use My Post 9/11 GI Bill to Attend a Diving School and Then Work Toward My Degree?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: I understand that under the GI Bill 2.0 I will be able to attend the Commercial Diving School I’ve been looking at. It is a 5-month school. After graduation I would like to use my remaining benefits to begin my bachelor’s degree in a traditional college setting. Is this possible? And if so how do I determine what percentage of benefits remain after my dive school?

A: Yes, with the implementation of that part of the GI Bill 2.0 on October 1st, it will pay for your diving school provided your school and program are both VA approved for the Post 9/11 GI Bill. I fear that will be an issue in the beginning, because many of the VA schools will have their approval for the Montgomery GI Bill, but may not be yet approved for the Post 9/11 GI Bill, so be sure and ask your school about which GI Bill covers your diving course. I would hate to see you get into a course only to find out the GI Bill you want to use is not approved for that course.

If you never used any of your GI Bill educational benefits before, then you should have 36 months, After you subtract your 5-month diving course, you should have around 31 months left, or enough for about 3 years and 4 months of school.

If your diving school will count toward your bachelor’s degree, then you may have enough entitlement to finish your degree. If your diving course will not count, then you will most likely be those 5 months short of having enough to graduate.

Remember, this part of the GI Bill 2.0 does not go into effect until after October 1st. This can be confusing because other parts of the change went into effect on August 1st.

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