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Does My Post 9/11 GI Bill Cover Flight School Training?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: I would like to use my Post 9/11 GI Bill to attend flight school. Does the flight school need to be VA approved? What is financially covered? Thank you.

A: In using your Post 9/11 GI Bill to attend flight school, there are a couple of different ways you can go. One is once you have your private pilot’s license (which in most cases you have to pay for yourself) you can then use your GI Bill to further your pilot training and certification. Going this way, your New GI Bill will pay up to $10,000 per year in flight training costs.

The second way is to enroll in a four-year degree-producing aeronautics flight program. Then the VA looks at this flight program as being a regular four-year degree program. It pays your tuition (up to the resident undergraduate rate) directly to your school and monthly you get a housing allowance that averages across the United States at $1,300.

Because the housing allowance is dependent on the zip code of your school and the number of credits you are taking, the actual amount you would get could be higher or lower depending on where you go to school. Plus, once each semester, you would also get a book stipend calculated at $41.67 per credit up to the $1,000 per year cap.

Do your homework before signing up for a program though. Some four-year programs also include getting your private pilot’s license as part of their four-year program. Depending on your education goal, you can see it could be much more advantageous to enroll in a four-year program than to take an independent flight school course.

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