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How Do I Get the Housing Allowance If I’m Taking Online Courses?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Hi, I am a disabled veteran who served after 9/11 and also opted for the traditional GI Bill when I joined. I need some help finding the best option for me for a Masters Degree. I currently live in AK and the only university that I can earn a Masters Degree in that I want is $650/credit. The Post 9/11 GI Bill will only pay $159/credit.

I would really love to do my degree online, as I work full time and have a newborn at the house. All online courses are out of state, so there is no way I could attend one class on campus. Is there a way I could enroll in the online program and take one general education class at the local university here and still get the BAH? I’m looking for the most bang for the buck, so to speak. Thank you.

You can take an on-campus course at a local school and get the BAH, but the stickler is the course you take has to directly relate to your degree plan before the VA will pay you the housing allowance. Is there a class of two that would count toward your graduate degree at a local school?

One other thing you might want to check out is the Post 9/11 GI Bill Yellow Ribbon program. If your school is a Yellow Ribbon School, they can pay up to 50% of your tuition costs not covered by the GI Bill.  The VA will pay an equal amount leaving you with a greatly reduced bill, if any, left to pay. Check to see if your school is a Yellow Ribbon School; some schools include online graduate programs in their Yellow Ribbon agreement, while others do not. It is a way of getting the most use out of your GI Bill benefits. No matter where you go, graduate tuition is high.

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