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How Many Credits Do I Have to Take to Get the Housing Allowance?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: I am attending a phlebotomy training course in Fall 2010 at a community college using my father’s Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits that he transferred to me. However, the courses for this semester is only 4 credits and the school’s full time status requires 12 credits. If I take two extra classes to reach over 1/2 time status, am I still eligible to receive the housing stipend? Also, I was told at least one of my classes has to be on campus at the school to receive the housing stipend, so can I still receive it if the other 2 classes are distance learning?

A: First, make sure your phlebotomy course is a VA-approved course.  Generally speaking, the Post 9/11 GI Bill covers only degree-producing programs. If this course will be credited towards a healthcare degree plan, then it probably will be covered, but to take the course as a stand-alone, it most likely would not be covered. Check with either the VA or your school’s VA Representative to be sure.

Second, yes if you take enough credits (that apply to your degree plan) to get you over the half-time mark (usually 7 credits), and at least one of your classes on on-campus, you will get the housing allowance.

As you probably know, your Post 9/11 GI Bill housing allowance is paid at the E-5-with-dependents rate for the zip code of your school. Good luck!

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