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If I Have Applied for Post 9/11 GI Bill Benefits, Will I Have to Pay My Tuition Up Front?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: My husband is in the FLNG and transferred his Chapter 33 benefits to me. I have enrolled at our local community college, I have received my certificate of eligibility and have taken it to my VA official. The due date for my tuition is in a few days and I was wondering if for some reason I have to pay for my tuition could I be reimbursed.

A: The best bet is to see if the school will wait until they get paid from the VA. Many times if they know you are a Post 9/11 GI Bill student, they will waive the due date, because they know they will get paid from the VA.

Other schools will require you to pay the tuition up front and then credit it back to you once they have been paid by the VA.

There is a caution about paying up front. Depending on how your school records your payment, the VA could end up paying nothing. Many people don’t know that the VA is the last payee and if your school records your tuition payment incorrectly, it will show there is nothing left to pay.

The good news is that you can go back to the VA up to a year and request reimbursement, however, the best scenario is if your school waits for its payment from the VA.

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