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If I Have Transferred Less Than an “Academic Year” (9 months) of My Post 9/11 GI Bill, How Much Will the VA Pay?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: I have transferred some of my benefits to my children. If I have transferred less than an “academic year” (9 months), how much will the VA pay? Will they pay the full $17,500 (he’s going out of state) plus the housing allowance times the number of months (let’s say it is 4 months) plus the $1,000 for books, or will it be some prorated amount for tuition and books based on these 4 months. I guess I am really trying to understand how VA pays for college tuition and fees. Thank You for your help.

A: The VA pays Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits by the semester or until the benefits run out, whichever comes first. So if you are only transferring a semester’s worth of benefits at a time, they each would get 4 months of full benefits, if you are at the 100% level on your Post 9/11 GI Bill. If you were a Reservist or National Guardsman at less than the 100% tier, then your children would also inherit the same percentage that you have.

I do want to clarify for readers the statement you made about the $17,500 because he is going out of state. The $17,500 per year applies to students going to foreign and private schools. So if your son is going to a public school out of state, the VA would pay the resident rate. He would then be responsible for difference between the two rates. If he has 100% of the Post 9/11 GI Bill, and his school has a Yellow Ribbon agreement with the VA, then he could possible get some help paying the difference from his school and the VA.

Also for those four months, each child would get the housing allowance and book stipend. The housing allowance is calculated based on the zip code of the school and the number of credits taken. Each has to be considered a greater-than-half-time student to qualify for the housing allowance. The book stipend in calculated at $41.67 per credit, which for a full-time student comes out to be about $500 per semester.

I’m not sure why you are “drip feeding” your Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits to your children. It would be much simpler to give each child what they will need and then revoke and reallocate as necessary at some point down the road.

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