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If I’m Attending Two Schools, Which Zip Code Determines My Post 9/11 Housing Allowance?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: I am enrolled in two different schools. One is online and the other is on campus. The online school is my parent school, but the housing allowance is much lower than the on campus school. My question is, does the BAH automatically go by the on-campus school rate or does it go by the parent schools BAH rate?

A: When determining your Post 9/11 GI Bill housing allowance, the VA uses the zip code of the school where you attend classes on campus. If you were full-time, but only taking online classes, you would get the fixed monthly housing allowance (MHA) rate of $647.50 regardless of where your online school was located.

But once you add in an on-campus class, you qualify for the monthly housing allowance authorized for the zip code of the school where you physically attend class, along with the number of credits you are taking.

If your MHA was based on the zip code of your online school, then you would not be limited to the maximum online-only rate of $647.50. It is strange why they have it set up this way as almost every online school has either a campus of at least somewhere where their school is administered from. So why doesn’t the VA use that zip code and pay the MHA authorized for that zip code? Good question!

Anyway, in your case, you come out better by them using the zip code of your on-campus school.

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