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Is It True My Husband Will Not Have Enough Credits for the Post 9/11 GI Bill Housing Allowance?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: My husband is almost finished with his AA in Psychology. He will be transferring to a four year school and majoring in Art. This semester he is taking two psychology classes and one art class. We were told that the Post 9/11 GI Bill would cover his two psychology classes, but not his art class since it doesn’t count towards his degree. This will make him ineligible for any housing allowance. We’ve heard conflicting information and I haven’t been able to find this documented anywhere. Is it true?

A: Yes it is true. The purpose of the GI Bill is to train a veteran in something s/he can use to earn a living. So in support of that philosophy, the VA will not pay for classes that are not on a degree plan. Otherwise, veterans would be taking classes here and there and end up not being trained in something they can use to earn a living.

As you know, he has to take at least 51% of the number of credits his school considers to be full-time to qualify for the minimum housing allowance. His art class does not count because it is not on his degree plan, so he will not get a housing allowance this semester – meaning on average (and assuming he is on 4-month semesters), he missed out on $2,652 if he would have been at the 51% level – $5,200 if he was at the full-time level.

I don’t know what your husband’s educational goal is, but I suggest he focuses on his degree plan and maximize his Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits. For the benefits he used up this semester, all he got out of it was paid tuition for two of his classes and some book stipend money. If all his classes counted would have counted toward his degree plan, he could have also received the housing allowance also.

Comments  (1)

Thank you for clearing this up. We were confused because the GI bill paid for his first art class a couple of years ago. We decided not to submit this semester to the GI bill, so that we can received the housing allowance when we do submit it this fall.

posted by April
1:38 pm on March 7, 2012
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