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Is It Possible to Use the GI Bill for an Associate’s Degree and Police Academy?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: With no coursework completed, is it possible to use the GI Bill for both an associate’s degree and following that, for the police academy?

A: For right now, it really depends on which GI Bill you are referencing. If you have the Montgomery GI Bill, then yes you can get an associate’s degree and attend the police academy provided the school or both schools are VA-approved.

If you have at least three years of service, then you have 36 months of entitlement payable at $1,426 per month. If you have less than 36 months of service it pays $1,158 per month.

If you have the Post 9/11 GI Bill, it would pay for an associate’s degree also, but most likely not the police academy training, unless the training is taught at a school also teaching degree-producing courses, which most academies are not. With the passage of the GI Bill 2.0, that will change though.

Starting this fall, the Post 9/11 GI Bill will start functioning more like the Montgomery GI Bill in that it will start paying for non-degree programs taken at a VA-approved schools.

Under the New GI Bill, the VA pays your tuition and fees directly to your school. You get a monthly housing allowance and a book stipend. For a degree producing course, the book stipend is paid at a rate of $41.67 per credit up to a yearly cap of $1,000. If you take a non-degree course after the GI Bill 2.0 goes into effect, then your non-degree course pays a book stipend of $83.00 per month.

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