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Using the Post 9/11 GI Bill, Can I Take a Degree Plan and Certificate Course at the Same Time?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: I am planning on taking Healthcare Management course at one school and Healthcare Information Technology at another school. One leads to a master’s degree and the other a certificate. Although the Healthcare IT program doesn’t directly give credit towards my master’s degree, they are obviously much related coursework working towards a common goal that I want to achieve. Do you know if the Post 9/11 GI Bill will pay for both programs in my case? Thank you for any information you can provide.

A: Your Post 9/11 GI Bill may pay for both programs. Your task will be to convince how getting your IT certificate will benefit you in a Healthcare Management position (which should be pretty easy to document).

I couldn’t ascertain from your question if you plan to take both courses concurrently or consecutively. If you are going to take classes at two schools at the same time, it could be a problem if your IT classes do not credit towards your management healthcare degree. The VA will only pay for classes on one degree plan at a time, so you’ll most likely have to take your IT classes after getting your master’s degree.

If your IT classes would credit toward your degree plan, then you would have had to get permission from your school that will be issuing your degree (your primary school) to take classes at another school (your secondary school). Your primary school would send a letter to your secondary school informing them of the classes you would take from them. Once finished with those classes, your secondary school would send the credits to your primary school and they would post the credits to your degree plan.

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