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What Are the Minimum Number of Credit Hours I Have to Take to Get the GI Bill?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: I was wondering what the minimum credit hours that are needed to get the GI Bill. Also, is it possible to start using your GI Bill while still AD. I am wondering because I am about to get out at the end of the year and am trying to plan ahead. I know I can use TA while I’m still in but I just wanted to know if it’s possible to start using my GI Bill and how I go about starting that paper work. Thank you for your time.

A: If you are talking about the Post 9/11 GI Bill housing allowance, you have to take at least 51% of the number of credits your school considers full-time. So if that full-time number is 12, then you would have to take at least 7 credits to qualify for the Monthly Housing Allowance (MHA).

However, while you are on active duty, you not get the MHA anyway until after you get out.

As far as using your GI Bill, there really isn’t a minimum number of credits you have to take; you can take one 3-credit class per semester if you want. But the VA does have the requirement that you must matriculate (choose a field of study) by the end of the second semester.

Also remember that the amount you get paid is directly related to your rate of pursuit. It stands to reason the VA isn’t going to pay you the same for taking 3 credits as they would if you take 12.

To start using your Post 9/11 GI Bill, just go to the eBenefits website and fill out VA Form 22-1990. In return, you’ll get your Certificate of Eligibility that you’ll need when registering for school.

Be sure to send in a copy of your final DD 214 once you get out so you’ll start receiving your MHA.

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