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What Do I Have to Do to Start Classes In Bulgaria and Receive My Post 9/11 GI Bill Payment?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: Hi have the Post 9/11 GI Bill and just got accepted into a foreign university in Bulgaria. The school is approved as is the program also. What do they have to do to receive the payment from the GI Bill and I to be able to start classes? Thank you!

A: If your school is already VA-approved, then all they have to do is send in a Certificate of Enrollment once you are registered. If they are not VA-approved, then they need to follow the information and guidance on the Foreign Program Approval Information for Schools webpage. It lists all the documentation they have to provide and things they need to do to become VA-approved. Just know that the approval process can take awhile.

As far as what you have to do, just take your Certificate of Eligibility to your school when you enroll. If you have not yet requested your certificate, submit VA Form 22-1990 from the eBenefits website or see your school’s VA Certifying Official. S/he might be able to certify you on the spot with your actual certificate following later. Be sure to bring all of your service information with you if you are going this route.

The amount you get paid while attending a foreign school is different than what it would be if you were going to school here in the States. First, for tuition and fees, your foreign school falls under the same payment schedule as private schools – $19,198.31 per year for the 2013/2014 school year.

Here in the States, your tuition would be paid in full at the resident student rate (provided you are at the 100% Post 9/11 GI Bill tier). For the Monthly Housing Allowance (MHA), you would get a fixed $1,429 per month instead of an amount calculated based on the zip code of your school and the number of credits you take and paid at the pay grade of an E-5 with dependents.

The book stipend money you would receive for being enrolled in a four-year program is the same regardless of where you go to school – $41.67 per credit per semester (up to the $1,000 per year limit).

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