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What Is the Maximum Tuition My Post 9/11 GI Bill Would Pay If I Attend a Non-Degree Program?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: Right now I am really thinking about going to Universal of Technical Institute (UTI) when I EAS from the Marine Corps. I have been trying to look up definite answers as far as the Post 9/11 GI Bill and the way it works with UTI. The course I want to do at UTI is around $32,000. Now what I want to know is that, am going to get just the $17,500 cap for a Non College Degree Program? Or if maybe the UTI in Sacramento has a Yellow Ribbon Program? And if it doesn’t, what can I do to pay the extra tuition and fees, since its $32,000, with the $17,500 cap which would leave with almost $15,000 left to pay out of pocket.

A: The good news is that Universal Technical Institute is a GI Bill-approved private school with two campuses – one in Sacramento and another one in Rancho Cucamonga! The way it would work Dom, is your Post 9/11 GI Bill would pay up to $17,500 per year directly to your school for tuition and eligible fees. Being neither school has a Yellow Ribbon agreement with the VA at this time, the remaining unpaid tuition would be your responsibility.

However, there are various scholarships, grants and work-study programs that may help you fund your part of your tuition. But, there are different types of scholarships which may either work for you or against you.

For example, if you get a scholarship that can only be applied toward your tuition, it will reduce the amount your Post 9/11 GI Bill would pay, because the VA is the last payer when it comes to paying your tuition. That ends up being somewhat counterproductive.

There are other scholarships that are not dedicated to tuition, so the VA would end up paying the same amount as if you didn’t have the non-fenced scholarships; these are the better ones to try and get.

You could also send in a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Aid) form to see what you would qualify for in other financial aid. Finally, you might have to get a part-time job and work during non-school hours to make extra money.

As part of your Post 9/11 GI Bill, you would also get a monthly housing allowance. For the Sacramento area, it averages $1,728, plus you would also get a book stipend of $83 per month.

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