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What Options Do I Have for Supplementing My Post 9/1 GI Bill Income While in School?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: I plan to use my Post 9/11 GI Bill to get my MBA next year. I know that it pays directly to the school and not to the student. I will be a full-time online student so I know I will only get the $672 to live on, which is not enough. What options do I have for supplementing my income while in school?

A: I just want to clarify something you said –“ I know that it pays directly to the school and not to the student.” The VA pays your school directly only for your tuition and fees if you are using the Post 9/11 GI Bill. Once each semester, you would get the book stipend paying $41.67 per credit and monthly the housing stipend of $673.50 being you go to school only online.

There is a simple way for you to get the full housing amount which will be around double what you would get by going to school just online. The secret is to take at least one class per semester on campus that applies to your degree plan. They can be just one-credit classes at a local school if you have some of those classes in your degree plan. The key is to be sure the classes you take on campus apply to your degree plan. Otherwise if not, the VA would not pay for the class and it would not count toward your full housing allowance.

To make other income, the easiest is to get a part-time job. Lower paying jobs are fairly easy to get and require little skill. If you are trained in something, go after something in your field.

Depending on if they are tuition-fenced or not, meaning dedicated to be used strictly for tuition, scholarships and grants can also be a good source of extra money. However, if they are fenced, then it won’t generate extra money as your GI Bill would pay less. Non-fenced money would add to your income as it isn’t offset by the VA.

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