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What Would the Post 9/11 GI Bill Pay Me to Go to School Either Part-time or Full-time?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: Thanks for the info. I’m currently still on active duty, using MGIB benefits for my master’s degree classes. The Post 9/11 GI Bill sounds tempting because MGIB does not pay the full tuition cost for me. Any idea what Post 9/11 would pay for part-time or full-time? It is hard to decide whether to switch now so I pay less, or wait until I used it all up and then switch to Post 9/11. I will be finished with this degree this year. I expect to pay about $2k-$4k above what MGIB pays, guessing.

A: I guess my first question is why are you not using Tuition Assistance and letting your GI Bill pay the difference that TA won’t pay? That way the amount that comes out of your GI Bill is minimal and you get much more “bang for your buck” from your GI Bill. TA is free for the taking and if you are not using it, you are throwing money away.

How it works is Tuition Assistance pays your tuition bill in full and then bills the VA for whatever portion exceeds what TA is allowed to pay. The VA in turn converts that dollar amount into days and months of entitlement and they deduct that number from your remaining unused GI Bill entitlement.

As far as how much you would get under the Post 9/11 GI Bill, you would get your tuition paid and receive the book stipend.

Under the New GI Bill, your tuition is paid directly to your school by the VA. They can pay up to the resident undergraduate rate at a public school, so you would have a difference between that rate and the graduate tuition rate. That difference would have to be paid by you, unless your school was a Yellow Ribbon school, then you might have very little left to pay, if anything.

How the Yellow Ribbon Program works is a Yellow Ribbon school could pay up to 50% of the difference with the VA paying an equal amount. Or the school could pay a lesser amount depending on the percentage they have in their agreement with the VA. Also check to see if your graduate program is included in their Yellow Ribbon Program.

Once each semester, up to the $1,000 per year cap, you would get the book stipend calculated at $41.67 per credit. Being you are already on active duty, you would not be authorized the monthly housing allowance, so the only money you would get directly is the book stipend, however, the VA would pay your tuition.

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