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When Are Online Students Getting the Housing Allowance?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: When is the New GI Bill going to start paying housing allowance for online degrees?

A: The short answer is when Congress passes a change to the Post 9/11 GI Bill that will allow it. I have never understood why it was not in the original Bill. Just because a student goes to school virtually, doesn’t mean they live virtually. Each one still has to eat and have a roof over their head, but somehow it was missed when the original Post 9/11 GI Bill was drafted by Congress.

Right now there are a couple of bills in the legislature that would change this oversight. S.3447 would pay students, with rates of pursuit greater-than-half-time, 50% of the housing allowance while H.R 950 would pay those same students a housing allowance based off of their residence zip code. While both bills are similar, each is also unique. The real challenge will be getting Congress to agree on a bill and to pass it. As of late, support for this change, and all of the Post 9/11 GI Bill fixes, seems to be waning.

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