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Will My Post 9/11 GI Bill Cover the Tuition Difference Between Resident and Non-Resident?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: I separated out of the Air Force a couple of months ago. Applied for my Post 9/11 GI Bill and was approved for 100% coverage. Just had a few questions. I wasn’t aware, but I applied for a college out of my state of residence. It’s approx. $8,000 for tuition for state residents and approx. $18,000 for out of state residence. Will my GI Bill cover this big difference? Also, I have the option to live in the dorms or live off campus. Both are possibilities. If I lived in the dorm I would like to live in a Single, which obviously would cost more. If I choose to do this would the GI Bill still cover the extra it would cost to live in a single dorm? And since I would be in the dorm would I still get paid the BAH rate for this school? The school I’m looking at going to is The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Thanks!

A: The Post 9/11 GI Bill pays up to the resident tuition rate if you attend a public school, which is what the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee is. So it would pay up to the $8,000 in tuition. The other $10,000 per semester is out-of-pocket, unless they are a Yellow Ribbon School … let me check.

The U of W at Milwaukee is a Yellow Ribbon School. Right now in their agreement, they can take up to 21 students per year with a maximum payout amount per student/per year of $7,296. So if you happen to snag one of the 21 spots available, that would lower your out-of-pocket costs down to about $2,700 per year which isn’t too bad.

As far as the housing allowance, it is based on the zip code of your school and the number of credits you take. In looking up Milwaukee, I see their rate is $1,692 per month. That money is paid to you and you can use it for whatever you want. So you could opt for a single dorm room, but you would not get paid any more for that than you would living in a non-single room, so the choice would be yours as far if the additional cost is worth not having a roommate.

You would also get the book stipend which calculates out at $41.67 per credit per semester. As a full-time student, this amounts to about $500 per semester, however note there is a $1,000 cap per year on it.

As a final note, the U of W – Milwaukee also has a MN Reciprocity Rate and a Midwest Student Exchange Rate that applies to certain Midwest states. While both rates are more than the resident rate, they are considerably less than the non-resident rate. It could be worth checking into if you think you would qualify.

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