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With 12 Credits, Am I Certified Full-Time for Post 9/11 GI Bill Purposes?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: Another question about rate of pursuit when your university has optional condensed schedules. At my university you are considered full time if you take 4 classes/3 units each for the term (16 weeks). For the fall term, I took one 16-week class and two 8-week classes for a total of 3 classes. I was certified as a 3/4 time student but the schools VA rep was told I am only a half time student because I didn’t take all three classes at once…Is this right? I always thought your rate of pursuit was based on what the school certifies you as not what the VA “thinks.” Please help!

A: What your VA Rep told you is correct. The VA counts the credits you are taking at any one particular point in time, so your 8-week class that starts mid-term, does not count toward total credits during the first half of the term. As your first 8-week class ends and your second 8-week class starts, the number of credits you are taking will not change.

If you are only a half-time student, then you would not qualify for the Post 9/11 GI Bill Monthly Housing Allowance (MHA), if that is the GI Bill you are using. You have to be taking at least 51% of the number of credits your school considers to be full-time to qualify for minimum MHA.

If you are using the Montgomery GI Bill, then you would rate only half of the full-time rate or $824 per month. The good thing with the MGIB is that you are only using up 15 days per month of entitlement for each full month you are in school instead of a full month as you would be doing with the Post 9/11 GI Bill.

In the future, and if you are using the Post 9/11 GI Bill, make sure you are taking at least 7 credits per semester so that you can at least get some MHA each month. Otherwise all you are getting out of your Post 9/11 GI Bill is your tuition paid and some book stipend money.

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