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With Starting College Late In the Semester, Will I Still Get the Post 9/11 GI Bill Housing Allowance?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: I was just disability retired on 29 January. I’m trying to start college this semester which starts on 13 January so I will still be on active duty for 2 weeks of the beginning of the semester. I have swapped over to the Post-9/11 GI Bill and I’m wondering if I will be entitled to the housing allowance for the rest of the semester. The only answers I can seem to get is that I will get tuition paid for but no one knows if I will get the rest of the benefits. I really hope that 2 weeks doesn’t knock me out for the whole semester. Please help! Thanks

A: The Post 9/11 GI Bill monthly housing allowance is based on both the zip code of your school and the number of credits you are taking, and paid at the pay grade of an E-5 with dependents.

For example, you’re a full-time student and your full monthly housing rate calculates out to $1,200 per month. That amount is divided by 30 days and the result is your daily rate – $40.00. Depending on when your semester starts and ends, your first and last monthly checks during a semester may not be full checks anyway. So if you miss the first couple of weeks of a semester, your housing allowance will be smaller – that’s all.

Your checks can also be smaller if you are not taking a full credit load. As I said, your check is based on you being a full-time student. If your school uses 12 credits as their full-time amount and you are taking 9, then you would get 9/12th or ¾ of $1,200, which is $900 for each full month that you are taking 9 credits, but you would also use up only 22.5 days of entitlement instead of the full 30 days.

You would also get the book stipend for the semester, which calculates out to $41.67 per credit.

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