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Would My Child Have to Pay Resident or Non-Resident Tuition If Using the Post 9/11 GI Bill?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: I elected to transfer my Post 9/11 GI Bill Educational Benefits to my children. We currently reside in Utah but my children may attend college out of state; for example, Texas. What is the maximum amount per credit that it will pay? Is it based on the state of their residency or the state in which they are attending college? Also, in regard to the housing allowance; can that be used for dormitories and apartments off campus? Can it be used for other things such as utilities? In other words, is the benefit dollar amount received based on what the rent costs or is it a set figure regardless of the cost for rent? Thanks, Bill.

A: Hi Bill. According to the current rules, the Post 9/11 GI Bill can pay up to 100% of the resident tuition and eligible fee costs at a public school. It can pay up to $19,198.31 per year at a private college. You notice I said resident tuition.

Most likely your children would have to pay non-resident tuition in which case they would have a difference left to pay. Sometimes that difference can be quite expensive.

Their best bet would be to look for a school in Utah, but if they have their heart set on going to school in Texas, they should look for a school that is part of the Yellow Ribbon Program. That way, the school could waiver up to 50% of tuition difference and the VA would pay an equal amount; little, if anything, would be left for them to pay.

Or, the school could have a lesser percentage in its agreement in which the VA would pay a lesser amount resulting in a difference left to pay.

As far as the monthly housing allowance, it comes directly to your children and can be used to pay for anything. It is calculated based on the zip code of the school and the number of credits (and your child’s tier percentage). S/he would also get the book stipend (up to $1,000 per year limit) that is calculated at $41.67 per credit per semester.

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