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Are the Alabama GI Bill Benefits Available to Our Daughter If She Lives In Florida?

Q: My daughter’s father is a disabled veteran. He mailed us a brochure regarding the Alabama GI Dependents Scholarship Program that she (and he) meet all the requirements for according to the brochure. My problem is we live in Florida. Therefore I am assuming she would be paying out of state tuition and (also assuming) that rate is over the maximum allowable. I am not really sure where to go from here. Are these benefits available to her in Florida? I am just not sure I understand these benefits and how to best use them. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks!

A: I looked at the brochure and based on that information, it appears that both of them do qualify, however, don’t be surprised if she is declined based on the fact that she does not live in Alabama. Most State GI Bill programs require the student to live in the state where the student will go to school, although this program doesn’t specifically state that it is a requirement.

Assuming she is eligible for the program, yes, most likely she would have to pay out-state tuition. And you are right in assuming it is greater than the allowable under the program which is resident tuition.

I thought I had found an alternate solution in the Academic Common Market Program. It is a reciprocity agreement between many of the Southeastern States including Alabama and Florida, but upon further study, Florida only participates at the graduate degree level, so that won’t work.

Of course, she can always submit a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) application. It will come back with a report of how much education financial aid she qualifies for.

And she can apply for a variety of scholarships and grants; the great thing about these is they do not have to be paid back as do student loans. They should be a last choice.

And finally, she could enlist in the military and get her own Post 9/11 GI Bill and use Tuition Assistance while serving.

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