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As a Military Spouse, Am I Considered a Resident of Montana For Tuition Purposes?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: Hello! My husband is very kindly signing some of his GI Bill over to me so I can complete my schooling. We are unable to attend one of the classes they give on site to explain the GI Bill transfer so we have been searching on line for our answers and are still confused. My classes cost $630 per class ($210 per credit hour) and I take 2 classes a term and am enrolled in 2 terms for the semester(accelerated 8-terms) My husband’s home state is Tennessee but we are stationed in MT. Will the GI bill cover all of my classes? Also, we want enough left over so that when he gets out he can take a Veterinary Tech class. We think 12 months will cover that? So he plans to give me 24 months. Also, are there any BIG picture things we don’t know about? Basically we have learned everything on the internet so are fluent in conjecture and speculation! Thank you very much for helping me, you guys ROCK!

A: The Post 9/11 GI Bill pays up to the resident rate if you go to public school or up to $19,198.31 per year if you attend a private school.

So the question is are you paying the resident or non-resident tuition rate? Many states allow service members and their families to pay resident tuition rates while stationed in their state; Montana happens to be one of them.

This statement appears on their Board of Regents’ Resident Policy Summary: “Members of the armed forces stationed in Montana on regular active duty, their spouse, and dependent children will be classified as residents during the tour of duty.”

Also, there is federal legislation on the floor right now that would mandate states charge resident tuition for service members regardless of their residency status in that state.

Since your husband is still serving, you would not get the Post 9/11 GI Bill Monthly Housing Allowance because he is drawing BAH on you already, however, you would get the book stipend once per semester(up to the $1,000 per year cap).

As far as big things on the horizon for the Post 9/11 GI Bill, I don’t see anything right now besides the resident tuition legislation for all servicemembers and their families.

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