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Can I Change From a Full-time to a Part-time Status for One Term?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: Hello, I have a question regarding the change of course load due to pregnancy. I am a full time student taking 3 classes each term. I am pregnant and I will be delivering my baby in November.

My intention is to enroll only in one or two classes next winter term in order to deliver and being able to take care for my newborn, and then resume as a full time student in January 2011.

I was wondering if the new GI Bill can cover the payment of my classes in a case like that, even if I was a part-time student for one-term. Unfortunately my school doesn’t offer any maternity leave, so either I withdraw or I enroll in only 1 or 2 classes. In case is not possible to change the course load to part-time for a trimester, what can I do to halt the payments for a temporary period of time, until I will go back to school full time in January? Thank you very much in advance.

A: My advice is to withdraw for the term during which you will have your baby and here is why. One of the rules of the Post 9/11 GI Bill is your rate of pursuit must be greater than half-time each term, if you want to get the housing allowance. Even if you take two classes, assuming each class is 3 credits, you’ll be at half-time, but not greater than half-time, so you wouldn’t get the housing allowance.

And here is the other reason – new babies are a lot of work. You will be amazed how much time, one baby requires for the first few months. I would hate to see you take a couple of classes, and then not have the time to devote to them and either get a bad grade or fail. I would suggest taking online classes for that term, but you won’t get the housing allowance either as it doesn’t apply to online-only students. Take the term off, enjoy the birthing experience and continue your schooling after the new year.

To halt your Post 9/11 GI Bill payments, just don’t enroll for the term you plan to take off. But, I would also contact the VA and let them know what you are doing.

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