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Can I Get Other Forms of Education Financial Aid In Conjunction With the Post 9/11 GI Bill?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: Can I receive any Federal loans such as PERKINS, etc. or a PELL GRANT, or any other financial aid while using my Post 9/11 GI Bill? If so, what do I need to know? Would this be legal?

A: Yes it is legal to use any of these financial aid programs in conjunction with the Post 9/11 GI Bill. Just be aware that the VA is the last payer when multiple forms of financial aid are involved, so the ones that are dedicated to pay tuition will reduce the amount of tuition the VA has to pay. And you do not get the difference. In my estimate, you are not maximizing your GI Bill by supplementing it, but in the end you are getting the same amount of your schooling paid for.

If your financial aid is not tuition “fenced” money, then you can use the additional money for anything you want and the VA would still pay the full amount of what they would otherwise pay.

Regardless, you would still get the housing allowance and book stipend. The housing allowance is based on the zip code of your school and the number of credits you take. The book stipend is calculated based on $41.67 per credit per semester. For a 12-credit course, it runs about $500 per semester, but with the $1,000 per year cap, you can only get a couple semester of book stipend per academic year.

A good place to start with your financial aid would be to fill out a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) application. Then you’ll know what you could qualify for as far as financial aid for school.

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