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Can I Move to the Philippines to Finish College Using the GI Bill?

Q: Can I move to the Philippines to finish college? Would I be able to use my GI Bill Montgomery/Post 9/11? Will I be eligible for housing allowance if I’m going full-time? I was born in America.

A: If you are eligible for both the Montgomery GI Bill(MGIB) and Post 9/11 GI Bill, then it is immaterial where you were born. To answer your first question, yes you could go to school in the Philippines. Just be sure the school you choose is VA approved.

As a foreign student going to school full-time under the MGIB, you would get the same monthly amount as if you attended school here in the States – currently up to $1,564 if you served three years or more.

However, if you would use the Post 9/11 GI Bill, you would fall under the foreign student rate. The VA would pay up to $17,500 per year in tuition/eligible fees directly to your school. You would get the foreign housing allowance up to $1,368 per month as a full-time student. You would also get the book stipend each semester (up to the $1,000 per year maximum). It is calculated based on $41.67 per credit.

I did want to point out the two options you have to use your GI Bills. Under one option, you could use up your 36 months of MGIB benefits, switch to the Post 9/11 GI Bill and get an additional 12 months of benefits. Or under option two, you could switch from the MGIB to the Post 9/11 GI Bill right away and use your 36 months of Post 9/11 GI bill benefits, but you would not get the additional 12 months. So it really comes down to your educational goal – how many months of benefits you need.

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