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Can I Use Two GI Bills at the Same Time?

Q: Is it possible to use the Chapter 30 GI Bill at one school and either the Chapter 30, or Post 9/11 GI Bill, at a second school? I am attending 3/4 time at the first school completely online. The second would be actually at the other school.

A: O.K., let’s break this down into a couple of different parts and address each part independently. First, you can’t use two separate GI Bills at the same time. Under the Rule of 48, if you qualify for two or more GI Bills, you can get a combined maximum benefit of 48 months. If you currently have Chapter 30, and you switch to the Post 9/11 GI Bill, you’ll get whatever months you have left on your Chapter 30 GI Bill, however, you also relinquish your eligibility to your Chapter 30 GI Bill. If you first exhaust your Chapter 30, and then switch to the Post 9/11 GI Bill, you can get up to an additional 12 months of education benefits.

The second part is yes, you can attend two different schools under the same GI Bill. However, it would be more lucrative to do it under the Post 9/11 GI Bill because then the VA will pay your tuition and fees at both schools up to the in-state maximum amount established by the VA for your state. You, in turn, get a monthly housing allowance and a book stipend. If you run this scenario under Chapter 30, then you get a fixed $1,368 per month and you have to pay your tuition, fees and all education-related expenses at both schools; the VA pays nothing directly to either one.

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