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Can You Please Explain Maximum Total Fees for the Post 9/11 GI Bill?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: I don’t understand maximum total fees. If I go to a private school in CA and the tuition is $1,245.60 per credit hour, total fee of the term will be $18,684.00. Does VA cover $2,264.75 or $5,876.25? What is maximum total fee about? That doesn’t make sense to me at all.

A: Under the Post 9/11 GI Bill, the VA will cover up to $2,264.75 in fees, but that maximum fee figure does not include tuition. If your eligible fee amount is less, the VA will pay less; they pay based on what the school charges, but only up to the maximum amount allowed in the fees chart.

Eligible fees include the normal fees all students that participate in a particular program pay. Nurses and engineering students usually have higher fee amounts due to the extensive labs they have to take, so their eligible fee amounts are higher than for non-lab programs, such as teaching or a business.

Tuition is in a separate column and not included in the maximum fee column amount. In California, the maximum tuition amount the VA will pay is $391.75 per credit hour. Because you are paying $1,245.60 per credit, the VA is only paying about 1/3rd of your tuition unless your school is has a Yellow Ribbon Agreement with the VA. In that case, your school can pay up to 50% of the difference between what they charge and what the GI Bill pays. The VA pays an equal amount. This reduces the amount left in which you have to pay.

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