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Does Failing a Class Affect Using My GI Bill?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: I am now going to school using my mother’s GI Bill benefits that she has given to me. If I was to fail a class, would I have to pay the VA back for just that class or for all 4 of the classes I am taking? Would failing prevent me from being able to use the GI Bill benefits any further?

A: If you fail a class, whether you have to pay the VA back for that class or not, depends on the reason why you failed. You would not have to pay them back for the 3 classes you passed.

If it was due to something beyond your control, such as a car accident that left you in the hospital or temporarily disabled and not able to attend class, then no you most likely would not have to pay. If the reason was due to something within your control, then most likely you would have to pay for the class, but the final determination is with the VA based in part on information submitted to them.

If you end up having to pay for a class, you have incurred a debt to the VA. If you fail the class, contact the VA as soon as you know, as not doing so could hold up using your GI Bill benefits in the future.

Once you have either paid back the debt or set up a payment plan, then the VA will continue your GI Bill benefits. If the VA finds that you were not responsible for failing the class, then your benefits will continue on. The key is contacting them immediately and being pro-active about the situation.

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