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Does Matriculation Affect My Post 9/11 GI Bill Housing Allowance?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: Can I enroll in college as a Matriculated and Non-Matriculated student and still receive my Post 9/11 GI Bill Housing Allowance?

A: The purpose of the GI Bill is to train you in a field that you can use as a career. Because of this purpose, the VA requires that you matriculate at least after two semesters of school. Basically, that gives you one academic school year to make up your mind as far as what course of instruction you want to follow for your next three years of college.

Except for some programs, the first two years of college are more general in nature anyway and this way you can use that first year to figure out what you want for a career path and select or build your degree plan accordingly without jeopardizing your Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits.

However, by the end of the Spring semester, you should select a degree plan so you won’t have an interruption of benefits when you come back for the Fall term.

By matriculating, you are showing the VA that you have selected a career and you are ready to pursue it for your remaining college time. And know that you can change your education plan after you have matriculated – many students using the GI Bill do change their degree plan. Just fill out VA Form 22-1995 Change of Place of Training or Program.

But, if you do change, you may have to take additional classes or some of the classes you took are no longer on your degree plan and don’t count. So in the end, by changing your degree program, you could end up paying for some classes out-of-pocket. That is why making a wise choice the first time is important if you want to maximize your Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits without any out-of-pocket costs.

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