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Does Taking Less Credits in Summer Session Lower My Post 9/11 GI Bill Housing Allowance?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: I am enrolled in a school that considers 7 credit hours to be full-time during the summer. I am taking two 3-credit hour courses for a total of 6 credit hours toward my course of study based on the course catalog for summer and the curriculum for my program of study. The courses I am taking are 8 weeks long and run from Jun 18 to Aug 8. According to the registrar, I am two credits shy of the max the school allows students to take during the summer. Would this in any way lessen my GI Bill housing allowance as the school’s full time credit hour amount is less than that of their fall/winter schedule?

A: It is not unusual for a school to have lesser number of credits during their summer sessions and still be considered full-time. The VA does not have an established standard as far as how many credits it takes to be considered full-time – that value is established by each individual school and reported to the VA.

So while your school may have a 12-credit rate of pursuit as full-time in the Fall and Spring semesters, they can use a 7-credit value during their summer sessions for example, and both values are considered full-time in the eyes of the VA.

However, because you are only taking six credits, when your school uses 7 credits as full-time, you would only get 6/7ths of the Post 9/11 GI Bill Monthly Housing Allowance or 1/7th less that the full-time amount. You would still get the full book stipend amount of $41.67 per credit and your tuition and eligible fees paid directly to your public school at the rate of a resident undergraduate student or up to $19,198.31 per year if attending private school.

So while your less-than-full-time rate of pursuit does affect your MHA, it does not affect the payment of your tuition and fees, or book stipend. Those rates or percentages of pay remain the same.

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