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For Online Students, Does the VA Pay Tuition for the State of the School or Student?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: Just wondering, do students on the New GI Bill, who are going to attend college online, go the tuition coverage of the state they live in or the state that the school is in? — Matthew

A: The Post 9/11 GI Bill tuition paid is based on the maximum in-state public school maximum rate for the state where the school is located. As far as the tuition rate, it doesn’t make any difference if you are attending classes on-campus, online or both. If your school is online only, meaning they don’t physically have a campus, then the tuition rate is for the state where the school’s headquarters or main office is located.

What can make a difference though is if you have to pay out-state tuition. In that case, the VA will only pay up to public school maximum for the school’s state and you will have to pay the difference, unless your online school is a Yellow Ribbon School.

If it is, then your school can pay up to half of the difference of the unpaid amount and the VA can pick up an equal amount. If not, then you will have to pay the difference.

Also, keep in mind, you will not get a Post 9/11 GI Bill housing allowance if you take only online classes. The way around this is to take one on-campus class at school near you. Just ensure the class is related to your degree plan. You will get up to $1,000 per year in a book stipend regardless if you attend online or on-campus.

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