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How Do You Recommend That I Use My Remaining Post 9/11 GI Bill Benefits?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: Hi Ron, Thank you for some info you provided about Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits. I want to ask about mine. I am into my junior year of college transferring from a community college to a university. According to the VA, I have 17 months and 24 days left in my benefits. Now, according to my new school, I need 128 credits to graduate but 70 of the credits I have from the previous school are transferrable. So I think that would leave me with 50+ credits left to take so I can graduate. So, would I have enough time to finish it with 17 months left? Forgive me if there’s errors in my questions, that’s why I turn to an expert (you) for answer. Thank you so much!

A: No, your questions are fine. As a matter of fact, I commend you in looking far enough ahead so you can plan out how to use your remaining Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits.

In doing the math, I calculated that you actually you have 58 credits left to take in order to graduate. Assuming each of your semesters are 4-months long, you have just over 4 semesters of benefits left to use or about 16 months. If we divide 58 by 4, we get just over 14. So what does this value really mean?

It means that for 2 semesters, you will have to take at least 14 credits per semester while the other two semesters will require you to take at least 15 credits per semester. If you add up 14, 14, 15 and 15, it totals up to 58 credits – the exact number you need to graduate using the 17 months of benefits that you have left.

Granted, you have to know that this does not leave much, if any, room for error. If you would happen to fail or drop a class, you most likely would not have enough eligibility left to get your class paid for again, however, you could always pay for it out of your own pocket.

While 14 and 15 credits per semester are pretty hefty loads, they are very manageable and you should do fine.

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