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How Does the Post 9/11 GI Bill Housing Allowance Work for Summer Sessions?

Q: I am about to finish my first semester of college using the Post 9/11 GI Bill. I’m considering signing up for summer classes to continue to get the housing allowance. If my class starts June 10th and will go until August 9th, will I receive the housing allowance in June or July. One more question how does the pay work? Do they pay you on the first for that months housing allowance or do they pay you on the month for the previous months housing allowance. Thank you for any help in figuring this out.

A: If your summer session starts on June 10th, then you should get paid in July for the 21 days you attended school in June. Just so you know the VA usually pays the Post 9/11 GI Bill housing allowance a month after the fact. However, the first month of a new semester can take longer.

In August, you should get a full month’s worth of housing allowance based on your attendance in July. In September, your housing allowance would be for only 9 days in August.

Let me clarify how the VA calculates the housing allowance. When I said a “full months’ worth”, that was assuming your rate of pursuit is classified as full-time. If so, then you would get the full amount authorized for the zip code of your school and paid at the E-5 with dependents pay grade (and times your tier percentage).

However, if your rate of pursuit is less than full-time, then you would get the full E-5 with dependents rate multiplied by the percentage of your rate of pursuit (and again times your tier percentage).

Also, many schools have a different number of credits they consider to be full-time for their Summer Sessions, so while 12 credits may be your school’s full-time floor (the least number of credits you can take and still be considered full-time) for the Winter and Spring semesters, they may use a figure of 6 or 8 credits as full-time for their Summer sessions. Check with your school to see what figure they use.

I’ve run into many students that get freaked out over the reduced number of credits they are taking for the Summer Session, and not knowing their schools Summer Session policy, think they are not going to get the full housing allowance for that semester.

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