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How Is Entitlement Use Calculated When Using the Post 9/11 GI Bill?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: My daughter will enroll for fall, spring & summer – she has 31 months transferred to her. How much of that entitlement will actually be used. How are the months calculated for usage? She will be taking the max amount of credits for Fall, Spring & summer. Is it smart to use this benefit over summer or is better to save & use just use for Fall & Spring when you take more classes? How does the housing count days also, if you are taking courses year round? Thank you.

A: Under the Post 9/11 GI Bill, entitlement use is based on a 30-day month so she would use up one month of entitlement for each month she is in school. So as a full-time student, she can get 31 months of school with the transferred benefits that was given to her.

The one consideration of going to school over the summer is that she may not have any book stipend money left to use for the summer semester or sessions. The book stipend is calculated at $41.67 per credit, however, there is a $1,000 per academic year cap on it. As a full-time student taking 12 credits per semester, it is enough for two semesters – fall and spring – but she would have to buy her summer session/semester books out of pocket.

Most schools use a different number of credits during the summer sessions as far as what they consider to be full-time, so her housing allowance could end up being about the same.

Her housing allowance is calculated based on the zip code of her school, rate of pursuit (the number of credits she takes verses what her school considers to be full-time) and her Post 9/11 GI Bill tier level.

While 12 credits may be the full-time floor for the fall and spring semesters, her school may consider 6 credits as full-time for each 8-week summer session, so essentially everything stays at the same ratio.

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