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How Long Will the Post 9/11 GI Bill Pay for Full-Time School?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: I am active army and have only 9 months left until I ETS. I’ve been in 4 years and deployed before. I already bought a house and want to go to school there, but I have not used any of my GI Bill. I like that the Post 9/11 GI Bill pays for housing while you go to school. How long will the Post 9/11 GI Bill pay for full-time school? Thanks.

A: The fact that you deployed while on active duty really doesn’t factor into anything as you have already earned the maximum Post 9/11 GI Bill benefit of 36 months by serving at least three years on active duty.

With your 36 months of Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits, you can get a four-year degree by attending four 9-month academic school years, so potentially you could get your housing allowance for that length of time. You would also get a book stipend once per semester (up to the $1,000 per year limit) and the VA would pay your tuition up to the resident undergraduate rate if you attend a public school or up to $18,077.50 per year if you choose to attend a private school.

However, I want to note that you have to take at least 51% of the number of credits your school considers full-time as classroom classes to qualify for that housing allowance. And if your rate of pursuit is less than full-time (which it doesn’t sound like yours will be), your housing allowance would be prorated to a lesser amount based on the number of credits you take.

Just so you know, if you take all your classes online, then the maximum housing allowance you would get is capped at $684 per month. Your book stipend is calculated at $41.67 per credit.

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