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How Many Courses Will the Post 9/11 GI Bill Pay Per Term?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: I am currently using the Post 9/11 GI Bill to pay for school. Is there a cap on the number of courses you can take during a semester? Since the Post 9/11 GI Bill is only for 36 months I’d like to take 6 courses as opposed to 4 per semester. I am attending a community college and taking more courses would still not amount to the max tuition rate of my state(MA). Thanks for your help.

A: I guess I don’t understand your reasoning when you said “Since the Post 9/11 GI Bill is only for 36 months, I’d like to take 6 courses as opposed to 4 per semester”. Your 36 months of GI Bill entitlement is enough for 4 years of college calculated on 9-month academic years, so you don’t need to kill yourself by taking 18 credits per term.

The VA sets the maximum tuition per credit that they will pay based on the most expensive public school undergraduate program in the state where your school is located. If your school charges less than the maximum, then that is what the VA will pay.

Generally the VA will pay up to the number of credits your school considers as full-time. At most schools, it is 12 credits per term. So if you take more than 12 credits per term, you may have to pay for the credits over 12 out of your pocket.

I think you were taking the VA maximum for your state times 12 credits and dividing it by what your school’s per-credit amount and saw that you could take 18 credits and still be under the maximum amount, but doesn’t work that way. The VA pays actual costs and not the maximum, if the actual costs are less.

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