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How Many Credits Must I Carry Per Semester to Receive Full Benefits?

Q: How many credits must I carry per semester to receive full benefits?

A: It depends on how many credits the school considers to be full-time and which GI Bill you are using. If you are using the Montgomery GI Bill, then you must take as many credits as required by your school to be considered a full-time student, if you want to get the maximum benefit, which is $1,426 per month for 36 months if you served for three years or more.

If you are taking less than a full-time load, then your benefits will be reduced accordingly. Also, if you served less than three years, you will receive a lesser amount than someone having served for three years or more, even if you both are taking the same number of credits.

However, if you are using the Post 9/11 GI Bill, then you can get the full housing allowance by taking at least 51 percent of the number of credits the school considers to be full-time (at least for right now) as long as you are not an online-only student. Starting this fall that will change however.

With the passage of the GI Bill 2.0, users of the Post 9/11 GI Bill starting on August 1st will get paid their monthly housing allowance based on the number of credits taken. For example if a student is taking  of a full-time load, s/he will get 80% of the housing allowance. The VA rounds to the nearest tenth.

Also in that change, full-time online-only students will qualify for up to $673.50 in a monthly housing allowance after October 1st.

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