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How Many Resident Classes Do I Need to Take to Get BAH?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: I have applied for the Post 9/11 GI Bill and have been sent a Certificate of Eligibility for 50% since I am a reservist. So far I have been mainly taking online classes. I know that I must take some face-to-face classes in order to receive the housing allowance. Will there be no payment for housing allowance until I have registered for a face-to-face class next term/s or do the payments for housing allowance start whenever I have registered for a face-to-face class? How many face-to-face classes must I take in order to keep receiving housing allowance? Thank you.

A: Ah yes, the quirk (one of many) of the Post 9/11 GI Bill. I never understood why they wrote the Bill that way. It’s like online students don’t need a place to stay or food to eat. Just because they are going to school in a virtual environment, it doesn’t mean they live in one.

If you are taking online courses, you need to take at least one “face-to-face” course, as you call them, per term, to continue getting your housing allowance. The other housing allowance requirement is you must be over a half-time student, which generally means taking at least 7 credits per term.

The way the Post 9/11 GI Bill works, as far as getting paid, is you are paid the month following the schooling, so you are always a month behind in getting paid. When you register for courses verses when you begin courses isn’t an issue as far as getting paid.

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