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How Much GI Bill Money Would I Get If I Take This Master’s Degree Program?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: I have a question… I’ll be starting my classes soon and I’m taking only 11 classes, 10 of which are 3 credits and 1 class that’s 1 credit for my masters. The class would be done via CD-ROM and I’ve already been accepted but haven’t registered for my classes yet. What would be the total amount I’ll be getting using my MGIB? Will it include housing and textbooks too? My texts are pretty expensive ($220), will it be covered too? Please respond. Thanks!

A: So you are taking 31 credits total for your master’s degree right? Because you are using your Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB), I can tell you how much you would get each month, but not for how long. Because of the type of course you are taking, not based on a specific semester or term length, the VA will most likely pay you based on number of $1,564 units (the amount you get paid when using one month of MGIB entitlement) that your course costs. For example, if your course is $15,640 (for easy figuring), you would get $1,564 per month for 10 months.

The MGIB only pays a fixed amount of money and does not include any money for housing or textbooks – those features are reserved as part of the Post 9/11 GI Bill. However, under the New GI Bill, while you would get a book stipend of $41.67 per credit per semester (up to the $1,000 yearly cap) and your tuition paid (up to the resident undergraduate rate), you would only get up to $674.50 in housing allowance because your course is all non-classroom classes, i.e. distance learning.

If you are fully eligible at the 100% Post 9/11 GI Bill tier level, (and if your school is a Yellow Ribbon School and your graduate program is included in their agreement) you might get some help with the tuition difference that is not covered by your GI Bill.

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