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If I Attend a Technical School First and Then a University, Will It Affect My Post 9/11 GI Bill Housing Allowance?

Q: I get out in August. Since I won’t be able to register in time at the university of my choice, I plan on taking a full semester of classes towards my degree at the local technical college, only for one semester to give myself more time to apply for the university. Will this interfere with my housing stipend? When transferring or in any other way?

A: First, make sure your local technical school is VA-approved. Otherwise, your GI Bill most likely would not pay for your school. Yes, make sure your technical school classes apply towards your degree. Before enrolling at your technical school, take the courses you want to take at the technical school to your university and ask which classes would transfer. Then only take those classes that apply towards your degree and ones your university would accept.

If you end up taking classes that don’t apply to your degree, then the VA would not pay for those classes. If you have classes that don’t apply or transfer, then you risk not having enough Post 9/11 GI Bill months of benefits that you need to complete your degree. So with a little prior planning upfront, you can take the right classes that will benefit you the most and make the best use of your Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits.

When you are ready to enroll in technical school make sure you have your Certificate of Eligibility. You can either get it by submitting VA Form 22-1990 from the eBenefits website or see your VA Certifying Official at your school. That person can certify you on the spot with your certificate following up later.

The only affect transferring schools could have on your housing allowance would be if your zip code of your university is different than your technical school or the number of credits per semester that you would be taking are different. School zip code and credits are what determine how much you get monthly for your housing allowance. You would also get a book stipend calculated at $41.67 per credit per semester (up to the $1,000 per year annual limit).

When you get ready to transfer, be sure and send in VA Form 22-1995 (Request for Change of Program or Place of Training also from the eBenefits website) so the VA knows you are going from one school to the next.

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