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If I Attend Both Online and On-Campus Classes, Which Post 9/11 GI Bill Housing Rate Do I Get?

Q: Hi Ron. I appreciate your site and all the help you give us vets. Here’s my situation: I want to attend an online school that already has a very liberal transfer credit program. It is based in NJ and the BAH is around $1600. The problem is that it’s all online. Now I’ve been looking at schools overseas (OH is way too boring for me after seeing the world in the Army all these years!) that are VA approved. I would take one or two in-seat classes there. If I have the overseas school and the online school in NJ agree to let me study at both, does that mean I get the $1,600+/- for the NJ BAH or do I get the standard $1,368 for the international school? My online courses are 12 weeks and I’m assuming my in-seat classes will be the usual 16 weeks.

A: As you may or may not know, if you take only online classes, your Post 9/11 GI Bill monthly housing allowance would max out at $674.50 if you were carrying a full-time credit load. Now add in just one classroom class that applies to your degree plan per semester and you are now on the regular monthly housing allowance that is calculated based on the zip code of your school and the number of credits you are taking.

But since you are planning on taking your classroom classes overseas, your monthly housing allowance would be calculated based on the foreign school rate, which as you noted is $1,368 per month.

The other thing you have to know is the difference in length of your courses – 12 weeks for online verses 16 weeks for classroom. Once your online classes stop, then your credits would drop and if you fall to 51% or lower of the number of credits your primary school consider to be full-time, you won’t get any monthly housing allowance at all for those last four weeks of the semester.

You noticed I said your primary school. When you are taking classes at two different schools, the school that would be issuing your degree is called your primary school. Your other school is your secondary school. When using a full-time credit figure, you have to use what your primary school uses for their figure.

Also, just so you know, the classes you would plan to take at your secondary school, the one overseas – has to be approved first by your primary school. Your primary school would send a letter to your secondary informing them of the classes you would take. Once finished with those classes, your secondary school sends your primary school a credit transcript and those credits are applied to your degree plan.

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