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If I Drop a Class, Will I Have to Pay Money Back?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: I am currently enrolled full-time as a civilian using my GI Bill, the original, not Post 9/11. My question regards dropping classes. I am going to have to drop a class during the semester. What financial responsibilities will I have in regards to moneys already awarded to me throughout this semester? Will I have to pay back the awarded money before enrollment into next semester? Or is there a way that I can deduct that time off of my remaining benefits? Thanks.

A: If you have not dropped a class before, after your school’s official drop period, the VA will allow you to drop up to six credits one-time of which you will not have to pay the VA back for the class. They consider that one drop as having mitigating circumstances and therefore no payback is required.

If you have dropped a class before and used up your one free drop, then depending on why you had to drop a class this time, you may very well indeed have some financial responsibilities to repay the VA. If you incur a debt to the VA, you will have to either pay back what you owe them or set up an approved payment plan before they will pay you future GI Bill benefits.

If you end up incurring a financial obligation for the class, the VA will require money to repay the debt. They can’t take the financial debt off of your unused entitlements.

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