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If I Used Both Tuition Assistance and the Post 9/11 GI Bill, Would My Course Be Paid in Full?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: I am seeking more information about using both tuition assistance and the Post 9/11 GI Bill at the same time. I am currently receiving 70% of the Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits and the cost of the tuition for the school that I currently attend is about $610 per credit hour. Will using both the TA and the GI Bill benefits pay for this cost? If so, will I continue to receive my monthly living stipend from the GI Bill?

A: Being you are already receiving the monthly stipend from your Post 9/11 GI Bill and are at the 70% tier level, I’m assuming you are in the Selected Reserve. If you were on active duty, I would answer your questions differently due to the slight differences between active duty and the Selected Reserve in regards to the Post 9/11 GI Bill.

If you have been using the New GI Bill by itself, then you know the VA pays 70% of your tuition directly to your school. So at $610 per credit, you are left paying about $183 per credit.

If you also start using Tuition Assistance (TA), then TA will pay up to the amount by law and the Post 9/11 GI Bill would pay 70% of the remainder. When multiple funding sources are involved, the Post 9/11 GI Bill pays last.

So assuming TA is paying $250 per credit, the Post 9/11 GI Bill would end up paying 70% of $360 per credit or about $252. This would leave you paying about $108 per credit. So by using TA, the amount you have to pay drops by $75 per credit, but keep in mind, you are still using the same amount of Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits either way – one month of benefit for each month in school.

Under either program, you would still get the same monthly housing allowance and book stipend. Also, if your state has a state Tuition Assistance in addition to the federal TA, this could also play a part in reducing the amount you have left to pay.

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