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If I’m Taking Both Resident and Online Classes, Which Zip Code Is Used for the Post 9/11 GI Bill Housing Allowance?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: An eligible member of the Post 9/11 GI Bill can get full rate BAH by taking at least one residential class with online classes. This fact leads me to my following questions – If a member is taking online classes with an online college (primary school) with one residential class at a different school (secondary school), what zip code would be used for the full rate BAH, the primary school’s zip code or the secondary school’s zip code?

A: The VA would use the secondary school zip code to calculate your Post 9/11 GI Bill housing allowance.

As you know under the current Post 9/11 GI Bill rules, if you take all online classes, then you are limited to the $684 per month in housing allowance. But as soon as you add in one resident classroom class per semester that can be credited to your degree plan at a brick and mortar school, then you qualify for the housing allowance that is calculated in part based on the zip code of the school where you physically attend class.

The number of credits you are taking, in addition to your Post 9/11 GI Bill tier level, are the other two parts that factor into the calculation. If you are taking enough combined credits to be classified full-time by your parent school – the one that will be issuing you your degree – then you can get the full housing allowance.

Of course you have to get the classes you plan to take at your secondary school approved by your parent online school first. Once approved, your parent school would send your secondary school a list of the classes you would take from them. Once finished with those classes, your secondary school sends a transcript to your parent school and they in turn post the completed credits to your degree plan. If your rate of pursuit of combined classes is classified as full-time and you do it as I have laid out here, it would go smoothly and you would get the full housing allowance.

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