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If My GI Bill Payments Are More Than My Tuition, Can I Keep The Extra Money?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: My husband is active duty Navy and he wants to transfer his GI Bill to me. If I went to school and the GI Bill is more than the tuition, what happens to the rest of it? Are we allowed to use the rest of that money for a cushion because I will not be working anymore?

A: The only GI Bill your husband can transfer to you is the Post 9/11 GI Bill. But before he can make a transfer request and get it approved, he has to have served for at least six years and have at least four years left on his enlistment at the time of transfer.

So once he has those two requirements in place, he can make a transfer request to you by going to the milConnect website. Once his request is approved, which can take up to 10 weeks, then you have to go to the eBenefits website and request your Certificate of Eligibility by submitting VA Form 22-1990e. You will need that certificate when you enroll as a GI Bill student using transferred benefits.

The Post 9/11 GI Bill is unique in the way it works. If you go to school while your husband is still on active duty, then all you would get is your tuition and eligible fees paid and the book stipend. If you attend a public school, then the VA would pay your tuition and fees directly to your school. If you attend a private school, then they would pay up to $17,500 per year. So as you can see, they don’t pay a standard amount and if your tuition is less you get the extra money. The VA only pays actual costs and no more.

If you choose to go to school after your husband is out of the military, then you would also get the housing allowance.

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