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If Two Classes Start Until Mid-Semester, Do I Get the Full Housing Allowance for the Entire Term?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: My question is if I am enrolled at a college full-time taking 12 credits, but 2 of my classes started on November 23rd and the other 2 start on December 19th, do I still get full BAH payment for November and December, since I only whet to school for 2 classes or do I get partial BAH, or since I am enrolled full-time for the semester do I get full BAH for the duration of the semester?

A: As I harp on quite frequently, you don’t get BAH – you get the Post 9/11 GI Bill Monthly Housing Allowance (MHA). I keep mentioning this because the two are so different and by referring to the wrong one just causes confusion among the readers. While the MHA is based on the BAH tables, that is where the similarity ends.

The Post 9/11 GI Bill MHA is based on three variables:
• the zip code of your school
• the number of credits you take
• the number of days you are in school
Because you are staying at the same school the only variables left are the number of credits and the number of days in the semester.

The other thing to know about the MHA is you only get paid for the number of credits you take at any one particular point in time (provided that you are taking the minimum number you need to qualify for the MHA in the first place). To qualify for any MHA, you have to take at least 51% of the number of credits your school considers to be full-time.

Assuming you are taking all three-credit classes, you would not qualify for any MHA from November 23rd until December 18th because you are only taking 50% of the number of credits your school considers to be full-time. On December 19th, you would get the full authorized MHA because you would be then classified as a full-time student.

The other thing to know is that you do not get paid MHA during breaks, so if your classes pause during the holidays, you would not get any MHA during that time.

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