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Is It True I Can’t Have an Education Plan in Another State for GI Bill Purposes?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: I plan on attending a pharmacy school in Texas. I am currently in community college in California. The officials say I cannot have an “education plan” that is for another state. They told me I must make a degree plan for a school in California. The problem is that they require different classes. Now the GI Bill will not pay for my actual required classes? Can you please help direct me to where this is written in law? Thank you.

A: I can’t tell you where it is written in law, but what the officials told you about your degree plan is true. You can’t be enrolled in a school in Texas with a degree plan on file with the VA for a school in California.

But you could do this – enroll in your school in Texas as your primary school. That would be the degree plan the VA would have on file. The problem is if you are not a resident of Texas, then you would end up paying out-state tuition which is much more expensive.

Then you could work out with your primary school – the school issuing your degree, which classes you want to take (and that are creditable to your Texas school degree plan) at your community college in California – your secondary school. Once finished with classes at your secondary school, they would send a transcript of your credits to your primary school and which in turn would credit your degree plan.

There should be some common core classes at your community college in California that are on your Texas school degree plan. However be aware that if you take classes not creditable to your degree plan on file, the VA would not pay for them.

Remember what I said about out-state tuition? If you are using the Post 9/11 GI Bill, ask if your Texas school is a Yellow Ribbon school. If so, the Yellow Ribbon feature could help you with the tuition that the VA would not pay as they pay only up to the in-state rate. If you are using the Montgomery GI Bill, then it is a moot point.

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