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Is It True the Post 9/11 GI Bill Will Not Pay Non-Resident Tuition?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: I joined the Navy from AZ but, was stationed in CA and it’s been 16 months since I got out. I still live in San Diego and want to go to school here but, was told that I can’t or I would have to pay the difference that the Post 9/11 GI Bill won’t cover as a non-resident. Is this true? And if so, what do I do?

A: Unfortunately, it is true. Under the Post 9/11 GI Bill rules, the VA can pay up to 100% of the resident tuition rate if you attend a public school, or up to $19,198.31 per year if you attend a private school (assuming you are at the 100% tier meaning you served at least three years on active duty).

So you would be responsible to pay the difference between the resident and non-resident tuition rate, unless you choose a school that is a Yellow Ribbon School.

If your school has a Yellow Ribbon agreement with the VA, then they can pay up to 50% of the difference with the VA paying an equal amount. So in theory, your whole difference in tuition could be wiped out. The things to ask your Yellow Ribbon school are:
• If your degree program is covered by their agreement; if they do not cover your major or the degree you are working towards, then being a Yellow Ribbon school would not help you.
• How much of a percentage do they pay; if it is less than 50%, then you would have some out-of-pocket costs left to pay.
• What is their maximum amount each student gets per year; this is good to know so you know how much you may end up having to pay if you exceed their per student maximum.
• How many students do they accept each year into their Yellow Ribbon Program; do you have a good chance at getting accepting into their program?

Choosing a Yellow Ribbon school could be your holy grail to not having to pay much out-of-pocket costs, even though you are charged non-resident tuition.

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