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Is This a Good Use of My GI Bill Benefits?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: Hello, I’ve got kind of a tricky one for you. My question is if I take one 3-credit in-house class and one 3-credit distance class per semester along with one 3-credit year long distance class (total of 7.5 per Sem.), all within the same university, how will this work with BAH and class payments? Will the year long course cause my total of tuition paying days to be used up during the summer while I receive no BAH? Hope this isn’t too confusing. I just want to be as economical as possible with my benefit while working full time. Thanks for what you do here.

A: My question is do all the classes apply toward your degree plan? The VA will not pay classes that do not apply and reduce the number of credits you need to graduate.

To qualify for the Post 9/11 GI Bill housing allowance, you have to take at least one on-campus class and enough credits per term so that you stay at or above the greater-than-half-time mark. If your school considers 12 credits to be full-time, then you have to take at least seven credits to qualify. The housing allowance is not prorated, so regardless of how many credits you are taking, as long as you are above what your school considers to be half-time, you will get the same amount of housing allowance.

As far as your summer class, yes, you will be using up your days of entitlement and only getting your tuition and fees paid for in return (and book stipend unless you have already used up your $1,000 per year by that time). Because your class is online, and less credits than what is considered greater-than-half-time, you would not be authorized the Post 9/11 GI Bill housing allowance.

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