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Under the New GI Bill, What Is the Maximum Number of Credits I Can Take?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: I will begin school January next year and I’m really interested in the changes taking place in August. I plan to take as many credits per semester as I can handle and also attend summer school, is there a cap on the amount of credits I can take per semester? If I plan to complete my master’s degree and I’m still within my 36 month window, will the GI Bill cover expensive classes as well? Thank you in advanced for your help.

A: In regard to the number of credits you can take, there isn’t a cap. With the change, the VA says they will pay the resident actual costs for tuition and eligible fees at public schools. For private and foreign schools, they will pay up to $17,500 per year.

In the past, the Post 9/11 GI Bill covered programs up through a doctorate degree, but only paid up to the in-state amount for an undergraduate program at a public school in a specific state. I have not heard of a change to that policy, so I think the VA will pay actual per-credit tuition and eligible costs for a public school’s undergraduate program. While your master degree per-credit costs will exceed that amount, you may want to look into attending a school that has the Yellow Ribbon Program. That would help offset the amount left that you would have to pay. As time marches on, we will get more specific information on the changes happening in late summer, early fall.

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