This website is not affiliated with the U.S. government or military.

What Is the Best Way to Maximize My Post 9/11 GI Bill Benefits While In the PHS?

Q: I am currently active duty in the Public Health Service. I want to enroll in an online post-graduate program and remain active. Everything I read says to not use the Bill while active, but I don’t think the PHS has tuition assistance. What would be the best way to approach maximizing my benefits? Also, I am not clear on the 36-month allotment. Hypothetically, does this mean I can go to school half-time for 8 years, even if there is a 2-year gap in there somewhere? Thanks for the help!

A: I don’t know that using your Post 9/11 GI Bill while on active duty is a “bad” thing; it is just that you would not maximize your GI Bill benefits by doing so. The difference is the Monthly Housing Allowance (MHA).

Active duty members drawing BAH are not authorized to also get the MHA. Being you are taking classes online, this amounts to $714.50 per month that you would not receive. If you were taking classes on campus, you would be losing over twice that amount.

But on the other hand, the VA would pay your tuition directly to your school and you would get the book stipend. If you are at the 100% tier, meaning you have three or more years of eligible time, then your tuition would be paid in full at the resident rate at a public school or up to $19,198.31 per year at a private school. The book stipend calculates out at $41.67 per credit with a $1,000 yearly maximum.

If your primary goal is to get your post-graduate degree before you get out of public service, then this is a great way to do it. If your goal is to make as much as you can from your Post 9/11 GI Bill, then you would be better off working on your advanced degree after getting out of public service.

As far as entitlement use, you use one day of entitlement for each day in school. So yes you could go to school half-time for up to 8 years. and you can start and stop your Post 9/11 GI Bill use at will up to 15-years after your discharge from the PHS.

Privacy Policy | About Us | FAQ | Terms of Service | Disclaimers | Do Not Sell My Personal Information (CA and NV residents)

Copyright © 2023 EducationDynamics. All Rights Reserved.

This is a private website that is not affiliated with the U.S. government, U.S. Armed Forces or Department of Veteran Affairs. U.S. government agencies have not reviewed this information. This site is not connected with any government agency. If you would like to find more information about benefits offered by the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, please visit the official U.S. government web site for veterans’ benefits at

The sponsored schools featured on this site do not include all schools that accept GI Bill® funding or VA Benefits. To contact ArmyStudyGuide, email us.

Disclosure: EducationDynamics receives compensation for the featured schools on our websites (see “Sponsored Schools” or “Sponsored Listings” or “Sponsored Results”). So what does this mean for you? Compensation may impact where the Sponsored Schools appear on our websites, including whether they appear as a match through our education matching services tool, the order in which they appear in a listing, and/or their ranking. Our websites do not provide, nor are they intended to provide, a comprehensive list of all schools (a) in the United States (b) located in a specific geographic area or (c) that offer a particular program of study. By providing information or agreeing to be contacted by a Sponsored School, you are in no way obligated to apply to or enroll with the school.

This is an offer for educational opportunities that may lead to employment and not an offer for nor a guarantee of employment. Students should consult with a representative from the school they select to learn more about career opportunities in that field. Program outcomes vary according to each institution’s specific program curriculum. Financial aid may be available to those who qualify. The financial aid information on this site is for informational and research purposes only and is not an assurance of financial aid.

VFW $30,000 Scholarship!
Write an essay on the annual patriotic theme. This year’s theme is, “Why Is The Veteran Important?”