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What is the Post 9/11 GI Bill Monthly Housing Allowance If I Decide to Study in Australia?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: Hello, I am currently still serving as Active Duty in the United States Army. I am currently on a tour of duty in Afghanistan and I’ve been looking into how best to use my G.I. Bill. I’m not quite sure which version I have, but I enlisted in 2008. I am married with one child and one on the way. I am interested in obtaining a degree or certification as a Performance Automotive Technician. At first, my choice was attending UTI in Orlando, FL in order to take advantage of the extra electives they have there so I can get out with a broad spectrum of all engine types. However, both the wife and I would love to study abroad and live in Australia. My question is, would my G.I. Bill cover either decision I make? I do not see UTI on the VA list, but their brochure, website and representative assures me they accept it and offer multiple military benefits. On the other hand, if I decide to move to Australia and study there, will I be entitled to less of my G.I. Bill? I’m sure I’ll have to pay for both my family and I to travel there, but what of the BAH rate? Will I still be receiving the same as a single E5 soldier I believe it is? Are there any other benefits to studying abroad as opposed to studying within the states? Thanks in advance.

A: If you end up moving to and studying in Australia, you would be eligible for the foreign student Post 9/11 GI Bill monthly housing rate which right now is a fixed $1,368 per month. As far as tuition, you would be limited to an annual amount up to $17,500 per year, if you attended full-time.

However, if you studied here in the States, the amount of your tuition paid to attend a private school would be the same. But, if you decide to attend a public school, it would be paid in full at the resident undergraduate rate. Regardless of where you study, you would also be eligible for the book stipend calculated at $41.67 per credit (up to the annual $1,000 limit). If you attend a school that does not use a credit-based system, such as many of the vocational/technical schools, then you would get up to $83 per month in book stipend money.

If you think UTI is where you want to go, I would first contact the VA to make sure they are in fact a GI Bill school. I too looked at the Weam’s school search and they are not listed as being a VA-approved school in FL. However, with that said, I saw one of the videos on their website where a student said he used his Post 9/11 GI Bill to go to school there, and I did find some information referencing the Yellow Ribbon Program and being VA approved under Military Friendly Schools/Financial Benefits and also under Academics, but I could not find any information directly of them accepting the GI Bill unless I missed it. Ask questions just to be sure they do accept the GI Bill before you enroll.

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