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When Can I Expect to See My Housing and Book Stipends?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: I got my award letter for the Post 9/11 GI Bill prior to signing up for school. My full time classes started September 13th. When will I get my housing allowance and when will I get my book allowance. Thanks!

A: It takes about 8 to 10 weeks to process a new Post 9/11 GI Bill application, so I would not expect you to see any money before the middle to the end of November. Once you start getting paid, your money will come on a monthly recurring schedule, although you will always be a month behind in getting paid. When you start a new term, you should see your book stipend toward the beginning of the month after you start school with your housing allowance either coming with or following shortly after your book stipend.

Because a lot of new students start school for the fall term, the VA gets swamped with applications, so it could even take longer that the time frame I mentioned earlier. Because you never know when you will get paid when using the GI Bill, I always recommend students have at least a semester, or whatever the term period your school uses, in reserve, so you can pay your bills up front and then use your GI Bill money to replenish your funds in your account.

I see too many students thinking the GI Bill will pay everything up front and it doesn’t work that way. Students don’t have sufficient capital when they start school and they are soon in financial trouble before they even finish their first term.

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