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Which Takes Precedence, a Full Tuition Scholarship or the Post-9/11 GI Bill?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: Hi, which takes precedence, a full tuition scholarship or the Post-9/11 GI Bill? Can a school reduce a scholarship in order to collect from the VA?

A: A full-tuition scholarship takes precedence. What a lot of people do not know is the VA is the last payer, so if you have a full scholarship dedicated to paying your tuition, your Post 9/11 GI Bill would only pay you the housing allowance and book stipend.

However, if your scholarship is not dedicated to paying tuition, the VA would pay your tuition and you get the housing allowance, book stipend and the scholarship money. So with the Post 9/11 GI Bill, depends on which type of scholarship you have.

If you get a non-dedicated scholarship from your school, make sure they know you are a GI Bill student and that they not apply the money toward tuition. Instead, they should give you the money.

To answer your second question, no a school can’t blatantly reduce your scholarship with the intent to get more money from the VA. Most schools would not risk getting caught doing that. If caught, they could lose their VA-approved status. However with that said, there are certain ways I suppose they could discreetly do it and get away with it. So while I won’t say it can’t be done, I think most schools would not risk it.

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