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Why Doesn’t the Post 9/11 GI Bill Pay for College Classes Online?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: Hello, A few years ago I switched to the Post 9/11 GI Bill when it became available. At the time, I was unemployed and attending school full time. I was then offered a position with a company and could not pass it up…but my work schedule does not allow me to attend school at campus. I am very close to finishing college and would love to take online classes, but was told the Post 9/11 GI Bill does not support that. I was also told I could not switch back to the old GI Bill that does. Is there anything I can do to get a chance to use my remaining benefits?

A: Whoever told you the Post 9/11 GI Bill does not pay for online courses did not know what they were talking about. When the New GI Bill was first implemented in 2009, it would not pay a housing allowance to those who attended online-only classes, but it would still pay the tuition and the book stipend.

Then last year when the GI Bill 2.0 legislation was implemented, it started to pay up to about half of what students who attended classes on campus received. Under the latest update on October 1st, full-time online-only students get $684 per month in housing allowance money.

You would also receive up to $41.67 per credit each semester in book stipend money (up to the $1,000 per year annual limit), which is enough for about two 12-credit semesters per academic year.

If you end up attending only part-time, then you would get an adjusted amount based on your rate of pursuit. To get the housing allowance, just be sure you are taking at least 51% of the number of credits your school considers to be full-time. At 50% or less, you would not get the housing allowance.

What you were told about not being able to switch back to the old Montgomery GI Bill after switching to the Post 9/11 GI Bill is true. That is one-way street and after you switch, there is no turning back.

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