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Will I Draw the Post 9/11 GI Bill Housing Stipend While as a Full-time Online Student?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: I am an Army civilian employee and intend to retire in May 2014. I did 37 years of active duty and retired as a CW5 in 2007. I do not have a BA, nor have I used any of my entitlements. I’m a Vietnam Vet as well as a GWOT vet. My question is that although I own my own home, will I still be able to draw the housing stipend while taking a full load at an online school working toward a BA? I should be entitled to the entire 36 months as I was on active duty for the period required by the New GI Bill.

A: Yes, retiring in 2007, you have more than the three years required to get 36 months of Post 9/11 GI Bill at the 100% tier. As far as whether you qualify for the housing stipend, that has nothing to do whether you own your own home, paying on a mortgage or renting. If you are going to school under the Post 9/11 GI Bill, you qualify for the housing allowance.

But with your case in point, the question is which housing allowance would you get? There are actually four types of housing allowances:
• attending school on campus
• attending classes online
• going to a foreign school
• attending school in one of the U.S. Territories

Because you indicated you would be attending classes online as a full-time student, you would qualify for the online-only rate of $714.50 per month. However, if you would take one class per semester on campus that you can credit to your degree plan, you could get almost twice as much in your monthly housing allowance. If you have a school campus located close to you, this might be worth investigating.

Then, your housing allowance would depend on the zip code of your school and the number of credits you are taking, and paid at the E-5 with dependents pay grade.

If you intend to live overseas or in one of the U.S. Territories, then your housing allowance would be fixed at the current rate of $1,429 per month or calculated based on the Oversea Housing Allowance table, respectively.

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