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Will I Get the Full Housing Allowance?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: I retired in October 2005 and want to take advantage of the Post 9/11 GI Bill. However, I will not be able to be a full-time student because I am employed full-time and will have to take night glasses. I want to pursue a degree in Bachelor of Science in Information Technology, or a training certificate towards Computer Information Tech. That said, does the Post 9/11 GI Bill cover night classes and/or Training Certificate? Will I be receiving the full BAH if I take one on-campus class and an online class (going towards degree or training certificate)?

A: The Post 9/11 GI Bill is geared toward those wanting to get a degree, so it generally does not pay for training leading to a certification. It will reimburse you one-time, up to $2,000, to take a certification test however.

As far as when you take your classes, it makes no difference. The determining factor, as to whether you get the housing allowance or not, will be how many credits you take per term.

To get the housing allowance, you need to be a greater-than-half-time student. So assuming your school considers 12 credits per term to be full-time, you would have to take at least 7 credits per term to get the housing allowance of which at least one class has to be on-campus; the rest can be through an online venue.

In your question, you referenced full BAH (housing allowance). Under the Post 9/11 GI Bill, for a full month of class you get the same housing allowance amount whether you take 7 credits or 12, so in essence either you get it or you don’t – it is not on a sliding scale dependent on the number of credits you take.

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