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Will My Post 9/11 GI Bill Pay for All of My P.A. Schooling?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: I am a combat medic in the active Army. I wish to get out in about a year and will have done 4 years with an honorable discharge, unless I off a general or something crazy. My plan of action is to get my PA which is roughly 5-6 years of schooling. I am told the Post 9/11 GI Bill will cover it ALL! With the squirrel of a military we got, that sounds too slippery to hold on to the assured thought of such. Please, lift my face from this mud puddle and point me in the right direction.

A: If we just look at purely the Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits, you would only have 36 months of benefits, enough for four 9-month academic years. However, because you are staying in the same field as you were in the military, you should be able to pick up some college credits from your medic training and experience.

To start the credit transfer process, you will need to request a transcript of your military service. Your Basic, AIT and other specific medic training can all count for something along with your MOSs that you have held.

Once your school has a copy of your transcript, it would evaluate the information on it against the ACE document that all colleges have to come up with a number of credits that will apply to your degree plan. They may also have a maximum number of credits you can transfer in. However, whatever you get will reduce the number of credits you would need to graduate.

Another thing you might want to look into is getting some credits through DANTES. You can take CLEP, DSST or ESE tests and if you pass, you get the credit for the class without having to sit through it. The tests are free to to by military members; not doing so is like throwing away free credits.

So between DANTES and your transcript, you just may have enough Post 9/11 GI Bill entitlement to get your PA degree or at least a good chunk of it.

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