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With the Total Cost at $34,553, Is It Possible My Post 9/11 GI Bill Will Pay the Whole Cost?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: I plan on taking 2 certificate classes each five quarters in length. The total cost $15,295. I also want to attend a Maritime welding school 15 weeks cost $19,257. The total cost is $34,553, is it possible that my 9-11 G.I Bill will pay the total cost?

A: With a quarter being about 10 weeks in length, your 2 certificate classes would use up close to 25 of your 36 months of Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits leaving you with about 11 week left – not enough to complete your 15-week welding course. That calculation is assuming your certificate courses are considered full-time. If they are not, then you would end up using less than 25 weeks and you may indeed have enough left to complete your Maritime welding course.

Determining if your certificate courses are full-time or not requires knowing what your school uses to measure full-time status – something I can’t do from the information in your question, but information you can obtain by asking them.

The other thing to watch out for is to make sure your school(s) is (are) VA-approved. Otherwise, your GI Bill wouldn’t pay for your courses. You can use the Weam’s School Search website to check out your school.

Under the Post 9/11 GI Bill, the cost of your courses is really irrelevant because that GI Bill does not have a maximum amount as does the Montgomery GI Bill – Active Duty (MGIB-AD). Under the MGIB-AD, the most you could get out of it would be $56,304 ($1,564 per month for 36 months).

If you attend a public school under the Post 9/11 GI Bill, the VA would pay up to 100% of your resident undergraduate tuition directly to your school. Go to a private school, they would pay up to $18,077.50 per year in tuition costs. Public or private, you would still get the housing allowance and a book stipend.

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