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Would a Community College Class Work to Fulfill the Need to Qualify for the Post 9/11 GI Bill Housing Allowance?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: I am currently attending an online school with no ground campus, while on active duty. I understand that I will only receive half of the national average (about $600), if I elect to only attempt online classes when I ETS. While talking with a VA Rep, however, I found out that I only have to attend one brick and mortar class (along with my online classes) to receive the full payment of BAH. She said that it just had to go towards my degree. Would a community college work to fulfill that need if it went towards my core ed (Math, English, Electives, etc.) or would the fact that I already possess an associate’s degree stop me from attending a community college?

A: Just because you already have an associate’s degree, that would not stop you from attending a community college to pick up classes that you need for your four-year degree plan. What wouldn’t work is if you wanted to get another associate’s degree.

What your VA representative told you is true. Once you are out, all you need to do to get the full Post 9/11 GI Bill housing allowance is to take one class per semester on campus that applies to your degree plan. That is the key – your on campus classes have to apply to your degree plan. If they don’t, then the VA would not pay for the course(s) nor would the credits for those courses apply towards the number of credits you need to get the housing allowance.

The best way to take on campus courses is to have your online college – called the primary school and the one that will be issuing your degree – send a letter to your secondary college – the college where you will take your on campus classes – to inform them of the classes you will be taking from them. When you are finished taking classes, the secondary school will put the credits on a transcript so your primary school can apply those credits to your degree plan.

Not only does doing it this way get you closer to your degree sooner, it would also allow you to get more housing allowance money.

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