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Would the Post 9/11 GI Bill Help Me Attend Law School at a Private School?

Q: I have received a full tuition scholarship to attend law school this coming year in New York. Tuition at the school is $47,800. How would the GI Bill help me in this situation? Would it get sent to me or the school? I still need money for housing, books… Also, do you know approximately how much I would be receiving? It’s a little confusing because it is a private New York school. Thanks in advance for your help.

A: It depends on which GI Bill you are talking about. If you plan on using the Montgomery GI Bill, then you could expect to get up to $1,473 per month. That payment would come to you either in the form of a check or Direct Deposit depending on how you have it set up. You could use that money as you wish.

If you are talking about using the Post 9/11 GI Bill, then all you would get is the housing allowance and book stipend, but that money would come to you also. The book stipend would be calculated at $41.67 per credit with a $1,000 per year cap. For 12 credits per semester, this is enough for two semesters per school year.

As far as your housing allowance, it is based on the zip code of your school and the number of credits you are taking. For example a full-time student going to school in New York City would get $2,835 per month. That same student going to school in Rochester, NY would only get $1,344 per month. So because I don’t know exactly where you will go to school, I can’t tell you how much you would get.

What many people don’t know is the VA is the last payer as far as tuition is concerned. So because you are on a full scholarship, the VA would not pay anything toward your tuition, because there is nothing left to pay once your scholarship pays for your tuition.

In the end, they are your GI Bill benefits and if you want to spend them and only get back in return your housing allowance and book stipend, then that is your choice. It would provide however what you need – money for housing and books.

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