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Post 9-11 GI Bill and Part-time Education

Home > Ask the Guidance Counselor > G.I. > Post 9-11 GI Bill Part-time Education May Maximize Benefits

Question:
I want to attend school part-time on my GI Bill benefits--since I’m only attending part-time, am I eligible for benefits longer? I want to make sure I finish before my benefits expire.

Answer:
An excellent question. The post 9/11 GI bill was designed to encourage use. Congress was aware of the difficulties many past servicemembers encountered completing degrees on a full-time basis. When young Air Force, Marine, Navy or Army men and women return from military service, their mindset is not necessarily conducive to full-time college attendance. Yet, time is a factor in determining how likely a servicemember is to use GI Bill benefits. The longer GI Bill benefits go unused, the less likely a veteran is to use the benefit. Congress provided an option in the post 9-11 GI Bill.

Students attending part-time get credited that part-time portion of their monthly entitlement. No tuition benefits are lost. However, the really interesting information is that by attending on a half-time basis and taking slightly over the required courses for half-time, the student may be paid their cost plus any other entitlements that apply for example living allowance and book stipend. Their benefits will actually be credited at half their monthly entitlement. If a servicemember is unsure of their ability to work at the full time college level but committed to attending college, slightly more than half-time attendance is a great way to test the educational waters and to maximize GI Bill Benefits.

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