If I Fail a Class, What Will I Have to Pay Back?

Q: I am taking two classes under the Post 9/11 GI Bill (3 classes are considered full-time). I am in fear of failing one class. What will I have to repay to the VA?

A: Whether you have to pay anything of not depends on your reason for failing and whether your failure is coded as punitive or non-punitive. If the reason you failed was out of your control, such as a prolonged illness or temporary disability (car accident, etc.), then most likely you would not be required to pay anything back (punitive).

If it was within your control, such as you did not apply yourself so you could get a passing grade (non-punitive), then you may have to pay it back. It all depends on what information you send to the VA and how they interpret it. Be honest about why you are failing. You are dealing with a federal agency and you don’t want to get into a fraudulent claim issue.

As far as what you would have to pay back, most likely it would be the tuition the VA paid for the course, any fees that apply directly to that course such as lab fees, and your housing allowance. Under the Post 9/11 GI Bill rules, your rate of pursuit has to be greater than half-time, so you were OK taking two classes, which put you at 2/3rds. If you drop to one class, that will put you under half-time, which does not authorize you the housing allowance.

Can you get some tutoring on the one class, so you can at least pull a passing grade, even if it is a D?

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