If I Go the Green-to-Gold Non-Scholarship Option, Can I Use the New GI Bill to Help Pay for School?

Q: I enlisted in 2006 and took the student loan repayment program/option. By summer 2009, the last payment was made to my account. If I go green-to-gold non-scholarship option for Fall 2010, can I use the new GI Bill to help pay for school?

A: Yes you can. Plus you can get paid a $350 per month stipend for up to 10 months a year. On top of that, you get paid to attend the ROTC Advanced Camp between your junior and senior years of college.

As far as what the Post 9/11 GI Bill pays, the VA pays your school directly for your tuition and eligible fees up to the maximum in-state, undergraduate, public school amount set by the VA. You get paid a monthly housing allowance calculated at the E-5-with-dependents rate for the zip code of your school. Depending on where you go to school, that can amount up to $2,700 per month. You also get paid a book stipend of $41.67 per credit up to 24 credits each academic year.

When you add up your Post 9/11 GI Bill housing allowance, book stipend and $350 per month stipend, that adds up to a nice tidy sum. With the VA paying most, if not all, of your tuition, it shouldn't cost you much, if anything, out of your own pocket.

Here is something else to consider. If your tuition costs are over what the VA pays, ask if your school is a Yellow Ribbon school.  If so, then your school can pay up to half of what the VA does not pay and the VA will pay an equal amount. This most likely will drop your costs to zero.

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