Q: Hi, I'm currently enrolled full-time at the University of Alabama, and before I drop a course that could really hurt my GPA, I would like to know if I drop one course will that impact my BAH for the entire semester? I would also like to know why we receive partial BAH depending on the start of classes? The logic behind BAH is depending on the location you live in while in school, but most leases start the 1st of the month, so why doesn't BAH cover the full month of "move-in" and "move-out"?
A: First, we need to identify the difference between the BAH you were used to while on active duty, and the Post-9/11 GI Bill housing allowance. They are two different Army benefits with each having its own set of rules.
The Post-9/11 GI Bill Army benefits housing allowance pays everyone at the E-5-with-dependents rate and only for the days you actually attend classes. So, if your term starts on the 10th of the first month and ends on the 20th of the last month of your term, your first month's housing allowance will be 10 days short as will your last month's of the term. Because the housing allowance is based on a class schedule, it is not tied to a normal conventional housing rental agreement.
The other housing allowance anomaly is it is based on the zip code of your school and not on where you live. This can result in a considerable difference in money depending on where you live verses where you go to school.
Dropping a course could affect your housing allowance, if it puts you at a half-time or less rate of pursuit. If you remain over half-time after dropping the course, you get the same amount. However, if you do make a change to your enrollment, contact the VA immediately, so you don't get into a tuition/fees over-payment situation.