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Highest BAH Rates for Cities and Colleges in the US

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Colleges and Cities with the Highest BAH Rates

Which cities have the highest GI Bill BAH rates in the US?  If you’re looking to go to school, you’ll want to know which colleges and universities have the highest BAH in the US. 

As a part of your Post-9/11 GI Bill benefit, you will receive a Monthly Housing Allowance. The Monthly Housing Allowance is equal to the Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) for an E-5 with dependents.

Your BAH (or MHA) depends on a lot of different factors, including the area of the country where the school is located. That’s why we’ve come up with a list of cities and colleges and universities with the highest BAH in the US.

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Cities with the Highest BAH Rates

You may know that San Francisco has the highest BAH in the country (the BAH for San Francisco is $4,329 per month).  But what other cities make the list?

Here is a partial list of the cities with the highest GI Bill BAH rates in the country. The figures show the BAH for an E-5 with dependents for these cities based on 2020/2021 school year rates.

  • San Francisco, CA BAH = $4,614
  • Santa Clara County, CA  BAH = $4,122
  • Long Island, NY BAH =  $3,465
  • Oakland, CA BAH = $3,243
  • Marin/Sonoma, CA BAH = $3,234
  • New York, NY BAH = $3,234
  • Westchester County, NY BAH = $3,150
  • Los Angeles, CA BAH = $3,114
  • Nantucket, MA BAH = $3,024
  • Boston, MA BAH = $3,024
  • Florida Keys, FL BAH = $2,976
  • Honolulu, HI BAH = $2,913
  • New Haven, CT BAH = $2,901
  • Northern New Jersey BAH = $2,853
  • San Diego, CA BAH = $2,850
  • Hanscom AFB BAH = $2,850

Do You Get Full BAH If You Attend Online Classes Exclusively?

You will receive BAH as a veteran attending online college, schools, or distance learning programs as a full-time student.

The current MHA or Post 9/11 GI Bill BAH rate for online schools is $916.50 for the 2020-2021 academic year (Aug 1, 2020 – Jul 31, 2021).

This is determined by taking half of the national BAH average. However, GI Bill payment rates may be increasing for some online courses, those that are considered hybrid.  Learn more here.

RELATED: Online Colleges for the Military

Now that we know which cities have the highest BAH, here’s the list of the schools with the highest BAH.

The Colleges and Universities With the Highest BAH Rates

Below each military housing area is a partial list of schools in that area.

San Francisco, CA – BAH is $4,614

Golden Gate University-San Francisco

San Francisco State University

University of San Francisco

College of San Mateo

City College of San Francisco

San Francisco Conservatory of Music

Skyline College

San Francisco Art Institute

Please go here for more detailed housing info for San Francisco

Santa Clara County, CA – BAH is $4,122

Santa Clara University

San Jose State University

Mission College

West Valley College

Evergreen Valley College


Long Island, NY – $3,465

St. Joseph’s College

SUNY College at Old Westbury

Long Island University (LIU) Brentwood


Oakland, CA – BAH is $3,243

Mills College

Merritt College

University of California – Berkeley

Laney College


Marin/Sonoma, CA – $3,234

College of Marin

Santa Rosa Junior College

California Maritime Academy


New York, NY – BAH is $3,234

City College of New York

Metropolitan College of New York

Columbia University

Manhattan College

Brooklyn College

Westchester County, NY $3,150

SUNY – Westchester Community College

Pace University – Westchester


Los Angeles, CA – $3,114

Biola University

University of Southern California (USC)

University of California Los Angeles (UCLA)

California State University – Los Angeles

Loyola Marymount University

Nantucket, MA – $3,024

Cape Cod Community College


Boston, MA – $3,024

Boston University

Boston College

University of Massachusetts – Boston

Northeastern University


Florida Keys, FL – $2,976

The College Of The Florida Keys

Florida International University

Barry University


Honolulu, HI – $2,913

Honolulu Community College

University of Hawaii at Manoa

Hawaii Pacific University


New Haven, CT – $2,901

Southern Connecticut State University

Albertus Magnus College


Northern New Jersey – $2,853

Bergen Community College


San Diego, CA – $2,850

San Diego State University

University of California San Diego (UCSD)

University of San Diego

Hanscom AFB – $2,850

Bentley University


Seattle, WA – $2,748

University of Washington – Seattle

Seattle University

Camp Pendleton, CA – BAH is $2,589

Palomar College

Monterey, CA – BAH is $2,508

Monterey Peninsula College

California State University – Monterey Bay

Juneau, AK – $2,454

University of Alaska – Southeast

How is BAH Determined For The Post-9/11 GI Bill?

The calculation for BAH depends on a few factors including:

  • zip code of the school (military housing area)
  • your GI Bill eligibility
  • if you are a full-time or part-time student 
  • equal to pay grade of E-5 with dependents

As BAH is partially determined where the school is located, it is important to know the city that the school is in.

Read on for more information about each of the 8 Colleges and Universities with the Highest BAH rates in the country.

San Francisco State University

A lot happens on this bustling urban campus of 30,000 students. San Francisco State is a student-centered university, providing many support services from child care to disability assistance. The University offers a range of cultural and performing arts events throughout the year, as well as athletic events, lectures, and workshops. And once you’re enrolled as a student on campus, be sure to check out SF State’s career planning resources to help you get that great job after graduation. 

Golden Gate University-San Francisco

Golden Gate University programs are catered to the needs of professionals entering or advancing their careers. We offer flexible scheduling as well as personalized academic and career advising to help you craft your own academic experience.

University of San Francisco – BAH: $4,149

At the University of San Francisco, you have access to the ultimate extended classroom: San Francisco with its many opportunities and advantages. Here, our 21st-century mission to fashion a more humane and just world is rooted in Jesuit values, comes alive in our diverse learning community, and is broadened by our global orientation. Here you will be challenged to reach higher standards and to use your education to promote justice and serve the common good.  

College of San Mateo

College of San Mateo is located at the northern corridor of Silicon Valley and situated on a 153-acre site in the San Mateo hills that provides a panoramic view of San Francisco Bay. Since 1922, CSM has been a gateway to higher education leading to university transfer, career preparation and advancement, and professional and personal development. The College currently serves approximately 10,000 day, evening, and weekend students. CSM students reflect the diversity of the Bay Area and have a range of educational goals. To best serve our students, the curriculum offers a wealth of programs that include traditional, semester-length, and short courses in addition to distance education.

City College of San Francisco

City College of San Francisco (CCSF) is a public, two-year community college accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Community & Junior Colleges of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. Since its founding in 1935, City College has evolved into a multicultural, multi-campus community college that is one of the largest in the country. CCSF offers courses in more than 50 academic programs and over 100 occupational disciplines. There is a full range of credit courses leading to the Associate of Arts and Science degrees, most of which meet the general education requirements for transfer to four-year colleges and universities.

San Francisco Conservatory of Music

As a professional school, we are committed to providing an extraordinary education that prepares our graduates to pursue fully engaged lives as citizens of the world.

Our core mission is to transform our students: artistically, intellectually, professionally and individually. We believe that inspiring the imagination, cultivating the artist, honing the intellect, and developing the professional are the keys to launching innovative graduates who excel in any field.

Skyline College

Start on the road to a four-year degree. Earn an associates’s degree. Get specialized skills to prepare you for a rewarding career. Develop new job skills. Graduates include journalists, mathematicians, scientists, educators, and more. Our students regularly transfer to Berkeley, Stanford, UCLA, and other top universities. Others learn the skills they need to make better lives for themselves and their families. The diversity on our campus creates an environment rich in culture and opportunity. Ideas are warmly embraced. Skyline College is located on 111 acres just west of Skyline College Boulevard in San Bruno. It is conveniently available to residents of South San Francisco, Daly City, Colma, Brisbane, San Bruno, and Pacifica.

San Francisco Art Institute

The San Francisco Art Institute Founded in 1871.  This makes it one of the nation̠s oldest and most prestigious schools of higher education in contemporary art.