Colleges with the Highest GI Bill BAH Rates

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Highest GI Bill MHA Rates Across the US

Which cities have the highest GI Bill BAH rates 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 area of the country where the school is located.  That’s why we’ve come up with a list of cities and the 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 = $4,398
  • Santa Clara County, CA  BAH = $3,828
  • New York, NY BAH = $3,738
  • Oakland, CA BAH = $3,465
  • Long Island, NY BAH =  $3,738
  • Westchester County, NY BAH = $3,162
  • Nantucket, MA BAH = $3,021
  • Boston, MA BAH = $3,075
  • Marin/Sonoma, CA BAH = $3,012
  • Los Angeles, CA BAH = $2,997
  • Honolulu, HI BAH = $2,814
  • San Diego, CA BAH = $2,601
  • Seattle, WA BAH = $2,574
  • Camp Pendleton, CA BAH = $2,574
  • Monterey, CA BAH = $2,541
  • Juneau, AK BAH = $2,457

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 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

San Francisco State University

Golden Gate University-San Francisco

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 $4,289

Santa Clara University

San Jose State University

Mission College

West Valley College

Evergreen Valley College


New York, NY – BAH is $3,234

City College of New York

Metropolitan College of New York

Columbia University

Manhattan College

Brooklyn College

Oakland, CA – BAH is $3,243

Mills College

Merritt College

University of California – Berkeley

Laney College

Long Island, NY – $3,465

St. Joseph’s College

SUNY College at Old Westbury

Long Island University (LIU) Brentwood

Westchester County, NY $3,150

SUNY – Westchester Community College

Pace University – Westchester

Nantucket, MA – $3,024

Boston, MA – $3,024

Boston University

Boston College

University of Massachusetts – Boston

Northeastern University


Marin/Sonoma, CA – $3,234

College of Marin

Santa Rosa Junior College

California Maritime Academy


Los Angeles, CA – $3,114

University of Southern California (USC)

University of California Los Angeles (UCLA)

California State University – Los Angeles

Loyola Marymount University

Honolulu, HI – $2,913

Hawaii Pacific University

Honolulu Community College

University of Hawaii at Manoa



San Diego, CA – $2,850

San Diego State University

University of California San Diego (UCSD)

University of San Diego

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 (or MHA) 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 paygrade 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.