GI Bill Payment Dates and Rates

GI Bill Housing Payment

GI Bill payment rates are based on each school year. They will be sent from August 1st of one year to July 31st of the next.

GI Bill Housing Payment Dates

GI Bill housing payment dates usually occur at the beginning of each month. These are different than GI Bill payments which are sent directly to the school.

GI Bill housing payments are deposited into accounts at the beginning of each month but do not have exact dates and can vary. Sometimes there might be a delay in payments at first but should be consistent after the process starts.

RELATED: GI Bill BAH Rates

GI Bill Tuition Payment Rates

All of these payment and maximum amounts below are for those eligible for the full time benefit, which is 100%. If you are not eligible for the 100%, your amounts will be prorated based on your eligibility percentage.

The Maximum Tuition and Fee Reimbursement differs based on the type of school that you attend. Here is the breakdown:

Public School

Pays for all tuition and fee payments for an in-state student.

Private or Foreign School

Pays up to $25,162.14 (updated for 2020 – 2021) per academic year National Maximum.

You might be eligible for the Yellow Ribbon Program if you are attending a private institution of higher learning (IHL) that is more expensive than the annual cap.

You may qualify for in-state tuition rates if you live in the state where the school is located regardless of your formal state of residence.

RELATED: Yellow Ribbon Schools List

Non-College Degree Granting Institutions

Actual net costs for in-state tuition and fees not to exceed $25,162.14 during the academic year.

For public, private or foreign schools, and non-college degree granting institutions, you might also be eligible to receive a monthly housing allowance sent to you, a books and supplies stipend sent to you, and a one-time rural benefit for certain veterans.

Apprenticeship and On-the-Job Training Rates

Months of training:

  • 1st 6-months: 100% of your applicable MHA
  • 2nd 6-months: 80% of your applicable MHA
  • 3rd 6-months: 60% of your applicable MHA
  • 4th 6-months: 40% of your applicable MHA
  • Remaining pursuit of training: 20% of your applicable MHA

For an apprenticeship and on-the-job training, you may also be eligible to receive a books and supplies stipend sent to you.

  • Vocational Flight Schools: The actual net costs are not to exceed $13,526.81 per academic year. The cap applies to all classes and/or enrollments that begin during that academic year, regardless of the academic year in which the classes or enrollments are completed.
  • Correspondence Schools: The actual net costs are not to exceed $11,498.78 per academic year.

National Testing Programs/Licensing & Certification Tests: You can be reimbursed up to $2,000 per test. Your entitlement will be charged one month for every $1,972.66 paid to you rounded to the nearest non-zero whole month. This means even low-cost tests are charged one month of entitlement per test.

Full MHA Rates For Hybrid Classes

As of 2019, hybrid classes are now be eligible for the full MHA (Monthly Housing Allowance) rates for housing with your Post 9/11 GI Bill. This will apply for classes that started Aug 15th, 2019 or later. It is NOT retroactive.

While not for purely online classes, there are now some notable inclusion into the Hybrid Class category.

What Are Hybrid Classes?

These are classes where you spend some of the time in an actual classroom and some of the time online.

This includes classes that:

  • Require you to go to class once a week, with the remainder online
  • Require you to meet the first day of the term, and all midterms and finals in person, with the remainder online
  • Meet at the beginning of the term, and then the rest online
  • Allow students to voluntarily attend a classroom course one hour a week, as long as the student chooses the classroom option and doesn’t decide to stick with online-only teaching.

Note that if a class meets before the term, and never meets again, that class will not count.

Hybrid Classes Before The Change

Before this change, there were certain specific qualifications in order to receive the full amount of monthly housing allowance while taking hybrid classes. Otherwise, you would have only received the half payment specified by the VA for the Post 9/11 GI Bill. Before you could also only receive MHA if you are enrolled greater than half-time.

Distance Learning Defined

Distance learning includes web-based training, one-way, and two-way transmissions through:

  • an open broadcast
  • closed circuit
  • cable
  • microwave broadband lines
  • fiber optics
  • satellite
  • wireless communication devices
  • audio conferencing

If those are the only way your class is taught, you will not qualify for the full amount.

Monthly Housing Allowance

Your monthly allowance (MHA) is generally the same as the BAH Rates for an E-5 with dependents.

Your MHA is based on the zip code where the student attends the majority of their classes.

MHA rate increases based on BAH are effective August 1st of the new academic year.

If your MHA rates go up, you will see the difference the next academic year, not in January. If they go down, your MHA amount will not change unless you:

  • Change schools
  • Have more than a 6-month break in training

MHA Rate Exceptions

  • Foreign School: $1,833 (updated for 2020 – 2021)
  • Schools in US Territories: E-5 with dependents OHA Rate for school location
  • Exclusively Online Training (No Classroom Instruction): $916.50 (for 2020-2021 academic year). This MHA rate is ½ the national average BAH rate.

If you are attending classes at ½ time or less or are an active duty trainee (or transferee spouse of a service member), MHA is not payable.

It is important to remember that you do need to be at over half-time status in order to receive any GI Bill Housing Payment benefit. If you are above half-time credit hours but below full-time you would receive a prorated amount.

Credit Hour Tiers

  • 12 semester or quarter hours is considered full-time.
  • 9-11 hours is considered three-quarter time.
  • 6-8 hours is considered half-time.
  • 4-5 credit hours is considered less than half-time.

In the case of 4-5 credit hour, you would be paid at the nearest 10% level.

For example – If you took 7 credit hours, that would put you at 58%, and you would receive 60% of the MHA benefit. If you only took 6 units, that would be 50% and you would not qualify for the GI Bill Housing Benefit.

GI Bill Housing Payment Is Less Than I Thought

There could be a situation where the GI Bill Housing Payment is less than you thought it was supposed to be. The most common reason for this is because it was a prorated amount based on the amount of days in the month for which you were enrolled.

This typically applies when the term starts in August or in December.  This occurs because you would go to class for approximately half of the month.

Your check could also be off if an overpayment was deducted from your payment or you reduced your training time after you originally enrolled.

Books and Supplies Stipend

The yearly books and supplies stipend of up to $1,000.00 is paid proportionately based on enrollment. You would receive $500 a semester, if you are enrolled full-time. If you are enrolled for less than full-time, you would receive a portion of that $1,000.

You will be given the money at the beginning of the school year, which is different from GI Bill Housing Payments which are paid once a month.

Rural Benefit

There is a one time payment of $500 that may be payable to certain individuals relocating from highly rural areas. This applies in the case that they reside in a county with 6 persons or less per square mile.

This is determined by the most recent decennial census and either physically relocate at least 500 miles to attend an educational institution or travel by air to physically attend an educational institution if no other land-based transportation exists

Prorated Eligibility Amounts Based On Time In Service:

Times of service must be at least:

  • 36 months: 100%
  • 30 continuous days on active duty and must be discharged due to service-connected disability: 100%
  • 30 months, but less than 36 months: 90%
  • 24 months, but less than 30 months: 80%
  • 18 months, but less than 24 months: 70%
  • 12 months, but less than 18 months: 60%
  • 6 months, but less than 12 months: 50%
  • 90 days, but less than 06 months: 40%

These rates are for those who served on active duty after 9/10/2001 with an honorable discharge. These numbers will change on August 1st, 2020 because of the Forever GI Bill.

Where Do GI Bill Payments Get Sent?

The school or institution will receive the tuition and fees. Those using the GI Bill benefit will receive the money for books and supplies, monthly housing allowance, and any one-time rural benefit.

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About the author

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Julie Provost is a freelance writer, blogger, and owner of Soldier's Wife, Crazy Life, a support blog for military spouses. She lives in Tennessee with her National Guard husband and three boys.