Around August 1st each year, changes happen to the Post 9/11 GI Bill. While most changes are minor, some changes can be major and are ones you should be aware of. Tuition and the monthly housing allowance changes for the 2013/2014 academic year started on August 1st.
The maximum tuition and eligible fee cap for foreign and private schools increased to $19,198.31 for the 2013/2014 academic year. This is a 6% increase from the 2012/2013 tuition cap of $18,077.50.
However, the cap remains the same (and will continue to do so through August 1, 2014) for students who have been enrolled since January 4, 2011 in the same programs at the same private schools in the states of:
- New Hampshire
- New York
- South Carolina
The public school rate remains unchanged in that the New GI Bill continues to pay up to 100% of the resident tuition and eligible fees rate for 100% Post 9/11 GI Bill tier students attending a school in their home states. Non-resident students may be eligible for the Yellow Ribbon Program to help pay tuition differences not paid by the VA.
Monthly Housing Allowance (MHA)
The Monthly Housing Allowance (MHA) is calculated based on:
- the BAH rate for the school’s zip code listed in the current military Basic Allowance for Housing table for an E-5 with dependents,
- multiplied by the student’s rate of pursuit percentage (the number of credits the student is taking verses the number of credits the school considers to be full-time),
- and the student’s Post 9/11 GI Bill tier percentage.
For this school year, the BAH table ranges from a low of $768 in Alpena, MI to a high of $3,258 in New York City, NY. While this rate change was actually implemented on January 1st for military personnel, it was not effective for Post 9/11 GI Bill students until August 1st. On average, this was about a 3.8% increase over last year’s rate.
As you know, New GI Bill students attending a foreign school are paid according to a different rate. That MHA rate increased to $1,429 from last year’s rate of $1,364.
Ironically, students attending schools in Territories of the United States are not paid under either BHA tables or the foreign rate, but instead are paid at the E-5 with dependents rate under the Overseas Housing Allowance (OHA) chart based on the school’s location. The OHA chart is reviewed every 6 months and is adjusted as necessary.
Finally, the last MHA change was for full-time online-only students. Their MHA rate increased to $714.50 per month from last year’s rate of $673.50.
When you receive your first MHA payment, you may or may not see a change from last year’s amount, depending on if your MHA base calculation rate changed or not.
Photo courtesy USAG-Humphreys