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Calgunners in Service This forum is a place for our active duty and deployed members to share, request and have a bit of home where ever they are.

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  #1  
Old 07-26-2014, 7:44 AM
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Default GI Bill question - how many classes per semester

What are the minimum amount of classes I need to take to get the full GI Bill benefits each month? I can't seem to find the details on the web site.

I don't have kids right now, so I won't be able to transfer any of it to anyone. It will just evaporate if I personally don't use it, 36 months of San Fran located E5 BAH is a lot of money to walk away from.

I'm faced with being a bum going to any college to collect the BAH, but lose out on earning real money. Or earning real money at a real job walking away from the GI Bill I can't transfer to anyone.

Ideally I'd like to be able to work at a real job and be able to pull off enough school to collect the GI bill.
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Old 07-26-2014, 7:48 AM
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It sounds like your goal is get the financial compensation of the GI bill rather than getting a quality education.
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Old 07-26-2014, 8:32 AM
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Originally Posted by AAShooter View Post
It sounds like your goal is get the financial compensation of the GI bill rather than getting a quality education.
Yep, that's exactly what I'm trying to do.

I'm 41. I have 1 Master's 2 Bachelor's and 2 Associates, a Police Academy graduate, and hold the CFA designation. I joined with all of these already in hand (oh except one of the AA degrees, I got college credit for doing AIT, and I submitted the paperwork and $50 with my already existing GE credits and got an AA in Intelligence Studies without any extra effort).

Academically I'm done. I don't care. I see this as income I've earned, but have to jump through another hoop to collect it.

I can totally see the "I'm a selfish lazy jerk" argument, and am wasting a benefit some other kid could have benefited from.

However, were that that case I wouldn't have been able to join when the age limit was 42 if enough young kids were knocking on recruiter's doors.

I would love to use it for a pilot's license, but once again there are limits, and it can only be applied towards a commercial license (which is impractical for me).

The best outcome would be me working in the financial sector at $90K+ again, and collecting the additional $36K a year in GI Bill BAH doing minimal academic effort.
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Last edited by Snoopy47; 07-26-2014 at 8:44 AM..
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Old 07-26-2014, 8:43 AM
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Makes sense to me. Sounds like you have a pretty solid perspective on things. I wish I had more answers for you. Thank you for your service.
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Old 07-26-2014, 10:55 AM
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Not sure if this answers you question:

http://www.armystudyguide.com/educat...e-tuition.html
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  #6  
Old 07-26-2014, 10:59 AM
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You have to go full time to collect full BAH. I did an online course and one course at the local city college to get my full time status with San Diego BAH.
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Old 07-26-2014, 9:16 PM
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Yes Unit74 is correct you have to go full time for full BAH. The definition of full time can vary depending of the school is on the semester or quarter system. For the school I work at its 12 units and the lowest number of units you can take and still get a paycheck (although smaller) is 7 units Chapter 31 pays down to 6. One thing you have to watch out for is make sure you at least have one day a week you are physically on campus, in other words do not just take online courses and if you do make sure they have a lab, or some other co requisite where you have to be on campus. If you do not set foot on the campus you will not be receiving the BAH for your schools zipcode, you will receive the nation average of BAH which is something like $1400. If you are in doubt call your certifying official at your school.
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Last edited by laabstract; 07-28-2014 at 9:52 AM..
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Old 07-27-2014, 6:07 AM
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Do what I did and you should be golden for least amount of work. Most on lines are compressed 5 week courses, so they call it full time. The local class is to get the local BAH rate.
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Old 07-27-2014, 7:34 AM
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Yes, something to consider is the shorter, fast track or summer classes, are worth more for BAH. Example: I go to Palomar community college, an 8 week fast track class that is 4 units is worth 8 to the VA... so two of those and I am over full time.
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Old 07-27-2014, 8:31 AM
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Each school you're considering should have a Veterans Affairs office. Ask them the same questions and go from there. Whether or not you get full BAH depends on full time status, and that depends on how each school does things.

Example:I'm taking an online class through the summer here and have pro rated BAH even though the only part I submit in person is the test.
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Old 07-28-2014, 12:28 AM
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As some folks have said above, you must be full time to get full BAH benefits. For most Undergrad programs this is 12 hours a semester, but as you know, having a Masters, many graduate programs you are considered full time at 9 hours a semester, so adding a second Masters might be a way to go (if you feel like doing graduate level coursework again... mine was a beast) one thing you might want to pay attention to, though, is the tuition. When I got my MBA on the GI Bill it didn't pay for the whole tuition (grad school tuition, plus "professional course" extras, etc.) so I was out of pocket a couple grand each semester. I got the full BAH though and an MBA nearly completely paid for, so I don't feel too shortchanged.
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Old 07-28-2014, 2:32 AM
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At my school, full time is considered 12 credit hours.

Roughly 4 normal classes. Language classes are sometimes 5 credits at my school though.

But all schools have different definition of full time, so make sure you meet your requirements.

Your school certifying veterans counselor will let you know if you are full time or not.
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Old 07-28-2014, 8:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmsenk View Post
When I got my MBA on the GI Bill it didn't pay for the whole tuition (grad school tuition, plus "professional course" extras, etc.) so I was out of pocket a couple grand each semester. I got the full BAH though and an MBA nearly completely paid for, so I don't feel too shortchanged.
Did you go to a private school? My understanding is if you go to a State school tuition is covered 100%, or was it because you went to Grad school that the cap is lower on tuition payments?

Realistically it's looking like I wont be able to suck up that BAH. The most productive route would be a second Master's in Admin. of Justice (at San Jose State), but I wont be able to take enough courses to make full time while keeping down a legit job.

Most employers I might work for offer tuition assistance for continuing education (usually $4K-$5K a year) and that would essentially cover a 1 class at a time progression towards the second Master's anyway. Either way, I'm indifferent as to who pays for it as long as it's not coming out of my pocket.

If I just wanted to bum around and go to school that would be fine. I could totally just chill in life as a student for another 36 months, but then I'm living on and spending the BAH.

In the end, I just need to move forward in life. I'll have 15 years to use it from when I get out. So maybe it's best I keep it in reserve as a potential source of funding if unemployed for an extended period of time.
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Old 07-28-2014, 9:56 AM
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Private schools you will have to come out of pocket in most cases. GI Bill caps out at something like $19,500 a semester so if your school cost is more than this you can be out of pocket. One other thing you can look at is the Chapter 31 program or Vocational Rehab, it covers the whole enchilada but you need to have a service connected disability ratting of 30% or more, but some times this number varies. But in your case I dont think this would help much seeing as your multiple degrees should make you pretty marketable and competitive in the job market.
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Old 07-29-2014, 11:20 AM
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I take two classes per session but it is considered full time since it's an accelerated private college.
A standard college would be 12 units or equivalent. I'm not sure how it works with trade school but I'd like to know as I'm thinking about dropping out of college and going to trade school.
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Old 07-30-2014, 5:59 AM
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It doesnt have to be just college. I used mine while in an Apprentice program, I got paid for all 3 years, they only give u a % depending On what u make, it wasn't much but better than nothing. Don't feel bad at all, you paid into it use it to the fullest potential.
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Old 07-30-2014, 6:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snoopy47 View Post
I would love to use it for a pilot's license, but once again there are limits, and it can only be applied towards a commercial license (which is impractical for me).
For the sake of discussion... why would you not use it for a commercial pilot certification if the GI Bill covers it? You may only need Private Pilot, but why say no to extra training in instruments, multi-engine, etc? It would be like turning down a fully-funded 2 week combat weapons & tactics course because all you need is a CCW pistol course.
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Old 07-30-2014, 8:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cpl. Haas View Post
For the sake of discussion... why would you not use it for a commercial pilot certification if the GI Bill covers it? You may only need Private Pilot, but why say no to extra training in instruments, multi-engine, etc? It would be like turning down a fully-funded 2 week combat weapons & tactics course because all you need is a CCW pistol course.
I assumed I would have to get my single engine private license on my own before I could pursue a commercial path. If I'm wrong then it might be something to look into.
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Old 07-30-2014, 9:13 AM
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Quote:
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I assumed I would have to get my single engine private license on my own before I could pursue a commercial path. If I'm wrong then it might be something to look into.
I haven't looked into it myself, so you may be right... but I was under the impression it's a training pipeline: Private-Instrument-Multi-Instructor-Commercial-Commercial Instructor. Some may only offer commercial, but I know some are off-the-street programs.
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Old 08-04-2014, 1:44 AM
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Quote:
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I assumed I would have to get my single engine private license on my own before I could pursue a commercial path. If I'm wrong then it might be something to look into.
Many schools may have an AA in aviation that has classes to get your pilots license.

If you are > than 20% disabled, you could expend your GI bill and then apply for vocational rehabilitation to complete the entire commercial license.
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Old 08-17-2014, 2:18 PM
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As far as normal classes (you got your AA from AMU) four classes/ 12 semester hours/credits. That qualifies you as a full time student for the GI Bill

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