Undergraduate and Graduate Degrees

If you would like to earn an undergraduate or graduate degree at an institution of higher learning, including four-year universities, community colleges, and schools offering advanced degrees, VA education and training benefits may be available to you.

The number of classes you attend and the accompanying hours spent in those classes determine your payments.

For example, for most undergraduate degrees, a college considers:

  • 12 or more hours full time
  • 9-11 hours three-quarter time
  • 6-8 hours half time
  • Less than six hours as reimbursable at a rate that’s no more than the tuition and fees charged for the course(s)

If you are interested in graduate-level training, the school determines how each hour is rated. For example, if a two-hour class is considered full time in a graduate program at your school, VA will pay you the full-time rate.

You can attend more than one college at a time under the GI Bill as long as the classes at both institutions count toward your degree, and the school granting your degree accepts the classes at the second school as part of your requirements. However, the GI Bill will not pay you to take the same class twice, unless you receive a failing grade in a class that is a graduation requirement.

The GI Bill can pay you for the classes required to achieve more than one degree. Once you earn a degree, you could pursue another one if you have remaining entitlement on your GI Bill.

VA issues payments after each month’s classes. For example, you receive the November payment in December. For the Post-9/11 GI Bill, the tuition and fees are paid directly to the school, the book stipend is paid to you at the beginning of the term, and the housing allowance is paid to you at the end of each month.