The new Post 9/11 GI Bill 2.0 changes are going to roll out tomorrow.
The changes are bringing a wave of financial distress to about 260,000 students who have had to look elsewhere for money because some of the changes will have an impact on the way they budget GI Bill BAH payments into their budgets. The new bill pays a BAH stipend based on the credit hours the student is attending. For instance at my college 9 credit hours is considered 75% time as a student, the VA rep says this number will be rounded up to 80% and I will receive 80% of the BAH of an E-5 with dependents.
The changes to the Post 9/11 GI Bill are not all bad and have been changed in a few areas that I wish were available 2 years ago, including the change that gives half of the national average of BAH to a student who is only attending school online. Students who want to take all classes through distance learning are now eligible for $673.50 per month for a Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) payment.
Changes also come in the form of good news for active duty students who can now receive a book and supplies stipend for using the benefit. Some more good news is that the state-by-state tuition cap has been eliminated and set at $17,500.00 nationwide.
Another bit of bad news about the bill changes is break pay or interval pay will go away as well. The VA is trying to get the message out to all veteran students, they claim, however they expect that complaints will still come between the fall 2011 semester and spring 2012 semesters when student wonder why they were not paid between semesters like they have been in the past. The goal of taking this interval pay away is an effort to save students money now for use towards more schooling later.
I have spoken to several students who would rather the benefit remain. A few even stating that it should be an option for the student to decide.
What are your thoughts on the new Post 9/11 GI Bill changes?