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Undergraduate and graduate degrees

Find out if you can use GI Bill benefits for college as a Veteran, service member, or qualified dependent. Learn about payment rates for undergraduate and graduate degree courses at institutions of higher learning—like a 4-year university, community college, or graduate school.

How do you decide what my payments will be?

We decide your payment amounts based on the number of classes you go to and the hours spent in those classes. For example, for most undergraduate degrees, a college considers:

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

How much does VA cover for graduate-level programs?

The school decides how to rate each hour. For example, if a graduate program at your school considers a 2-hour class full time, we’ll pay you the full-time rate.

Can I take classes at more than one school at a time?

You can take classes at more than one school under the GI Bill as long as:

  • The classes at both schools count toward your degree, and
  • The school granting your degree considers the classes at the second school to be required in order to get your degree

Note: The GI Bill won’t pay you to take the same class twice unless you get a failing grade in a class that the school requires for graduation.

Can I use the GI Bill to pay for classes toward more than one degree?

Yes. After earning your first degree, you can use any GI Bill benefits you have left over to pay for classes for another degree.

Can I use my VA education benefits to pay for preparatory courses?

Yes. You can use your VA education benefits to pay for courses that help you prepare for admissions tests required for college or graduate school. These “prep courses” help you prepare for tests like the SAT, the ACT, and others.

First, contact your state approving agency and ask them to approve your prep course. The National Association of State Approving Agencies (NASAA) has a list of contacts by state.

Find your state approving agency on the NASAA website

Then, after you sign up for the prep course, ask the certifying official at the school or other educational program provider to submit an enrollment certification to us. If the prep course is at a school, you can usually find the school certifying official in the registrar’s or financial aid office.

Note: You must have already applied and been approved for benefits through the Post-9/11 GI Bill, the Montgomery GI Bill, or Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance.

Find out how to apply for VA education benefits

How does VA make the payments?

We issue payments after each month’s classes. For example, you’ll get the payment for November classes in December.

For the Post-9/11 GI Bill, we pay: