If using the Post 9/11 GI Bill, and all the factors to consider, it can be difficult to figure out which type of school will be right for you – public or private. In this article, we examine some of the factors at play and later on compare a couple of schools to give you a clearer picture of how to choose the type of school right for you.

Financially right schools with the post 9/11 gi bill

With the new GI Bill, it pays up to all tuition and mandatory fees at a public school or starting on August 1st, it will pay up to $23,671.94 per year to attend a private school. That amount is up this year from the $22,805.34 from last year.

Of course, to get the maximum amount at either type of school, the veteran must be at the 100 percent tier meaning s/he served at least 36 months on active duty. Anything less and the amount or percentage paid will be prorated down based on the length of service.

The one exception is in the case of a service connected discharge. With at least 30 days of service, the affected veteran is placed at the 100 percent tier and gets the same benefits as the veteran having 36 months of service or more.

Monthly Housing Allowance (MHA)

Veterans just starting school in the fall for the first time will get their MHA based on the BAH rate calculated for the zip code of the school and paid at the E-5-with-dependents level (at the 100% tier). For students returning to school, or having less that a six-month break, they will see an increase in their MHA too, if the BAH for their school’s zip code increased on January 1st. Students who have been out of school over six months, or those whose BAH rate went down will get their same MHA rate as last year and not the increase.

Of course, online-only students are still stuck at a maximum MHA of $840.50 per month or about half of the national average. The MHA for students attending a foreign school is fixed at $1,681 per month.

school Book Stipend

Regardless if veterans attend a public or private school, the book stipend is the same and remains unchanged for the new school year – up to $41.67 per credit (at the 100% tier) with a cap of $1,000 per academic year.

School Comparison

Let’s do a comparison of two schools – one public and one private at each end of the financial spectrum as far as costs.

Before making the comparison, let’s first make some assumptions:

  • Post 9/11 GI Bill coverage is at the 100 percent tier
  • Tuition is based on resident costs
  • No scholarships or grants awarded
  • MHA costs based on school’s room and board amounts
  • Using Yellow Ribbon Program (YRP) for private school, New York University has an unlimited number of students on their Yellow Ribbon Program and a $10,000 maximum per year per student limit
Post 9/11 GI Bill New York University – Private – Zip Code 10003 University of Wyoming – Public – Zip Code 82071
Pay Structure School Cost/Paid by GI Bill School Cost/Paid by GI Bill
Tuition and Fees $23,671.94 per year private or 100% public $50,464/$33,671.94 $5,218/$5,218
MHA E-5 w/Dependents based on Zip Code of school $17,664/$33,031 $8,968/$12,150
Books Up to $1,000 per academic year $904/$1,000 $1,000/$1,000
Total $69,032/$67,702.94 (-$1,329.26) $15,186/$17,020 (+1,834)

As shown by the chart, attending NYU would incur an annual out-of-pocket cost of $1,329.26.  This amount costs could be defrayed by either a Pell Grant or a school scholarship. Attending U of W would result in a surplus of $1,834 per year.

Attending either school in this case as a non-resident really doesn’t change the financial picture. This is usually not the norm. Non-resident tuition costs can be as much as three times more than what resident students pay. The tuition rate at NYU is the same regardless of resident status. At U of W, tuition and fees goes to $8,414 per year, but they have unlimited number of Yellow Ribbon students with an unlimited maximum contribution per student, so the additional costs would be offset and covered in full.

When looking for a school, be sure to factor in tuition costs – either resident or non-resident as applicable, and if needed, the school’s Yellow Ribbon Program specifics and scholarships, as these are areas that can greatly affect out-of-pocket costs.

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Kness retired in November 2007 as a Senior Noncommissioned Officer after serving 36 years of service with the Minnesota Army National Guard of which 32 of those years were in a full-time status along with being a traditional guardsman. Kness takes pride in being able to still help veterans, military members, and families as they struggle through veteran and dependent education issues.