Some veteran students returning back to school this fall will see an increase in the amount of Post 9/11 GI Bill monthly housing allowance (MHA) they receive. This is due to a recent change in the in the way that amount is calculated for hybrid courses.
Hybrid Training Courses
A hybrid course is defined as any course that combines online and classroom training. Before August 15, a student in a hybrid course – to get the full MHA – must have attended one class on campus at least every two weeks and their total number of on-campus classroom hours “must have been equal to at least the credit hours of the course multiplied by the weeks of the course”. In other words, if a student was in a 3-credit hybrid course for a 16-week semester, that student must have attended class on campus for at least 48 hours during that semester.
For hybrid classes not meeting these two requirements, students received the online MHA which on average is half of the full MHA, or about $900 per month on average.
But now after the change, a student must only attend on-campus classroom training once during the duration of the course to receive the full MHA.
Location of Classes
Students enrolling for the first time after August 1, 2018 could receive a higher MHA than they would have gotten otherwise due to a housing allowance change last year. Before the change, students received the MHA based on the zip code of the school where they were enrolled and not where they attended classes. In the case of a school having several satellite campuses, the MHA for those remote locations in many cases were higher than at the main school campus location that was tagged as where the student was enrolled. Many students going to school at satellite locations ended up getting more MHA money because of this change.
For example, in the 20 schools listed for Pennsylvania State University, the MHA varies from a low of $1,125 to a high of $2,142, with the MHA of the main campus just shy of $1,400 per month.
Full-time Status – One Thing That Did Not Change
Of course, one thing that has not changed is that a student must be at the 100% tier percentage level and be a full-time student to get the full housing allowance. Many schools use 12 as that full-time number, but it can be a different number depending on the school.