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I have a GI Bill question, too...

Posted by on May. 1, 2012 at 9:51 PM
  • 9 Replies

So, our dd is going to be using my dh's GI Bill, coupled with scholarship money, to pay for college. She will be graduating in June, and starting in August.  It's our understanding (please correct me if this is wrong), that we can't do the final submission of everything to start the payments to the college until she's actually graduated.

So, how long does it take for the benefits to actually kick in?  We're going to be transferring back to the States at the same time and I'm trying to set a tentative budget for how many months we should anticipate paying out of pocket before the GI Bill kicks in.  I've heard some horror stories that it takes months and months (one person told me it was 6 months), and I've also heard that it's pretty quick and painless, and that the people who had most of the problems were ones that had started using them right after they were allowed to transfer them.

What was your experience on how long it took for the benefits to start, and how long ago did you start using them? 

by on May. 1, 2012 at 9:51 PM
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Replies (1-9):
SusanD
by Silver Member on May. 2, 2012 at 2:28 AM
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MOST school have a vet rep that you can coordinate with. A lot of how long everything takes depends upon the school submitting paperwork. Once they have submitted all of the paperwork, the average turn around is about 4-6 weeks. I would talk to the vet rep or veterans office at the school and see what information they can give you.

Also, most schools wait for the GI Bill benefits, as opposed to wanting money up front, at least for a few weeks. If there is a problem, then obviously they can only wait so long and they will eventually expect payment or do an admin withdrawl from the classes. If they have on record that GI Bill benefits are pending, they are usually ok with that.

betsyfaith
by Betsy :) on May. 2, 2012 at 2:58 AM
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 I'm no help, ther than from what i've heard it depends a lot on the school.

sailorwifenmom
by on May. 2, 2012 at 4:53 AM

Thanks!  This is good to know.  Between graduation, moving back to the States, buying cars, finding a place to live, and then getting her set up in college, it's going to be pretty crazy, so while we're going to do the final steps as soon  as we can, I don't want to have to stress too much over the GI Bill stuff on top of everything else.  Plus, while we're ok financially, I really would rather not have to foot all the college expenses for too long until the benefits kick in.  We've heard some horror stories of all these months of paying for it straight out of pocket, then getting reimbursed at the end, and we're trying to avoid having to do that for too long.... 


I just thought of something -- so, from what you're saying, I'm guessing that if nothing else, they would also be applying her scholarship towards it at first, too then. 

LOL - yes, I know I'm stressing it way too much, my husband and I keep flipping back and forth - he keeps saying "it's fine - there's nothing to worry about" as far as all the college stuff goes financially.  I'm the one that keeps saying, it will be fine, we'll get a place, get at least one car at first, and get some of our stuff and get here there with no worries"  LOL - between us, we're either good to go or a total mess, I'm not sure which ;-)

Quoting SusanD:

MOST school have a vet rep that you can coordinate with. A lot of how long everything takes depends upon the school submitting paperwork. Once they have submitted all of the paperwork, the average turn around is about 4-6 weeks. I would talk to the vet rep or veterans office at the school and see what information they can give you.

Also, most schools wait for the GI Bill benefits, as opposed to wanting money up front, at least for a few weeks. If there is a problem, then obviously they can only wait so long and they will eventually expect payment or do an admin withdrawl from the classes. If they have on record that GI Bill benefits are pending, they are usually ok with that.


sailorwifenmom
by on May. 2, 2012 at 4:55 AM

Hopefully it won't be too bad, she's going to a pretty big college, so hopefully they're more experienced at using it than we are, lol.  We haven't used any of the GI Bill yet, so this is all new. 

Quoting betsyfaith:

 I'm no help, ther than from what i've heard it depends a lot on the school.


anchorgurl
by Silver Member on May. 2, 2012 at 7:20 AM
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Locate the Veteran's rep at the college she will be attending and also talk/email with a financial aid officer at the college (depending on the size of the university there may be a dedicated financial aid officer for Veteran's benefits).  They can tell you what has been typical at their location--some schools are great with the paperwork, and others are still learning how to do it. 

If she's getting a university scholarship, that is credited to her account immediately; private scholarships, grants and loans get applied when they are received.  Most schools will allow you to make payments if you are waiting for some financial aid to kick in, so for example you would pay 1/3 of the outstanding balance.  If you can (I know you are busy), try and make contact in mid-May--it's a little bit of down time for universities after commencement and you are more likely to get someone who can spend some time and talk with you.

 

 

sailorwifenmom
by on May. 2, 2012 at 8:12 AM

Thanks for the advice!  Right now, she's got a pretty good sized scholarship from the university. If we have to make payments and get reimbursed, so be it, but obviously the sooner the better as far as having the money kick in :-)

This is all new for my dh and I, because both of us went into the Navy right after we graduated, we didn't go the traditional college student route, and while we were more than happy and willing to send our ds to college, too, he was pretty adament that he didn't want to go, that he also wanted to go straight into the military. 

Quoting anchorgurl:

Locate the Veteran's rep at the college she will be attending and also talk/email with a financial aid officer at the college (depending on the size of the university there may be a dedicated financial aid officer for Veteran's benefits).  They can tell you what has been typical at their location--some schools are great with the paperwork, and others are still learning how to do it. 

If she's getting a university scholarship, that is credited to her account immediately; private scholarships, grants and loans get applied when they are received.  Most schools will allow you to make payments if you are waiting for some financial aid to kick in, so for example you would pay 1/3 of the outstanding balance.  If you can (I know you are busy), try and make contact in mid-May--it's a little bit of down time for universities after commencement and you are more likely to get someone who can spend some time and talk with you.




lilnena98
by on May. 2, 2012 at 9:00 AM
1 mom liked this

Talk to the VA rep. When I signed up for school, I kept contact with my va rep that way I knew what was needed. Along with getting my finanaial aid in place. Especially, because I am using Chapter 30 not the post 9/11 so my classes have to be payed up front.

Good luck!!

gunsgirl
by Silver Member on May. 2, 2012 at 9:09 AM
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a few things to consider -- the GI bill will pay ONLY after everything else- so if she is getting a scholarship that will pay 80% of tuition the GI BILL will only pay 20%. BUT the bill is done by MONTHS not dollars- so for every month she uses the GI bil at 20% it is a month off the transferred months-

and even tho she would still get the MHA - it could still be a huge loss by using the GI bill with scholarships

it may be in your childs best interest to not use the GI bill at all until she uses up her scholarships.

sailorwifenmom
by on May. 2, 2012 at 10:18 AM

Thank you ladies SO MUCH!  I really appreciate all the advice on this!

Her scholarship is 5 thousand dollars a semester, two semesters a year, for the next 4 years, so we will definitely need to look into that!

Especially since there's a chance, given her choice of major, that she could have to go an extra semester, if not an entire 5th year, but her scholarship is only good for 4... And hey, every penny we save is one in our pockets for our retirement, which is also rapidly approaching lol! 

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