The BAH rate (aka MHA rate (Monthly Housing Allowance)) if you are enrolled full-time through the post 9/11 GI Bill® at an online college, school, or distance learning program is $894.50 until July 31st, 2020. Even though BAH Rates are effective as of January 1st, 2019, the effective date for the adjustment of the MHA received under the Post-9/11 GI Bill is the beginning of the academic year, August 1, 2019.
Update: Congress approves fix to protect GI Bill benefits due to schools shifting to online classes due to the coronavirus.
Online College Payment Rates For 2019 Academic Year (August 1, 2019 – July 31, 2020)
Exclusively Online Training (No Classroom Instruction) – $894.50 per month.
How will the new Forever GI Bill affect BAH and online student veterans?
The Monthly Housing Allowance (MHA) aka BAH will now calculate payments based on where a veteran student attends the majority of their classes. Prior to the Forever GI Bill, payment was calculated on where the school was located. This is a big change for online students receiving lower BAH payments because their school was located in an area with a lower BAH than where they lived. This change will be effective August 1, 2018 and will only apply to new GI Bill enrollees.
How is BAH calculated for online education or distance learning students?
The basic allowance for housing for online students is half the national average BAH for an E-5 with dependents for student veterans.
What if you’re attending part time?
The amount is less if you’re not enrolled full-time, but students must be enrolled at least 51% of full-time to be eligible for MHA benefits.
How does the Department of Veterans Affairs calculate part time BAH rates?
Over 50% but not 100% is calculated to the nearest 10%. For instance, if your training time (e.g., number of credits) is determined to be 68% as calculated above, you will be paid 70% of the applicable housing allowance. If your training time is calculated to be 56%, you will be paid 60% of the applicable housing allowance.
What is the BAH Rate if you’re attending online and on-campus classes?
A full-time student taking at least one classroom course will get the full BAH rate based on the zip code of the school.
Is this correct? I have read elsewhere including on government sites that online students get BAH?
Yes, the Post-9/11 Veterans Education Assistance Improvements Act (GI Bill 2.0) made this change effective October 1, 2011. Many sites have not updated this information and still inaccurately reflect that online students are not eligible.
Click here for more information on BAH Rates.