Veterans, the GI Bill (Ch 30 and 33/ Post-9/11), and Veteran Readiness/Vocational Rehabilitation (Ch 31/VRE)

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xffan624

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The amendment also says that this STEM extension doesn't count toward the 48 month combined max. So apparently people would be eligible even if they maxed their gi/voc rehab out. I think you would only be receiving BAH while in residency though.
At the very least that's an extra $1K a month tax free. For me it was $2K+ as I lived in a high cost area. Nothing to sneeze at with a resident's salary.
 

xffan624

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FYI...

https://www.benefits.va.gov/GIBILL/docs/48_Month_Rule_FAQs.pdf

VA.gov | Veterans Affairs

Changes to the “48 Month Rule” for VR&E and EDU Beneficiaries​

April 7, 2021 8:00 AM

Effective April 1, 2021, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) no longer counts the use of Veteran Readiness & Employment (VR&E) benefits (chapter 31) against the 48-month limit on GI Bill education benefits such as the Post-9/11 GI Bill. The use of GI Bill education benefits will continue to count against the 48-month limit on VR&E benefits. See our 48-Month Rule FAQs.

VA has started to process impacted claims and enrollments with this update, and eligible individuals will receive a notification letter from VA, outlining whether you have more GI Bill entitlement available.

If you have any questions, please contact the Education Call Center at 1-888-442-4551, Monday to Friday, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Central Time.
 
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BC_89

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FYI...

https://www.benefits.va.gov/GIBILL/docs/48_Month_Rule_FAQs.pdf

VA.gov | Veterans Affairs

Changes to the “48 Month Rule” for VR&E and EDU Beneficiaries​

April 7, 2021 8:00 AM

Effective April 1, 2021, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) no longer counts the use of Veteran Readiness & Employment (VR&E) benefits (chapter 31) against the 48-month limit on GI Bill education benefits such as the Post-9/11 GI Bill. The use of GI Bill education benefits will continue to count against the 48-month limit on VR&E benefits. See our 48-Month Rule FAQs.

VA has started to process impacted claims and enrollments with this update, and eligible individuals will receive a notification letter from VA, outlining whether you have more GI Bill entitlement available.

If you have any questions, please contact the Education Call Center at 1-888-442-4551, Monday to Friday, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Central Time.
you beat me to it.

VR&E (Chapter 31) Will No Longer Count Against GI Bill Education Benefits | Student Doctor Network
 
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HopefulPilot

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FYI...

https://www.benefits.va.gov/GIBILL/docs/48_Month_Rule_FAQs.pdf

VA.gov | Veterans Affairs

Changes to the “48 Month Rule” for VR&E and EDU Beneficiaries​

April 7, 2021 8:00 AM

Effective April 1, 2021, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) no longer counts the use of Veteran Readiness & Employment (VR&E) benefits (chapter 31) against the 48-month limit on GI Bill education benefits such as the Post-9/11 GI Bill. The use of GI Bill education benefits will continue to count against the 48-month limit on VR&E benefits. See our 48-Month Rule FAQs.

VA has started to process impacted claims and enrollments with this update, and eligible individuals will receive a notification letter from VA, outlining whether you have more GI Bill entitlement available.

If you have any questions, please contact the Education Call Center at 1-888-442-4551, Monday to Friday, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Central Time.
Huge benefit since the GI Bill can be used during residency for the BAH. Does anyone have experience getting their residency program certified? I'll be the first using GI Bill benefits.
 

xffan624

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Huge benefit since the GI Bill can be used during residency for the BAH. Does anyone have experience getting their residency program certified? I'll be the first using GI Bill benefits.

Is there another program at your institution that's certified or do you not have an authorizing official at all? My authorizing official had to add my program to their list of authorized programs, but that wasn't too painful. They were just slow and the benefits came late (but retroactively to when I started the program so NBD).
 

HopefulPilot

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Is there another program at your institution that's certified or do you not have an authorizing official at all? My authorizing official had to add my program to their list of authorized programs, but that wasn't too painful. They were just slow and the benefits came late (but retroactively to when I started the program so NBD).
I don’t think there is an authorizing official. Not university affiliated.
 

xffan624

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I don’t think there is an authorizing official. Not university affiliated.
It doesn't have to be. Check this site for your residency or the affiliated organization if you haven't already. Just search by state unless it's a really big state and then try to make your search as broad as possible as sometimes the names are abbreviated. WEAMS Public
 

HopefulPilot

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It doesn't have to be. Check this site for your residency or the affiliated organization if you haven't already. Just search by state unless it's a really big state and then try to make your search as broad as possible as sometimes the names are abbreviated. WEAMS Public
Thanks for the link. It showed up as an institution but with no certifying official. Maybe I should call the GI Bill 888 number
 

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There are always exceptions to the rules. When I started dental school I had already used up the majority of my Post 9/11 benefits, but was approved anyway. Between both Chapters I have used a total 70 months of benefits, which I am very grateful for.
 
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xffan624

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There are always exceptions to the rules. When I started dental school I had already used up the majority of my Post 9/11 benefits, but was approved anyway. Between both Chapters I have used a total 70 months of benefits, which I am very grateful for.
Same here. I don't know the exact amount but it was probably more than 48 months. I just used my GI Bill benefits until they ran out after my VRE was completed in medical school.
 

esob

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There are always exceptions to the rules. When I started dental school I had already used up the majority of my Post 9/11 benefits, but was approved anyway. Between both Chapters I have used a total 70 months of benefits, which I am very grateful for.
I'm reasonably sure that when I finish medical school that I will be the undisputed king of VA education benefits (ousting even the kingpin Ben K). You wouldn't believe me if I told you how many months of entitlement I ended up with, but let's just say I'm pretty sure my case has given a couple of pencil pushers at the VA an aneurysm :banana:
 
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MusicDOc124

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It's been a while, but I went through the original post which was last edited in 2019 and tried to update some of the info including the recent info with the 48-month rule and all.

If there is any incorrect or vague info, send me a message so I can fix it as I went through it rather quickly!
 
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j4pac

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I’d appreciate any insight and input.

I’ve completed a 3 year residency (exhausted MGIB), and I’ve been in general practice going on a few years. I’m considering a one-year fellowship and I am trying to decide the best option. I do have >10% VA disability.
 

MusicDOc124

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I’d appreciate any insight and input.

I’ve completed a 3 year residency (exhausted MGIB), and I’ve been in general practice going on a few years. I’m considering a one-year fellowship and I am trying to decide the best option. I do have >10% VA disability.
Do you qualify for post 9/11? If so, you can apply and usually get an additional 12 months beyond the 36 of MGIB which can be used in residency as OJT. I'm not sure about fellowship as what I read regarding the use of post 9/11 regarding residency states that its for an entry level position in the field that requires the training, and that you don't have any prior training or experience in the field. But i suppose that could still be possible.

Re VRE, their job is for competitive and suitable employment. You'd have to prove that any of your ratings cause enough distress that you have to change trajectory, and that thats the reason for the fellowship, and that those same disabilities are not exacerbated by the new field. I image though that since you have a medical license, have completed a residency, and are likely at least board eligible if not board certified already, that VRE would likely say no, but it may be worth a shot.
 
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j4pac

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Do you qualify for post 9/11? If so, you can apply and usually get an additional 12 months beyond the 36 of MGIB which can be used in residency as OJT. I'm not sure about fellowship as what I read regarding the use of post 9/11 regarding residency states that its for an entry level position in the field that requires the training, and that you don't have any prior training or experience in the field. But i suppose that could still be possible.

Re VRE, their job is for competitive and suitable employment. You'd have to prove that any of your ratings cause enough distress that you have to change trajectory, and that thats the reason for the fellowship, and that those same disabilities are not exacerbated by the new field. I image though that since you have a medical license, have completed a residency, and are likely at least board eligible if not board certified already, that VRE would likely say no, but it may be worth a shot.

Thanks!

I qualify for P911GIB. If somehow I qualified for VRE (though that seems less likely), which is the better deal?
 

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Thanks!

I qualify for P911GIB. If somehow I qualified for VRE (though that seems less likely), which is the better deal?

In a forefront comparison, VR&E is the better deal. It is set up to cover housing, no-cap costs associated with equipment / books / certifications - licenses / possible travel expenses & accommodations if needed.

Post 9/11 will cover housing costs (higher pay-out) and has a $1,000 cap for supplies/books. In your situation, that is the extent of it.

I will just go ahead and say that at this point VR&E will not approve you for coverage given your circumstance. The main argument is that it is utilized as a job-rehabilitation program based on a current listed disability criteria and evidence of why you cannot be gainfully employed with the credentials you currently have. Since you've been employed and the short-term goal is to simply further your education, it will be a hard no.

However, post 9/11 has covered many individuals for fellowships. In advance though, the specific fellowship will need to be approved by the VA and you'll need to provide information from the last year of your residency to the start date of your fellowship. I do not know the specific timeline (especially with current pandemic changing inclusions/exclusion criteria), but more times than not if its within a few years, most veterans get approved.
 
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xffan624

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Thanks!

I qualify for P911GIB. If somehow I qualified for VRE (though that seems less likely), which is the better deal?
I concur with BC_89. You will not qualify for VRE as you have/had employment and presumably could still continue employment. I would go with the Post 9/11 GI Bill. Once you're accepted to the fellowship you can apply for it. It's easier if your program already has an established GI Bill person and other residents/fellows have used it in the past. You can check potential programs using the website below. It's a little tricky to find a program if it's not something obvious, so if you can't find your program you might have to just load the statewide search results and look for it manually.

 
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MusicDOc124

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Some info from the VA site

 
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xffan624

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Thanks. I think I found it on the e-benefits website. I would need to match before submitting the form, correct?

I don't think so IIRC. The application just gives you a certificate of eligibility that you take to the certifying official at the program. I don't think you need to have an acceptance just to apply initially.
 
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BC_89

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Just as an FYI as far as getting reinstated your GI Bill Benefits (since VR&E was well known for taking away each day of those benefits). I looked at my portal and received the following info after burning through my VR&E benefits going on 2-years straight. Basically, I got reinstated my full GI Bill Benefits that otherwise was taken from my VR&E use:


1620345587828.png



1620345642246.png


This may be a good time to see if anyone's benefits have been updated since the April 1st change. I've had recent classmates get theirs reinstated as well (whatever days they had before switching to VR&E) and it seems to have been corrected for any differences.
 
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rikudo

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I also got approved for Post 9/11 for BAH during residency after using 48 months of Ch 31 VocRehab for med school. It helps if your residency is at an academic institution. Should also be eligible for the $1200 payment when GI Bill is exhausted.
 

MusicDOc124

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I also got approved for Post 9/11 for BAH during residency after using 48 months of Ch 31 VocRehab for med school. It helps if your residency is at an academic institution. Should also be eligible for the $1200 payment when GI Bill is exhausted.
Will it be full BAH for the duration? I was reading somewhere that for OJT it was full for like 6 months, then 75%, then 50%, etc every 6 months until its either 20 or 10% until exhaustion.
 

rikudo

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Will it be full BAH for the duration? I was reading somewhere that for OJT it was full for like 6 months, then 75%, then 50%, etc every 6 months until its either 20 or 10% until exhaustion.
My first payment is 100% normal rate. Good point about OJT. Looks like OJT gets 100% for the first 6 months, 80% second 6 months, ect.. I will have to call and ask.
 
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xffan624

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Will it be full BAH for the duration? I was reading somewhere that for OJT it was full for like 6 months, then 75%, then 50%, etc every 6 months until its either 20 or 10% until exhaustion.

I don't think residency is classified as OJT. I received the full BAH rate for 2 years during my residency.
 
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Woolf1922

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Hello all,

I have a question regarding the recently updated VR&E policy.

I am applying to medical school and VR&E for Fall 2023. While I initially had full 36 month entitlement under the Post 9/11 GI Bill, I have used 8 months of entitlement for graduate school. Everything I have read (@BC_89) regarding the updated VR&E policy states:

"You can only receive a maximum education benefit of 48 months if going from GI Bill to VR&E (rare circumstances this can be extended with Chapter 31 exclusively as mentioned earlier."

and . . .

"Remember though, if you first use GI Bill THEN VR&E, the GI Bill will take away from VR&E (give yourself a moment to internalize this rule as it can come at a cost if not utilized correctly)."

My question is: It seems clear that my 8 months of GI Bill usage will put my maximum VR&E benefits at 40 months, but, if accepted into the VR&E program, will I retain my remaining 28 months of the Post 9/11 GI Bill to use for the remainder of medical school/residency? Or will my GI Bill and VR&E be capped at the 48 month limit according to the statement above?

Do I even have a chance of acceptance for VR&E if my maximum entitlement would be 40 months, when medical school is 48 months?

Thanks in advance.
 

BC_89

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My question is: It seems clear that my 8 months of GI Bill usage will put my maximum VR&E benefits at 40 months, but, if accepted into the VR&E program, will I retain my remaining 28 months of the Post 9/11 GI Bill to use for the remainder of medical school/residency? Or will my GI Bill and VR&E be capped at the 48 month limit according to the statement above?

You would retain the 28 months of Post 9/11 GI Bill

Do I even have a chance of acceptance for VR&E if my maximum entitlement would be 40 months, when medical school is 48 months?

Thanks in advance.

Difficult, but not unheard of. VR&E has always been a challenge regardless of circumstance - especially for professional degrees.

That said (and this being a new minted rule in place) - their is always a chance for an acceptance based on other circumstances. One main one is if you qualify under the regulations of being SEH entitled (serious employment handicap). If you're granted that title then the 48-month rule would not apply to you.

Exceptions exist but require a lot of paperwork. It's too early to consider if counselors would condone the idea of a veteran burning through VR&E only to end up using 8 months toward the GI Bill. Very much possible and doable, but they've been trained to think on a return of investment point of view (which is, why be in a program if the program cannot carry you to the end).
 
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esob

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You would retain the 28 months of Post 9/11 GI Bill



Difficult, but not unheard of. VR&E has always been a challenge regardless of circumstance - especially for professional degrees.

That said (and this being a new minted rule in place) - their is always a chance for an acceptance based on other circumstances. One main one is if you qualify under the regulations of being SEH entitled (serious employment handicap). If you're granted that title then the 48-month rule would not apply to you.

Exceptions exist but require a lot of paperwork. It's too early to consider if counselors would condone the idea of a veteran burning through VR&E only to end up using 8 months toward the GI Bill. Very much possible and doable, but they've been trained to think on a return of investment point of view (which is, why be in a program if the program cannot carry you to the end).

Agree with all of this. The SEH threshold, IMO, isn't all that difficult to meet. The larger stumbling block is the high cost of attendance. If the med school is > $25k, it needs your VRC's boss's approval. Difficult, but not impossible. If the school is over $50K, you can basically forget it because the regional director has to sign off on it and no VRC is going to ask for that unless they just hate their job and are trying to get fired.
 
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xffan624

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Agree with all of this. The SEH threshold, IMO, isn't all that difficult to meet. The larger stumbling block is the high cost of attendance. If the med school is > $25k, it needs your VRC's boss's approval. Difficult, but not impossible. If the school is over $50K, you can basically forget it because the regional director has to sign off on it and no VRC is going to ask for that unless they just hate their job and are trying to get fired.

I guess the standards have changed. I was approved for $55K/year tuition. This was in 2014.
 
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esob

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I guess the standards have changed. I was approved for $55K/year tuition. This was in 2014.

I'm not entirely sure when the current regs became active, but I've seen the actual code from the manual. I know when I first started on chapter 31 in 2007, I was going to a private undergrad that was close to $30K per year and it didn't require any special approval. It did require that I demonstrate that the degree I was pursuing was not available at a public school that was within commutable distance, but that was the only extra piece of paperwork required.
 

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Thanks for all your help, guys. I will keep your advice in mind during the application process.

I have read all of the advice available on sdn, but do you have any additional advice in regards to the circumstances I outlined previously—or general advice for the new standards?
 

esob

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Thanks for all your help, guys. I will keep your advice in mind during the application process.

I have read all of the advice available on sdn, but do you have any additional advice in regards to the circumstances I outlined previously—or general advice for the new standards?

So, I'm not sure if this answers your question entirely, but what you really need is to understand what qualifies as an SEH, and, if you feel that you meet those qualifications, present your case as such that it is glaringly obvious that you have an SEH. You are correct that if you don't have enough months of entitlement left that they won't approve a plan. Thus, at this point, without the finding of an SEH, they would not approve your plan for med school.

Here is a link to the relevant CFR for determining an SEH: 38 CFR § 21.52 - Determining serious employment handicap.
 
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schmoob

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Unfortunately luck is part of the equation because approval can be very subjective. You need to find a VRC that is willing to work with you. I had used a large portion of my GI Bill but was still approved for 48 months.

You will not be approved for a partial portion of your program, either all of it or none at all. The reason for that is they do not want to set you up for failure by cutting off support midway through your program. Instead they can just deny you altogether, which is dumb.

Like my colleagues here have mentioned, your best weapon is to really do your research and know their regulations. Best of luck to you!
 
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chssoccer7

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As far as I'm aware, the GI Bill will not cover health insurance regardless of requirement unless something changed. Voc Rehab will IF its stated that that particular insurance is required and not waiverable, which is not common - but if on Voc Rehab, you have VA coverage completely until the program approved is over (including dental to some degree), and many places if not all accept VA coverage in lieu of health insurance.
I know this is old, but just wanted to provide an update in case anyone scrolls this forums looking for info like I do.

I was able to get the GI Bill to cover my insurance when i start school this upcoming semester, it just has to be REQUIRED for all students. If it is optional or only required for some subsection of students, they won't cover it.
 
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esob

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I know this is old, but just wanted to provide an update in case anyone scrolls this forums looking for info like I do.

I was able to get the GI Bill to cover my insurance when i start school this upcoming semester, it just has to be REQUIRED for all students. If it is optional or only required for some subsection of students, they won't cover it.

That's interesting. I think that the "non-waiverable" requirement is still in place for voc rehab though, and I've never heard of a school that has a non-waiverable insurance requirement.
 

rikudo

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Updating I've been receiving BAH during residency for a few months now. I should be able to use my remaining GI Bill months even after using 48+ of Ch 31 during med school. A VA rep also told me residency should qualify for the STEM extension to cover my last year though I'm not counting on it. I'm doing residency at a academic institution and everything has been handled through their veterans office.
 
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MusicDOc124

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I know this is old, but just wanted to provide an update in case anyone scrolls this forums looking for info like I do.

I was able to get the GI Bill to cover my insurance when i start school this upcoming semester, it just has to be REQUIRED for all students. If it is optional or only required for some subsection of students, they won't cover it.
Edited the quoted post with your comment.
 

chssoccer7

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I'm unsure if this is the right place for this question, but there seems to be a wealth on knowledge in this thread so I will ask away. I am getting out of the Navy this year, have been stationed in this state for the past 3 years. I am a resident of the state I joined the Navy from (not this one). I know that undergrad will charge me at the instate rate by law as I am using the GI Bill, however, I am still considered a non-resident. Is there anything I can do as I separate from the Navy to become a resident of this state before school starts next month? My school has punted my question around several different offices as they haven't really known the answer, and Google searches are hazy at best because most places won't let you become a resident if you are only there for school. I've lived here for 3 years and start school in 1 month, so is there anything I need to do before school starts to ensure I can become a resident before this window ends and I am only here for school? I do intend to stay in this state, and it is more advantageous to be a resident applying to medical school in this state vice my home state.
 

xffan624

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I'm unsure if this is the right place for this question, but there seems to be a wealth on knowledge in this thread so I will ask away. I am getting out of the Navy this year, have been stationed in this state for the past 3 years. I am a resident of the state I joined the Navy from (not this one). I know that undergrad will charge me at the instate rate by law as I am using the GI Bill, however, I am still considered a non-resident. Is there anything I can do as I separate from the Navy to become a resident of this state before school starts next month? My school has punted my question around several different offices as they haven't really known the answer, and Google searches are hazy at best because most places won't let you become a resident if you are only there for school. I've lived here for 3 years and start school in 1 month, so is there anything I need to do before school starts to ensure I can become a resident before this window ends and I am only here for school? I do intend to stay in this state, and it is more advantageous to be a resident applying to medical school in this state vice my home state.

Establishing residency is state dependent so any answer will depend on the state. Some (not most) do allow you to establish a residency during school. I assume based on the feedback from the school you are not in one of those.

You said you're still a resident of another state but you lived in this state for 3 years. That should have been enough to establish residency in the new state if you wanted to. Do you currently meet any of the generally accepted standards for residency? Are you registered to vote there? Is your car registered there? Do you own a home there?

Most likely you missed the boat and the time to establish residency before school is gone, but you can still do all the things listed above even if you don't qualify as a resident for tuition purposes (which is irrelevant as you get instate tuition any).
 
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