What Happens if Your School Switches to Online Classes or Closes as a Reaction to COVID-19?

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College Student in time of COVID wearing Mask

On Saturday, March 21, 2020 the President signed a law authorizing GI Bill payments to continue in full until Dec. 21, 2020.

For more information see our breaking news story.

Many colleges across the country are taking precautions to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, formally known as COVID-19, by canceling graduation ceremonies or replacing all their classroom sessions with online courses.

How will your GI Bill benefits be affected by these and other changes? Well, the President just signed a bill into law that will keep thousands of veterans from losing their benefits and possibly owing tuition to their school.

Your School Closes Temporarily

The VA says that if your school closes due to an emergency or disaster, your GI Bill payments will continue either through the end of the term or up to four weeks from the date of closure, whichever is earlier. This means that your housing allowance will continue for up to four weeks if your school closes temporarily. After that, any additional payments will require either legislative action or an executive order from the president.

Your School Switches to Online Learning Only

An emergency law authorized that all VA education payments for classes that are "converted from being offered on-site to distance learning by reason of an emergency or health-related situation" will continue to be paid as if they were conducted in the classroom. This means that most people will see no changes in their Monthly Housing Allowance, or GI Bill payments.

Your School Switches From Letter Grades to Pass/Fail

 If your school switches their classes to pass/fail only, your GI Bill payments will be unaffected.

How to Find Out Specific Information

For specific details at your school, you should contact your school's veterans office. The School Certifying Official who handles all the GI Bill related stuff and runs that office is the only one who has that information readily available. Depending on your school, the School Certifying Official may have their own office, or be part of the registrar's office or financial aid office.

Keep Up With Your Education Benefits

Whether you need a guide on how to use your GI Bill, want to take advantage of tuition assistance and scholarships, or get the lowdown on education benefits available for your family, Military.com can help. Subscribe to Military.com to have education tips and benefits updates delivered directly to your inbox.

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