Will Taking Pass/Fail Courses Affect Your GI Bill Benefits?


Hot on the heels of many colleges switching from on-campus to online classes during the COVID-19 pandemic, many GI Bill users are being told their schools are also switching from letter grades to pass/fail courses. Will this affect GI Bill payments?

The short and definitive answer is: No.

In fact, the law specifies that you will receive your GI Bill benefits as long as the classes you take count toward your degree.

Related: What happens if you fail a class?

Schools are preemptively trying to help students who encounter technical issues or struggle with the remote style of learning by either giving them the option to choose pass/fail grades or giving everyone pass/fail grades and requiring students who want letter grades to request them specifically from individual instructors.

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

Since many degree programs, as well as admission requirements to graduate studies, require a certain Grade Point Average (GPA) for completion or selection, students are rightly worried that this change will be a bad thing.

However, most schools are putting waivers into place to prevent problems. Others will not change your GPA based on one semester or quarter of pass/fail classes due to the COVID-19 emergency.

Under a five-point GPA scale, a letter grade of A counts as five points, a B is four, etc. Any classes taken as pass/fail count as three points. Instead of lowering your GPA based on one term, many schools will keep the higher GPA on your record for degree and admission requirements.

So, if your classes are being switched to pass/fail for the remainder of the current semester, or the upcoming spring quarter, you can rest assured you will retain your GI Bill benefits as normal.

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