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Old 08-30-2017, 08:29 PM
 
1 posts, read 220 times
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So I'm currently in the process of transitioning out of the army unexpectedly with an honorable discharge and full GI bill benefits. The college I want to go to is in Oklahoma and I have no friends or family there, basically moving to a new place by myself. I have no savings and barely any time to save enough money to survive somewhere new by myself til I get the gi bill money. I keep hearing it takes two months from when you start school to receive housing allowances and sometimes even tuition. Is this true? If so how am I supposed to get an apartment and pay tuition with no job or a quick part time job while I wait? It's like they expect us to work full time while going to school full time with how long it takes to receive the benefits I'm entitled to. I understand it's the VA and blah blah blah. But what am I supposed to do? Kind of freaking out here and would love some information and guidance. Only thing I could think of is either going to school online or going to a community college back home where I can get a part time job and make my way but then I will waste my GI bill on that instead of the school I ultimately want to go to in the end. If I want to enroll in the school in Oklahoma for January what should I do now to get my benefits before I leave the military?
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Old 08-30-2017, 09:40 PM
 
Location: Hard aground in the Sonoran Desert
4,303 posts, read 6,849,846 times
Reputation: 5534
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mpitcher View Post
So I'm currently in the process of transitioning out of the army unexpectedly with an honorable discharge and full GI bill benefits. The college I want to go to is in Oklahoma and I have no friends or family there, basically moving to a new place by myself. I have no savings and barely any time to save enough money to survive somewhere new by myself til I get the gi bill money. I keep hearing it takes two months from when you start school to receive housing allowances and sometimes even tuition. Is this true? If so how am I supposed to get an apartment and pay tuition with no job or a quick part time job while I wait? It's like they expect us to work full time while going to school full time with how long it takes to receive the benefits I'm entitled to. I understand it's the VA and blah blah blah. But what am I supposed to do? Kind of freaking out here and would love some information and guidance. Only thing I could think of is either going to school online or going to a community college back home where I can get a part time job and make my way but then I will waste my GI bill on that instead of the school I ultimately want to go to in the end. If I want to enroll in the school in Oklahoma for January what should I do now to get my benefits before I leave the military?
Come on guy...you earned very generous benefits that you will receive but you're carrying on like you got some raw deal. Your financial situation is your responsibility and not the VA's or anyone else's.

You proudly served and are getting out with an honorable discharge and VA benefits. Make your life out of the service just as honorable and don't act like you're some victim needing a handout.

Get a part time job and earn some bucks to cover the bare essentials until your very generous GI Bill benefits start coming in.

Thanks for your service and good luck!
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Old 08-31-2017, 02:10 AM
 
Location: Tampa, FL
24,321 posts, read 20,638,114 times
Reputation: 10958
I appreciate your honorable service, but you're an adult and these are adult problems that you'll find yourself having to address everyday.

The GI Bill wasn't necessarily intended to be the only income. It would have helped if you saved some of your paychecks while you were in, but maybe you had pressings bills to pay. You might need a roommate/part time job.

Millions of former military members made a lot out of their lives through their military education benefits. Use the Army discipline you learned to study, work and get the degree.

Nothing wrong w/ community college, in my opinion. Eng 101, Hist 101, Psych 101, Trig 101 are all the same whether you're at your community college or at a major university. Get your prerequisites, get a nest egg for the expenses of living, then transfer would be my plan.

Last edited by BucFan; 08-31-2017 at 02:19 AM..
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Old 08-31-2017, 10:10 AM
 
Location: Hawaii/Alabama
1,439 posts, read 2,645,214 times
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Go to your chosen school and find out what classes you may be given credits for based upon your Mikitary Service. Then check with them to see what CLEPs are acceptable and how many credit hours may be accepted. Many schools will accept up to 60 hours towards their programs.

You will have to pay for your tests (if you had CLEPd in Service through your ED center this would have been free), but it will save you a lot of time.
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Old 08-31-2017, 10:41 AM
 
Location: Fuquay Varina
3,317 posts, read 5,256,318 times
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I think you should pick a school that's located where you have some sort of support from family or a friend. That or delay your enrollment until you can get a few paychecks under your belt.
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Old 08-31-2017, 05:45 PM
 
Location: Middletown, DE
89 posts, read 25,379 times
Reputation: 220
Yeah, what the previous posters said.

There was nothing in your original post about why you are so set on going to school in a place where you have no support network. Go home where you have friends and family. Enroll in a local accredited community college (not a commercial diploma mill) to get the first year or two of basic academic courses out of the way. Those credits will be fully transferable to just about any four year program anywhere in the country. You won't be wasting your time or benefits.

Get a part time job to build up a nest egg for when the time comes to make the move to a bigger school to complete your degree. You'll be surprised at how many employers are willing to work with full time students, especially if they're veterans, in scheduling their work shifts.

Easy? Nope! But then nothing worth doing ever is. You worked hard to earn your benefits. Don't waste them by setting yourself up for failure in an untenable situation.
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Old 09-01-2017, 07:29 AM
 
Location: Central Massachusetts
3,823 posts, read 3,497,434 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigDog811 View Post
Yeah, what the previous posters said.

There was nothing in your original post about why you are so set on going to school in a place where you have no support network. Go home where you have friends and family. Enroll in a local accredited community college (not a commercial diploma mill) to get the first year or two of basic academic courses out of the way. Those credits will be fully transferable to just about any four year program anywhere in the country. You won't be wasting your time or benefits.

Get a part time job to build up a nest egg for when the time comes to make the move to a bigger school to complete your degree. You'll be surprised at how many employers are willing to work with full time students, especially if they're veterans, in scheduling their work shifts.

Easy? Nope! But then nothing worth doing ever is. You worked hard to earn your benefits. Don't waste them by setting yourself up for failure in an untenable situation.
Advice I could not agree with more. Only thing I would caution on here is giving more advice because this post is really his best option. I wish I could feel better if this OP had posted before but there is always a first time.
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Old 09-04-2017, 06:56 AM
 
1,303 posts, read 1,832,244 times
Reputation: 1262
Apply for student loans. It's what the majority of students do. Get student loans ONLY for essentials like paying for your housing when you're starting out and waiting for the GI bill. There's nothing wrong with them as long as you don't go crazy. Student loans are made for these situations.

Hopefully, you have some savings that you can use. A lot of my prior service friends in college had to use their savings to keep afloat until the GI bill came in.

But the plus side is you will soon realize just how valuable the GI bill is. Wait until you see what people who don't have rich parents or Uncle Sam footing the bill are going through. You're not alone in feeling overwhelmed with bills in college.
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Old 09-04-2017, 06:58 AM
 
1,303 posts, read 1,832,244 times
Reputation: 1262
Quote:
Originally Posted by LBTRS View Post

Get a part time job and earn some bucks to cover the bare essentials until your very generous GI Bill benefits start coming in.

Thanks for your service and good luck!
Also this. There is no reason you can't go and find something part time. There's always jobs on campus or close to campus available. If it's in Oklahoma, I'm guessing the cost of living and expenses will be much lower than somewhere like Los Angeles or somewhere similar. A part time job could probably cover a lot of your expenses.
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Old 09-06-2017, 10:48 PM
 
Location: Florida
2,978 posts, read 3,530,301 times
Reputation: 8252
First thing you have to do is apply for a letter of eligibility. That will take 4-6 weeks to get in from the VA.

The VA will pay the school directly. You will get E5 w/dependent BAH while you're in school. Will depend where the school is at. Less if you're doing an online program. You'll also get $250 each quarter to help offset the cost of school books.

You first need to see if you are in fact getting the GI Bill and how much you're getting.

Chances are if you are junior enlisted, you should qualify for pell grants. Fill out a FAFSA now. You should be able to cover tuition and then some with the pell grants if you go to community college. Places are starting to hire seasonal employees now, including the USPS where veterans are sought after.

I haven't heard of a Soldier leaving the Army and not expecting it and receiving an honorable discharge. Sounds kind of fishy but okay.

You'll go through this during the Soldier For Life program, it used to be called ACAP.
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