GI Bill Monthly Housing Allowance

Soldier student in a dorm.

Your Post-9/11 GI Bill monthly housing allowance (MHA) is generally the same as the military's Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) for an E-5 with dependents living in your school's ZIP code. Unlike the BAH, which changes Jan. 1 of every year, the GI Bill MHA rate changes Aug. 1 (the start of the academic year).

Monthly Housing Allowance Rates

Type of School2023-24 MHA Rate
Foreign School$1,934.80
Schools in US TerritoriesE-5 with dependents Overseas Housing Allowance rate for school location
Exclusively Online Training (No Classroom Instruction)$967.40
Attending classes at ½ time or lessNot payable
Active Duty Trainee (or transferee spouse of servicemember)Not payable

There are some exceptions to MHA. To determine your MHA for most circumstances, click here.

GI Bill Monthly Housing Allowance FAQ

What Is The Difference Between BAH and MHA?

BAH (Basic Allowance for Housing) helps active-duty personnel pay for housing costs based on their rank, location, and dependency status. MHA (Military Housing Allowance) serves a similar purpose but is tailored for service members and veterans using education benefits, such as the Post-9/11 GI Bill, during schooling or training.

When Will I Receive An Increase Or Decrease In My MHA Based On BAH Changes?

The DoD adjusts the BAH rate every calendar year (Jan. 1) based on changes to housing costs across the country. Rates can go up or down. If the BAH increased for your area, you will not see an increase in your GI Bill MHA until the next academic year (beginning Aug. 1). You should see any increase in your September payment for school attended during August (you get paid each month for the previous month's classes).

If the BAH decreases for your area, your MHA amount will not decrease unless you change schools or have more than a six-month break in training.

Do I Get Monthly Housing Allowance (MHA) While Enrolled in Online or Distance Learning?

The effective MHA rate for those enrolled solely in distance learning is 1/2 the national average BAH rate.

If you are enrolled in a class that was originally scheduled to meet in a classroom setting which has been moved to an online-only setting, you will still receive the full MHA for that class.

If you attend at least one classroom session you will get the full housing allowance NOT the 1/2 BAH rate.

Why Is My MHA Payment Different From My Monthly Rate?

The most common reason a check may be less than the monthly rate is that checks are prorated based on the number of days in the month for which you are enrolled.

For example: Say your full-time MHA rate is $800, but your term starts Aug. 19 and continues through Dec. 14. Payment for the month of August would cover Aug. 19 through the end of the month. (All months are assumed to be 30 days, so the rate won't fluctuate for months with more or fewer days.) Thus, in this example, your payment for the month of August would be approximately $320. Payments for September, October and November would be $800 each month, and payment for December would be approximately $373 for the period of Dec. 1-14. You won't be paid for the part of the month when you're not taking classes.

Here are other reasons your check might be short:

  • An overpayment was deducted from your payment.
  • You reduced your instructional time after your original enrollment.

Also, if you completed fewer than three years of active-duty service, your MHA rate is adjusted accordingly.

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