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The Monthly Housing Allowance (MHA, BAH, housing stipend) is based on a pay grade of E-5 with dependents and JMU's zip code (22807) when courses are taken on JMU campus. For the 2018-2019 school year, BAH is equal to $1,398 per month (at the 100% level) and is paid to the student in arrears. If the student is taking a course off campus (internship, student teaching, etc), we are required to report the zip code of that location. VA will determine which housing rate to pay based on where the student is taking the most credits. 

The BAH payments will be prorated for August and December for Fall semesters and January and May for Spring semesters, based solely on the dates of each semester.

Effective August 1, 2011 - housing allowance benefits are prorated based upon training time, rounded to the nearest multiple of 10.  Example: If you are enrolled in 7 credits when 12 credits are full time, your training time is .58 and you will receive 60% of the applicable BAH rate.


  • The housing allowance is NOT payable for those pursuing training at half time or less.
  • Active duty service members are NOT eligible for the BAH payments
  • Spouses are NOT eligible for BAH payments while service member is serving on active duty.

Fulltime Status

Typically at JMU, fulltime status is:

  • Undergraduate = 12 semester credits
  • Graduate = 9 semester credits

Atypical enrollments do exist at JMU and will not conform to the above, including: 8-week block enrollments, summer sessions, and some graduate programs. 

Distance Learning

Effective October 1, 2011, housing allowance is NOW payable to students enrolled solely in distance learning (online) courses.  The housing allowance payable is equal to 1/2 the national average BAH for an E-5 with dependents.  (Effective 8/1/2017 - 7/31/2018 - $840.50 per full month). 

Break/Interval Pay

Effective August 1, 2011, break/interval pay is NO longer payable under any VA education benefit program unless under Executive Order of the President or due to an emergency situation such as a natural disaster or strike.  Entitlement which previously would have been used for break pay will be available for use during a future enrollment.

Example: Your semester ends December 15th.  Your housing allowance is paid for the first 15 days of December only.  Your next semester begins January 10th.  Your next BAH payment will be for January 10th-30th, payable on or after February 1st.

Will Your Monthly Housing Allowance Change?

The Monthly Housing Allowance (MHA) payments you receive for the Post-9/11 GI Bill are based on the military's Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) rates for an E-5 with dependents. The Department of Defense adjusts the military BAH rate every calendar year (or January 1) based on changes to housing costs across the country. Rates can either go up or down.

Public Law 111 - 377 (the Veterans Educational Assistance Improvement Act of 2010) amended the effective date for the adjustment of the MHA you receive under the Post-9/11 GI Bill from the beginning of the calendar year (January 1) to the beginning of the academic year (August 1).

If the BAH increased for your area, you will not see an increase until your first payment for training pursued in August. 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.

Showing Proof of your GI Bill Housing Allowance

If you need to show proof of your VA housing allowance to a landlord or reality company, here are a few things that may work:

  • The "term verification letter" that VA sends once they have processed your enrollment each semester.  It lists credit hours, tuition and fees, book stipend and the monthly housing allowance amount. 
  • Print out a copy of the BAH rates for JMU's zip code (22807) and pay grade (E-5) from this link
  • Provide a copy of your Certificate of Eligibility for your Post 9/11 Benefits. You may request a new copy from VA by calling 888-442-4551.
  • Print this page where it states the BAH monthly rate (above).
  • Print out information from the GI Bill website.

Important Payment Reminders:

  •  If a student is living on campus, all Room/Board charges must be paid upfront by the University deadline.

  • If a student is charged out-of-state tuition, the difference between in-state and out-of-state tuition must be paid upfront by the University deadline.

  • If a student is less than 100% eligible for Post 9/11, the remaining % of tuition needs to be paid upfront by the University deadline. 

  • Please let us know about any scholarships or other tuition/fee specific aid being received for each semester. Click here for more information

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