GI Bill Monthly Housing Allowance

Soldier student in a dorm.

Your Monthly Housing Allowance (MHA) is generally the same as the military Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) for an E-5 with dependents. Your MHA is based on the ZIP code for your school. Unlike the BAH which can change on Jan. 1 of every year, the GI Bill MHA rate will increase on Aug. 1 (the beginning date of the academic year).

MHA Rates

Type of School MHA Rate
Foreign School $1,833
Schools in US Territories E-5 with dependents OHA Rate for school location
Exclusively Online Training (No Classroom Instruction) $916.50
Attending classes at ½ time or less NOT 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

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

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

Reasons Payments May Differ

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 $800.00; however your term starts on Aug. 19th and continues through Dec. 14th. Payment for the month of Aug. would include the 19th to the end of the month. (All months are based on 30 days, so months with more or less than 30 days would not affect the rate). Thus your payment for the month of Aug. would be approximately $320.00. Payments for Sep., Oct., and Nov. would be $800.00 each month and payment for Dec. would be approximately $373.36 (prorated from the 1st to the 14th).

Here are other reasons your check might be short:

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

Also, if you completed less than 3 years of active duty service your MHA rate is adjusted accordingly

Up to 30% off Tuition for Active Duty and Spouses

Southern New Hampshire University offers up to 30% off tuition for active duty military and their spouses. Learn more.

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