This is highly valuable info for anyone taking online classes with a local class for MHA.
Since veterans are only allowed to use GI Bill for courses that are part of your degree plan they can get in a situation where they have no local classes that fit their degree, or where due to pre-req's they can only enroll in 1-2 classes. As I want two degrees and want to stay enrolled in a minimum four 8-week classes at all times, these limitations would screw me.
Schools are quick to say "You can only use GI Bill to pay for one degree at a time." This is 100% false.
According to the School Certifying Official Handbook a student can be enrolled at two schools for two degree paths at the same time, with the parent school authorizing all classes. This is called the Dual Objectives Program and it's mentioned on page 85:
I say mentioned because it isn't really explained. So I called the VA and they taught me, and then I taught my school. Now I'm here in case anyone else has a similar issue.
Here's how it works:
1. Enroll in a parent school. This one controls and authorizes all classes you take for both schools. This will be the one you list on eBenefits.
2. Get an official assessment of credits and degree plan for your second school.
3. Your parent school will merge both degree plans to get a final list of credits you need to graduate from both schools. The ELR will work with the VA and your new list will be approved.
4. You now have the ability to enroll in all classes that fit those two lists. Keep in mind there will likely be no elective credits left if you pick two very different degrees. As I am doing a BSAST Nuclear degree and a Liberal Arts degree all of my classes are pretty well chosen in writing by the schools.
The perks to this are gaining access to a larger variety of classes at the host school (I gained 10 more classes I can take) and of course a second degree in not much extra time, which can offer a lot of career flexibility. Or you might just learn something interesting. Also for anyone trying to max out use of their GI Bill (I average 7.5 credits per month) this really helps.
Keep in mind your school will likely say it's not allowed or try to discourage you, just move forward with it, provide them the paperwork and instruction and they will assist you. Be patient, it takes a few weeks to get the new course approval back.