VA GI Bill Online Comparison Tool

nwlivewire

PEB Forum Regular Member
PEB Forum Veteran
I base my following comments and changes based on the readings I have done on the VA Educational Web site and the estimated GI Bill education benefit calculator.

As usual, all comments are welcome - corrections, additions - whatever. Just so long as your responses aren't personalized.

The idea here is to find ways to improve this VA ED System so Veterans and take an active part in what makes America GREAT, with education as one part of this mix.

It is my hope that Veterans who are able to use this benefit can become both the changer and the changed - to the betterment of us all.

**********

Dear Jason:

This is another example of what I have been talking about for the last two years or so since I retired on PDRL.

And that is the VA’s REDUCTION of stipend rates to attend an AMERICAN University with a MAIN Campus located here in the USA (50 States) that ALSO has a "satellite" location in an overseas country.

A perfect example of this REDUCTION of the OVERSEAS stipend rates for US VETS who either live outside the US, or who wish to attend an American University located outside the US, is how the VA calculates the stipend rates for WEBSTER UNIVERSITY.

According to the VA Post 9/11 GI Bill rules, AND, on this VA GI BILL Calculation website, the Webster University's MAIN campus location is located in St. Louis, MO.

If a Veteran attends college at the MAIN campus location at St. Louis, MO, then their 100%, full-time stipend rate is:
1,332.00 Per month
***** (Remember this figure of 1,332 per month)

Webster University, A USA University, awards a USA accredited degree at their overseas "satellite" University locations in: CHINA, GENEVA, THE NETHERLANDS, LONDON, BERMUDA, THAILAND, AND VIENNA.

Not only does Webster University award a US accredited degree in the US AND at their overseas satellite locations, in many instances, many of their overseas locations can ALSO award a degree that this ALSO valid (accredited) for THAT NATION, too. And often-times, if that nation recognizes this US degree as accredited AND/OR in-nation accredited, their neighbor counties will, too (think EU nations and ASEAN nations)

In other words, a degree obtained at Webster University in many of their overseas locations is extremely versatile in that a Webster degree is recognized in a multi-national, world-wide way. This opens up opportunities for the Veteran to international employment because of their both single & dual/multinational degree recognition, and removes a pretty big barrier to employment entry overseas ("Yes. We see you hold a US degree, but it's not recognized here. or, “It would be easier and quicker to hire you in our country to work in our country if your US degree was dually accredited. As it stands right now, you’re just another foreigner with a US degree wanting a job here.").

SO WHAT'S THE PROBLEM???

Well, for many Veterans, just the cost of living in many of these countries to attend a US university is simply not possible.

What’s even worse is this:

ALL THESE US OVERSEAS SATELLITE LOCATIONS TO ATTEND THIS USA UNIVERSITY PAY LESS THAN THE CURRENT POST 9/11 GI BILL 100%, FULL-TIME OVERSEAS STIPEND RATE OF 1,429 PER MONTH.

Every single one of this USA's University's overseas locations has a stipend rate of 1,332 –

NOT the Overseas stipend rate of 1,429.

WHY????

Because the VA is using the stipend rate of the MAIN “Brick & Mortar” campus location in the USA (St. Louis, MO) - NOT the overseas stipend rate.

Nor is the VA using the OVERSEAS HOUSING RATE (OHA) that is typically given to military and government civilians.

So, it appears the VA pays the LESSER of the TWO stipend rates - either the Main Campus location Stipend Rate, or the Overseas Stipend Rate. The Veteran is estimated to receive the LOWER of the two rates – NOT the HIGHER of the two.

If you look at the "official" GI Bill Comparison Tool, that's what the VA says you will get for your overseas stipend rate if you attend ANY of Webster University’s satellite university locations.

SO????

So it will cost the VETERAN EVEN MORE student loan debt to attend this USA-based University degree program in their satellite locations.

Or, for that matter, it will cost the Veteran even more student loan debt to attend ANY USA-BASED College that has their “Brick & mortar” location within the 50 States. This is a BIG barrier to entry for the Veteran who needs the pre-requisites to enter the job market for a multi-national company or for the State Department, or for other agencies and US companies, too.

If you don't believe me, go & look up what it costs just for rent alone on a studio-sized, nothing furnished, nothing flat in any neighborhood in London, Geneva, The Netherlands, or Vienna - oh, and near the USA school locations, too. Remember, you won't have a car, so you need to be close enough to the school to either walk or take rail/bus lines (unless you want LONG commute times in ALL kinds of weather reducing your study time).

So we are penalizing BOTH a USA, land-based, US certified/accredited college AND the US Veteran, by REDUCING the overseas stipend rates. BIG DISINCENTIVE (unless you have lots of money or a well-off parent to cover this ADDITIONAL debt).

How can USA satellite colleges compete with that?

And, WHY would a Veteran choose to receive a LESSER overseas stipend rate to attend a US school overseas when they can get a FULL overseas stipend by attending a NON-US school?

Or, a US school that DOESN’T have a “Brick and Mortar” Main campus inside the 50 States?

**********

Now, let's compare a NON-USA-based (foreign), VA-approved University in an overseas location and see what we come up with for the stipend rates. Oh. It MAY or MAY NOT be USA accredited for degree purposes, either – BUT it is VA approved. And I guess that’s ALL that really counts in the minds of these VA “wizards”.

To heck whether that degree is valid here in the USA and that the US Government has paid those FOREIGN schools - multiplied by a few THOUSAND Veterans – all those full-tuition “foreign-student” US tuition dollars.

To heck with all the loss of US tax dollars not being “recycled” back into the US economy and the loss of those “hard cash” US dollars going directly into the coffers of that foreign nation’s economy or educational systems (the economic “ multiplier effect”) or, to the support of their university’s educational system.

Does anyone care to see that this can have a chilling effect on our US-Based and US non-based colleges/universities? To our US economy? To our US tax-payers? To our US Veterans? To who gets hired FIRST on our soil – a foreign national with a US degree or, a US citizen with a foreign degree?

Or, on the indirect hemorrhaging of US tax-payer funded educational dollars leaking out of our economy like a “back-door” foreign aid blank check to foreign nations without our Government having any say-so or losing State Dept. negotiating leverage?

Since when does the VA have so much authority they can trump everyone and everything else involved in this mix?

If the foreign school in a foreign land is NOT a USA school/NOT based in the USA) BUT, is VA approved, THEN the 100% eligible Veteran IS eligible for the FULL Overseas stipend rate.

To heck with the 10’s of thousands of US dollars PER VETERAN NOT being recycled back into the US economy by attending NON-US foreign schools.

In many foreign schools, the foreign tuition rate is LESS than the tuition paid for a US college located in the same nation as the foreign school. The VA ALREADY SAVES LOTS OF MONEY on the tuition-side of the equation per each Veteran attendee who attends a foreign school as most foreign schools tuition costs are LESS than our rates.

Even so, eventually, many foreign schools will “catch on to this UD hard-dollar cash cow” and will charge (or increase) the maximum of US Dollars as will be allowable. But for the moment, the VA saves US Dollars, AND the Veteran gets the FULL overseas stipend rate for foreign school attendance.

Everyone (?) WINS – for today anyway - except for OUR US Government trade/policy makers, OUR US national economy, OUR US foreign-based educational systems and OUR US-based satellite locations, and OUR US tax payers.

And, the Veteran who chooses the USA “Brick & Mortar” school with a satellite location in that very same nation is currently receiving a REDUCED Overseas stipend rate for attending a US-Based “Brick & Mortar” University satellite school in that same nation!

Go figure!

LOSS of the full overseas stipend rate for the Veteran who chooses a US satellite school.

MORE student loan debt load for the Veteran who does choose to attend a full-on, US-based school with a satellite location.

LACK of affordability to US “Brick & Mortar” colleges/universities that have a footprint in those Satellite locations.

LOSS of Veteran “attract ability” may impact these US colleges, & will result in loss of expandability dollars to that satellite location – loss of potential revenue & expansion of services – diminished footprint – or eventually, no footprint at all.

LOSS of qualified US Veteran applicant pool for serious, post-graduate career-work positions related to International Business, International Relations, and other trade/policy work-related occupations – a loss to both the public and private sectors.

The only area I see in this scenario where there is a “WIN” is the LONG-TERM area might be the US agency that reaps the bounty from the US Veteran who has to pay back the interest on the Student Loan debt.

No US entity or US institution is really having a truly winning outcome in the short-term with this current scenario.

Especially the Veteran who choses to attend a US satellite location for study abroad.
And that's IF the Veteran can afford it to begin with, or can strap on lots of extra student debt to make this happen.

**********

IF this GI Bill Calculator website is accurate, then there are limiting and diminishing options and choices for the US Veteran as they pertain to some aspects of being able to achieve an overseas education.

The rules the VA CURRENTLY uses to establish these funding dollars (Who/which overseas institutions qualify, Who/which Veteran population groups can get qualify to receive them, and How much/how little the Veteran really DOES/DOESN’T get is NOT PENNY-WISE – it is a WHOLE LOT OF POUND FOOLISHNESS.

Lat week, our First Lady placed a nation-wide call to ALL US students to study abroad. If our US Government is SOOOO Pro-Veteran, and SOOOO Veteran Family-Friendly, then:

1. ELIMINATE THE STIPEND REDUCTION on US-Based colleges with US “brick & mortar” locations overseas. STOP penalizing these US college satellite locations AND their VETERAN Student populations with the ALREADY PATHETIC Overseas subsidy based on the “US stipend-based Average”. You can’t make bricks without straw. What do you want us to do when we get accepted to a US school in London? Go live under the Thames Bridge or walk 20 miles a day to the school house?

2. CREATE INCENTIVES for Veterans to study abroad by:

a. INCREASING the Overseas Stipend Rate to a REALISTIC FIGURE to make overseas education a GENUINE POSSIBILITY for VETERANS.

b. UTILIZING the OVERSEAS HOUSING ALLOWANCE (OHA) rates that are CURRENTLY used TODAY for the Post 9/11 GI Bill in the US TERRITORIES.

For example: The VA allows ALL 100% eligible Post 9/11 full-time Vets to attend the University of Guam, which happens to be in a high cost-of-living region AND outside the Continental United States. The VA DOES pay the Overseas Housing Allowance (OHA) rate of 2,450 per month. (PLUS, the University of Guam automatically WAIVES the 1-year residency rules, too, so you don’t have to pay the out-of-area tuition rates).

3. Make OHA REGIONAL RATE AVERAGES available WORLD-WIDE TO ALL US AND/OR US-BASED SCHOOLS.

4. ALL US SCHOOLS OUTSIDE THE 50 STATES - REGARDLESS of whether or not they have a “Brick & Mortar” location WITHIN the 50 States – ALL VA approved US SCHOOLS located outside the 50 state US region, and the Veterans who attend, should have the right to apply for and receive or PARTICIPATE in the YELLOW RIBBON Program. If they are a VA-approved US school with a US accredited degree, US DEPT of Education certified, but they don’t have a “Brick & Mortar” location here in the 50 states – so what? They are still a US Dept. Of Ed. Certified School, they are still a US accredited school, and they are still a VA approved school. As such, NO VA-qualified US overseas school or satellite school, OR Veteran ought to be penalized or financially “locked out” of an overseas US school for LACK of being a BIG MONEY/BIG BOX educational institution, or, just because THAT US school doesn’t have a “Brick & Mortar” building inside the 50 States. SIZE SHOULD NOT MATTER. The quality of the education should.

5. ELIMINATE the VA rule that says study abroad needs to be a REQUIREMENT of the degree program in order for the VA to fund study abroad.

In this day and age of international globalism, this is an ARCHAIC rule that needs elimination.

In the public and private sector, the United States needs all the sharpest tools in the drawer at her disposal. Give the US citizen/VETERAN the tools to get this job done and eliminate that ARCHAIC degree requirement.

**********

If the United States genuinely wants to increase our global presence in a positive, growth-producing way, then INCREASING the number of Veterans who are educated globally makes GREAT sense.

Like former President Reagan said, “TEAR DOWN THESE WALLS!”

Reducing these VA GI Bill barriers to entry for study abroad by making it slightly more affordable to do so - by changing the stipend rates, modifying the Yellow Ribbon Program, and eliminating the study abroad as a REQUIREMENT for a degree, is one way to attract and retain/retrain this group of American Veterans who have already heeded several national calls on already one or more occasions.

Remember, when we as a nation choose to cast a broader net, we catch a bigger fish.

And our nation will be the better for it when we are inclusive of our Veteran Citizen/Students.

V/R,
nwlivewire
 

inpain2424

PEB Forum Regular Member
PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
This needs to be addressed more. Webster University only needs to hire a verifying official in order to raise the the monthly stipend to even par with other overseas schools. This is from the schools mouth directly.

inpain2424
 

nwlivewire

PEB Forum Regular Member
PEB Forum Veteran
This needs to be addressed more. Webster University only needs to hire a verifying official in order to raise the the monthly stipend to even par with other overseas schools. This is from the schools mouth directly.

inpain2424
Two YEARS ago, I wrote the President of Webster University a 2-page letter exposing this issue of their overseas GI Bill subsistence pay being BELOW the overseas subsidy for other American OCONUS schools in the same country. I also CC'ed a copy to the Dean of Admissions and Finance.

Never heard one peep from the President. But I did receive a phone call from the Dean, who said HE would look into it.

It's been quiet ever since - nothing ever came from this.

What's ironic about this is that Webster University maintains very close ties to the Bush Family - You remember this name, right? The family name that has proudly produced one US Ambassador and two US Presidents - of which BOTH the latter Bush's are themselves military Veterans?

http://blogs.webster.edu/sbt/2010/0...efactor-ambassador-george-herbert-walker-iii/

I hate to put it this way because it sounds bad - but geez - Veterans on the GI Bill are "Cash Cows" to Webster insofar as the tuition assistance package from Webster is likely way less in size to the Veteran than to a non-Veteran student. The GI Bill makes it possible for Webster to eat well at the VA/GI Bill government trough of tuition payments.

And they cost pretty penny - darn near max tuition rates - if not more than what the GI Bill usually pays as the max tuition rate.

I should like to eat this well, too.

So WHAT's the hold-up? Why the inequity? What's being done to fix this? Anything?

Don't tell me....
Is this yet another case of two "institutions" (education/VA systems) pointing the finger at each other - all the while the Veteran gets the LESSER stipend rate while both these two systems act lame and point fingers at each other? Meanwhile, nothing gets done or improves - every single year - and the Student Veteran gets the short end of the subsistence stick?

**********

OK. A couple of years have gone by since I started down this road of exploring the possibility of using my GI Bill to attend an overseas university location.

Webster University still doesn't - (or the VA doesn't authorize Webster) - OR FOR WHATEVER REASONS - Webster still doesn't pay the overseas stipend rate at the MINIMUM US national average stipend rate.

The stipend rate for attending ANY of Webster University's overseas locations are still set at the stipend rate for St. Louis, Mo - which is LESS than the overseas rate.

The point here is this: If I have a choice of several schools in a specific foreign country I can choose from, then WHY would I attend a school in that location if it pays LESS GI Bill subsidy than the overseas stipend rate? Especially when I have many other schools to choose from that WILL pay the FULL overseas stipend rate.

Why are Veterans given the LESSER of the two stipend rates? That simply doesn't make any sense - very penny wise - pound foolish.

**********

There are now NINE COUNTRIES in the WORLD that offer FREE TUITION FOR US CITIZENS.

YEP. FREE TUITION FOR US CITIZENS AS THOSE NATIONS HAVE TUITION-FREE SCHOOLS.

AND THESE NATIONS INCLUDE INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS ('FOREIGN") STUDENTS INTO THEIR TUITION-FREE MIX.

AND THERE ARE SEVERAL OTHER COUNTRIES WHERE THE TUITION COSTS ARE A PITTANCE!

And many of these nations have ENGLISH-BASED classroom language and teach in English!

So what's the catch here?

Or, is there a catch?

Not really. These nations want an educated work force because they know they will get good tax-payers back in return - and for several decades to boot.

Not to mention all the creative inventions and advances in science and technology, and human and social progress they will reap from this as well.

So I suppose if there is "a catch", it's about wanting to catch YOU as they see you as a valued worker in their economy.

See this website for further information:

http://au.ibtimes.com/100-tuition-f...students-other-countries-1375709#.VC2_IRZcenm

http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/news/2014/09/go-to-college-free-abroad/index.htm

Some universities have miscellaneous fees for registration, books, and other incidentals. And there are travel and living expenses to consider. But all of that might be a small price to pay for tuition-free degree and what could be the adventure of a lifetime.

These countries have free-tuition universities for American and other international undergraduates:

**** Note the word Undergraduate. It's even better for those seeking advanced degrees. There are many more locations around the world that teach/speak in English at that level.
Country



What's free?



Brazil

Public universities are tuition-free to international students, but Portuguese is the language of instruction.


Czech Republic

Tuition is free for programs in which the language of instruction is Czech.

Finland


The land of the midnight sun has 14 universities and 25 institutes of technology, all supported by the federal government. Many programs are offered in English. More than 6,000 degree-seeking international students study in Finland each year.


Germany


Home to world-class higher education with many programs taught in English, Germany offers free tuition to international students in many of its universities.


Greece



Why not study in the birthplace of academia, democracy, and the Olympics? Studying in Greece is generally tuition-free, with some exceptions. The downside is that undergraduate courses are taught in Greek, so you’d have to brush up on your alpha-beta.


Iceland


No tuition is charged at Iceland’s four public universities. About 5 percent of students are from outside Iceland, and a growing number of courses are taught in English.


Luxembourg
A true multicultural environment, the University of Luxembourg, which is the only university in the country, provides instruction in French, German, and English. It charges no tuition for foreign students.



Norway



With few exceptions, there is no tuition charged for state universities and university colleges, many of which offer courses and programs in English. About 15,000 foreign students study at Norwegian institutions.


Panama



Tuition is free for everyone at public universities in this Central American country, where two universities are internationally ranked—Universidad de Panamá and Universidad Tecnológica de Panamá. The language of instruction is Spanish.



***** If none of these countries are of interest to you and you are willing to pay just a little more than nothing, check into the public universities in these countries, where tuition fees are negligible, depending on course of study: Argentina, Austria, France, Malaysia, Mexico, Spain, and Turkey.

***************************************

Since so many major universities around the world are free or very low cost to the US Veteran AND TO THE VA - especially when compared to US school tuitions BOTH inside and outside the USA -

Then every time the Veteran attends a low-cost or tuition-free college, that Veteran is saving our Government 10-20,000 US Dollars per year (or more) of education cost to the VA.

So why isn't the GI Bill overseas subsidy higher than what it is?

Why doesn't the GI Bill use the OHA rates for the GI Bill stipend rates like they currently do in the US territories? I mean the VA is already saving a ton a money by not having to pay high tuition costs in many parts of the world as many national colleges and universities are free or very low cost.

But many parts of the world are expensive to live in - even if the tuition is free. Try Paris, London, Rome, Berlin, or Zurich.

The "full" overseas VA GI Bill stipend ate is based on OUR US National average of stipend rates. And even that isn't enough to cover space rent under the Thames Bridge in London.

Please don't tell me the Student Loan "Banksters" want the GI Bill subsidy to remain at this level so as to force Veterans into having to take out student loans just to pay rent.

I just wish the GI Bill people could come up with a FAIR and REALISTIC overseas subsidy rate that makes sense.

One that is based NOT on what the costs are in St. Louis Missouri, but is based on the costs of that region
or nation where the Veteran's school is located and where the Veteran actually lives.

It seems if the VA saves tons of money by not having to pay tuition in many parts of the world, or pays significantly less, then the least this GI Bill could do is incentivize the Vet with a "LIVING OHA".

This is really shameful!

V/R,
nwlivewire


 

inpain2424

PEB Forum Regular Member
PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
I have been accepted into 7 schools overseas, Webster being one of the 7. I may just attend one of the others to
Complete another bachelor's, then back to webster for the MBA. At least that way, I don't lose 300 a month in the stipend. That could almost pay for Master's degree over the course of a year!

inpain2424
 

nwlivewire

PEB Forum Regular Member
PEB Forum Veteran
I have been accepted into 7 schools overseas, Webster being one of the 7. I may just attend one of the others to
Complete another bachelor's, then back to webster for the MBA. At least that way, I don't lose 300 a month in the stipend. That could almost pay for Master's degree over the course of a year!

inpain2424
What you have written is exactly one of the points that is a troublesome issue for Veterans and the GI Bill.

I have found a handful of US schools located around the world that actually pay a HIGHER overseas subsistence rate to the Veteran using the Post 9/11 GI Bill (Chapter 33) than the standard average "UNFIXED" FULL-TIME STIPEND RATE OF 1509 P/MONTH.

I found ONE US College that has a location in Paris AND Berlin (and other places around the world and within the US, too). It offers a very limited selection of undergraduate and graduate degree programs. But if you want to major in psychology or business or a few other majors, this may be an excellent college for you to consider as it is affordable and pays a "LIVING STIPEND".

This US College offers a US accredited degree and can even offer a host-nation accredited degree - much like Webster University does. The classroom language and academic platform is in English - just like Webster.

AND, the tuition rate is UNDER the maximum tuition rate that the GI Bill will cover - so you don't have to worry about not having access to the Yellow Ribbon Program or float a student loan to cover excess tuition costs as there aren't any.

PLUS, if you attend this school at their Paris or Berlin location as a full-time student under the Post 9/11 GI Bill, you are eligible to receive OVER 2 1/2 TIMES THE MONTHLY STIPEND RATE AS WHAT WEBSTER UNIVERSITY CAN GIVE at ANY of their overseas locations.

The one US College I'm referring to has a stipend rate that WILL cover your overseas living expenses in Paris or Berlin. And you will NOT need to float student loans or worry about the US "Banksters" hounding you for the next 10 year after you graduate.

Like I wrote above, their degree programs are limited - they don't offer every degree major under the sun.

BUT, they DO offer Undergrad degrees and Post Grad degrees and many are dual accredited for US AND EU - just like Webster.

Their most expensive non-medical degree majors at their Berlin, Germany, location cost under 5,000 Euros per SEMESTER for full-time study. This is under the max payment rate for the GI Bill. Yippy Skippy! No loans!

It IS possible to attend as a 3/4 time student in a couple of their advanced degree programs, too. Full time study is NOT necessary.

http://inquiry.vba.va.gov/weamspub/buildViewOrg.do

http://department-of-veterans-affairs.github.io/gi-bill-comparison-tool/

http://touroberlin.com/academics/degree-programs.html

The full-time student 9/11 GI Bill stipend rate for this US College in Berlin, Germany - a US College that can confer a dually accredited degree (good for the US and Germany) - a US College that speaks English in the classroom and offers BOTH undergrad and graduate degrees - the stipend rate is:

3,744.00 per month X 8 months per "regular" school year

Or, you can attend Webster in Europe and try to live on

1,284.00 per month X 8 months per "regular" school year.

And yes. I called the VA GI Bill folks back in New York and spoke at length with them, so I know what the ell I'm talking about.

I also contacted the College and spoke with them, too.

For me, if I were interested in any of Touro College's degree programs in Paris or Berlin, this would be the college of my choice. I wouldn't have to float any loans for tuition, and I could afford to trade in my space under the bridge for a real modest apartment with in-door plumbing.

The stipend rate at Touro College matches the TRUE and REAL cost of living for an international degree Veteran/student living in Paris or Berlin.

Bye Bye Banksters!

V/R,
nwlivewire
 
Last edited:

inpain2424

PEB Forum Regular Member
PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
Look at the Thailand schools and then webster thailand. Webster gets the full VA rate and yellow ribbon backing, you get shorted 1509 to 1284 a month. I will have to attend summer school just to stay a float!

inpain2424
 

nwlivewire

PEB Forum Regular Member
PEB Forum Veteran
Look at the Thailand schools and then webster thailand. Webster gets the full VA rate and yellow ribbon backing, you get shorted 1509 to 1284 a month. I will have to attend summer school just to stay a float!

inpain2424

I know. This is why I crossed off Webster U from my short list.

Especially after I wrote them, called them on this (and other issues), and got such a "NON-answer" back from them.

PLUS, along with the low, unlivable overseas stipend rate Webster U offers, the GI Bill doesn't/won't cover all their tuition, either. There's a shortfall of over 3,500 bucks a year. Multiply that by 4 years!

When I called them on this, I never got a firm answer on whether or not the Yellow Ribbon would cover this 3,500 if I attended one of their "overseas" locations. They said they have Yellow Ribbon for St. Louis, but never answered my overseas location question.

It seems like they get their money from YOUR GI Bill - but can't be bothered to do anything to better this inequity on the stipend rate they offer.

And Webster never did get back to me with an answer on if I would need to cover down (float a student loan) on that annual 3,500 dollar tuition shortfall (multiply that times 4 years!).

The meta-message is this:

They get their money from YOUR GI Bill education blank check - and they get their MAXIMUM off of YOUR GI Bill (they eat BIG at the VA trough) - and then to ell with you!

Go float a loan for you tuition overage and then go live on air with your stipend!

That's the impression I got left with from Webster U.

Sorry, but I don't come from a family that has "Disneyland Daddy Dollars" that can back my a$$ up, so it's student loans for me.

I trust - but I verify.

So because big, fat, piggy Webster U came up sorely lacking in my pocket book, I had no choice but to cross them off of my short list.

**********

I hope to be in SE Asia in about 18 months. I'm still in the IRS maze of clearing the deck with them and want to be absolutely free and clear of all major governmental encumbrances prior to departure.

SE Asia is where I need to go right now. (I have a crazy plan up my sleeve and I need to have a 3-stage plan for the next 10 years). My education is phase I of III.

So....

When I look at the dollars and (sense, too) of this GI Bill deal, my first priority beyond my education major is affordability and how to avoid taking on more education debt. (I had ed debt 20 years ago and it took me 10 years to pay it off. NEVER AGAIN!)

Another factor I look at is goods and services - the infrastructure I will or may need to utilize while attending school in a foreign country - my education host nation.

Health care insurance is a basic requirement needed for long-term stays in foreign countries. Most countries will not issue you a student VISA unless you have health care insurance and can prove it.

This is WHY Tricare is so valuable as it has 90% world-wide portability and opens up the door to a Student VISA to most foreign countries around the world.

I do not have to go out and buy an expensive health care insurance package. I may only need to pick up a supplemental policy that covers Medical evacuation back to the States or repatriation of my remains or something like that.

Another thing I ask myself:

What are the costs of these goods and services to me once I'm there and in school? Is the host nation I'm in and going to school in - is their health care system adequate for my basic health care needs? Can I afford to pay out-of-pocket for all my health care and then wait months on end for Tricare to reimburse me? Are my pockets deep enough for this - are my personal reserves deep enough? Is my "host nation" health care system up-front costs affordable to me?

How about the dental and optical and pharmacological issues that can arise along with the medical?

**** Can or will my GI Bill stipend rate cover down on the bare-bone basics of basic food, basic clothing, basic shelter, basic utilities, basic internet, and basic transportation costs to and from my school?

If not, as a student on a student VISA in my host country, am I allowed to work part-time in my host country?

IF AUTHORIZED (many nations won't let you work), then am I able to work AND keep up my grades all at the same time? Do I want to take on a 60-hour week with full-time school, study, exams, papers to research/write and work?

This is why I suggested Touro College if you are interested taking your international education in Europe (Berlin, GE or Paris, FR).

Providing it has the degree program you're searching for, it at least offers a "living stipend" that will cover the basics, so you won't have a 60-hour work week with school and job (if allowed).

With a "living stipend", you will be able to concentrate your mind and focus your energy on WHY you're there to begin with - TO STUDY AND GET AN INTERNATIONAL EDUCATION.

And hopefully, BRING THIS BACK TO AMERICA AND BE A PART OF MAKING US A BETTER NATION AND NEIGHBOR.

With a "living stipend", you won't have that nagging weight of financial worry dragging down your future with student loan debts - you won't need those "bankster" loans.

You'll be able to maintain your future's income and occupational flexibility and you'll have more creative options and choices for your future life's work because you WON'T have big education debt staring you in the eyeball every month for years on end. There will be more options on your menu.

I know this from first-hand experience.

**********

Anyway, I'm closing for now.

But if I can help you in your information search - let me know.

I am pleased to read you want to use your GI Bill and get maximum benefit from it.

I stand with you!

V/R,

nwlivewire
 

inpain2424

PEB Forum Regular Member
PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
I agree with your post. My situation is slightly different. Thailand has a lower total cost of living and pending tricare, I could just get by. I know that sounds terrible, but with conditions thats possibly respond better to warmer weather and therapeutic massage being cheap; this could be my only route to start. Yes, Webster is getting over big time and yes they know it. With a simple hire, the problem is fixed. Again, I have spoken directly with the St Louis VA rep school rep and the Thailand staff. If a verifying offical was there, win win. They simply refuse to hire one. I know for some, ranking matter, for me trying to heal is most important.
 

nwlivewire

PEB Forum Regular Member
PEB Forum Veteran
I agree with your post. My situation is slightly different. Thailand has a lower total cost of living and pending tricare, I could just get by. I know that sounds terrible, but with conditions thats possibly respond better to warmer weather and therapeutic massage being cheap; this could be my only route to start. Yes, Webster is getting over big time and yes they know it. With a simple hire, the problem is fixed. Again, I have spoken directly with the St Louis VA rep school rep and the Thailand staff. If a verifying offical was there, win win. They simply refuse to hire one. I know for some, ranking matter, for me trying to heal is most important.
Dear inpain2424:

If I may, I'd like to add some information about Thailand here for you to consider.

If after this read, you wish further information, PM me with your email addy and I will give you specific names and other information for you to pursue.

For other reasons not posted on this website, I also declined Webster U at Hua Hin, Thailand. My decision was based on more than just the reduction of the "Big" overseas subsistence.

I have travelled all over SE Asia and have literally visited and stayed in many regions throughout Thailand.

I offer up for your consideration the area of Thailand up in the North - a city called Chiang Mai.

And a school up there called Payap University.

The Admissions Director/Recruiter is actually a retired US Veteran (AF I think), and there are over a dozen US Vets attending Payap Universty in Chiang Mai, Thailand, using many of the various GI Bill education programs.

Payap also pays the full overseas stipend rate - something Webster U down in Hua Hin, Thailand doesn't do.

Just so you know, Warren Buffet, one of THE richest American men in the world, owns one of many homes around the world. One of his homes just happens to be in the Chiang Mai area.

He (or his business/corporate money did) contributed nearly 20 Million US dollars to help fund/build a state-of-the-art hospital up there, too.

This region of Chiang Mai and the next neighboring big city of Chiang Rai (about an hours drive by car) is well-known for it Universities of Sciences, Technology, and Medicine (both Eastern and Western schools of thought and training). There are several hospitals and clinics of all types in this city of Chiang Mai. And many Thai colleges and universities, too.

https://www.google.com/maps/search/list of major hospitals in chiang mai/@18.7781155,98.9980745,14z/data=!3m1!4b1
Anyway, Payap University is a school worthy of consideration. It's small, but well funded, English speaking (and Thai, too, if you want to learn) and Veteran friendly.

Chiang Mai has an international airport, too - so direct flights to many countries and to other major hub cities are easily available to you.

This area also has a large, international ex-pat community - and a vibrant and active one, too. And as such, the goods and services that many international ex-pats need and use are affordable and accessible to this population group.

I'm not trying to change your mind - just putting this stuff out there for your consideration - if you haven't already.

I've personally been and travelled to both the Hua Hin region and the Chiang Mai region. And of course, each area has its own "flavor". For me, my preference is the Chiang Mai region. It has a much more deep and diverse cultural texture of time running through it.

Anywho, if you'd like more information, PM me with your email addy and I'll be happy to turn you on to additional resources.

My short list has a couple other places on it as well (outside of Thailand), and I'd be happy to share all I know.

But I do have Payap University in Chiang Mai, Thailand on my short list.

V/R,
nwlivewire
 
Last edited:

inpain2424

PEB Forum Regular Member
PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
Tried to PM, didn't work. Anyway im looking at Stamford. I understand the negative stuff with the thai schools, and Payap is a good school and location. But I want to be closer to the main airport just in case. Chiang Mai is a great area with a lower cost of living and excellent healthcare seeing as the Big Guy is close by there.
 

nwlivewire

PEB Forum Regular Member
PEB Forum Veteran
http://department-of-veterans-affairs.github.io/gi-bill-comparison-tool/
Dear inpain2424:

If I may, I'd like to add some information about Thailand here for you to consider.

If after this read, you wish further information, PM me with your email addy and I will give you specific names and other information for you to pursue.

For other reasons not posted on this website, I also declined Webster U at Hua Hin, Thailand. My decision was based on more than just the reduction of the "Big" overseas subsistence.

I have travelled all over SE Asia and have literally visited and stayed in many regions throughout Thailand.

I offer up for your consideration the area of Thailand up in the North - a city called Chiang Mai.

And a school up there called Payap University.

The Admissions Director/Recruiter is actually a retired US Veteran (AF I think), and there are over a dozen US Vets attending Payap Universty in Chiang Mai, Thailand, using many of the various GI Bill education programs.

Payap also pays the full overseas stipend rate - something Webster U down in Hua Hin, Thailand doesn't do.

Just so you know, Warren Buffet, one of THE richest American men in the world, owns one of many homes around the world. One of his homes just happens to be in the Chiang Mai area.

He (or his business/corporate money did) contributed nearly 20 Million US dollars to help fund/build a state-of-the-art hospital up there, too.

This region of Chiang Mai and the next neighboring big city of Chiang Rai (about an hours drive by car) is well-known for it Universities of Sciences, Technology, and Medicine (both Eastern and Western schools of thought and training). There are several hospitals and clinics of all types in this city of Chiang Mai. And many Thai colleges and universities, too.

https://www.google.com/maps/search/list of major hospitals in chiang mai/@18.7781155,98.9980745,14z/data=!3m1!4b1
Anyway, Payap University is a school worthy of consideration. It's small, but well funded, English speaking (and Thai, too, if you want to learn) and Veteran friendly.

Chiang Mai has an international airport, too - so direct flights to many countries and to other major hub cities are easily available to you.

This area also has a large, international ex-pat community - and a vibrant and active one, too. And as such, the goods and services that many international ex-pats need and use are affordable and accessible to this population group.

I'm not trying to change your mind - just putting this stuff out there for your consideration - if you haven't already.

I've personally been and travelled to both the Hua Hin region and the Chiang Mai region. And of course, each area has its own "flavor". For me, my preference is the Chiang Mai region. It has a much more deep and diverse cultural texture of time running through it.

Anywho, if you'd like more information, PM me with your email addy and I'll be happy to turn you on to additional resources.

My short list has a couple other places on it as well (outside of Thailand), and I'd be happy to share all I know.

But I do have Payap University in Chiang Mai, Thailand on my short list.

V/R,
nwlivewire

Here is a website that lists many different countries that have college and university branch locations outside their national borders.

Under the column "Home Country", look for the words "United States". That row of information will tell you:

the name of that US school
the country that US school's branch campus is located in
a thumbnail of data about that foreign branch
a website link to that campus (if available)

This website data is quickly researchable if you know what country you'd like to study in (this web listing is alphabetized by country location of branch campus). If you know what country you'd like to study in, look under the alphabetized column named "Host Country"

Again, it lists many nations that have branch campuses outside their borders. So look to make sure it says United States in the "Home Country" column if you are intent upon only studying at a US overseas branch campus.

http://www.globalhighered.org/branchcampuses.php

This website IS updated every 3-6 months.

**********

Now, armed with the above website, you can then start your cross referencing and dig a little deeper.

There's the WEAMS website from the VA that has a listing of all approved GI Bill schools from around the world.

Here you go:

http://inquiry.vba.va.gov/weamspub/buildSearchInstitutionCriteria.do

You can search by country or search by school name.

Another good website is the VA's GI Bill Comparison tool. It doesn't always have the tuition and fees schedule for the school listed in their data base, so you have to go to the school's website and dig that up so you can put it into the data base box on this site.

http://department-of-veterans-affairs.github.io/gi-bill-comparison-tool/

OK. That's the best, fastest, and easiest three websites I've found that together will give me specific target information on the names of US colleges that have branch locations outside the USA

AND are VA approved.

Now the rest of it is on you to figure out. Like:

What degree programs are offered at that location? Majors and Minors?

Are they US accredited? Host nation accredited? Dually accredited?

Does this location offer Undergraduate degrees? Graduate? Post-Graduate?

Tuition and fees costs (some schools give you a choice of paying in USD or Euros or Thai Baht or whatever).

Here's an exchange rate calculator so you can get an estimate of US Dollar value

exchange rate calculator

Term start and end dates - quarters? semesters? other?

(Remember, the VA GI Bill financial school year begins 01 AUG and ends 31 JUL. Not all countries start and end date their school terms like the VA and the USA does).

Is there a school "dress code"? (I'm serious - some schools have & do enforce a conservative, business casual dress code).

Hope this helps anyone out there that has retired from military service with Tricare and wants to use their GI Bill to study someplace OCONUS and outside our Territories.

**********

The University of Guam is another place to consider as it is still part of the USA, is USA accredited, has military bases for Commissary, PX/BX, has military and civilian hospital. And the Hawaii VA is in charge of the medical there (or is it the GI Bill section?) Can't remember now other than there is a connection to the VA and Hawaii. Tricare is good there - so is Medicare.

OH. And the GI Bill living/housing subsidy for full-time students in Guam is 2,450 a month - tax free of course.

And they have a TON of degree programs to choose from!

nwlivewire
 

inpain2424

PEB Forum Regular Member
PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
Yes I have used these. I want to attend in Thailand. Seeing as I have already been accepted into 7 schools over there. Try to PM me and will reply. The dollar vs thb is not bad in exchange. No desire for Guam. SE Asia is my location of choice.
 

nwlivewire

PEB Forum Regular Member
PEB Forum Veteran
http://department-of-veterans-affairs.github.io/gi-bill-comparison-tool/


Here is a website that lists many different countries that have college and university branch locations outside their national borders.

Under the column "Home Country", look for the words "United States". That row of information will tell you:

the name of that US school
the country that US school's branch campus is located in
a thumbnail of data about that foreign branch
a website link to that campus (if available)

This website data is quickly researchable if you know what country you'd like to study in (this web listing is alphabetized by country location of branch campus). If you know what country you'd like to study in, look under the alphabetized column named "Host Country"

Again, it lists many nations that have branch campuses outside their borders. So look to make sure it says United States in the "Home Country" column if you are intent upon only studying at a US overseas branch campus.

http://www.globalhighered.org/branchcampuses.php

This website IS updated every 3-6 months.

**********

Now, armed with the above website, you can then start your cross referencing and dig a little deeper.

There's the WEAMS website from the VA that has a listing of all approved GI Bill schools from around the world.

Here you go:

http://inquiry.vba.va.gov/weamspub/buildSearchInstitutionCriteria.do

You can search by country or search by school name.

Another good website is the VA's GI Bill Comparison tool. It doesn't always have the tuition and fees schedule for the school listed in their data base, so you have to go to the school's website and dig that up so you can put it into the data base box on this site.

http://department-of-veterans-affairs.github.io/gi-bill-comparison-tool/

OK. That's the best, fastest, and easiest three websites I've found that together will give me specific target information on the names of US colleges that have branch locations outside the USA

AND are VA approved.

Now the rest of it is on you to figure out. Like:

What degree programs are offered at that location? Majors and Minors?

Are they US accredited? Host nation accredited? Dually accredited?

Does this location offer Undergraduate degrees? Graduate? Post-Graduate?

Tuition and fees costs (some schools give you a choice of paying in USD or Euros or Thai Baht or whatever).

Here's an exchange rate calculator so you can get an estimate of US Dollar value

exchange rate calculator

Term start and end dates - quarters? semesters? other?

(Remember, the VA GI Bill financial school year begins 01 AUG and ends 31 JUL. Not all countries start and end date their school terms like the VA and the USA does).

Is there a school "dress code"? (I'm serious - some schools have & do enforce a conservative, business casual dress code).

Hope this helps anyone out there that has retired from military service with Tricare and wants to use their GI Bill to study someplace OCONUS and outside our Territories.

**********

The University of Guam is another place to consider as it is still part of the USA, is USA accredited, has military bases for Commissary, PX/BX, has military and civilian hospital. And the Hawaii VA is in charge of the medical there (or is it the GI Bill section?) Can't remember now other than there is a connection to the VA and Hawaii. Tricare is good there - so is Medicare.

OH. And the GI Bill living/housing subsidy for full-time students in Guam is 2,450 a month - tax free of course.

And they have a TON of degree programs to choose from!

nwlivewire

Bangkok huh?

Well, you gotta go where you gotta go.

I've been in and out of BKK a half dozen times. The longest one-time stretch I spent in Bangkok was a couple weeks - and a one weeker on another occasion.

If you can handle big crowds and crushes of people and traffic, BKK isn't too bad for a multi-million super-sized city.

I'm not interested in living in a big city, so LA, NYC, BKK, and those kind of super-sized cities are great for me to visit - just wouldn't want to live there.

Like I said - to each their own. You can always hop on a fast train and in 12 hours you're in Chiang Mai. Take the sleeper train and it gets to Chiang Mai as the sun is coming up and makes for a pleasant ride.

nwlivewire
 

inpain2424

PEB Forum Regular Member
PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
Yeah, when I go I stay on the outskirts of the city. I also travel down to chonburi close to pattaya. I hope to tour Chiang Mai and Phuket on my next trip. Hua Hin is not bad either!
 

nwlivewire

PEB Forum Regular Member
PEB Forum Veteran
Yeah, when I go I stay on the outskirts of the city. I also travel down to chonburi close to pattaya. I hope to tour Chiang Mai and Phuket on my next trip. Hua Hin is not bad either!
It's a bit cooler up in the North as there are mountains up there. It's still very warm - just not as sticky hot as it can be in the lower elevations.

Waterfalls, lots of local tribes, farmers, elephant rescue centers, ancient ruins & garden parks.

Just a slightly different flavor in the North than in the South.

It's a good place to go when you want to get away from it all (the big city).

Well, enjoy yourself.

There's so much to see and experience over there.

Send us a postcard!

nwlivewire
 

inpain2424

PEB Forum Regular Member
PEB Forum Veteran
Registered Member
Will do. I hope to be a POC for anyone looking at going that way in the future.
 

PappaPimpn

Member
Registered Member
NWLivewire,
First let me say how impressed I am with your information and attention to detail. Very helpful for this up and coming life transition I will be going through. A little back story on me. I am 35, was in the US Navy for 11 years and now work at Samsung Austin Semiconductor as a Equipment Engineering Technician. I have decided to pursue an education using the P-9/11 GI bill in Thailand at Mahidol University. My logic was based off of a simple ratio: Cost of living to prestigious education earned. I have so many questions and i see how knowledgable you are so I was hoping for your advice. Maybe its best if I just put my questions down in number format?

1. If you were in my shoes, could go anywhere, (single) where would you go for the best ratio of cost of living to prestigious education earned (I know not all institutions are equal)? What would be your top lists for the best utilization of your GI bill while being able to sustain with no job so I can immerse myself properly in my studies which is in agreeance to what you have previously stated.

2. I read the part that you spoke of going to school in Paris.

"I found ONE US College that has a location in Paris AND Berlin (and other places around the world and within the US, too). It offers a very limited selection of undergraduate and graduate degree programs. But if you want to major in psychology or business or a few other majors, this may be an excellent college for you to consider as it is affordable and pays a "LIVING STIPEND". PLUS, if you attend this school at their Paris or Berlin location as a full-time student under the Post 9/11 GI Bill, you are eligible to receive OVER 2 1/2 TIMES THE MONTHLY STIPEND RATE AS WHAT WEBSTER UNIVERSITY CAN GIVE at ANY of their overseas locations."

Was wondering what you thought of that school and the great stipend?

3. What would you suggest for medical coverage? I am not retired, and have %40 service connected dissability so I do not have tricare. If you don't have an idea, don't worry, I will do my own research and try to figure it out.

4. "SE Asia is where I need to go right now. (I have a crazy plan up my sleeve and I need to have a 3-stage plan for the next 10 years). My education is phase I of III." This statement of your intrigues me to no end... I would like to emulate your plan im thinking! May I know your plans for world domination?! Is it similar as I have planned? Chiang Mai Thailand? Im guessing off of $1509 being enough to live on, especially if you have monthly disability income on top.

"(I had ed debt 20 years ago and it took me 10 years to pay it off. NEVER AGAIN!)" I am just getting over the same thing... Never ever again will I be so foolish...

5. I want to study for my BA in International Business Management with a definite plan for a MBA after. How do i find out if Mahidol University is US accredited or dually accredited? Should I be worried that after all the schooling, coming back to the states, my degree would not hold enough weight? I was thinking of doing my B.B.A in Thailand, then my MBA in the states.

Hopefully this is not too much, I have done non stop research for the past 2 months and still am seeking more information! Thanks a ton!
Chris
 

PappaPimpn

Member
Registered Member
It's a bit cooler up in the North as there are mountains up there. It's still very warm - just not as sticky hot as it can be in the lower elevations.

Waterfalls, lots of local tribes, farmers, elephant rescue centers, ancient ruins & garden parks.

Just a slightly different flavor in the North than in the South.

It's a good place to go when you want to get away from it all (the big city).

Well, enjoy yourself.

There's so much to see and experience over there.

Send us a postcard!

nwlivewire
Chiang Mai looks very awesome too... im so torn between Bankok and Chiang Mai!
 

nwlivewire

PEB Forum Regular Member
PEB Forum Veteran
NWLivewire,
First let me say how impressed I am with your information and attention to detail. Very helpful for this up and coming life transition I will be going through. A little back story on me. I am 35, was in the US Navy for 11 years and now work at Samsung Austin Semiconductor as a Equipment Engineering Technician. I have decided to pursue an education using the P-9/11 GI bill in Thailand at Mahidol University. My logic was based off of a simple ratio: Cost of living to prestigious education earned. I have so many questions and i see how knowledgable you are so I was hoping for your advice. Maybe its best if I just put my questions down in number format?

1. If you were in my shoes, could go anywhere, (single) where would you go for the best ratio of cost of living to prestigious education earned (I know not all institutions are equal)? What would be your top lists for the best utilization of your GI bill while being able to sustain with no job so I can immerse myself properly in my studies which is in agreeance to what you have previously stated.

2. I read the part that you spoke of going to school in Paris.

"I found ONE US College that has a location in Paris AND Berlin (and other places around the world and within the US, too). It offers a very limited selection of undergraduate and graduate degree programs. But if you want to major in psychology or business or a few other majors, this may be an excellent college for you to consider as it is affordable and pays a "LIVING STIPEND". PLUS, if you attend this school at their Paris or Berlin location as a full-time student under the Post 9/11 GI Bill, you are eligible to receive OVER 2 1/2 TIMES THE MONTHLY STIPEND RATE AS WHAT WEBSTER UNIVERSITY CAN GIVE at ANY of their overseas locations."

Was wondering what you thought of that school and the great stipend?

3. What would you suggest for medical coverage? I am not retired, and have %40 service connected dissability so I do not have tricare. If you don't have an idea, don't worry, I will do my own research and try to figure it out.

4. "SE Asia is where I need to go right now. (I have a crazy plan up my sleeve and I need to have a 3-stage plan for the next 10 years). My education is phase I of III." This statement of your intrigues me to no end... I would like to emulate your plan im thinking! May I know your plans for world domination?! Is it similar as I have planned? Chiang Mai Thailand? Im guessing off of $1509 being enough to live on, especially if you have monthly disability income on top.

"(I had ed debt 20 years ago and it took me 10 years to pay it off. NEVER AGAIN!)" I am just getting over the same thing... Never ever again will I be so foolish...

5. I want to study for my BA in International Business Management with a definite plan for a MBA after. How do i find out if Mahidol University is US accredited or dually accredited? Should I be worried that after all the schooling, coming back to the states, my degree would not hold enough weight? I was thinking of doing my B.B.A in Thailand, then my MBA in the states.

Hopefully this is not too much, I have done non stop research for the past 2 months and still am seeking more information! Thanks a ton!
Chris
Dear Chris:

Please allow me a couple of days to get back to you with as full of a response as I can give you. I am packing up my apartment and getting ready to begin my transition to overseas travel/living, but will be relocating for the next 18 months very soon to stay with a friend of mine in N. California.

So even though I will still be in CONUS for the next 18 months, I am having to sort, sell, and donate most of everything I have right now as everything I will be keeping (which won't be much) will be in Long-term storage for the next 3-5 years.

I will be experiencing a very transient lifestyle these next 18 CONUS months, but hopefully, it will be a pleasant time for me.

But right now, it's a pain in the arse (and my body) to get this piece done in the next 30 days!

So give me a couple of days to compose a thoughtful response to you.

Also, I have been ""boots" on the ground" and have literally seen a couple of these places I have mentioned. One suggestion (IF it's at all affordable), is for you to actually take a travel trip to your prospection colleges and interface with them directly while you're in that area. Stuff and data looks great on the internet, but it can be a whole other thing when you see it and experience it in "the real"! Make contact with their admissions, their Veteran Office (if they have one) by phone and by e-mail, too - and prior to departure. If they can't get to first base by phone or by e-mail with me in a timely manner, then they are a "Strike-Out" at the plate with me.

nwlivewire
 
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