Modular Based Programs and Nonstandard Terms

Any classes that don't have a course start date and end date that align with the beginning and end of the standard Fall and Spring terms are considered nonstandard terms. This includes all summer terms and many online graduate programs.


Rate of Pursuit (Chapter 33 Post-9/11 GI Bill ONLY)

Your rate of pursuit is based on the number of credits you are enrolled in during a given term, and is expressed as a percentage of full-time status, rounded to the nearest 10%.

An undergraduate student in a normal semester is considered full-time (100% rate of pursuit) at 12 or more credits.

A graduate student in a normal semester is considered full-time (100% rate of pursuit) at 9 or more credits unless the student’s full-time status is defined differently by the University Registrar. Examples of this include students holding full-time assistanceships or students working on dissertation credits who have been approved by their departments to reduce their full-time credit requirements.

Your rate of pursuit is used to calculate monthly housing allowance payments and the amount of time deducted from your benefit.

Your rate of pursuit does not affect tuition and fee payments to the school. Your tuition and fees will be paid based on your eligibility percentage.

Rate of pursuit calculations are different for non-standard terms.

Eligibility Percentage (Chapter 33 Post-9/11 GI Bill ONLY)

This your eligibility percentage of the Post-9/11 GI Bill, as determined by the VA, based on the length and circumstances of your military service or the military service of the person who transferred benefits to you.

A student with 100% eligibility under the Post-9/11 GI Bill will have 100% of eligible tuition and course fees covered and receive 100% of the monthly housing allowance (if applicable) and book stipend (if applicable).

A student with a lower eligibility percentage will have a proportionately smaller percentage of tuition and course fees covered, and a receive a proportionately smaller percentage of the housing allowance, and book stipend.

You can find your eligibility percentage on your certificate of eligibility, on your VA eBenefits account, or by contacting the VA directly.

Eligibility percentage is not related to the number of months of Chapter 33 you have remaining, the number of months of Chapter 33 you had transferred to you, your VA disability rating, or the VA disability rating of the person who transferred benefits to you.

The Chapter 33 examples in these instructions assume 100% Post-9/11 GI Bill eligibility.

Training Time (NON-Chapter 33 ONLY)

Your training time is expressed as a fraction of full-time status. Your training time may be full-time, ¾ time, ½ time, less than ½ but greater than ¼ time, or ¼ time.

Full Time Modifier 

This is the number of credits in which a graduate student must be enrolled to be considered full-time in a non-standard term

Credit Hour Equivalents/Credit Hour Equivalency

This is a calculation the VA makes during non-standard terms to compare the number of credits a student is taking to what the equivalent hours would be in a standard semester.


A term is a distinct period of time in which a student is in class. Examples of distinct, individual terms include summer sessions, a fall or spring standard semester, an eight-week module in an MBA program, or a two-week study abroad.

The VA treats each of these as distinct, individual entities when determining how they will charge your benefits, even if they have overlapping dates.

Standard Semester

A full semester, or standard semester runs 15 to 19 weeks. For the purpose of using VA benefits at George Mason, only the full-length Fall and Spring terms (including Mason-Korea terms) are considered standard semesters.

Non-Standard Term

A non-standard term at Mason is any period you are in class that is not a full standard semester in length. It can be outside of the standard semester dates, fall within those dates, or overlap those dates. Shorter non-standard termsgenerally require fewer credits to reach full-time status.


Some programs at George Mason are offered in modules. These are typically 8-weeks in length, and there are usually two modules within in a standard semester. Each module is treated as a separate, distinct term by the VA.

48-Month Rule

The VA limits veterans and servicemembers to a total of 48 months of benefits if they have more than one GI Bill benefit based on their own service. Veterans and servicemembers who use the full 36 months of Chapter 30 Montgomery GI Bill – Active Duty benefits may qualify for an additional 12 months of Chapter 33 Post-9/11 GI Bill.

This 48-month cap may be extended to the end of the term in which a student exhausts benefits under the Carr v. Wilkie ruling if the student reaches his or her 48-month cap in the middle of a term on or after June 11, 2019. This determination is made by the VA, and does not apply to students using benefits transferred to them.

Please note that this information is based on VA publications and Federal law, but is provided for informational purposes only. It does not constitute a formal VA determination of how your individual benefits will be processed, paid, charged, or administered. The VA is the sole authority on the administration of your benefits, and specific questions about your entitlement should be directed to them. All examples are illustrative only. Please contact the office to discuss the benefits process for these situations. Call 703-993-1316 or email.  Be sure to mention if you are in a semester or modular based program.  If we don't know, the general information shared is based on standard terms