Certification Policies and Procedures

When payment of education benefits is authorized, the Department of Veteran Affairs will mail a certificate of eligibility letter to the student. This certificate is issued only once, and it will indicate the number of months of eligibility.


This form must be filled out and turned in to the Certification Department each term in which benefits are requested. You will not receive benefits for the term until the form is submitted.

To receive Veteran Benefits while attending the U of M, students must be enrolled in a degree program and all courses taken must apply toward completion of the student’s degree.



CREDIT HOURS:  Chapter 33 Students must report all drops or increases to their academic load as the VA makes payments based on an established per credit hour rate. 

Chapter 30, 1606, 1607 and 35 students must report a drop in credit hours only when it results in a change in their enrollment status (e.g.: a drop from full time to part time).

CHANGE OF PROGRAM:  A change of program consists of a change in the educational, professional, or vocational objective for which the veteran or eligible person entered training and a like change in the type of courses required to attain a new objective. This includes any change in an eligible persons program or objective which will result in material loss of credit or will lengthen the training time. A material loss of credit is generally considered to be the loss of more than 12 credit hours. Students must notify the Veterans Certification office if they change majors. Additional forms may need to be completed.



All students receiving VA Benefits must make satisfactory progress toward their degree. Education benefits may be terminated for unsatisfactory progress if the student’s GPA falls below a 2.000 beyond two consecutive terms (5.000 for graduate students), or if the student is dismissed for academic reasons. 



After reaching the minimum number of credits required for graduation, further coursework cannot be certified for benefits without documentation from the academic auditor’s office at the student’s school or college indicating the remaining courses and credits required for graduation.



Punitive/Non Punitive Grades:  Students receiving VA Benefits must receive punitive grades in their courses.  If the student receives a non-punitive grade, they may be charged with an overpayment. A punitive grade is a grade that is used in determining the student’s progress toward completion of graduation requirements and it is a factor in computing the student’s grade point average. Punitive grades include: A, B, C, D, and E

A non-punitive grade is a grade that excludes the course from any consideration in determining progress toward fulfillment of graduation requirements. Students may be charged with an overpayment for courses in which a non-punitive grade is received. The following are examples of non-punitive grades: I, ED, W, NFC, NDC, NR, VI


Repeating Courses

  • Courses that are failed or for which the grade does not meet minimum requirements for graduation will be not be approved or paid for. Courses that are successfully completed may not be certified for VA purposes if they are repeated.


  • Chapter 30, 1606 and 1607 students must verify their enrollment monthly, on the last day of the month, by Web Automated Verification of Enrollment (WAVE) or by Interactive Voice Response (IVR). Payments will not be sent until this is done.  The preferred method is WAVE, which includes features not in IVR. 

  • WAVE allows students to verify their enrollment on the Internet.  The web address is https://www.gibill.va.gov/wave/. Students must be currently enrolled in an approved educational program and must have a current benefit award to use WAVE.

  • IVR allows students to “phone in” (877-823-2378) their monthly verifications.

  • The monthly verification of enrollment procedure hasn't been adopted for chapters 35 or 33 students.


  • Students are responsible for keeping their address updated with the VA Regional Office. Failure to update their address with the VA Regional Office will delay payment.  The fastest way to change an address or change direct deposit status is to call the VA at 1-877-838-2778. Direct deposit is not available for Chapter 35 recipients (Dependents of Veterans).



Tutorial assistance may be paid to students under chapters 30, 33, 35, 1606, and 1607. Tutorial assistance helps the student pay for necessary tutoring and is a supplement to the student's regular education benefits. The student must be in a post secondary program training at a rate of ½-time or more, and must have a deficiency in a course that is part of his or her approved program. A letter from the instructor must be provided. The student must be enrolled in the course during the same semester in which tutoring is received for that course. Tutoring may not occur between semesters.  The monthly rate may not exceed $100 and the maximum amount payable is $1200. Students should contact the School Certifying Official for the necessary forms.


Students called to active duty during a term in which they are receiving VA Educational Benefits must notify the School Certifying Official and provide a copy of their orders.  The School Certifying Official will report the date of their withdrawal from school to the VA Regional Office and indicate the reason as “Called to Active Duty”.

To resume benefits upon return, students must go to the Veterans Certification Office to complete a Veteran Benefit Request form and supply a copy of their DD214, if available.



A student may take courses at more than one school that apply to his or her degree program. The school that will grant the degree is the student’s “primary” school. All other schools are “secondary” schools. VA may pay benefits for courses taken at secondary schools as long as they will transfer back to the primary school and apply towards the student’s degree program.

A student must obtain a letter from their advisor listing the following:

  • Student’s name

  • Name of Guest Institution and the term of enrollment

  • The course name, number, and credit hours taken at guest institution

  • A statement that the course (s) will transfer back at full value and apply towards the student’s degree program at U of M.

The student should have the letter faxed to: Attn: Michelle Henderson, School Certifying Official, (734) 764 -5556. An approval letter will then be sent to the secondary school requesting that they certify the student for the course(s) listed in the letter.

Once the course or semester is over, the student must arrange to have a transcript from the secondary school sent to the appropriate admissions office here at the U of M.  This MUST BE DONE AFTER EACH SEMESTER that the student is enrolled at the secondary school.  When a compliance survey is conducted, our records will be reviewed to see if the course was applied toward the student’s degree program. 


Advanced payment is the process of receiving the first two benefit checks on the first day of fall classes. This is only offered during a fall term.  Students are eligible for advance payment when:

  • There’s more than 30 days between terms, with no payment for the break, and

  • The student is enrolled at least half-time, and

  • VA receives the advance payment request at least 30 days but not more than 120 days before the enrollment period.

To apply for an advanced payment, the student must complete and sign a request form provided by the schools certifying official. The check comes to the school; the student picks up the check and signs a receipt.  The first check pays for two months. Since the VA normally pays after a month is completed, the student wouldn’t receive another check until the first part of December, when payment for November is made.


Point of Contact

Office of the Registrar

Michelle Henderson

Certifying Official

1207 LSA Building
Phone: 734-763-9066