Veterans Benefits Certification
Policies and Procedures
This information guide has been created to help you understand how you can best utilize your Veteran Benefits. In addition to general information, there is a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) supplement to help guide you through the certification process and your responsibilities as a student using Veteran Benefits.
The school certifying officials for veterans benefits at the University of Michigan Ann Arbor campus assist veterans and dependents of veterans with the VA application and certification process. School certifying officials are not able to determine benefit eligibility, questions regarding your benefit eligibility may be answered by calling the Department of Veterans Affairs Education Help Line at (888) 442-4551, or by visiting their website at http://www.gibill.va.gov/.
All students applying for VA Benefits for the first time should visit http://www.vets.gov. Click Education Benefits towards the bottom left and then Apply for Education Benefits. Once applications are approved, the VA issues a Certificate of Eligibility (CoE) to qualified individuals. The certificate will contain basic eligibility information including months of entitlement, period of eligibility and benefit level. Please provide our office with a copy of the CoE. We also now accept the eBenefits page in lieu of the Certificate of Eligibility. Students can log into http://www.vets.gov, view and print the “Post-9/11 GI Bill® Statement of Benefits” showing original and used entitlement, benefit percentage, delimiting date and enrollment information.
Students using Veteran Benefits should understand their responsibilities, which includes:
- Submitting the Veterans Certification Request Form
- Understanding Course Applicability
- Notifying the School Certifying Official of any schedule changes
- Declaring a major once they reach junior standing (undergraduate students)
Veterans Certification Request Form
This form must be filled out and submitted to the Veterans Certification Department each term benefits are requested. You will not receive benefits for the term until the form is submitted. The form can be completed and turned in (as early as after registration). It is available on the www.vets.umich.edu website.
To access veteran benefits while attending UM, students must be enrolled in a degree program. Only courses that satisfy current degree requirements can be certified for VA purposes. Excessive free electives, for example, cannot be certified (documentation may be required from advising explaining what degree requirements courses fulfill).
Chapter 33 and 31 students must report all enrollment drops or increases to their academic load. A change in your registration and/or attendance may result in payment changes.
Chapter 35, 30, 1606 and 1607 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).
The Department of Veteran Affairs requires that students receiving benefits declare a major once they reach junior academic standing. A student cannot be certified beyond his or her sophomore year unless a major has been declared.
In-State Tuition on Basis of Service
Effective January 2014, the University of Michigan offers in-state tuition to veterans, reservists and active duty service members. An application can be completed online at the bottom of the Residency website http://ro.umich.edu/resreg.php.
In-State Tuition for Select VA Educational Benefits (Choice Act)
The University of Michigan will charge in-state tuition to any individual using educational assistance under either Chapter 30 (Montgomery GI Bill® – Active Duty Program), Chapter 31 (Vocational Rehabilitation), Chapter 33 (Post-9/11 GI Bill®) of title 38, United States Code, and/or the Marine Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry Scholarship while attending the University of Michigan (regardless of his/her formal state of residence).
If an individual exhausts their benefits under Chapter 30, Chapter 33 of title 38 of United States Code and/or the Marine Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry Scholarship, they may be eligible for an extension of in-state tuition eligibility if the following conditions are met:
- The individual has, within the prior 24-month period, used at least 12 months of the above benefits at the University of Michigan before the benefits were exhausted.
- The individual is in an undergraduate degree program and is making progress toward degree completion at the time the benefits are exhausted.
If approved, in-state tuition at the University of Michigan will be extended for either a) a period of up to 24 months, or b) until the individual attains their first undergraduate degree, whichever occurs first. Students must be continually enrolled for the duration of the extension of in-state tuition eligibility; a lapse in enrollment may result in termination of the extension.
The Veterans Certification Department requires a completed application for the in-state extension: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeDDozaCttSnwx_eJQFUHa9Q1IB3dBWWPpnnJZDF7Pvtf8zrw/viewform?usp=sf_link
Non-degree students and students enrolled in graduate, professional, or postgraduate programs who have exhausted their benefits under either Chapter 30 (Montgomery GI Bill® – Active Duty Program),Chapter 33 (Post-9/11 GI Bill®) of title 38, United States Code, and/or the Marine Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry Scholarship are NOT eligible for extension of in-state tuition eligibility under this policy.
Important note: If a student has not exhausted benefits and chooses not to access VA benefits for a term, the in-state tuition rate does not apply.
Change of Program or Place of Training
A request for change of program/place of training (VA Form 22-1995) should be completed if you are changing schools and have previously used benefits at another institution. It can be completed online by clicking Manage Benefits at https://www.vets.gov/education/apply-for-education-benefits/. Alternatively, the paper form can be found at http://www.vba.va.gov/pubs/forms/VBA-22-1995-ARE.pdf, completed and turned into the Veterans Certification Department.
The VA requires our school to report the actual beginning and ending dates of each course. Your VA monthly housing allowance may vary throughout the semester according to the start and end dates of your courses. Enrolling in non-standard length courses may affect the rate of pursuit determined by the VA.
Change in Chapter
Students are responsible for notifying the VA and the Veterans Certification Department of intent to switch chapters for benefit coverage. A change from Chapter 33 to Chapter 31 cannot take place until the following semester if a payment under Chapter 33 has already been disbursed by the VA. Students should verify that necessary documentation is on file and request that their vocational rehabilitation counselors communicate intent to switch chapters to the VA when applicable.
If a student changes majors, the academic advisor must determine the number of credits previously completed that are applicable to the student’s new program. If the change results in excessive credits that cannot be used toward the completion of the student’s current program, then the student must report this to the Veterans Certification Department.
Standards of Progress
Students receiving VA benefits must make satisfactory progress toward their degree.
Unsatisfactory Progress (Academic Suspensions) will be reported to the VA.
Minimum Credits for Graduation
After reaching the minimum number of credits required for graduation, further coursework cannot be certified for benefits without documentation from the student’s school or college indicating that the remaining courses and credits are required for graduation.
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, E, and S.
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, NR, W, VI, U, NC or F (when grading basis is pass/fail). Courses with a grading basis of NFC or NDC may not be certified for benefits.
Courses that are failed and courses with a final grade that does not meet minimum requirements for graduation will be approved and paid for. Courses that were successfully completed may not be certified for VA purposes if they are repeated.
Change of Address and Direct Deposit
Students are responsible for keeping addresses updated with the VA Regional Office. Failure to update your address with the VA will delay payment. The fastest way to change an address or direct deposit status is to call the VA at (877) 838-2778.
Tutorial assistance can be paid to students under chapters 30, 33, 35, 1606 and 1607. It helps pay for necessary tutoring and is supplemental to 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 Veterans Certification Department for the necessary forms.
Students called to active duty during a term in which they are receiving VA Educational Benefits must notify the Veterans Certification Department and provide a copy of orders. The Veterans Certification Department will report the date of withdrawal from school to the VA Regional Office and indicate the reason as “Called to Active Duty”. For more information and a checklist to assist with the transition of your deployment, go to http://vets.umich.edu/life-at-michigan/military-deployment/. To resume benefits upon return, students must complete a new Veterans Certification Request Form.
Courses that apply to degree programs may be taken at more than one school. The school that will grant the degree is the student’s “primary” school. All other schools are “secondary” schools. The 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 and submit it to the Veterans Certification Department:
- Student’s name, name of guest institution and term of enrollment
- Course name, number and credit hours taken at guest institution
- Statement that the course (s) will transfer back at full value and apply towards the student’s degree program at UM
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. When the VA conducts a compliance survey, our records will be reviewed to see if the course was applied toward the student’s program.
Tuition and Housing Payments
Students receiving a Monthly Housing Allowance (MHA) should be aware VA MHA payments are made at the beginning of each month to pay for the previous month of training. For example, the September payment will be sent to the student the first week of October.
Once certified, students receiving benefits under Chapters 31 and 33 will have a VA credit applied to their account for the tuition/fee amount our school expects to receive directly from the VA. This process enables the student to access any financial aid awards and avoid penalties due to delayed tuition and fee disbursement from the VA. When the actual payment from the VA is received, your account will be reconciled and you will be notified of any payment discrepancies.
Students using Chapter 31 or 33 benefits will have any tuition-related late fees waived provided they have paid any other student obligations by the established due dates.
Any housing-related charges must be paid by the established due dates. If you are unable to meet housing payment deadlines as specified by Student Financial Services and University Housing, please contact them directly for payment plan options. If plans are available, you generally have to enroll by a certain date. Please plan to contact these departments early if needed.
School Certifying Official for VA Benefits
Tara McQueen firstname.lastname@example.org
Michelle Henderson email@example.com
Office of the Registrar
Veterans Certification Department
LSA Suite 5000, 500 S. State Street
Phone: (734) 763-9066
Fax: (734) 764-5556
3rd Party Billing for Chapter 31 Benefits, Federal and State Tuition Assistance & Children of Veterans Tuition Grant
Student Financial Operations
Phone: (734) 647-0062
Veteran and Military Services Program
Philip Larson, Transition Specialist firstname.lastname@example.org
Office of New Student Programs
2011 SAB Building, 515 E. Jefferson Street
Phone: (734) 764-6413
Fax: (734) 764-6291
Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency (MVAA)
Student Veterans of America – University of Michigan (Ann Arbor Chapter)
Department of Veteran Affairs
Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors
Other VA Benefits
‘‘GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government Web site at https://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill.”