How to Pay - Sorting Through Veterans Educational Benefits. Meeting the Needs of SUNY Veterans May 24, 2013 Corrected Version

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1 How to Pay - Sorting Through Veterans Educational Benefits Meeting the Needs of SUNY Veterans May 24, 2013 Corrected Version

2 Overview Discussion with Veterans

3 Academics vs. Finances Some benefits are tied to rate of pursuit or class format As college staff, we need to discuss the pros and cons with students Not every student can successfully enroll full-time Not every student can successfully take in-seat classes Veterans are non-traditional students, may have family and/or job obligations Students should weigh higher educational benefits and quick completion of degree against possibility of lower grades, burn-out or drop-out

4 Don t Assume You need to ask questions of the veteran before assuming they re eligible for any benefit Length of active duty service (e.g., partial Post 9/11 GI Bill) Honorable discharge For NYS Veterans Tuition Award, need to be combat veteran (have expeditionary medal) When recruited, may have chosen student loan repayment instead of Montgomery GI Bill Don t assume veteran knows all the details about every program Post 9/11 GI Bill has lots of buzz, but may not be best for all

5 Planning Ahead for All Degrees If student has multiple benefits, discuss possibility of saving most generous benefit for most expensive degrees Perhaps stagger benefits Pell Grant, TAP/APTS only available for undergrad NYS Veterans Tuition Award available for undergrad or grad (although at undergrad rates) Can get 12 extra months of benefits if use up all of Montgomery GI Bill & then switch to Post 9/11 GI Bill 10 years from leaving active duty to use Montgomery GI Bill 15 years from leaving active duty to use Post 9/11 GI Bill

6 Summary of Benefits

7 Summary of Benefits 4 main types of educational benefits specific to veterans Post 9/11 GI Bill (Chapter 33) Montgomery GI Bill (Chapter 30) Vocational Rehabilitation (Voc Rehab) (Chapter 31) NYS Veterans Tuition Award (VTA) Regular financial aid income eligibility Pell Grant NYS Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) full-time enrollment NYS Aid to Part-Time Students (APTS) part-time enrollment Army Tuition Assistance (GoArmyEd) for active duty, Guard & Reserve

8 Eligibility for Benefits Post 9/11 GI Bill Length of active duty service (usually minimum of 3 years after Sept. 10, 2001 for 100% eligibility); includes active duty time for Guard & Reserve Montgomery GI Bill Payment by servicemember of $100/month for 1 st year of service Voc Rehab Minimum 10% service-connected disability or 20% disability rating from VA plus employment handicap NYS Veterans Tuition Award NYS resident, deployed to combat zone (expeditionary medal)

9 Post 9/11 GI Bill (Chapter 33)

10 Post 9/11 GI Bill Parts of Payments Tuition & fees paid to college by VA State schools completely covered for in-state students Private schools covered up to $19,198.31/year for ($18,077.50/year for ). Some exceptions. Yellow Ribbon Program schools can choose to participate, contribute toward costs over annual cap (matched by VA) Book stipend, up to $1,000/year ($41.67/credit) paid to student in 1 lump sum at beginning of term Housing allowance paid to student monthly (if not active duty) In-residence credit Rate of pursuit

11 Post 9/11 GI Bill Definition of In-Residence Credit Regular in-seat classes will generally qualify Online classes won t qualify Blended or low-residency classes check VA definition In-residence training for undergraduate students consists of regularly scheduled standard class sessions (at least once every two weeks). The total number of hours of classroom instruction (based on 50 minutes of instruction per hour) must equal, or be greater than, the number of credit hours awarded for the course multiplied by the number of weeks in the term. EXAMPLE: A student is enrolled in a 3-credit course over a 16-week semester. The course must be scheduled for a total of 48 hours of class sessions and meet at least every other week.

12 Post 9/11 GI Bill Housing Allowance In-Residence Credit Monthly Housing Allowance (MHA) Calculated according to zip code of college, not the student Buffalo (14201) = $1,410/mo. Syracuse (13201) = $1,131/mo. Albany (12201) = $1,698/mo. Manhattan (10001) = $3,250/mo. Equivalent to active duty Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) for rank of E-5 with dependents Website to check rate:

13 Post 9/11 GI Bill Housing Allowance No In-Residence Credit Housing allowance is ½ the national average of Monthly Housing Allowance rates For = $684/month Students can take 1 in-residence course and the rest not in-residence and still get higher Monthly Housing Allowance Online classes plus 1 in-seat class at home college Cross-registration into in-seat class at another college

14 Post 9/11 GI Bill Cross-Registration Overview Find out what the cross-registration procedures are at home college and the college that has the in-residence class Right paperwork from student s home college might be financial aid consortium agreement Will probably also include a printout showing proof of registration for in-residence class, to include student name, term dates, title of course, cost of course Right people at both colleges to sign paperwork Right people at both colleges to receive paperwork should include both School Certifying Officials (SCO)

15 Post 9/11 GI Bill Cross-Registration Paperwork Option #1

16 Post 9/11 GI Bill Cross-Registration Paperwork Option #2

17 Post 9/11 GI Bill Cross-Registration Certification Student will register at in-residence college as nonmatriculated student will need to complete appropriate non-matric application, possibly pay a fee SCO at home college will send parent letter to SCO at in-residence college confirming that in-residence class works for student s degree plan at home college SCO at in-residence college will certify in-residence class to VA SCO at home college will certify any other classes to VA

18 Post 9/11 GI Bill Cross-Registration Housing Allowance Student needs to be prepared for strange housing allowance payments if term dates don t coincide exactly In-residence college term: Aug. 20 Dec. 20; 3 credits Home college term: Sept. 10 Dec. 23; 9 credits Housing allowance from Aug. 20 Sept. 9 = $0 (less than halftime enrollment) Housing allowance from Sept. 10 Dec. 20 = full in-residence amount Housing allowance from Dec. 21 Dec % of non inresidence amount (part-time enrollment)

19 Post 9/11 GI Bill Housing Allowance Rate of Pursuit Full-time enrollment (12 credits in 4 month-long term) Full housing allowance In-residence credit: Monthly Housing Allowance based on zip code No in-residence credit: ½ of national average MHA More than half-time enrollment (7-11 credits) Pro-rated housing allowance, rounded to nearest 10 th Example: 8 credits out of 12 credits =.66 rate of pursuit, rounded up to 70% housing allowance Half-time or less enrollment (1-6 credits) No housing allowance (but students still get tuition, fees & book stipend)

20 Post 9/11 GI Bill Housing Allowance Timing No housing allowance payments during semester breaks Housing allowance to student only for semester dates Exceptions if school is closed by natural disaster, strike, or Executive Order of the President First term benefits generally slow to get started Students should have back-up plan for late housing allowance payments

21 Post 9/11 GI Bill Questions to Ask Student Are you eligible for 100% of the benefit? If not, what other funding will you be using to cover your bill? Are you eligible for extra payments? Kicker/College Fund (recruitment incentive) check on enlistment paperwork Are you going to enroll full-time or part-time? Housing allowance rate will depend on this.

22 Post 9/11 GI Bill Questions to Ask Student (cont.) Are you going to take any in-residence classes? Housing allowance rate will depend on this. If cross-registering at another college, consider several factors: Pay attention to total number of credits Pay attention to intro or advanced level credits Courses must work for degree plan at home college

23 Post 9/11 GI Bill Tasks for Student Apply for GI Bill through VONAPP on GI Bill website ( This is where decision is made between Post 9/11 and Montgomery GI Bills. Can switch from MGIB to Post 9/11, but almost never from Post 9/11 to MGIB. Form DD if using GI Bill at this college for first time Form DD if changing colleges Send Certificate of Eligibility to appropriate college staff (School Certifying Official, Student Accounts, etc.) If COE not available right away, will college temporarily accept other paperwork (e.g., printout of GI Bill application)?

24 Post 9/11 GI Bill Tasks for Student (cont.) Send official copy of military transcript to college As of March 2013, Joint Services Transcript for Army, Navy, Marines, Coast Guard ( Air Force veterans request transcript from Community College of the Air Force ( Discuss transfer credits, degree plan, rate of pursuit, inresidence courses with advisor If taking courses at another college, create student account there & find out how to do registration process, including who signs cross-registration form

25 Montgomery GI Bill

26 Montgomery GI Bill - Summary Monthly payment from VA to student (examples below are for full-time enrollment) Chapter 30 (active duty) = $1,564/month Chapter 1606 (Guard/Reserve) = $356/month Chapter 1607 (activated Reservist) = $625 - $1,251/month Student responsible for paying college; whatever is left over the student can use for books, housing, etc. Class format doesn t affect payment amount If student is eligible, MGIB can be combined with NYS Veterans Tuition Award

27 Montgomery GI Bill Questions to Ask Student If the college doesn t have a way to defer the bill, how will you pay the college for the tuition & fees while waiting for all your monthly payments? Are you planning to later start using Post 9/11 GI Bill? If you re going to get extra 12 months, plan last enrollment carefully to use up all of Montgomery GI Bill first. Are you eligible for extra payments? Kicker/College Fund (recruitment incentive) check on enlistment paperwork Buy-up (while active duty, contribute up to $600; get up to $5,400 extra) check with personnel/payroll office

28 Montgomery GI Bill Tasks for Student Apply for GI Bill through VONAPP on GI Bill website ( This is where decision is made between Post 9/11 and Montgomery GI Bills. Can switch from MGIB to Post 9/11, but almost never from Post 9/11 to MGIB. Form DD if using GI Bill at this college for first time Form DD if changing colleges Send Certificate of Eligibility to appropriate college staff (School Certifying Official, Student Accounts, etc.) If COE not available right away, will college temporarily accept other paperwork (e.g., printout of GI Bill application)?

29 Montgomery GI Bill Tasks for Student (cont.) Send official copy of military transcript to college As of March 2013, Joint Services Transcript for Army, Navy, Marines, Coast Guard ( Air Force veterans request transcript from Community College of the Air Force ( At end of each month when classes are in session, verify your attendance to VA s WAVE system Online at By phone: VA-ECERT ( )

30 Vocational Rehabilitation (Voc Rehab)

31 Voc Rehab - Summary Full tuition & fees (some caps) paid to school by VA Program & degree plan need to be pre-approved by Voc Rehab Counselor Books & supplies paid to student by VA Living stipend paid to student by VA Voc Rehab amount varies with number of dependents Veteran eligible for Voc Rehab & Post 9/11 GI Bill can choose Post 9/11 GI Bill Monthly Housing Allowance rates

32 Voc Rehab Tasks for Student Work with Voc Rehab Counselor on identifying career goal, with appropriate research Work with college Admissions or advisor on degree plan details Prior to enrollment, need to show Voc Rehab your college acceptance and get approval for degree plan Notify appropriate college office of Voc Rehab payments (third-party payer) Each term, use appropriate book purchase procedures with Voc Rehab Counselor often voucher for bookstore

33 NYS Veterans Tuition Award (VTA)

34 NYS Veterans Tuition Award - Summary Up to full SUNY in-state undergraduate tuition ($5,595/year for ) Up to 8 semesters of full-time undergraduate enrollment (or 10 semesters of approved 5-year programs), or equivalent part-time enrollment Up to 6 semesters of full-time graduate enrollment, or equivalent part-time enrollment Payment rate is only at undergrad amount Can be combined with Montgomery GI Bill or less than 100% eligible Post 9/11 GI Bill

35 NYS Veterans Tuition Award Tasks for Student Each year, apply for FAFSA (even if not income eligible for Pell Grant) Each year, apply for TAP (even if not income eligible for TAP) Click on link on HESC website to apply for Veterans Tuition Award: n_awards Sign and return confirmation form Notify college Financial Aid Office about use of VTA

36 Comparing Montgomery & Post 9/11 GI Bills

37 Comparing GI Bills Post 9/11 GI Bill (full-time, 100% eligibility) Tuition & fees paid to college by VA No cost to veteran Book stipend $500 Housing allowance (13201 zip) $1131/mo. x 4 month term + $4524 Total for veteran per term $5024 Calculations are approximate

38 Comparing GI Bills Montgomery GI Bill & NYS VTA (full-time) MGIB income = $1564/mo. x 4 month term $6256 Tuition paid to college by VTA - no cost Total for veteran per term $6256 Minus college fees, books Calculations are approximate

39 Comparing GI Bills Montgomery GI Bill Only (full-time) MGIB income = $1564/mo. x 4 month term $6256 Minus cost of SUNY tuition (4-yr. coll.) - $2784 Total for veteran per term $3472 Minus college fees, books Calculations are approximate

40 Questions?

41 Mindy Boenning Coordinator of Military & Veteran Services Empire State College, Ft. Drum Unit

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