The Citadel Veterans Service Office. The Citadel. Policies and Procedures for using VA Educational Benefits

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1 The Citadel Veterans Service Office The Citadel Policies and Procedures for using VA Educational Benefits 10/21/2013 1

2 This guide will help you with maintaining your educational benefits through the Dept. of Veterans Affairs (DVA). It is in your best interest to read it carefully and to keep it for future reference. If you have a situation that is not discussed in this guide, please contact The Citadel Veterans Services Office (VSO). Due to the complexity of veterans educational benefits, you should always contact The Citadel s VSO or the DVA with questions about your benefits. Veterans Services Office Bond Hall Room 369 VA Coordinator: Sally C. Levitt VSO The Citadel's VSO is not attached to the DVA. We are state employees of The Citadel and our responsibility is to interpret, explain, and administer VA regulations as they apply to you while attending The Citadel. 10/21/2013 2

3 Table of Contents General Rules for all GI Bill Chapters....4 Chapter 30-Montgomery GI Bill.6 Chapter 35-Dependent Educational Assistance Program (DEA)..6 Chapter 31-Dept. of Veterans Affairs Vocational Rehabilitation Students 6 Chapter 33-Post 9/11-Veterans and Students with Transferred Benefits.7 Important Reminders...8 Credit Requirements for Education Benefits.9 10/21/2013 3

4 General Rules for all GI Bill Chapters Activated Student Reservist Students currently attending college that have been called to active duty must notify The Citadel s VSO, Registrar s Office, and if applicable, The Citadel Graduate College. The student should also provide a copy of their orders if available. Attendance Requirements Your attendance, participation, and standards of progress in your classes are mandatory to earn VA benefits. Absences, whether excused or unexcused, in excess of 20% of the meeting of a course can, at the discretion of the professor, result in a grade of F in the course. Unsatisfactory attendance could result in a debt with the DVA. Changing Your Major If you change your major you should coordinate this with The Citadel s Registrar s Office as well as the VSO. Failure to notify The Citadel s VSO may result in delays or overpayment of benefits. Course Withdrawals If you have to withdraw from a course or withdraw entirely from the school, you must notify The Citadel s VSO. When completing the withdrawal form you must have your instructor sign the required withdrawal form as soon as possible. After signing, submit your withdrawal form to The Citadel s Registrar s Office and submit a copy of the form to The Citadel s VSO. Failure to notify VSO may result in delays or overpayment of benefits. In most circumstances, overpayments are the student s responsibility. If mitigating circumstances caused the withdrawal, you must submit a statement explaining the circumstances or specify on the withdrawal form. The DVA will determine the necessary adjustments to your education benefits. If any assistance is needed, feel free to come to The Citadel s VSO office. Enrollment Guidelines You must be enrolled in an undergraduate, graduate, or graduate certificate program of study to receive benefits. You will be certified only for approved programs and courses that meet program graduation requirements. VA will allow payment for prerequisite courses, or developmental courses under certain circumstances. VA students cannot receive benefits for developmental courses which are taught solely online or mixed mode. VA will not pay for non-credit course work. Contact the VA office if you are unsure about your program or course eligibility. Payment of Benefits VA education payments are made directly to the student, in accordance with federal regulations. The VA determines your training time and the amount of your education payments. The school will certify your enrollment period based on the beginning and ending date of the semester/term and the number of hours enrolled in the semester/term. Questions concerning specific information about the status of your claim or release dates of your checks should be addressed to the DVA at or them by visiting and click on Questions and Answers. 10/21/2013 4

5 General Rules for all GI Bill Chapters (cont.) Payment of Tuition and Fees Students receiving VA educational benefits under Chapters 30, 1606, 1607, and 35 are responsible for paying their tuition and fees by the payment deadlines. Prior Credits Earned If you have previously attended other colleges, you must request that official copies of your college transcripts be submitted to The Citadel s Admissions Office. Your enrollment to the VA will be certified for only two semesters without the receipt of your official transcripts. A prior credit evaluation also applies when you change your major while enrolled at The Citadel. It is your responsibility to meet with your advisor or the Department Head in your new major to have prior credits reviewed for application to your new major. Repeat Course Offering Courses that are dropped, failed, or received a grade that does not meet minimum requirements for graduation may be certified for VA purposes if they are repeated. The VA will not VA will not pay for a developmental course for a third attempt when the grade of U has been earned for the course. Requesting Certification for Benefits Each semester you must electronically submit a Request for VA Enrollment Certification. This enrollment form lets us know that you wish to use your VA education benefits for a particular semester/term. It is to your advantage to submit your enrollment request as soon as you have completed your registration for that semester/term. All requests will be reviewed in order received, and subsequent communication will be addressed to your school account. s notifications will occur if there are changes needed in registered courses, additional information needed, or forms are requested. Standards of Progress You must maintain satisfactory attendance, conduct, and progress. The Standards of Academic Progress (SAP) required of Citadel students are the guidelines used for all veterans, veterans dependents, reservists, and active duty personnel. Academic progress standards can be found in your student catalog. Taking Courses at another Institution A student may take courses at more than one school while attending The Citadel. The courses at the other school must apply to the student s degree program. Students that wish to attend another school must submit a permission to take classes at another school form. These forms can be found on The Citadel s website, 10/21/2013 5

6 Chapter 30-Montgomery GI Bill Students using Chapter 30-Montgomery GI Bill (Ch.30-MGIB) are paid on a monthly basis. Because The Citadel does not receive these funds, students are expected to pay their tuition bills by due dates. Tuition Assistance or Federal Tuition Assistance (TA/FTA) is a Dept. of Defense (DOD) program. VA does not administer TA/FTA. TA/FTA rules vary by a branch of service. Students using Ch.30 -MGIB benefits and are on Active Duty, by law are not allowed to use Ch. 30 in conjunction with FTA/TA. Failure to notify The Citadel s VSO of the use of FTA and Ch. 30 could result in an overpayment with the DVA or FTA. The student would be responsible for paying the overpayment. Students using Ch. 30 benefit are also required to verify attendance the last day of every month that they are enrolled in school. If students do not verify, the VA will not send payment. This verification process can be done on-line at click Verify Attendance. Chapter 35-Dependents Educational Assistance Program (DEA) Students using Chapter 35 are paid on a monthly basis either by direct deposit or by mail. Because The Citadel does not receive these funds, students are expected to pay their tuition bills by due dates. Ch. 35 students should follow all general rules and guidelines as explained in the above section. Chapter 31 Dept. of Veterans Affairs Vocational Rehabilitation Students Students using this chapter of VA benefits must have an authorization form, from their case manager each semester. Without this authorization form, The Citadel s VSO cannot certify your enrollment, prevent a drop for non-payment, or issue book/supply vouchers. Book/Supply Vouchers Once we receive your authorization, we will issue book vouchers up to two weeks prior to classes. Ch. 31 students are the only veteran students on campus that are allowed to charge for books and supplies. All receipts from the book store must be given to the treasurer s office. If you do not provide the receipts, you will be liable for book/supply charges. Also, certain items are restricted from purchasing without the consent of your VA case manager. If you purchase an item without authorization, you will be liable for the charges of such item. 10/21/2013 6

7 Chapter 33 Post 9/11 Veterans and Students with Transferred Benefits Post 9/11 is complex in its administration, rules, and regulations. It is vital that you understand procedures, policies, and regulations. If at any time you are unsure or have additional questions relating to your benefits, you should contact The Citadel s Veterans Service Office. Payment of Tuition and Fees for Chapter 33 (Post 9-11 GI Bill) Under Post 9/11 benefits, the DVA pays tuition according to the student s percentage. Tuition should not be confused with the student s bill. The VA will not pay for room and board, auxiliary fees, supplies, or parking fees. Tuition is paid directly to the school. The VA will pay the tuition, adjusted by the student s percentage. They will only pay what the amount that an in-state student is charged. Students using Post 9/11 benefits may have their tuition (not their bill) deferred. This will only be done each semester if there is a Certificate of Eligibility on file with The Citadel s VSO. The Citadel will give one semester exception for new students. If you are a new student awaiting your Certificate of Eligibility, you would need to submit your DD-214 or a copy of your parent s Transfer of Benefits Authorization form. Chapter 33 BAH Payments Depending on the student s situation, Chapter 33 benefits can include payment of tuition and fees, a monthly housing allowance, stipend for books and supplies, and/or kicker payments. Monthly housing allowance and books stipends are paid directly to the student. This also applies to students receiving benefits transferred to them from their parent. BAH and book allowances are based on the students percentage as well as their rate of pursuit. For specific information, please visit Chapter 33 and Federal Tuition Assistance (FTA) Active duty, National Guard, and Reserve service members may receive Chapter 33 benefits for the same courses for which they receive TA from the military. By law, The Citadel must deduct FTA benefits from the net tuition and fees submitted to the VA. You should notify the VSO if you plan on using FTA before every academic semester. Chapter 33, Scholarships, and Other Tuition Payments If you are using employee tuition assistance or a tuition waiver you must inform and coordinate with the VSO or face the possibility of having to pay back the VA. This rule also applies to students that receive a scholarship that is tuition specific. Failure to notify the VSO could result in an overpayment with VA in which the student would be responsible for paying. Study Abroad, independent study practicum, on-line courses Independent study and on-line courses are considered by the VA as distance learning courses. If all courses during a semester are distance learning, your BAH will be paid at half the national average. Students wishing to avoid BAH reduction based on the national average should register for at least one in-classroom course each semester. Study abroad courses and study away trips are not allowed under Post 9/11. 10/21/2013 7

8 IMPORTANT REMINDERS ALL STUDENTS USING VA EDUCATIONAL BENEFITS Submit your VA Request form after registering for classes-this is done every semester. The VA will NOT pay for any course that does not fit in your degree plan. You must notify Veterans Services Office of any change to your schedule. If you choose not to inform the VSO, you may be responsible for any overpayments that may occur. The VA will NOT pay for repeated courses unless it is a requirement for a prerequisite, or a specific grade is required to pass. s It is very important that you check s from Withdraw or dropping a class you must notify the Veterans Services Office as soon as possible. Students may be responsible for any overpayment that may result in dropping or withdrawing from a class. The Veterans Service Office always welcomes your questions and concerns. STUDENTS USING POST 9/11 If you are expecting grants, scholarships, FTA, or any tuition waiver, you must notify The Citadel s VSO as soon as possible. This is to prevent overpayments. Veterans Veterans The Citadel Student Veterans Association gives you a chance to meet other student veterans, network, and connect you with resources. 10/21/2013 8

9 The Citadel Veterans Credit Requirements for Education Benefits Fall and Spring Credit Hour Requirements Enrollment Hours Undergraduate Graduate Full Time /4 Time 9 6 1/2 Time (as of Fall 2014) Ch. 33 BAH Requirements for Undergraduate and Graduate Students Must be enrolled in greater than half-time VA pays BAH based on the percentage of Full time, rounded to the nearest ten. This is called rate of pursuit (hours enrolled, divided by what is considered full time, then rounded to nearest multiple of 10) The Chapter 33 housing allowance is paid if rate of pursuit is more than 50%. If you are less than 100% eligible, your overall percentage is multiplied after your enrollment percentage. Partial months of enrollment will be pro-rated by the days that you are actually enrolled. If you are taking strictly online courses, BAH is based on the National Average Example 1: Undergraduate student, eligible for 100% of Ch. 33 (Post 9/11) benefits Fall semester Enrolled in 6 hours classroom, 3 hours on-line, total hours=9 hours BAH: 9/12=.75, rounded to 80%. Your BAH is 80% of the full time rate of $1278. You should receive approximately $ Example 2: Undergraduate taking 6 hours in the Fall or Spring will not receive BAH because they are not enrolled in more than half time. Example 3: Graduate student eligible at 100% for Ch. 33 benefits Spring semester Enrolled in 3 classroom hours, 3 on-line courses BAH: 6/9=.66, rounded to 70%. BAH is 70% of the full time rate of $1278. You should receive approximately $ This document should not be used for Financial Aid purposes. All questions relating to financial aid credit requirements should be directed to the Financial Aid Dept This document should be used as a guide only. The Dept. of Veterans Affairs has the final say on how much a student is paid. 10/21/2013 9

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