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Certifying Official 102 For Seasoned Certifying Officials. Cinda Quattrini: Education Liaison Representative VA Regional Processing Office, Buffalo, NY. June 2013. Today’s Objective. This presentation will include: A brief overview of VA education benefits Understanding Entitlement

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Certifying Official 102

For Seasoned Certifying Officials

Cinda Quattrini: Education Liaison Representative

VA Regional Processing Office, Buffalo, NY

June 2013

today s objective
Today’s Objective

This presentation will include:

  • A brief overview of VA education benefits
  • Understanding Entitlement
  • Enrollment Reporting Concerns
  • Post 9/11 GI Bill payment issues
  • Reporting Enrollment Changes

VA Education Benefits

Eligibility & Program Basics

va partners
VA Partners
  • SCO (School Certifying Official): The person with delegated authority to sign enrollment certifications, documents, and reports relating to VA benefits.
  • ELR (Education Liaison Representative): The VA employee responsible for liaison, program approval functions, and compliance surveys for your state.
  • ECSS (Education Compliance Survey Specialist): VA employee who conducts school surveys.
  • SAA (State Approving Agency): State Employees responsible for program approval and compliance surveys for VA
va forms for students
VA Forms for Students

VA 22-1990 Application For VA Education Benefits

VA 22-1990t Application For Tutorial Assistance

VA 22-1995 Request Change of Program/Place of Training

VA-22-1990E Application for Transfer of Entitlement Benefits

VA-22-1990RApplication for VRAP Benefits

Chapter 35

VA 22-5490 Application For Survivors’ And Dependents’ Educational Assistance (also Fry Scholarship)

VA 22-5495 Request For Change Of Program/Place

Chapter 31

VA 28-1900Application For Vocational and Rehabilitation Benefits

va education benefit programs
VA Education Benefit Programs
  • Post 9/11 GI Bill (Chapter 33)/Transfer of Entitlement/ John D. Fry Scholarship
  • MGIB-Active Duty (Chapter 30)
  • MGIB-Selected Reserve (Chapter 1606)
  • Reserve Education Assistance Program (Chapter 1607/REAP)
  • Dependent’s Educational Assistance (Chapter 35/DEA)
  • Veterans Retraining Assistance Program (VRAP)
  • Vocational Rehabilitation & Employment (Chapter 31/VR&E)
period of eligibility
Period of Eligibility

“Delimiting Date”: The first day after a claimant's period of eligibility expires.  Benefits are not payable on or after the delimiting date.

  • Period of eligibility varies by program.
  • Ch1606, Ch1607 and Ch35 Delimiting Dates may be extended to the end of the term.
  • Delimiting Dates may be extended for a disability that prevented training.
  • May be extended for additional active duty periods.
ch33 active duty requirements
Ch33 Active Duty Requirements
  • The Post 9/11 GI Bill has eligibility tiers based length of qualifying active duty service after September 10, 2001.

VA Education Benefits

Entitlement Basics


The number of months and days of full-time benefits an individual originally receives or has remaining.

  • Maximum of 36 months for MGIB or Post 9/11 GI Bill (Ch30 and Ch33 entitlement may be extended to end of term).
  • DEA (Ch35) provides 45 months, VR&E (Ch31) 48 months.
  • Maximum of 48 months under any combination of programs (Example: If a veteran used 36 months under MGIB (Ch30), they may use an additional 12 months of

Ch 33 benefits).

  • Entitlement charged based on Training Time for all non-Ch33 programs during the period the student attended school.
  • Entitlement charged based on Rate of Pursuit (ROP) for Ch33 at IHLs.
  • Entitlement charged based on amount of annual cap paid for Ch33 at NCDs.
chapter 33 entitlement
Chapter 33 Entitlement
  • In general, individuals remain eligible for Ch33 benefits for 15 years from last date of discharge of at least 90 continuous days (30 days if disability). Service members maintain eligibility while on duty.
  • Veterans receive a maximum of 36 months of benefits under CH33, which may extend when exhausted within a term.
  • Entitlement limited to no more than 48 months of combined benefits under educational assistance programs administered by VA.

NOTE: Individuals transferring to the Post-9/11 GI Bill from the Montgomery GI Bill (Chapter 30) will be limited to the amount of remaining Chapter 30 entitlement, unless none remains.

how entitlement is charged at ihls
How Entitlement is Charged at IHLs

Full-time: Generally 12 or more undergraduate credits per standard

term (commonly 4 courses @ 3 credits each )

Term Dates:

Fall 08/25 thru 12/13 = 3 mos. 19 days

Interval 12/14 thru 01/25 = 1 mos. 10 days

Spring 01/26 thru 05/16 = 3 mos. 21 days

Full-time training entitlement charge = 7 mos. 10 days

(Interval pay ceased effective 7/31/2011)

Note: Standard Semester is 15-19 weeks, Standard Quarter is 10-13 weeks.

Entitlement charge based on 30 day months, regardless of actual days in month.

how entitlement is charged at ihls1
How Entitlement is Charged at IHLs

Half-time (or 50% ROP): Generally 6 undergraduate credit hours per standard term (commonly 2 courses @ 3 credits each )

Term Dates:

Fall 08/25 thru 12/13 = 1 mos. 24 days

Interval 12/14 thru 01/25 = 0 mos. 20 days

Spring 01/26 thru 05/16 = 1 mos. 26 days

Half-time training entitlement charge is = 3 mos. 20 days

(Interval pay ceased effective 7/31/2011)

Note: Standard Semester is 15-19 weeks, Standard Quarter is 10-13 weeks.

Entitlement charge based on 30 day months, regardless of actual days in month.

how ch33 entitlement is charged at ncds
How Ch33 Entitlement is Charged at NCDs

Full-time: Generally 18 or 22 clock hours per week throughout the program; (Relevant for monthly housing payments only.)

  • NCD Program is 2 months long; Tuition & Fees = $18, 077.50

Entitlement charge will be 12 months.

  • NCD Program is 18 months long; Tuition & Fees = $1,506.00

Entitlement charge will be 1 month.

Note: 18 clock hours per week is full-time when classroom training is greater than

50% of the program. 22 clock hours per week is full-time when ‘shop’ training

is greater than 50% of the program.


VA Education Benefits

Rate of Pursuit (ROP)

Equivalent Credit Hours (ECH)

rate of pursuit rop
Rate of Pursuit (ROP)
  • Ch33 measure of training time: Divide the number of credit hours enrolled (or clock hour equivalent) by the number of enrolled credit hours (or clock hour equivalent) considered full-time at the school (or full-time graduate equivalent). The resulting percentage is the individual’s Rate of Pursuit for that award period (rounded to the nearest hundredth).
  • Rate of Pursuit will determine the entitlement charged for an IHL award period and determine if the Monthly Housing Allowance will be paid as well as the rate (must be training at Rate of Pursuit greater than 50% to receive housing).
  • Greater than 50% ROP would normally be 7 or more credits taken during a standard semester (15-19 weeks) or standard quarter (10-13 weeks).
  • Example:
    • Student is taking 7 credits for a standard semester
    • ROP = 7 / 12 = .58 or 58%
    • Housing paid at 60% of vet’s full-time rate at associated facility code

Note: For Non-Standard term (or summer session), VA will calculate Equivalent Credit Hours (ECH), then use that to determine Rate of Pursuit.

ech calculation
ECH Calculation

To determine the Equivalent Credit Hours of a non-standard term:

  • # semester credits taken multiplied by 18 divided by number of weeks
  • # quarter credits taken multiplied by 12 divided by number of weeks

(round up partial weeks if 4 days or more)


Non-standard term dates: June 1, 2013 to July 27, 2013 @ 3 credits

  • Calculate term length – 57 days / 7 = 8 weeks and 1 day = 8 weeks
  • Calculate ECH (sem school) - (3 cr x 18) / 8 = 6.75 ECH
  • Calculate ROP – 6.75 ECH / 12 (normal FT measurement) = .56 or 56%

MONTHLY HOUSING IS PAID at the 60% level


Non-standard term dates: June 1, 2013 to July 27, 2013 @ 3 credits

  • Calculate term length – 57 days / 7 = 8 weeks and 1 day = 8 weeks
  • Calculate ECH (qtr school) - (3 cr x 12) / 8 = 4.5 ECH
  • Calculate ROP – 4.5 ECH / 12 (normal FT measurement) = .38 or 38%


ech calculation grad
ECH Calculation (Grad)

For a Graduate student enrolled in a non-standard term, the basic calculation is the same, except the “normal FT measurement” changes if Graduate Full-Time training is less than 12 hours.

  • Example, 9 semester hours is Graduate Full-Time training:

Non-standard term dates: June 1, 2013 to July 27, 2013 @ 3 credits

    • Calculate term length – 57 days / 7 = 8 weeks and 1 day = 8 weeks
    • Calculate ECH (sem school) - (3 cr x 18) / 8 = 6.75 ECH
    • Calculate ROP – 6.75 ECH / 9 (Grad FT measurement) = .75 or 75%

MONTHLY HOUSING PAID at the 80% level


  • Example, 6 quarter hours is Graduate Full-Time training:

Non-standard term dates: June 1, 2010 to July 27, 2010 @ 3 credits

    • Calculate term length – 57 days / 7 = 8 weeks and 1 day = 8 weeks
    • Calculate ECH (qtr school) - (3 cr x 12) / 8 = 4.5 ECH
    • Calculate ROP – 4.5 ECH / 6 (Grad FT measurement) = .75 or 75%

MONTHLY HOUSING PAID at the 80% level

quick ech guide
Quick ECH Guide

The following is true for undergrad credits at semester schools.  (You must count actual number of days in the class session, including non-school days):

  • 1 hr. is FT when taken in a session that is 10 days or less.
  • 2 hrs. are FT when taken in a session that is 24 days or less.
  • 3 hrs. are FT when taken in a session that is 31 days or less.
  • 4 hrs. are FT when taken concurrently in a session that is 45 days or less.
  • 5 hrs. are FT when taken concurrently in a session that is 52 days or less.
  • 6 hrs. are FT when taken concurrently in a session that is 66 days or less.

VA Education Benefits

Transfer of Entitlement (TOE)

Fry Scholarship

transfer of entitlement
Transfer of Entitlement
  • DoD determines if an individual can transfer entitlement to one or more dependents
  • Dependents eligible to receive entitlement include spouses and natural, adopted, or step-children.
  • Transferees use entitlement in the same manner as the veteran. Changes to transferred entitlement can be made at any time by the veteran.
  • Eligibility percentage levels may change with additional active duty service.
  • Dependents file VAF 22-1990E to receive benefits.

Note: The fact that DoD permitted a transfer of entitlement to occur does not guarantee Chapter 33 benefits can be paid.

transfer of entitlement1
Transfer of Entitlement


  • Spouses receive benefits in the same manner as the transferor (can’t receive housing payments if transferor is on active duty)
  • Period of eligibility is the same as the veteran; 15 years from latest release from active duty
  • Transferred MGIB entitlement cannot be treated as marital property, is not subject to division in divorce or civil proceeding


  • Child must have completed high school (or the equivalent) or reached 18 years of age. Child always receives benefits like a veteran.
  • Entitlement not subject to the veteran’s 15 year delimiting date, but may not be used after reaching age 26.
john d fry scholarship
John D. Fry Scholarship
  • Eligibility for children of an active duty member killed in the line of duty on or after September 11, 2001.
  • Will receive tuition & fees payments, monthly housing allowance and the books & supplies stipend at the 100% rate. (No Yellow Ribbon)
  • All dependents receive 36 months of entitlement (not divided up from veteran’s entitlement like TOE)
  • Will also be eligible for Ch35 benefits, must elect one of the two
  • Dependents must file VA Form 22-5490 to receive benefits.

VA Education Benefits

Enrollment Reporting Concerns


Undergraduate Resident Credits

  • Regularly scheduled, standard class sessions that meet at least once every two weeks & which have a total number of class sessions equal to the number of credit hours awarded for the course, times the number of weeks in the term.
  • A course consisting of practical training in its entirety. Practical training can be certified as clock hours per week if advantageous to the student’s ROP.

Graduate Resident Credits

  • Offered through regularly scheduled, conventional classroom or laboratory (at least two sessions per term); or
  • Consists or research (either on campus or in absentia necessary for the preparation of the student’s:
    • Master’s thesis
    • Doctoral dissertation, or
    • Similar treatise which is prerequisite to the degree being pursued; or
  • Can consist of a combination of training described above.
nonstandard terms at ihls
Nonstandard Terms at IHLs
  • Shorter or longer in length than the standard semester (15-19 wks.) or quarter (10-13 wks.)
  • Must report the actual date the classes begin and end, if outside the normal reported academic calendar.
  • Must report beginning & ending dates of "block or sequential" course credits separately from standard semester/quarter course credits

NOTE: When reporting the credits for courses that begin the first calendar week (Sunday to Saturday) of the term and end the last calendar week of the term, total the credits and report the begin and end dates based on the institution’s published term calendar.

distance vs residence vs hybrid

Must have regularly scheduled classes & meet at least once every 2 weeks

Total hours of instruction (based on 50 minutes per hour) must >/= the # of credits awarded multiplied by the number of weeks in a term

3cr over 16 week = 48 total class hours

3cr over 5 week = 15 total class hours

* And must meet at least once every 2 weeks

“In class”does not include the student working independently at his or her own pace with a teacher in the room to answer questions


Consists of at least 2 regularly scheduled standard classes per term, research (on or off campus), or a combination of both.


These are all treated the same by VA

Interaction between the student and the instructor (who is physically separated from the student) through the use of communications technology instead of regularly scheduled, conventional classroom or laboratory sessions.

Communications technology includes (but not limited to):

Open Circuit TV

Computer technology

Wireless communication devices

Any other school assigned term, including “hybrid” or “blended” that fails to meet VA’s requirements for resident training is considered independent study and must be reported as distance learning for Ch33.

Distance vs Residence vs Hybrid
distance learning independent study
Distance Learning/Independent Study
  • Non-accredited schoolscannot certify distance learning/independent study courses
    • Courses offered in whole or in part by independent study cannot be approved at non-accredited schools
  • All schools with multiple branches should not certify online classes that are administered/hosted out of a different branch; must use the correct facility code
  • Remedial/deficiency courses offered at any school in a hybrid format or as distance learning cannot be certified unless they meet the definition for resident training.
non matric remedial courses
Non-Matric & Remedial Courses
  • Certify only those courses which apply to the student’s program of study. Use a degree audit or degree plan to track progress.
  • VA can pay only for 2 terms in non-matric status; acceptance to degree program must be pending (General Education courses only). If student remains non-matric beyond 2 terms, you can certify, but include a remark to indicate non-matric beyond 2 terms
  • If certifying remedial courses, you must document courses are required to overcome secondary-level deficiencies. Keep copy of test results in student’s file. (Distance learning not permitted.)
  • Monitor student progress monthly to ensure timely reporting of credit/clock hour adjustments.
  • Review student’s grades to ensure satisfactory progress.
repeated or audited courses
Repeated or Audited Courses
  • If student received a punitive failing grade for a required course, it may be certified again. If the course is failed a 2nd time, you must report the grade that became non-punitive.
  • If the grade received previously does not meet requirements of program, it may be certified again.
  • If course credit is considered outdated according to the school or program, you may certify the course again.
  • Audited courses may not be certified. If a course is changed to audit, report it as withdrawn, using the date of the change as the effective date.

Document these actions in the student’s VA folder!

prerequisites rounding out
Prerequisites & Rounding Out
  • If certifying prerequisite courses, document the courses are required for the student’s program.
  • If undergrad courses are needed to be accepted into a graduate program and taken in conjunction with other grad courses, certify as graduate training if the majority of credits are graduate.
  • VA may only pay for courses required for the student’s program of education. However, for degree courses taken on a term basis, rounding out of the last term is permitted.
  • A claimant may enroll in sufficient credit hours during his or her last term to allow payment of (up to and including) full-time training. This can be used to repeat a course for a better grade, begin grad courses prior to completion of undergrad program, etc.
practical training
Practical Training
  • Academic training that includes actual work or field experience. May be known as internship, externship, practicum, etc. Considered resident training, even if it takes place off campus.
  • Common in certain programs, such as student teaching, medical and dental programs (clinical portion or residency), and aviation programs.
  • May occur during a period without additional enrolled courses. In most cases, this should be certified as clock hours, even if the student is awarded credit for this training. Reporting credits only wouldn’t reflect the required time commitment. (Don’t report this as credits and clock hours!)
  • Student may be concurrently enrolled in standard credit-bearing courses and courses with practical training requirements. If student is FT based on credits, it’s not necessary to report in clock hrs.
  • If not FT by credits alone, determine by course if credit or clock hours are advantageous to student.
practical training1
Practical Training
  • When credits & clock hours are reported for a single term, indicate accordingly in the remarks in VA-Once.
  • In this example, each of 2 courses required 2 hrs. of elementary classroom observation, in addition to regular classroom attendance.
  • Don’t report the credits and clock hours for the same course!
supplemental enrollment
Supplemental Enrollment
  • Students may take courses at more than one school that apply toward their degree. The degree granting school is known as the primary school.
  • Also known as Concurrent Enrollment, Cross-Registration, Parent School/Secondary school, Guest Student, etc.
  • 2 term limit for non-matriculation doesn’t apply, but courses taken at 2nd school must transfer back to primary school toward student’s degree program.
  • Each school must certify only courses taken at their own facility code and report only charges from their school
supplemental enrollment1
Supplemental Enrollment

If you’re the Primary School:

  • Provide “Parent School” letter addressed to SCO at the supplemental school indicating course(s) will satisfy requirements for student’s degree program
  • Certify only the courses taken at your school
  • Have student provide copy of transcript from secondary school to ensure successful completion of course(s)
  • Update degree audit to show course(s) as completed
  • Maintain copy of Parent School letter in student’s file
supplemental enrollment2
Supplemental Enrollment

If you’re the Secondary School:

  • Certify only the courses taken at your school with the associated tuition and fees from your school only
  • Add the student in VA-Once and certify as a ‘Guest Student’. Enter the name of the parent school VA-Once, which will ensure the cert will route to jurisdiction of parent school
  • Report changes of enrollment as you would for any student
  • Data and the history from the primary and secondary schools will be visible by both schools in VA-Once
academic probation
Academic Probation
  • Schools are now required to promptly report to VA when a student is placed in academic probation. (Within 30 days.)
  • Once a student has been placed in academic probation, you should notify VA using the Internet Inquiry System. Be sure to include the student’s name and claim number along with the statement “Student placed on academic probation.”
  • Students should be advised of any counseling services available to them at the school in order to help them resolve their situation and successfully complete their program.
  • VA will also write the student to notify them of the availability of counseling services through their local VA Regional Office as well as tutorial assistance benefits available through the Buffalo Regional Processing Office.
academic probation1
Academic Probation
  • Use spreadsheet to report multiple students placed on academic probation
  • Must report graduation or program completion information to VA.
  • Once a student graduates from a degree program or completes a Non-College Degree program, you should submit a termination in VA-Once. If the student is graduating from a degree program, “Graduation” should be selected as the termination reason.
  • If the student completes a Non-College Degree program, select "End of Term or Course" as the termination reason. The last date of the term selected will be pre-populated as the date of termination.
  • If subsequent terms were previously certified, VA-ONCE will prompt you to terminate those enrollments, or to leave them as previously certified if the student is continuing in another program. Ensure that the program information is accurate.
  • Report when the student has completed all course requirements for the degree program, not when or if he attends graduation.
study abroad
Study Abroad

Study Abroad can be certified if:

  • Both schools must have programs approved for VA benefits
  • Student must be enrolled in courses that apply toward their program
  • School charging the associated tuition must certify the enrollment
  • VA can make payment to only one school even if both assess fees

VA can’t pay for Study Abroad Fees if:

  • The study abroad isn’t required for the student’s program
  • Associated fees are for travel related costs such as airfare, train fare, etc.
  • Reported fees are for meals, lodging, or optional cultural experiences

Note: See Post-9/11 Study Abroad Fact Sheet for more detailed instructions


VA Education Benefits

Post - 9/11 GI Bill Payments

post 9 11 gi bill payments
Post-9/11 GI Bill Payments
  • Net Tuition and Fees Charged
  • Monthly Housing Allowance (MHA)
  • Books and Supplies Stipend
  • Kickers (also known as College Fund)
  • Licensing and Certifications Tests, National Exams
  • Work Study
  • Tutorial Assistance
  • Refund of $1,200 MGIB Contribution

(All payments are subject to Eligibility Level Percentages.)

net charges
Net Charges

VA was initially considered ‘First Payer’ for tuition & fees

reporting purposes. Effective August 1, 2011, schools must

report the net cost of tuition and fees after deducting:

  • Any waiver of, or reduction in Tuition and Fees; and
  • Any scholarship, or other Federal, State, institutional, or employer based aid that is provided directly to the school towards tuition and fees for the sole purpose of defraying tuition and fees”
  • Title IV Funds (Pell Grants and Federal Loans) are excluded from net charge assessments.

* Effective July 2009, no VA education benefits can be considered when calculating EFC or as an outside resource for Financial Aid purposes

2012 2013 tuition fees cap
2012-2013 Tuition & Fees Cap

Eligibility Tier Max T&F Payable/Year

100% $18,077.50

90% $16,269.75

80% $14,462.00

70% $12,654.25

60% $10,846.50

50% $ 9,038.75

40% $ 7,231.00

In general, VA will pay the lesser of the net T&Fs or the individual’s annual cap rate for all Ch33 students

reporting tuition and fees
Reporting Tuition and Fees

For each enrollment period, report actual net cost for tuition & fees to VA:

Tuition and Fees = $5,000.00

School Veteran Tuition Waiver (500.00)

Private Tuition Scholarship (500.00)

NYS VTA VA Waiver*

NYS TAP VA Waiver*

Net Tuition and Fees = $4,000.00

Report $4,000.00 to VA as the net T&Fs for this term. If the student received any Title IV funds or assistance not specifically designated for the payment of tuition and fees – Do not deduct from the amount reported to VA.

* Some states granted waivers to exclude state funds from net payer provision

yellow ribbon program
Yellow Ribbon Program
  • IHLs may voluntarily enter into an agreement with VA to allow the two parties to provide matching funds to cover a portion of the established charges above the highest public in-state undergraduate tuition rate. (Program available only to IHLs in the US)
  • Deadline for current contract was May 15, 2013, for submission of 2013-2014 agreements. Check website ( for information. Contracts are now open-ended and continue as is, unless school terminates or changes during the annual open period.
  • Use VA Form 22-0839, May 2012 to enroll or change current contract
  • Annual Open Season March 15 – May 15
  • Funds used by the institution for the Yellow Ribbon Program must be available for “unrestricted” use by the institution.
yellow ribbon program1
Yellow Ribbon Program
  • Only individuals entitled to the 100 percent benefit rate (based on service requirements) may receive this funding. In VA-Once, code 100% Chapter 33 students as “33Yellow” on VA-ONCE Bio screen.
  • VA will match each additional dollar that an institution contributes toward an eligible student’s established charges, not to exceed 50% of unmet allowable charges above the annual cap at private schools or to cover out of state charges at public schools.
  • Funds used by the institution as Yellow Ribbon contributions become part of the veterans education benefit and cannot be included as estimated financial assistance (EFA).
  • The following are NOT eligible for Yellow Ribbon:
    • Active duty personnel and their spouses
    • Fry Scholarship recipients
reporting enrollments
Reporting Enrollments
  • Include the following on Enrollment Certifications:
    • Report: In-Residence Hours, Distance hours, Remedial/Def./Refresher hours separately. VA will add each together to get total hours.
    • Report: Net Tuition & Fees and Yellow Ribbon for each term or session. If mini-terms are part of semester or quarter charges, you must break out the tuition and fees for each course or mini-term.
    • For ch33 graduate students, report the number of credits that are considered to be Full-Time in a standard semester (this is needed to determine ROP). Don’t adjust for shorter terms!
reporting enrollments1
Reporting Enrollments
  • If you have mini or summer terms (sessions) where the tuition and fees are charged collectively at the beginning of the first term or session; you should report the tuition and fees that are associated with the cost of each credit hour taken for each term/session reported.

For example:

A school has 3 summer sessions, but charges tuition and fees during the first session for all three sessions. When certifying the enrollment, the tuition and fees should be reported for the number of credits for each session that the student is enrolled in. This will allow VA to make proportionate payments based on the number of credits taken each term/session; rather than just the term/session when the tuition and fees were required to be paid.

zero tuition
“Zero Tuition”
  • If net tuition and fees are unknown, you may wish to submit the term dates and actual credit hours, but enter $0.00 as the charges
  • This allows the student to receive timely housing and books & supplies stipend payments
  • Also permits financial aid to be resolved prior to submitting cert
  • MUST submit an amended cert, effective the First Day of the Term to ensure accurate payment when net T&Fs are reported! (Don’t include T&Fs along with an adjustment made after the first day of the term.)
restoring gi bill fairness act
Restoring GI Bill Fairness Act
  • The legislation authorized VA to pay more than $17,500 (or reduced amount based on the student’s eligibility tier) in tuition & fees under the Post-9/11 GI Bill for certain students attending private schools.
  • To qualify for the increased payment (also referred to as the “grandfathered” amount), students must have been enrolled in the same college or university since January 4, 2011, and have been in a program for which the combined tuition & fees for full-time attendance during the 2010-2011 academic year (Aug. 1, 2010 - July 31, 2011) exceeded $17,500
  • Eligible students will receive the “grandfathered” rate for tuition & fees for terms that begin before August 1, 2014, as long as they’re continuously enrolled at the same institution. If they transfer to a different institution, they will no longer qualify for the “grandfathered” rate.
  • Submit enrollment certifications with the remark “Student eligible for restored rates”
restoring gi bill fairness act1
Restoring GI Bill Fairness Act

Grandfathered Tuition & Fees Rates

State Max Tuition Max Fees

New Hampshire $1003.75/credit $ 5,197.00

New York $1010.00/credit $12,293.00

Pennsylvania $ 934.00/credit $ 6,110.00

annual reporting fees
Annual Reporting Fees
  • ‘Snapshot’ data collected each October, representative of all students in receipt of VA benefits during calendar year. Payment issued in the spring, was sent by EFT this year (mailed from Treasury to generic address of the school if no EFT.)
  • Sent with corresponding letter and student listing
    • $12.00 per standard enrollment certification of each student.
    • $15.00 per advance pay enrollment certification (advance pay not available for Chapter 33)
  • By law, funds must be used to support veteran certification and programs. Usage will be reviewed during compliance survey. *new*
vet rep listing
Vet Rep Listing
  • Ch33 Vet Rep Listing is automatically sent weekly to the address in WEAMS (VA’s approval database)
  • Report details all Tuition & Fees payments and Yellow Ribbon payments made during the reporting period.
  • Non-Ch33 monthly reports available (need one-time request)

VA Education Benefits

Reporting Enrollment Changes

change terminology
Change Terminology


  • A change in reported term dates, reported tuition & fees, or yellow ribbon contribution.


  • A change in reported credit hours; increase or reduction (not to include zero hours.)


  • Complete withdrawal from term. (VA’s definition)
reporting changes
Reporting Changes
  • The SCO must notify VA within 30 days of discovery if any of the following occurs:
  • The net charges change or the term dates change.
  • The trainee withdraws from training.
  • The trainee does not progress satisfactorily according to approved standards and practices of your facility.
  • When the trainee changes credit or clock hours of training, even during drop/add.
  • If the trainee receives non-punitive grades or punitive grades due to non-attendance.
  • Trainee placed on academic probation or graduates.
reporting changes1
Reporting Changes
  • If a student withdraws from all classes, the MHA will terminate as well.
  • For a complete withdrawal, the Tuition and Fees payment will be pro-rated based on the length of time the student attended. The fact the school refunded money has no bearing on the VA payment. VA will pay for the time attended, even if withdrawal occurs during Drop/Add.
  • For a reduction or an increase, the school should report the net Tuition and Fees for the remaining credits as if those were the original number of enrolled credits the student. This report is not based on actual charges, so don’t factor in any refunds or current balance due.
  • Report all reductions and increases, even if the Tuition and Fees remain the same. Under Ch33, all changes to credit hours must be reported and have the potential of impacting payment.
reductions terminations
Reductions & Terminations


05/15/2013 06/16/2013 3 $1800.00 $166.67

06/18/2013 07/20/2013 3 $1800.00 $166.67

07/25/2013 08/16/2013 3 $1800.00 $166.66

  • VA considers each enrollment line a separate term.
  • If the student withdrew from the 2nd term prior to 6/18/13,

(never attended), VA will designated as school debt.

  • If subsequently, he began the 3rd term, then withdrew on 7/30/13, VA will designate this as vet debt.
  • Send $1966.67 from 2nd term to VA; refund vet for 3rd term, if applicable.
reductions terminations1
Reductions & Terminations
  • Currently, VA assumes Mitigating Circumstances exist for all reductions and terminations under Chapter 33.
  • The Books & Supplies Stipend is not affected by a reduction or termination, provided the student attended at least one day of the term. If the student changes hours before the beginning of the term, the Books and Supplies payment will be adjusted to reflect the new number of hours.
  • Entitlement to Housing continues after a reduction, (but may be reduced,) as long as the Rate of Pursuit (ROP) remains at greater than 50% Rate of Pursuit after the reduction.
  • If a student reduces to 50% ROP or less, the MHA will be paid through the end of the month of the reduction or to the end of the term, whichever comes first. If terminated, housing stops effective the last day of attendance.
reductions terminations2
Reductions & Terminations
  • For reductions within the school’s refund period, funds should be given directly to the student. The fact the school refunded money to the student has no bearing on the VA payment. VA will pay for the time attended. (Even during Drop/Add.)
  • Ch33 reductions are paid at the original rate through the end of the month in which they occurred. This is known as the “End of Month Rule” and is based on the inability of the student to verify his or her attendance at the end of each month. (Monthly verification for Ch33 will begin at some point in the future; when this happens, “End of Month Rule” will cease.)
  • The student is responsible for any debts incurred to VA as the result of a change in enrollment within a term. Don’t send funds to VA unless a debt notice is received.
example increase 100 tier
Example: Increase (100% Tier)

Term is: 8/24/20013 to 12/23/20013 starting at 9 credits

Total length of the term (based on 30 day months) = 120 days

Student increases from 9 credits to 13 credits effective 09/06/2013

Tuition and Fees for 9 credits is $3500.00 and for 13 credits is $4500.00

Number of days enrolled for 9 credits = 12 days (8/24/2013 to 09/05/2013)

Percentage of term at 9 credits = 12/ 120 = 10%

Percentage of $3500.00 tuition and fees for 9 credits due = $3500.00 X 10% = $350.00

Number of days enrolled for 13 credits = 108 days (09/06/2011 to 12/23/2011)

Percentage of term at 13 credits = 108 / 120 = 90 %

Percentage of $4500.00 tuition and fees for 13 credits due = $4500.00 X 90% = $4050.00

Add $350.00 + $4050.00 = $4400.00is the amount the student is entitled to receive for this term based on the increase from 9 credits to 13 credits.

(NOTE: If an enrollment was submitted with $0.00 T&F and the change occurs before the amended enrollment with the T&F is submitted; you will need to let VA know what the T&F were for both 9 credits and 13 credits.)

example 2 decrease 100 tier
Example 2: Decrease (100% Tier)

Term is: 8/24/2013 to 12/23/2013 starting at 16 credits

Total length of the term (based on 30 day months) = 120 days

Student reduces from 16 credits to 9 credits effective 09/06/2013

Tuition for 16 credits is $15,000.00 and for 9 credits is $10,000.00

Fees are $500.00 for both 16 and 9 credits

Number of days enrolled for 16 credits = 37 days (8/24/2013 to 09/30/2013) EOM rule

Percentage of term at 16 credits = 37/ 120 = 30.8%

Percentage of $15,500.00 tuition & fees due @ 16 cr = $15,500.00 X 30.8% = $4774.00

Number of days enrolled at 9 credits = 83 days (10/01/2013 to 12/23/2013)

Percentage of term at 9 credits = 83/ 120 = 69.2%

Percentage of $10,500.00 tuition & fees due @ 9 cr = $10,500.00 X 69.2% = $7266.000

The total payment for the term will be prorated based on time spent at 16 hrs, then at 9 hrs. $4774.00 + $7266.00 = $12,040.00is the amount the student is entitled to receive for this term based on the reduction from 16 to 9 credits; this will result in vet debt or reduced payment to school, depending when tuition and fees payment is made.

chapter 33 debt
Chapter 33 Debt

Vet Debt

  • Monthly Housing Allowance (MHA)
  • Books and Supplies Stipend
  • Kickers (also known as College Fund)
  • Tuition and Fees Charged to Vet


School Debt

  • Tuition and Fees Charged to School

VA Education Benefits

Available Resources


Do your students know?


(Web Automated Verification of Enrollment)

  • Submit monthly verification
  • Self-reported change in enrollment
  • Change mailing address
  • Change Direct Deposit
  • View Current Benefit Information
  • (this is not available for Ch33; see
  • e-benefits for Ch33)

Education & TrainingAssistance

Visit the official VA education benefits site

See the School Certifying Official Handbook & the VA-Once Flip Book (Find both in School Section of the website)

Call VA at:1-888-GI BILL-1 (1-888-442-4551)

NEW! Certifying Official Line 1-855-225-1159

*must be a designated SCO & provide your facility code

contact information
Contact Information

For Students:

  • Toll free: 1-888-442-4551 for Education Questions
  • Toll free: 1-800-827-1000 for other VA questions
  • Submit a Question via

For School VA Certifying Officials (only):

  • Local Education Liaison Representative (ELR)
  • Certification, regulatory requirements, VAONCE assistance
      • Hardship cases (i.e. certified student has no payment or communication from VA and has exhausted other contact resources)
  • National Hotline for School Certifying Officials 1-888-225-1159
  • General questions on student eligibility, claim status, payment status
  • Allow a passage of time before making an inquiry re: a 1999

Schools may establish account/make inquiry direct to the Buffalo RPO via “Submit A Question”.