What types of education programs does the VA provide?

Post – 9/11 GI Bill (Chapter 33)

Individuals who are eligible for the new Post 9/11 GI Bill may begin using it August 1, 2009. Only active duty service performed after September 10, 2001 may be considered for determining eligibility for this new benefit. To be eligible, a service member or veteran must have served at least 90 aggregate days on active duty. However, individuals honorably discharged for a service-connected disability who served 30 continuous days after September 10, 2001 may also establish eligibility.

The Post – 9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Improvements Act of 2010 (Public Law 111-377) changes the amount of tuition and fee charges which should be reported to the VA by ACOM. For periods of enrollment beginning on or after August 1, 2011, the school will report the following charges:

“The actual net cost for in-state tuition and fees assessed by the institution for the program of education after the application of any waiver of, or reduction in, tuition and fee; and any scholarship, or other Federal, State, institutional, or employer-based aid or assistance (excluding loans and title IV funds)that is provided directly to the institution and specifically designated for the sole purpose of defraying tuition and fees.”

Example: Gross In-State Charges = $4,000
Veteran Discount -400
Tuition Scholarship -2,000
Title IV (2,500)
General Scholarship (1,000)
Net In-State Charges = $1,600

Aid or assistance that is not designated for the sole purpose of reducing a student’s tuition and fee cost should not be excluded from the net in-state charges reported to VA.

Example: The student above also has a $1,000 scholarship form a local Veterans Service Organization. The scholarship is general in nature and may be used to defray school costs such as food, housing, books, etc. Since it is not “specifically designated for the sole purpose of defraying tuition and fees,” it is not deducted from the charges submitted to VA.

Post-9/11 GI Bill: Transferability

The Post-9/11 GI Bill allows uniformed service members (officer or enlisted, active duty or Selected Reserve), on or after August 1, 2009, to transfer unused education benefits to immediate family members (spouse and children). The service member must have at least six years of service, and commit to an additional four years of service in order to transfer benefits to a spouse or child. Because of the potential impact of this benefit on recruiting and retention, transferability policy is determined by the Department of Defense (DoD) and the military services. For information on policy and rules for transferability of Post-9/11 GIBill benefits, visit the following websites:

http://gibill.va.gov/benefits/post_911_gibill/transfer_of_benefits.html

http://www.defenselink.mil/home/features/2009/0409_gibill/

The Montgomery GI Bill (Chapter 30)

The MGIB program provides up to 36 months of education benefits. This benefit may be used for degree and certificate programs, flight training, apprenticeship/on-the-job training and correspondence courses. Remedial, deficiency, and refresher courses may be approved under certain circumstances. Generally, benefits are payable for 10 years following your release from active duty.

Reservists Montgomery GI Bill (Chapter 1606)

The MGIB-SR program may be available to you if you are a member of the Selected Reserve. The Selected Reserve includes the Army Reserve, Navy Reserve, Air Force Reserve, Marine Corps Reserve and Coast Guard Reserve, and the Army National Guard and the Air National Guard.

Reserve Educational Assistance Program – REAP (Chapter 1607)

This program was established as a Department of Defense education benefit program designed to provide educational assistance to members of the Reserve components called or ordered to active duty in response to a war or national emergency (contingency operation) as declared by the President or Congress. This program is for reservists who were activated for at least 90 consecutive days after September 11, 2001. Qualified reservists are eligible for increased benefits.

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Vocational Rehabilitation Program (Chapter 31)

Vocational Rehabilitation is a program whose primary function is to help veterans with service-connected disabilities become suitably employed, maintain employment, or achieve independence in daily living. The program offers a number of services to help each eligible disabled veteran reach his or her rehabilitation goal. These services include vocational and personal counseling, education and training, financial aid, job assistance, and, if needed, medical and dental treatment. Services generally last up to 48 months, but they can be extended in certain instances.

Dependents Educational Assistance Program (Chapter 35)

Dependents’ Educational Assistance provides education and training opportunities to eligible dependents of certain veterans. The program offers up to 45 months of education benefits. These benefits may be used for degree and certificate programs, apprenticeship, and on-the-job training. If you are a spouse, you may take a correspondence course. Remedial, deficiency, and refresher courses may be approved under certain circumstances.

How do I find out which VA benefits I am eligible for?

Students who may be eligible for VA education benefit programs should refer to the GI Bill website or contact the VA for assistance.

How do I decide between the Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB) and the Post-9/11 GI Bill?

Questions about federal benefits should be directed to the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs or other federal government sponsor. ACOM cannot determine eligibility for VA educational assistance programs nor recommend participation in any particular program. Students are responsible for choosing the program that will best suit their needs.

How do I provide my documentation to ACOM’s VA Certifying Official?

Please email documentation to financialaid@acomedu.org, and be sure to include your full name and student ID number. You may also submit your documentation in person to the Office of Financial Aid.

I just transferred to ACOM from another school, where I was using my VA benefits. Do I need to do anything to transfer benefits from my old school to ACOM?

Yes. You will need to complete and submit a Request for Change of Program or Place of Training, VA Form 22-1995 to the VA. The form can be accessed electronically on the VA website. In addition, please email your Certificate of Eligibility and Veterans Request for Certification form to financialaid@acomedu.org, and be sure to include your full name and student ID number. You may also submit your documentation in person to the Office of Financial Aid.

How will the tuition payments work? Will I need to pay anything upfront? What happens if the VA payments don’t come through?

For the Post-9/11 GI Bill, the Department of Veterans Affairs will process tuition and fee payments directly to ACOM. You will need to ensure that all documentation is in place so that ACOM receives payments on your behalf. In the event you learn that you are not entitled to VA payments, you will be responsible for paying any outstanding charges to the College.

For all other VA education benefits programs, you will receive funds directly from the VA and will be responsible for submitting all payments you owe to ACOM.

As with other scholarships, you should anticipate the amount you will receive from the VA and pay only the remaining balance on your student account. You should not pay upfront the amount that you expect to receive from the VA. We will ensure that you are not assessed a late fee for this outstanding balance while VA payment is pending.

When will ACOM receive my Post-9/11 GI Bill tuition payment?

If you are concerned, contact the Office of Financial Aid at financialaid@acomedu.org to ensure that your certification has been processed on our end. If it has, call the VA at 888-442-4551 to confirm that they’ve received your certification. If they have not, we will be happy to resubmit your certification. If they have received your certification, unfortunately, there is not much that we can do to expedite the processing and disbursement of funds by the VA. If you have financial concerns, please do not hesitate to contact the Office of Financial Aid for assistance.

When can I expect to receive the books and supplies stipend and my BAH?

You will not begin to receive these benefits until ACOM has certified your enrollment. Please note that there may be a delay between ACOM’s certification of your enrollment and the VA’s processing and distribution of your payments. Please ensure that you are prepared to cover your living expenses in the event of a lengthy delay in VA payments. If you are concerned about your ability to do this, please do not hesitate to contact the Office of Financial Aid for assistance.

Why do I sometimes receive monthly housing allowance checks in different amounts?

Your monthly housing allowance is paid directly to you at the beginning of each month for the previous month. Possible explanations for varying check amounts include:

  • Partial month of attendance
  • Rate change between calendar years
  • Delay because of re-certification at the start of the term

I have been summoned to active duty and it is the middle of the academic term. What do I do?

ACOM has a number of arrangements for students who are called to duty during the academic term. Please review the the Veterans Readmission Policy and contact the office of the Dean of Students for assistance.

I left ACOM on a call to active duty. My service is over and I would like to come back. What do I need to do?

ACOM has a number of arrangements for students who are called to duty during the academic term. Please review the the Veterans Readmission Policy and contact the office of the Dean of Students for assistance.