Serving Those Who Serve
The Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine is proud to assist service members, veterans, and their families in accessing the education benefits they have earned through their years of service to our nation.
If you have served in the U.S. military, you may be eligible for participation in one or more of the GI Bill® education benefit programs administered by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. In addition, if you are the spouse or child of a deceased or disabled veteran or a service member, you may qualify for education benefits as well.
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 http://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill.
- Apply for your educational benefits with the VA. Once the VA has processed your application, they will mail a Certificate of Eligibility directly to you.
- Request your service transcript. If you served in the Army, Coast Guard, Marines, or Navy, you will need to request your Official Joint Services Transcript. If you served in the Air Force, you will need to request either your Air University or CCAF transcript.
- If you have used your VA educational benefits at another college prior to enrolling in ACOM, complete ONE of the following:
- Submit a current VA Certificate of Eligibility to the Office of Financial Aid.
- Submit a VA Certification Request Form to the Office of Financial Aid.
- If you are receiving benefits under Ch. 33 (the Post-9/11 GI Bill), you do not need to take any additional action to be certified. Tuition payments will be sent directly to ACOM on your behalf; all other stipends and payments (e.g. BAH, books stipend) will be sent to you.
- If you are receiving benefits under Ch.30 or Ch.1606, you must verify your enrollment each month with the VA via the Web Automated Veteran’s Enrollment (WAVE) system. Benefits will be sent directly to you, and you are responsible for transferring these payments to ACOM as needed.
Each term in which you would like to use your VA education benefits at ACOM, you must submit a VA Certification Request Form to the Office of Financial Aid.
In order to comply with regulations governing VA education benefits, it is your responsibility as a student to notify the Office of Financial Aid when you:
- add or drop a class(es);
- change your address;
- withdraw from the college; and
- retake a course.
Only courses that are required for your degree program are eligible for certification.
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.
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 more information on the transfer application and process, please visit archive.defense.gov/home/features/2009/0409_gibill/.
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.
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.
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 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.
Additional Resources for Veterans and Families
This list includes resources that may be useful to veterans pursuing higher education. These resources are not affiliated with or endorsed by the Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine.
- Request Military Service Records Online: DD214/Separation Documents, Personnel Records, Replacement Medals, and/or Medical Records
- Army Education Relief Fund: Scholarship opportunities for children and spouses of retired and active Army soldiers.
- Tuition Assistance: Army, Army National Guard, and Army Reserve
- Tuition Assistance: Air Force, Air National Guard, Air Force Reserve
- Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation: Scholarship opportunities for children of current and former Marines.
- Military.com Scholarship Search
- National Military Family Association Joanne Holbrook Patton Military Spouse Scholarship Program: Scholarships are awarded to spouses of Uniformed Services members (active duty, National Guard and Reserve, retirees, and survivors) to obtain professional certification or to attend postsecondary or graduate school. Scholarships range in amount from $500 to $1,000, and the number awarded each year varies depending on funding.
- ThanksUSA Scholarships: Scholarships are awarded to spouses and dependent children of active-duty military personnel.
- Pat Tillman Military Scholarship: The Tillman Military Scholarships support educational opportunities for service members and their families.
- Veterans United Foundation Scholarship: Annually, the Foundation awards up to three scholarships to eligible recipients.
- Scholarships for Military Families: U.S. Dept. of Education document providing links to various programs