Graduate Edition 2017-2018

Veteran Affairs

Veterans Benefits

Active duty service members, veterans, and their qualified dependents may be eligible for Veterans Affairs (VA) educational benefits authorized under specific chapters of Title 38 of the U.S. Code. The Veterans Affairs Office provides specialized customer services and information to assist students in establishing eligibility for and receipt of VA educational benefits. This office cannot determine eligibility, but can assist in the submission of applications and supporting documents. Only the Department of Veterans Affairs can determine student eligibility for benefits. The primary function of this office is to certify and report enrollment information to the VA to facilitate the receipt of benefits by eligible students.

Overview of Veterans Affairs (VA) Educational Benefits

There are various Veterans Affairs (VA) educational programs available, all of which have their own unique qualifying criteria and rates of payment. Depending on the benefits, the student may be eligible to receive a monthly living stipend and have their tuition and fees paid by the VA; payment of tuition and fees are the responsibility of the student if his/her benefit does not take care of the cost of attendance. Eligible students may apply for advance payment of benefits. The benefit amount is determined by the student’s training time. The VA established levels of training time as: full, 3/4, half, and less than half. Benefits for students training while on active duty and those training less than half-time are limited to the amount of tuition and fees paid. Since the number of credits determine the payment amount, it is absolutely essential that students immediately report all changes in enrollment (drops/adds) to the college’s Office of Veterans Affairs.

Establish Eligibility and Receive Benefits

The Office of Veterans Affairs provides services necessary to establish eligibility for the VA education program. To establish eligibility with the college, students are expected to provide a copy of their VA issued Certificate of Eligibility. Once a student’s eligibility has been established, students must submit a Certification Request for VA Education Benefits form in order to receive them. Students may gain access to their VA forms at www.benefits.va.gov/gibill and the Elizabeth City State University form at www.ecsu.edu or in the veterans office. Continuing students, those currently receiving benefits at Elizabeth City State University, may mail or email their signed requests after enrolling in subsequent semesters. Students who mail must follow-up via phone or email (Veteran@ecsu.edu) to ensure that the office has received their request.

Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act Of 2014

The following individuals shall be charged a rate of tuition not to exceed the in-state rate for tuition and fees purposes:

A Veteran using educational assistance under either chapter 30 (Montgomery G.I. Bill – Active Duty Program) or chapter 33 (Post- 9/11 G.I. Bill), of title 38, United States Code, who lives in North Carolina while attending a school located in North Carolina (regardless of his/her formal State of residence) and enrolls in the school within three years of discharge or release from a period of active duty service of 90 days or more.

  • Anyone using transferred Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits (38 U.S.C. § 3319) who lives in North Carolina while attending a school located in North Carolina (regardless of his/her formal State of residence) and enrolls in the school within three years of the transferor's discharge or release from a period of active duty service of 90 days or more.
  • Anyone using benefits under the Marine Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry Scholarship (38 U.S.C. § 3311(b) (9)) who lives in North Carolina while attending a school located in North Carolina (regardless of his/her formal State of residence) and enrolls in the school within three years of the Service member’s death in the line of duty following a period of active duty service of 90 days or more.
  • Anyone described above while he or she remains continuously enrolled (other than during regularly scheduled breaks between courses, semesters, or terms) at the same school. The person so described must have enrolled in the school prior to the expiration of the three year period following discharge, release, or death described above and must be using educational benefits under either chapter 30 or chapter 33, of title 38, United States Code.

VA Education Programs

The Post 9/11 GI Bill, Chapter 33

The Post 9/11 GI Bill provides financial support for education and housing to individuals with at least 90 days of aggregate service on or after September 11, 2001, or individuals discharged with a service-connected disability after 30 days. You must have received an honorable discharge to be eligible for the Post 9/11 GI Bill.

The Post 9/11 GI Bill became effective for training on or after August 1, 2009. The amount of support that individuals may qualify for depends on where he/she lives and what type of degree is being pursued. For a summary of Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits, see the benefit comparison chart, http://vets.gov/gi-bill-comparison-tool

Approved training under the Post 9/11 GI Bill includes graduate and undergraduate degrees, and vocational/technical training. All training programs must be offered by an institution of higher learning (IHL) and approved for GI Bill benefits. Additionally, tutorial assistance, licensing and certification test reimbursement are approved under the Post 9/11 GI Bill. Pamphlets and fact sheets about the Post 9/11 GI Bill can be found at http://benefits.va.gov/gibill/education_programs.asp

The Montgomery GI Bill-Active Duty (MGIB-AD), 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. Generally, benefits are payable for 10 years following a student’s release from active duty. Vietnam-era veterans with remaining entitlement under (Chapter 34, title38, U.S. Code) pamphlet can be found at http://benefits.va.gov/gibill/docs/pamphlets/ch30_pamphlet.pdf

Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment, (VR&E)

  • Comprehensive evaluation to determine abilities, skills, and interests for employment
  • Vocational counseling and rehabilitation planning for employment services
  • Employment services such as job-training, job-seeking skills, resume development, and other work readiness assistance
  • Assistance finding and keeping a job, including the use of special employer incentives and job accommodations
  • On the Job Training (OJT), apprenticeships, and non-paid work experiences
  • Post-secondary training at a college, vocational, technical or business school
  • Supportive rehabilitation services including case management, counseling, and medical referrals
  • Independent living services for Veterans unable to work due to the severity of their disabilities

Information can be found at

http://www.benefits.va.gov/vocrehab/eligibility_and_entitlement.asp

Veterans Education Assistance Program (VEAP), Chapter 32

VEAP is available for students who first entered active duty between January 1, 1977 and June 30, 1985 and elected to make contributions from military pay to participate in this education benefit program. Contributions are matched on a $2 for $1 basis by the government. This benefit may be used for degree and certificate programs, flight training, apprenticeship/on-the-job training and correspondence courses, pamphlet can be found at

http://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill/docs/pamphlets/ch32_pamphlet.pdf

Survivors and Dependents Assistance Program,

There are two main GI Bill programs offering education assistance to survivors and dependents of Veterans:

Information can be found at

http://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill/survivor_dependent_assistance.asp

The Montgomery GI Bill-Selected Reserve (MGIB-SR), Chapter 1606

The MGIB-SR program may be available to students if they are a member of the Selected Reserve. The Selected Reserve includes the Army Reserve, Navy Reserve, Air Force Reserve, Marine Corps Reserve, Coast Guard Reserve, Army National Guard and the Air National Guard. This benefit may be used for degree and certificate programs, flight training, apprenticeship/on-the-job training and correspondence courses. Pamphlets can be found at

http://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill/docs/pamphlets/ch1606_pamphlet.pdf

Accelerated Payment for MGIB-AD

An accelerated payment is a lump sum payment of 60% of tuition and fees for certain high-cost, high-tech programs. To qualify, students must be enrolled in a high-tech program and must certify that they intend to seek employment in a high-tech industry as defined by the VA. Accelerated payment is paid instead of Montgomery GI Bill benefits that the student would otherwise receive. Information can be found at

http://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill/accelerated_payments.asp

Licensing and Certification

Students can receive reimbursement for licensing and certification tests they take on or after March 1, 2001. These tests must be specifically approved for the G.I. Bill. The VA can pay only for the cost of the tests and no other fees connected with obtaining a license or certification. Information can be found at

http://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill/licensing_certification.asp

Tuition Assistance “Top-Up”

Tuition Assistance “Top-Up” benefits are equal to the difference between the total cost of a college course and the amount of tuition assistance that is paid by the military. Tuition Assistance (TA) and Top-Up are not administered through this office; students must request benefits for these programs through their unit’s education services offices. When received from their unit’s educational services office, students submit TA authorization forms directly to the Elizabeth City State University student account’s office for payment of tuition only. Fees are the student’s responsibility. Information can be found at

http://www.benefits.va.gov/GIBILL/docs/factsheets/topup.pdf

National Testing Program

Advancing your education often requires you to take costly national tests. Students can be reimbursed all required (mandatory) fees charged for national admission tests and national tests for college credit. Information can be found at

http://www/benefits.va.gov/gibill/national_testing.asp

Standards of Progress

The Department of Veterans Affairs requires that students receiving educational benefits maintain satisfactory progress. This office is required to submit notification of unsatisfactory progress to the VA when a student is placed on academic probation, suspension or dismissal.

 Undeclared Major

Students pursuing a bachelor's degree may not have to declare a major before their junior year at some schools.  If a freshman or sophomore has not declared a major, report the student's program as "Bachelor (undeclared)".  The student cannot be certified beyond his or her sophomore year unless a major is declared.  Only "General Education" courses can be certified prior to the declaration of a major.

Non-matriculated Students

VA defines matriculated as having been formally admitted to a college or university as a degree-seeking student.  VA educational benefits cannot be paid to non-matriculated college or university students unless they are pending admission to your school.  In that case they can be certified for two quarters or semesters.  The student can be certified beyond this two-term limit only if the student is admitted to your school as a degree-seeking student, irrespective of the number of credits taken.

  • Certify a non-matriculated student as "Bachelor (non-matriculated)" or "Post-baccalaureate (non-matriculated)."  The only courses that can be certified are those required for admission and those required if admitted.

Additional Benefits Available to Eligible Students

Flight Training

VA offers flight training benefits to those who want to advance their pilot qualifications. You must have a private pilot’s license and valid medical certification before you start training. Payments are issued after the training is completed and the school submits your enrollment information to VA.

http://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill/flight_training.asp

VA Work-Study Program

This program is available to any student receiving VA educational benefits who is attending school three-quarter (3/4) time or more. An individual working under this program may work at the school’s Veterans Office, VA Regional Office, Financial Information VA Medical Facilities, or at an approved state employment office. Work-study students are paid at either the state or federal minimum wage, whichever is greater. The student must contact the school, medical facility, or employment office at which he/she desires employment to determine if positions are available prior to applying.

Please note: Effective June 30, 2013, some work-study activities authorized by Congress expired. VA can no longer pay for certain work-study activities. Those are:

  • Outreach services to Service members and Veterans furnished under the supervision of a state approving agency employee
  • Hospital and domiciliary care and medical treatment to Veterans in a State home when VA pays an allowance to the state for such care
  • Any activity relating to the administration of a national cemetery or a state Veterans' cemetery

All other work-study activities are unaffected.

Information can be found at:

http://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill/workstudy.asp

Tutorial Assistance Program

Assistance may be available to those who are eligible under Chapters 30, 32, 33, 35, and 1606 to aid student’s expenses when tutoring becomes necessary. The allowance is a supplement to the monthly educational assistance check and is paid without entitlement charge for those under Chapter 35. Entitlement for those under other chapters will be charged if the tutorial assistance exceeds $600. Information can be found at http://benefits.va.gov/gibill/tutorial_assistance.asp