I have question/concerns about specific payments made to me by the VA. Who should I contact?
For matters dealing with specific payments or bank accounts, the student needs to contact the VA directly through their Education Benefits hotline, 1 (888) 442‑4551. The VA will not discuss a student’s personal payment issues with the WSU Veterans Coordinator, as this constitutes a violation of the Federal Privacy Act.
Why haven’t I received my stipend checks yet?
- Have you properly established your benefit...If you are a dependent, has your sponsor formerly transferred the benefit to you (Post 9/11 GI Bill), Have you applied for the benefit (i.e filled out a form 22-1990 or 22-5490, this applies to everyone, including dependents) and received a certificate of eligibility from the VA? Have you submitted an Enrollment Certification Request to the WSU Office of Veterans Affairs, thereby notifying us of your intentions to use your benefit?
- For chapters 30, 1606 and 1607, has your monthly enrollment certification been accomplished through WAVE or through the verification hotline at 1 (877) 823‑2378?
- Has enough time passed since the Office of Veterans Affairs certified your enrollment? Two to eight weeks is the typical time-frame. Longer processing times occur at the beginning of semesters because of increased workloads.
I am an out of state student and wish to attend WSU. Will the Post 9/11 GI Bill cover my tuition?
No, The Post 9/11 GI Bill will only pay the costs associated with in-state enrollment. WSU does participate in the Yellow Ribbon Program however. This program is designed to help offset the extra costs associated with attending school as a non-resident. It will reduce your extra tuition costs by $1300 per year and is applied to your Fall semester tuition bill. Please notify the WSU Office of Veterans Affairs if you wish to participate. There are a limited number of slots; available on a first come first serve basis.
Your military service, or your relationship to a service member or veteran, may qualify you to receive the resident (in-state) tuition rate at WSU. True WA residency can be established in 12 months, while attending school. Please visit the WSU residency page for details.
How long until the VA pays my Post 9/11 GI Bill tuition and fees?
Typically your tuition and fees will be paid 9-10 weeks after the first day of class. Tuition late fees are waived for chapter 33 students. Please note that, if applicable, any available financial aid and/or grant money will be applied to your tuition bill on the first day of the semester. When the Chapter 33 money arrives, if it creates a credit (due to financial aid, grants, or early student payment already paying tuition) the excess VA money will be applied to your housing payment plan and housing dining services accounts, if applicable. Any money left over after that will be refunded to the student.
How does the Post 9/11 GI Bill housing stipend work?
The housing stipend, also known as the monthly housing allowance (MHA), is based on the DoD's cost of living assessment for the zip code of the university. This is completely independent of what a school's housing office and local rental agencies may charge for housing. In other words, your MHA may, or may not, cover your actual living expenses.
MHA payments typically arrive on the first of the month and pay for the previous month. MHA payments are also prorated if a student was not in school for the entire month in question. In other words, during the Fall semester a student receiving a VA stipend will receive a smaller payment for the months of August and December; and a smaller payment for the months of January and May for the Spring semester.
Will my VA education benefits pay for every class that I want to take?
No. Only classes that will fulfill a requirement for your degree program, minor, dual degree, or dual major, can be reported to the VA for the purpose of determining your rate of pursuit.
When do I have to declare a major?
The VA requires that you notify them (through the WSU Office of Veterans Affairs) of your major before beginning the next semester after you reached your sixtieth (60) credit hour. If you later wish to change your major you will need to submit a form 22-1995 or 22-5495 (dependents) to the VA and provide the WSU Office of Veterans Affairs with a copy as well.
How do I receive my benefits via direct deposit?
Direct deposit authorizations can be initiated at the time of application. To update, change or add direct deposit information call: 1 (877) 838‑2778. The WAVE web site can also be used to update direct deposit and address information
How do I change my address with the VA?
What is the deal with Tuition Assistance?
Tuition Assistance is administered by the services. Contact your unit or base education office for procedures to establish the benefit, and information on current payment rates and rules. When you receive a Tuition Assistance Authorization form, please provide the WSU Office of Veterans Affairs with a copy; we will make sure that it is applied to your student account.
What is the deal with tuition waivers?
- Veterans: If you are a resident of the state of Washington, and received an "Honorable" discharge from the military, you may be eligible for an up to 50% tuition waiver. There are additional requirements and details. To fully review the waiver program, and download an application, please visit the Tuition Waivers page or get in contact with the WSU Office of Veterans Affairs.
- Dependents: If you are a dependent or spouse of a service member with a 100% service connected disability, or of a service member that was killed in action, was a POW, or is missing in action; and is a Washington resident, or was a resident at the time of their death, you may be eligible for a 100% tuition waiver. There are additional requirements and details. To fully review the waiver program, and download an application, please visit the Tuition Waivers page or get in contact with the WSU Office of Veterans Affairs.
*The tuition wiaver programs are provided by the state of Washington and are administered separately from the VA education benefits. Participation in tuition waiver programs will have an effect on your financial aid entitlement.
I am attending the Spokane campus or working towards a WSU degree at another school. How is the chapter 33 housing stipend calculated in this situation?
The VA pays the housing stipend based on the zip code of the degree granting school, not, necessarily, the school where classes are taken. All Chapter 33 recipients receive the housing stipend based on the Pullman zip code, 99164.
How can I find out how many months of education benefits I have remaining?
Veterans and Service members using Chapter 33 benefits can obtain this information at the eBenefits web site. Chapter 33 dependent students and recipients of all other GI Bill benefits must call the VA Education Benefit hotline, at 1 (888) 442‑4551, to receive an updated status of their remaining eligibility.
My GI Bill will be exhausted in mid-semester. Will the VA pay for the whole semester?
It depends. If you are about to use up your original 36 months, the VA will pay for the rest of the semester. If you have combined your benefits (for example, exhausted your 36 month Chapter 30 benefit, and was approved to use Chapter 33 for another 12 months) and will exceed your 48th month during the semester, then the VA will only make payments up to the last day of that 48th month.
If you are a dependent, there is no exceeding the 36th month of the Post 9/11 GI Bill, and payments will stop in mid semester if your eligibility is exhausted. Similarly, Chapter 35 Dependent Education Assistance students may not exceed the 45 month limit of their benefit, except under rare circumstances which must be approved by the VA.
A dependent student may combine his or her Post 9/11 GI Bill and their Chapter 35 benefit. This could yield a maximum of 81 (!) months of combined eligibility (up to 36 from the GI Bill and 45 from DEA). The deliminating date of the GI Bill and the age restriction of the DEA still apply though.
I think I'm failing one, or more, of my classes! What should I do?
This is a long answer, but hang in there because there is a lot to consider:
What happens if I receive a failing grade?
If a failing (“F”) grade is received in a course, the VA will only be notified if the cause of the failing grade is lack of class attendance or lack of completing assignments. Each semester the academic progress of VA students will be monitored for “F” grades. A letter will be sent to each veteran student who receives an “F” grade asking the student state the nature of the grade. Veteran students are required to state whether they completed the class and received the “F” on the basis of work completed, or if they received the failing grade based on lack of class attendance or participation. In the latter case, they must indicate the month and the day they last attended and/or stopped participating.
The reason for the “F” grade will be noted in the student’s file. No further action will be necessary for those who received a “F” grade based on work completed in the class. If the “F” grade is a result of non-attendance, the VA will be notified of the last date of attendance reported by the student and the VA will reduce the student’s units and pay rate effective the date the student indicated as the last date of attendance.
If veteran students do not return the letter as directed, the VA certifying official will follow VA regulations and automatically report the last date of attendance for the “F” grade as the last official date to drop the course.
Can I retake classes to improve my G.P.A.?
You may repeat a course and receive VA payment for it if you received an “F”, “NP” or “W” grade on the original attempt. The VA does not pay for repeats of “D” or better grades; or for incomplete grades, unless the Incomplete is changed to an “F” grade. EXCEPTION: When a class is required for a major and must be passed with a certain grade level to progress to another required class (prerequisite) then the VA will pay for the repeat.
Do I really have to go to class?
If you don’t attend class, you are not entitled to benefits. If a student stops attending a class they must drop officially with the college and report the drop to the VA certifying official. This is a student responsibility – not ours. Federal law requires that students report any change in enrollment status, which might affect their VA education benefits to the school and the VA. Your signature on the Supplemental Application form shows acceptance of the responsibility to keep the VA certifying official informed of any change in student status.
When there is an overpayment, the VA will ask for repayment of the overpaid benefits. If you ignore the VA’s request, they can withhold future GI bill payments, disability payments, or depending upon the situation, they can take a student to court, charge interest, and they may take future tax return refunds, attach wages, put legal holds on property or deny home loans.
The VA certifying official monitors student enrollment on a weekly basis via myWSU automated reports and updated enrollment statuses are regularly sent to the VA. When adding or dropping classes, the student must report the drop or add directly to the VA certifying official.