Frequently Asked Questions
We understand that navigating the use of GI Bill® Education Benefits and Department of Defense Tuition Assistance can be challenging. Below you will find a list of frequently asked questions to assist you, but if you find that your question is not answered below, please contact your School Certifying Official by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 202-687-2713
General Benefit Inquiries
There are a number of factors that determine how much the VA will send in education benefits:
- Each student is eligible for different benefits
- The level of benefits vary based on military service
- The academic program’s tuition rate
- A student’s enrollment status (e.g. part-time or full-time)
If you would like to receive an estimate of how much the VA will send in benefits, please email the email@example.com and provide the benefit type you are eligible to receive (if Post-9/11 please provide the percentage of eligibility), how many months of eligibility you have remaining, whether you are on active duty or the spouse of someone on active duty, your GUID and how many credits you plan to take each semester.
The Department of Veterans Affairs determines eligibility based on your military records or the records of the service member who transferred benefits to you. Since our office does not have access to this information, you will need to contact the VA directly by either calling 1-888-GI-BILL-1 or using the Submit-a-Question feature on the VA’s website.
If you have used VA education benefits, you can access your benefit level and remaining eligibility by logging into the va.gov statement of benefits.
Once the VA receives a va.gov education benefits application or request for an updated Certificate of Eligibility letter, it can take the VA 4-6 weeks to process the application and mail a Certificate of Eligibility letter. We understand that the timing of accessing a letter may conflict when certifications are submitted to the VA for the semester.
To assist with the process, your first semester’s certification can be submitted without a Certificate of Eligibility letter on file, but subsequent semesters will require a letter to be on file to be certified. Once you receive a Certificate of Eligibility letter, you can submit a copy of the letter to the School Certifying Official via email, fax, mail, or call 202-687-2713 to schedule an appointment.
Georgetown University is a proud participant in the Yellow Ribbon Program (YRP), enhancing financial access for eligible military-connected students. This program allows institutions of higher learning to voluntarily enter into an agreement with the VA to fund tuition expenses that exceed the in-state tuition and fees of public institutions or the amount payable to private institutions in an academic year. Each year, institutions can enter into an agreement or adjust an agreement to participate in the YRP. Therefore, the rates and maximums for the YRP can change from year-to-year.
The VA regulates that YRP participants must be 100% eligible for Post-9/11 benefits, not on active duty or receiving transferred benefits from a spouse on active duty, enrolled in a degree-seeking program, and will accrue a total of tuition and fees amount that is more than the Post-9/11 private tuition maximum for an academic year. An academic year starts on August 1 and ends July 31.
YRP is structured to take effect once an eligible participant has met the Post-9/11 private tuition maximum for an academic year. Once the Post-9/11 private tuition maximum has been met, depending on the academic school the participant is enrolled in, the school will contribute YRP funding and is also matched by the VA up to the dollar amount specified by the academic program.
Learn more about the Yellow Ribbon Program at Georgetown, along with the dollar maximums each academic school will provide.
Georgetown University requires full-time students to have some form of health insurance while attending as a student and therefore, students are automatically enrolled in the Student Health Insurance and a fee is applied to their student account. Since this is a required fee, it is a fee that is covered under the Post-9/11 GI Bill and students will have the opportunity to indicate on the Benefits Request Form your intent to either keep or waive the Student Health Insurance.
If you indicate on the Benefits Request Form that you will not be keeping the Student Health Insurance, the VA will not be billed for the fee.
If you were charged the Student Health Insurance and you would like to waive the Georgetown Health Insurance, you need to follow the appropriate steps listed with the Office of Student Health Insurance. If a student waives the insurance after the deadline, the student will be charged a $100 late fee that will be the student’s responsibility to pay. Questions about the Premier Plan Student Health Insurance should be directed to the Office of Student Health Insurance.
VA Certification Process
If you used VA education benefits at another institution and you are enrolling in a program on the Main Campus or School of Continuing Studies, you will need to complete a Change of Program or Place of Training (VA FORM 22-1995) form using the va.gov application to indicate Georgetown University as their new institution. The VA will process the application and send you a new Certificate of Eligibility letter, which we ask you to provide to our office via email, phone, fax, or call 202-687-2713 to schedule an appointment.
You need to apply for benefits from the VA using va.gov application at least once. If you wish to be certified for benefits while enrolled in a program on the Main Campus or the School of Continuing Studies, you must submit a Benefits Request Form (BRF) each semester you register for classes and wish to use eligible VA education benefits.
You can opt to not request to be certified during specific semesters on their program by not completing the BRF. For example, a student can request benefits in the Fall semesters only because he/she will meet with private school tuition cap for the academic year in the Fall semester or a student will receive scholarships for certain semesters and may want to reserve VA education benefits for another semester.
The BRF is limited to Georgetown University email accounts only, so if you are logged into another email account while accessing these forms, you will need to logout of the other email, log into their Georgetown email account and access the forms.
In some cases you may be attempting to access the BRF while using a network with strict security settings. In these cases, we suggest completing the BRF when logged into a network that allows the use of Google Forms.
Learn more if you are unsure of your NetID and password or have questions about how to access Georgetown University email account. If you are in need of additional support, please contact University Information Services by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling (202) 687-4949.
Depending on the type of benefit you are receiving will determine when the VA will distribute funding.
If you are receiving Post-9/11 benefits, the VA will issue tuition benefits directly to the school within 2-3 weeks of the certification being submitted. In the event that you are certified for module classes that begin later in the semester, the VA will distribute the tuition benefits closer to the date of the class(es) beginning.
If you are receiving VR&E benefits, it can take a few weeks for the VA to distribute the tuition benefits directly to the school.
If you are receiving any other VA education benefit, the benefit will be sent directly you in monthly installments at the beginning of the month for the previous month’s enrollment. Due to Georgetown University’s certification process, once you complete a Benefits Request Form for the semester, if you are receiving benefits where the VA will send tuition payments directly to the school, a memo will be placed on your account to reflect the anticipated payment that will be sent for the module course.
The VA allows a school to submit a Post-9/11 certification to reflect course dates and number credits before or during the add/drop period so that the VA can issue the book stipend and housing allowance in a timely fashion. Since tuition and fees can change during the add/drop period, $0 is listed in the initial certification to avoid erroneous payments from the VA for tuition. After the add/drop period concludes, the School Certifying Official will submit an adjusted certification to indicate the accurate tuition amount so that tuition benefits can be sent to the school.
Once tuition is requested, it can take 2-4 weeks for the VA to process and send payment directly to the school. As a part of the BRF processing, the Office of Third Party Billing generates a memo to reflect the expected payment from the VA to protect a student from late fees while we wait for the VA to send payment.
Another reason why tuition and fees would be listed as $0 for students receiving Post-9/11 or VR&E benefits is in the event you are receiving a tuition-specific scholarship that covers tuition and fees in full for the term. The School Certifying Official will have to report the net tuition cost of after the tuition is taken into account. This policy is in accordance to a VA regulation where the VA deems themselves as the last payer for tuition-specific funding.
Primary/Secondary Certification Process
To be eligible to receive benefits, you must be enrolled in courses that are pursuant to an outcome (e.g. Certificate, Degree).
Some programs at Georgetown University will offer students a conditional or probationary admission offer, which requires student to complete coursework with passing grades before being admitted to the degree program. Since the courses will count toward the intended degree program, you can receive benefits for those courses.
The VA will NOT pay for courses if you do not intend to enroll in a degree program or if the courses do not apply to a degree program at another school.
Yes, as long as the courses count towards the degree requirements at your primary school. The School Certifying Official at your home institution must provide a primary/parent school letter that indicates what courses can be applied to your degree.
The letter must be sent to the School Certifying Official by emailing a copy to email@example.com.
Book Stipends and Vouchers
The VA will send the book stipend directly to the bank account you provided the VA when you applied for benefits. It can take approximately about 2-6 weeks from the date the initial certification was submitted by the school for payment to be released to you. The VA will continue to pay the book stipend at a per credit hour rate each term you are certified until your eligible maximum has been met for the academic year.
How much of the Post-9/11 book stipend you are eligible to receive depends on your percentage of eligibility. If you are 100% you can receive up to $1,000 for the year. If your eligibility is less than 100%, then you are eligible for a percentage of $1,000 for the year (e.g. a student who is 80% eligible can receive up to $800 in book stipends for the academic year.)
Please Note: If you are receiving benefits for Chapters 30, 35, and 1606 you are not eligible for the Book Stipend. Students using Vocational Rehabilitation benefits, please refer to the FAQ titled I am eligible for Vocational Rehabilitation benefits—how do I get my book voucher?
The VA pays the book stipend based on a per credit hour rate of $41.67 (100% eligibility) until the maximum of $1,000 (maximum of 24 credit hours) has been met for the academic year.
For example, if you are 100% eligible for Post-9/11 benefits and enroll in 15 credits in the Fall term, and 15 credits in the Spring term, the VA will pay $625 ($41.67 X 15) for the Fall term. The VA will only pay an additional $375 ($1000-$625) for the Spring term because the book stipend cannot exceed the maximum amount.
In another example, if a you are 80% eligible for Post-9/11 benefits and enroll in 6 credits, the VA will send $33.37 per credit hour for a book stipend approximately $200 for the term, until the maximum of $800 (80% of $1,000) is met.
If you are receiving a book stipend for Post-9/11 benefits, the stipend is sent directly to the bank account the student provided the VA when you completed the va.gov education benefits application.
The VA does not regulate where the book stipend must be used.
I am eligible for Vocational Rehabilitation benefits—how do I get my book voucher?
Once you have submitted the semester’s Benefits Request Form and your VR&E Counselor provides the School Certifying Official a completed VA FORM 28-1905 form for the semester, the Office of Third Party Billing will be able to review your eligibility for the term.
The campus bookstore does not have the required books in stock—can I use the book Voucher elsewhere?
The VR&E Book Voucher can only be used at the Georgetown University Bookstore.
If you are eligible for VR&E benefits and your required books are not in stock at the Georgetown University Bookstore, you have the option to purchase the books elsewhere and provide the receipts directly to your VR&E Counselor. You would not use the book voucher in this process.
If you are not on active duty or the spouse of someone on active duty, using transferred benefits, and enrolled in classes more than half time, then you should be eligible for the Post-9/11 Monthly Housing Allowance (MHA).
If you are receiving transferred benefits from a parent/legal guardian and enrolled in classes more than half time, there is no impact as to whether the service member is on active duty or not in order to qualify to receive the Post-9/11 MHA.
If you are eligible for the MHA and enrolled in courses 51% part-time or more, the VA bases the housing allowance on where the classes are taken:
- If you are taking courses in-residence, the allowance is generally the same as the Basic Allowance Housing Allowance (BAH) for an E-5 with dependents located in the zip code of the school.
- If you are taking exclusively online courses, the allowance is based on half the national average as determine by the VA.
- If you are taking a combination of in-residence and online courses, then as long as you are enrolled in at least one credit in-residence during the same period as the online course(s), the VA will issue the housing allowance as though you were taking all in-residence courses.
The VA sends the monthly housing allowance (MHA) at the beginning of the month for the previous month’s enrollment. For example, if you are eligible for the MHA and enrolled in classes in the month of September, the housing allowance will be sent to the bank account the VA has on file for you during the first week of October.
As a reminder, the VA will only send payment for the dates you enrolled in classes, so if classes begin or end in the middle of the month, the VA will send a prorated monthly payment.
There are a number of factors that the VA reviews when determining how much a you are eligible to receive for the monthly housing allowance. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- The VA will only pay benefits for the dates you are enrolled in classes and will not pay for breaks between modules, breaks between semesters, or if courses begin or end part way through the month. The VA will prorate by day for the dates you are enrolled in classes.
- The military status (e.g. active duty or veteran), percentage of eligibility, and rate of pursuit are factors to determine how much of the housing allowance is sent each month during enrollment. If you are less than full time, the VA will look at the number of credits over a span of time to determine the rate of pursuit. If you are enrolled in classes less than half time, then the student is not eligible to receive a housing allowance.
- If you are enrolled in a module course (e.g. 8 weeks in length), the VA will review the rate of pursuit by correlating the number of credits you are taking (including an overlapping term) with the number of weeks of the term and what the university deems as full time (graduate programs only) to determine how much of the housing allowance is issued during your enrollment.
- If you are less than 100% eligible for Post-9/11 benefits and eligible for the housing allowance, the VA will factor the percentage of eligibility in addition to the rate of pursuit.
As long as you are taking one credit in-residence in a term that overlaps the course you are taking online, the VA will pay the in-residence monthly housing allowance based on your percentage of eligibility and rate of pursuit, even if the other credits in the term are online credits.
I am taking a course that is online but has a residency on site-Can I receive the in-residence housing allowance?
The answer varies from program to program since it is dependent on the structure of the course and what is reported to the Office of the University Registrar. To clarify how a residency will be certified, please contact the School Certifying Official by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 202-687-2713.
I’ve met the Post9-11 tuition & fees and book caps for the academic year-can I still get a housing allowance?
As long as you have months of Post-9/11 eligibility remaining, are not on active duty or using transferred benefits from a spouse on active duty, and are enrolled in courses more than half-time, then you would be able to use eligibility to receive only the monthly housing allowance based on your eligibility.
Enrollment and Eligibility Changes
Once you have added or dropped a course in My Access or with your academic advisor, log into the appropriate semester’s BRF to edit the numbers of credits you are requesting to be certified.
Depending on when the credit adjustment takes place will determine the additional steps you will need to take:
- If you adjust your credits prior to the start of the semester and before certifications have been submitted to the VA, other than editing the BRF, no further action is needed.
- If you adjust your credits during the add/drop period, notify your School Certifying Official.
- If you adjust your credits after the add/drop period, notify your School Certifying Official regarding the change in credits and if you decreased in credits, provide a reason for the withdrawal. If the VA issues you a debt letter for any tuition and fee overpayments, provide a copy of the letter to the School Certifying Official to begin the Debt Management process.
- If you changed classes after tuition was reported to the VA and you are receiving Post-9/11 benefits, but the credit hours remains the same, review your student account in My Access to verify if your tuition and fees adjusted. If there was no financial adjustment, no changes in course dates, and you did not change from in-residence to online or vice versa, there is no further action needed. However if any of the changes mentioned above occurred, contact the School Certifying Official so an updated certification can be submitted to the VA to reflect the change. If tuition increased, then the VA will send a separate payment (if eligible) to pay the new amount, but if the tuition decreased, the VA will issue a debt letter in accordance to the Debt Management process.
Note: You can reach the School Certifying Official by emailing email@example.com or by calling 202-687-2713.
In the event that your VA education benefits changes, such as an increase or decrease in percentage for Post-9/11 benefits, you become eligible for a new benefit, or you or your spouse separated from active duty, you will need to provide the School Certifying Official a new proof of benefits.
If you or your spouse separated from the military, you can either provide the School Certifying Official an updated Certificate of Eligibility letter or provide a DD-214 (please black out any sensitive information such as a Social Security Number or classified information).
If you become eligible for VR&E benefits, your Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor will need to provide a VA FORM 28-1905 to the School Certifying Official.
If there are changes to a class schedule before the end of the send an email to the School Certifying Official with the update.
If a student withdraws from one or more classes at any time after the Add/Drop period has ended, then the student should inform the School Certifying Official of this change.
If you drop classes after the add/drop period or withdraw altogether, the VA is required by law to retroactively stop payments as if you never attended – unless you are able to provide reasonable explanation – usually something that happened beyond your control – that caused you to drop one or more classes (also known as mitigating circumstances).
If mitigating circumstances are provided, then benefits may be paid until the day you requested to withdraw. If you’ve already received payments from the VA, you will only be responsible for paying back a prorated amount of money for benefits issued for course(s) effective the date you requested to withdraw through the end of the term, rather than paying back all the benefits the VA paid for the withdrawn class(es).
The first time a you withdraw from classes after the add/drop period for six credits or less, the VA does not need mitigating circumstances. The VA has a “six credit hour exclusion.” For any reductions after the exclusion is granted, the VA must ask for any mitigating circumstances causing the drop. This is a one-time use exclusion; once it is used, it doesn’t reset for the next term, year, etc. Also, it cannot be “saved” for another time.
What does the VA consider to be acceptable “mitigating circumstances”? In general, they are events that are unavoidable or beyond the student’s control. Examples can be found on the VA’s FAQ website, but here are some specific examples: illness or injury (either the student’s own or a family member), a change in work schedule, unforeseen financial obligations, military service, and discontinuance of a course by the school are all acceptable reasons.
If you need to submit mitigating circumstances, please notify the School Certifying Official within two business days of your enrollment change so that Mitigating Circumstances is reported to the VA. By doing this, you can avoid the creation of a larger debt and the need to submit additional documentation to VA.
Depending on the type of Study Abroad program, the VA may cover the tuition costs for required study abroad courses. Contact your School Certifying Official to determine if a study abroad program can be certified for VA education benefits.
TA is authorized for active duty, members of the national guard, and reservists by a branch of service. Each service has its own portal for the student to apply for TA and receive a TA Authorization form.
Please notice a new change in procedure for students using Federal Tuition Assistance. Students must submit a copy of their Tuition Assistance Authorization/Approval to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com for invoicing and processing.
The Office of Third Party Billing will process the authorization form and send an invoice to the branch of service so payment can be sent directly to the school. To learn about TA and accessing your Authorization Form, please select the link appropriate to the branch of service:
Post-9/11 benefits and tuition assistance (TA) can be used in-conjunction for the same term, even if you are on Active Duty, but the School Certifying Official will have to report the net tuition, which is less the amount of the TA. This policy is in accordance to a VA regulation where the VA deems themselves as the last payer for tuition-specific funding. For example, if your tuition is $10,000 and you are expected to receive $2,500 in TA, Georgetown will report the tuition to the VA for Post-9/11 GI Bill as $7,500.
If you are using chapter 30 you may also be eligible to use Top Up to help offset the cost of tuition.
If you are using chapter 1606, you cannot use reserve benefits and tuition assistance (TA) for the same courses. For example, if you are enrolled in 3 courses and you use TA for all 3 courses, then you cannot be certified for VA benefits, but if you are enrolled in 3 courses and use TA for 2 courses, then you can receive TA benefits for the remaining course.
Top-Up is a program that allows GI Bill participants to use the GI Bill to supplement the tuition and fees not covered by tuition assistance. To be eligible for the Top-up benefit, you must be approved for federal TA by a military department and also be eligible for the Montgomery GI Bill-Active Duty or the Post-9/11 GI Bill.
If you are using the Post-9/11 GI Bill the amount of the benefit can be equal to the difference between the total cost of a course and the amount of Tuition Assistance that is paid by the military for the course.
If you are using the Montgomery GI Bill the amount cannot exceed the GI Bill monthly maximum.
Top-up is limited to 36 months of payments.
For example, if you are paid Top-up for a three-month course, you use three of the 36 months. You can find more information about how to use Top Up on the Department of Veteran Affairs’s website.
Billing and Finances
All VA education beneficiaries need to submit the semester’s Benefits Request Form and submit a Proof of Benefits.
If you are receiving Post-9/11 or VR&E benefits and the necessary paperwork is on file, the Office of Third Party Billing will generate a memo to indicate the expected payment from the VA for the term. This memo will serve as a place holder until the payment is received. If the memo expected matches your account balance, then there are no further steps you need to take as we wait for payment.
In the event that the VA’s expected payment does not pay for your all of your account balance (e.g. you are expected to meet you yearly maximum of tuition benefits, you are less than 100% eligible for benefits, you have assessed fees the VA will not fund, or have room and board fees) then you are required to pay your contribution by the due date listed on your account or set up a University payment plan. If you do not pay your out of pocket expense by the date listed on your account or set up a payment plan, then you are responsible for paying any late fees and finance charges that accrue on your account per the Office of Billing and Payment Services’ policies.
If you are receiving Chapter 30, 35, or 1606 benefits and the necessary paperwork is on file, then you will need to pay your account balance by the due date listed on your bill or set up a payment plan. Since these chapter benefits have the monthly payments sent directly to you, it is your responsibility to pay the institution per the Office of Billing and Payment Services’ policies.
If you are unable to determine the out of pocket expense once a memo has been placed on your student account (if using Post-9/11 or Vocational Rehabilitation benefits), please contact the School Certifying Official.
You can also contact the Office of Third Party Billing. When you contact a member of the Certification Team, please provide your GUID (Student ID that begins with 8) and we will be able to review your account and Certificate of Eligibility letter to determine an out of pocket expense.
If you completed the Benefits Request Form and you are receiving Post-9/11 benefits and it has been a couple of weeks since you submitted the form, you can contact the Office of Third Party Billing to get an update regarding the memo. Please note that the memo process is a manual process that is not limited to VA education benefits and therefore can take a couple of weeks to post to an account. Georgetown’s Yellow Ribbon Program contribution is posted live and can take a couple of weeks to post to an account.
If you are receiving Chapter 30, 35, or 1606 benefits and you complete the Benefits Request Form, then the benefits are being sent directly to you monthly and therefore a memo will not be generated on your account.
If you have completed the Benefits Request Form for the semester, you will need to verify your enrollment in the VA’s WAVE system each month during your term’s enrollment. When the VA has a certification on file and you have verified enrollment for the month, the VA will be able to issue the monthly payment.
Please note that submitting information in the WAVE system is for Chapters 30 and 1606 recipients only.
Depending on the type of benefit eligibility change (e.g. increase of percentage, separation from active duty, or change in benefit chapters) will determine how the VA will adjust the payments. In most cases, the VA will prorate the payments to reflect the exact date in change for any eligible monthly housing allowances and effective the next term certified with the new eligibility for tuition benefits.
Please contact the School Certifying Official to determine if a change in eligibility mid-semester will impact your student account.
Georgetown University offers a number of scholarships to both undergraduate and graduate students. For more information about institutional aid, please go to the Office of Student Financial Services. To be considered for an institutional scholarship, please be sure to complete the FAFSA and necessary procedures listed on the Office of Student Financial Services’ website.
Some graduate academic programs offer merit scholarships to their students. Please contact your academic program directly to determine if there are scholarships available and how to apply.
The Veterans Office website has a list of military-specific scholarships that offered specifically to Georgetown University students and national scholarships that are available to any eligible student. Please note that many of these scholarship windows are open between January and March, but due dates can be found with each organization.
Receiving VA education benefits does not impact federal aid (e.g. federal grants and loans), but institutional aid may be impacted. Please contact your Financial Services Counselor to determine how your benefits could impact your financial aid package.
If you are using Post-9/11 GI Bill or VR&E benefits and have a tuition-specific scholarship, then yes, there will be impacts to what is reported to the VA. The School Certifying Official will have to report the net tuition cost of after the tuition is taken into account. This policy is in accordance to a VA regulation where the VA deems themselves as the last payer for tuition-specific funding. For example, if your tuition is $10,000 and you receive a $5,000 tuition scholarship, Georgetown will report the tuition to the VA for Post-9/11 GI Bill as $5,000.
If you are using Post-9/11 GI Bill or Vocational Rehabilitation benefits and have a non-tuition specific scholarship (e.g. it can be used towards housing, books, and living expenses) then the School Certifying Official is not required to report the scholarship to the VA.
If you are using Chapter 30, 35, or 1606 benefits and receiving a scholarship whether tuition-specific or not, then the School Certifying Official is not required to report the scholarships to the VA .
Receiving VA education benefits does not impact federal aid (e.g. federal grants and loans), but institutional aid may be impacted. Please contact your Financial Services Counselor to determine how your benefits could impact your financial aid package.
If you received a debt letter from the VA due to drop in credit hours or withdrawal, please scan and email a copy of the debt letter to the School Certifying Official. The Certification Team will review the debt letter and your student account to determine if the school has been overpaid in tuition. If an overpayment has taken place, the School Certifying Official will assist with returning the overpayment back to the VA.
If the Office of Third Party Billing determines that a credit is not available on your account due to the Georgetown University withdrawal refund policies, then you will be responsible for repaying the VA per the letter’s instructions.
If our team determines that debt is for housing or books, you will be responsible for repaying the VA per the letter’s instructions since these payments are sent directly to you.