Using Military Education Benefits

Veterans Affairs Education Programs

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) determines a person’s eligibility for VA Education Benefits based on the military records they have on file for a service member, veteran, or a transferee. Questions about VA benefits eligibility contact the VA directly by either calling 1-888-GI-BILL-1 or use the Submit-a-Question feature on their website. 

Learn more for a full list of VA Education Benefits Chapters.


Using Military Education Benefits at Georgetown

To use Military Education Benefits at Georgetown University on the Main Campus* and School of Continuing Studies, please refer to the sections below. If you have additional questions after reviewing the content below, please feel to review our Frequently Asked Questions or contact your School Certifying Official by emailing militarybenefits@georgetown.edu or by calling 202-687-2713.

* The Main Campus includes credit-bearing degree programs in the College, School of Foreign Service, McDonough School of Business, School of Nursing and Health Studies, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Biomedical Graduate Education (BGE), McCourt School of Public Policy, and credit-bearing degree programs at the School of Continuing Students.

The Office of the University Registrar manages certification of enrollment for undergraduate and graduate students at Georgetown University’s Main Campus and the School of Continuing Studies. 

In order to receive educational benefits from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), students must apply for benefits using the va.gov application. The VA will review the application and if eligible for a chapter of the GI Bill® then the VA will send a Certificate of Eligibility Letter to the student, also known as a Proof of Benefits (POB). If a student has used benefits at another institution, the student will need to submit a Change of Program Form using the va.gov application. A copy of the Certificate of Eligibility Letter or a screenshot of from the va.gov statement of benefits that is dated within one year of enrolling at Georgetown must be submitted to your School Certifying Official in addition to completing the Benefit Request Form (BRF) each semester to receive education benefits. POBs can be submitted to the School Certifying Official via email, fax (202) 217-4408, mail, or by calling 202-687-2713 to schedule an appointment. Students can be certified one semester without a Proof of Benefits on file, but subsequent semesters will require a POB to be on file to be certified. 

If a student’s eligibility for VA education benefits have changed (e.g. change in military status, changed benefits, or increased eligibility), the student can either request a new Certificate of Eligibility Letter from the VA or if the student received an award letter from the VA from a previous semester and the eligibility is applicable for the current or upcoming semester, the award letter can serve as an updated POB.

Chapter 31 Vocational Rehabilitation recipients must have their Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor provide VA FORM 28-1905 with the applicable term dates of eligibility to the School Certifying Official. A VA FORM 28-1905 must be on file each semester in order to be certified since Proof of Benefits is not listed in a Certificate of Eligibility letter or eBenefits. 

After you have provided a proof of benefits to the Veterans Office and registered for classes, you will need to complete the Benefit Request Form each semester you are eligible and would like to request benefits. 

Students who are registered for classes, eligible for benefits, and would like to receive benefits must complete the BRF each semester s/he would like to receive benefits. Since eligibility belongs to the student, the student must request for the school to submit a certification to the Department of Veterans Affairs and/or invoicing to Department of Defense Tuition Assistance Invoicing. If a student does not complete the BRF for a semester, the School Certifying Official will determine that the student is choosing not to use benefits for that term.

It is most beneficial to submit the BRF once the student has registered for classes and finalized their schedule but please submit the BRF before the term start date to avoid late fees and service charges for students where tuition benefits are sent directly to Georgetown that cover the remaining balance on a student’s account. When completing the form, please read the instructions carefully and contact the School Certifying Official for clarification on any questions before submitting the form.

To avoid payment and processing errors, if there is a change in enrollment after the BRF has been submitted, please contact your School Certifying Official by emailing militarybenefits@georgetown.edu. If necessary, the School Certifying Official will amend the certification to reflect the appropriate courses and dates upon the conclusion of the Add/Drop period.

As a reminder students must be logged into their Georgetown email account and logged out of any other Gmail account to access the BRF.

2019-2020 Academic Year
(Fall, Spring, and Summer)
Benefits Request Form (BRF)

Inquiries regarding retroactive certifications for terms not listed above can be directed to the School Certifying Official.

If your primary school is Georgetown University and your degree program has approved for you take classes at another higher education institution to apply to your degree at Georgetown, then you will need to take the following steps:

  • Get the approval of your program or dean’s office for approved courses at another institution to apply to the degree at Georgetown
  • Register for the course at the Secondary School
  • Contact the School Certifying Official at Georgetown University to provide name and contact information of the Secondary School Certifying Official and request Georgetown’s School Certifying Official to complete Primary School Letter to send to the Secondary School’s School Certifying Official
  • Follow certification requirements at Secondary School

If your primary school is NOT Georgetown University and your degree program has approved for you to take classes at Georgetown University to apply to your degree at the primary institution, then you will need to take the following steps:

  • Register for the course at Georgetown University
  • Request your Primary School’s School Certifying Official to complete a Primary School Letter. The Letter will need to be sent to Georgetown University’s School Certifying Official
  • Provide a Proof of Benefits to your School Certifying Official
  • Complete the Term’s Benefit Request Form
  • Read and follow certification process information and expectations of students on the Registrar’s website.

Financial Aid Refunds
If a student is receiving other non-tuition specific financial aid in addition to your VA education benefits, the certification process described above may impact when such aid can be refunded to you if you will be due a refund. If you expect a refund of financial aid and want to know how the certification of VA benefits will impact it, please contact your School Certifying Official. For specific questions about Financial Aid, please contact your Office of Student Financial Services counselor.

Deposit Refunds
If a student paid a down deposit when accepting attendance at Georgetown University and VA education benefits will cover the first semester’s account statement in full, a credit will generate on the student’s account once the university receives tuition payments from the VA. Once a credit is listed on the student’s account,  the money can remain on the account to apply to a future semester or the student can request a refund with the Office of Billing and Payment Services.

If there are changes to a class schedule before the end of the Add/Drop period, then the student should indicate the number of credits s/he anticipates enrolling in once the Add/Drop period ends and email 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 a student drops classes after the add/drop period or withdraws altogether, the VA is required by law to retroactively stop payments as if the student never attended – unless the student gives the VA a reasonable explanation – usually something that happened beyond the student’s control – that caused the student to drop one or more classes (also known as mitigating circumstances).

If a student is able to provide mitigating circumstances, then benefits may be paid until the day the student requested to withdraw. If a student has already been paid in benefits, the student will only be responsible for paying back a prorated amount of money for benefits issued for course(s) effective the date the student 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 student drops classes or withdraws after the add/drop period for a drop of six credits or less, the VA does not require a reason.  The VA allows 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 a student needs to submit mitigating circumstances, please notify the School Certifying Official within two business days of your enrollment change so that mitigating circumstances are reported to the VA.  By doing this, the student can avoid the creation of a larger debt and the need to submit additional documentation to VA.

If a student receives a debt letter from the VA due to drop in credits 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 the student’s account to determine if the school has been overpaid in tuition. If an overpayment has taken place, the Certification Team will assist with returning the overpayment back to the VA.

If Certification Team determines that the debt is for housing or books benefits, the student will be responsible for repaying the VA per the letter’s instructions since these payments are sent directly to the stud

Tuition Assistance (TA) is authorized for active duty, members of the national guard and reserves by a branch of service. Each service has its own portal for the student to apply for TA and receive a TA Authorization form. TA can also include programs through Advanced Civil Schooling (ACS), Graduate Education Voucher (GEV), Graduate School Option (GrADSO), and non-ROTC Commissioning Programs. It is recommend that you speak with your Educational Services Officer (ESO) or counselor prior to requesting Tuition Assistance.

Students using Department of Defense education benefits must submit a copy of their Tuition Assistance Authorization/Approval to thirdpartybilling@georgetown.edu and militarybenefits@georgetown.edu for invoicing and processing.

The School Certifying Official will work with the Office of Third Party Billing to process the authorization form to 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:

Students using Post-9/11 benefits and TA can both be used for the same term, but the School Certifying Official will have to report the net tuition cost of what is expected to be sent in 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.

Students using Chapter 1606 cannot use both VA benefits and 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 VA benefits for the remaining course.