VA and GI Bill Terms
A nationally recognized agency or association which the U.S. Secretary of Education determines to be a reliable authority as to the quality of training offered by an educational institution. The Secretary publishes a list of these agencies and associations which the state approving agencies utilize for establishing that a program of instruction may be approved under the provisions of 38 USC 3675 as an accredited program.
An accelerated payment is a 60% lump sum payment of tuition and fees for high cost, high technology programs. The payment is in lieu of regular Chapter 30 benefits and is payable only if tuition and fees exceed 200% of what would normally be payable under Chapter 30 for a given enrollment period.
Active duty refers to full-time duty in the Armed Forces. This also includes full-time duty performed by commissioned officers of the Public Health Service and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (not including active duty for training).
Active duty for training in the Reserves or National Guard. This includes reservists on full-time duty for training purposes in the Armed Forces; members of the National Guard or Air National Guard of any state, performing full-time training duty under title 32, U.S. Code, sections 316,
502, 503, 504, or 505.
The monetary allowance which may be payable to you for the first (fractional or full) and second full month of enrollment. Advance payment must be requested by students and is mailed to schools before the beginning of classes for release to students who have completed registration.
A student is considered "already qualified" if he or she has previously completed a program at the same level and in the same field of study for which application is now being made. This will not preclude the pursuit of a program leading to a degree at the same level with a different major or in an entirely different field. It also does not preclude the pursuit of subjects that maybe necessary to qualify for admission into a program leading to a higher degree or to qualify for a vocational or professional objective. A person will be considered already qualified if he or she was previously employed in a job for which the course now being requested is designed to qualify the individual who completes it. For example, if the applicant is employed in sales, he or
she is already qualified and not eligible for enrollment in a general sales course. VA benefits are not payable for pursuit of any program for which the student is already qualified. This includes courses required for re-licensing or a continuation of licensing in a professional field.
Any arrangement by a school that denies the student the opportunity to control the proceeds of a check is prohibited. Section 5301(a) of title 38, U.S. Code, provides that payments of benefits due under the laws administered by VA shall not be assigned except as specifically authorized by law. There are no laws that authorize assignment of VA educational checks, either directly or indirectly.
The term means any credit course that a student attends as a listener only with a prior understanding between school officials and the student that such attendance will not result in credit being granted toward graduation. VA education benefits are not payable for pursuit of such courses.
The official written notice from the Department of Veterans Affairs to you regarding your monthly rate of payment, the inclusive dates of payment, and remaining entitlement at the end of the award period. An award letter is sent to a VA student whenever VA awards or changes the student's education benefit. The award letter is a good source of information for financial aid purposes.
The Benefits Delivery Network (BDN) is composed of various components. It is VA's main processing system for all benefit awards and related actions. BDN generates the payment information sent to the Treasury for producing the benefits checks. BDN contains the master record files for Veterans and beneficiaries.
Educational assistance benefits may be paid during the intervals between terms at a school or between terms when transferring from one school to another while remaining in the same program. Exceptions apply, as well as certain other restrictions in certain situations. Persons on active duty or training at less than half-time are not entitled to interval payments.
Letter issued to an applicant showing approval to pursue a stated program of education at a particular institution, your remaining entitlement, and the ending date of your eligibility.
The person(s) designated to sign enrollment certifications and other documents relating to VA benefits. The designation is made on VA Form 22-8794, Designation of Certifying Official(s).
A Certification of Delivery (VA Form 22-1999v) is mailed to the school in a separate envelope from the advance payment check. When the advance payment check is given to the student by the school, the COD, which contains preprinted enrollment information, must be completed by the certifying official and immediately returned. Failure to do so will result in the student's VA education benefits being suspended.
A change of program is a change in a student's program and curriculum. This includes any change that results in a loss of credit or lengthens the time necessary to complete the student's program. A change of program is generally charged when there is a loss of 12 credits. A change of program is not charged if a student completes one program and then begins a totally different program.
There is no limit or restriction on change of schools for continued pursuit of the same course or program provided the veteran or eligible person is making satisfactory progress and there is no material loss of credit.
A student pursuing a degree at a school may take a course at another school because it's at a more convenient time, it's less expensive, or whatever. The school that will grant the degree is the student's primary school. All other schools are secondary schools. If the primary school will accept the secondary school's course as a transfer credit that applies towards completion of the student's degree, then both the primary school and the secondary school can certify the student to VA. The student may pursue courses at a secondary school at the same time, concurrent, or at a different time, supplemental.
An enrollment certification that is dated, signed, and mailed by the school's certifying official on or after the first day of a certified enrollment period.
The Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty that is prepared at the time an individual completes a period of active duty in one of the Armed Forces. Former members of the Public Health Service (PHS) and of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) do not receive a DD Form 214, but they do receive comparable documents that provide necessary information concerning their active duty service. Veterans should be advised to submit Member-4 copy of their DD Form 214 with a claim for VA benefits. A certified copy may also be submitted. A DD 214 can be requested from the National Archives eVetRecs website (http://www.archives.gov/Veterans/military-service-records/).
The first day after a claimant's period of eligibility expires. Benefits are not payable on or after the delimiting date.
The brief period at the beginning of a term officially designated for dropping courses without academic penalty. The school's last day to drop a course will be the end of the drop period, providing it does not exceed 30 days from the first day of the term
ECAP is a computer program that processes VA-ONCE submissions. ECAP can set up claim, propose education awards, and process education awards. ECAP will go as far as possible on this continuum. ECAP copies all documents into TIMS (VA's imaging system).
The individual at a VA Regional Office or Regional Processing Office responsible for education liaison and program approval functions. Among other things, the ELR is responsible for promptly informing schools of changes in policies and procedures.
This term means an interval of time during which a veteran or eligible person is enrolled in an educational institution and is pursuing his or her program of education. This term applies to each unit course or subject in the veteran's or eligible person's program of education; that is, quarter, semester, or full school year.
The number of months you will be eligible for VA education benefits. This is usually expressed in the numbers of months and days you will be eligible for full-time benefits, or the equivalent in part-time training, but also may be expressed in a dollar amount. Entitlement will vary depending on the education law the individual qualifies under. In no event will entitlement exceed 48 months under any combination of laws.
The numerical code assigned by VA to an institution specifically identifying it or one of its subdivisions.
A seven, eight or nine-digit number assigned by VA to identify a claimant's records. The Social Security Number (SSN) is the VA file number for most Veterans. If a veteran was assigned an old seven or eight digit file number, the veteran's SSN will cross reference the seven or eight digit file number. VA assigns a suffix to the veteran's file number ("10" or "W", spouse or surviving spouse, "41" or "A", first child to apply, "42" or "B", second child to apply, "43" or "C" third child . . .) to identify the records of an individual eligible for Chapter 35 benefits. A dependent's SSN will not cross-reference a veteran's record in BDN. To access a dependent's record in BDN, the file number of the veteran must be provided. The dependent's SSN is put in TIMS, but the TIMS record isn't created until the dependent applies for Chapter 35.
General Educational Development (GED) certificate issued by a state-level department of education. The credentials issued by state-level departments of education are official documents that are acceptable as the equivalent of high school graduation diplomas. In addition, Department of Defense certificates of GED equivalency are acceptable evidence of completion of high school educational requirements.
A course or subject offered without any regularly scheduled, conventional classroom or laboratory sessions. For VA purposes, such courses or subjects must be accredited and lead to a standard college degree and consist of a prescribed program of study with provision for interaction either by mail, telephone, computer/Internet, or personally between the student and the regularly employed faculty of the university or college. A specific approval of these courses by the State Approving Agency is required in order for VA benefits to be authorized.
A college, university, technical or business school offering instruction at the post-secondary level that leads to an associate or higher degree. The institution must be empowered by the 109 appropriate state education authority (under state law) or accredited by a recognized accrediting agency to g rant such degrees. This designation also includes hospitals offering medical-dental internships or residencies without regard to whether the hospital grants a post-secondary degree. Champlain College is an Institution of Higher Learning.
Additional money added to your education fund by the Department of Defense to encourage enlistment or retention in the Armed Forces. The kicker is added to your normal education benefit. Kickers are used for Chapters 30 and 1606.
A student who satisfied formal admission requirements and is recognized by the college or university as a degree-seeking student. This does not mean that an undergraduate student must have formally been accepted into a specific major curricular field of study before he or she may be classified as "matriculated"
Unanticipated and unavoidable events beyond a student's control which are responsible for the student's inability to complete a course or courses or which result in the student's receipt of a non-punitive grade for a course the student did complete. Generally, a student will be required to submit corroborative evidence to substantiate his or her reasons for being unable to complete a course with a creditable grade
Members of the Selected Reserve are given a Notice of Basic Eligibility (DD Form 2384, commonly referred to as a NOBE, pronounced no-be) by their National Guard or Reserve unit stating they are eligible for the Montgomery GI Bill-Selected Reserve. The primary source VA uses to establish Chapter 1606 eligibility is a Department of Defense (DoD) computer link, the Chapter 1606 DoD Data Record. The NOBE is an alternative or supplemental document for establishing eligibility that's primarily used to verify eligibility for 120 days after the date it's issued. If you receive a NOBE from the student filing an original application for Chapter 1606 send VA a copy of the NOBE when you certify the student.
The designation "NCD" is used to refer to a course or program of education or any other institutional vocational/educational training which does not lead to a standard college degree.
A non-punitive grade is a grade that doesn't count as earned credit and isn't considered in progress standards for graduation. A withdrawal after the drop period is non-punitive if it isn't calculated into the student's GPA or it isn't considered in academic progress criteria like probation and suspension. Non-punitive grades have the same effect as an audit. If a student withdraws after the drop period or completes the term with non-punitive grades, the non-punitive grades must be reported to VA if they change training time. Examples of non-punitive grades are an "X" (no basis for grade), "NP" (no pass), or "U" (unsatisfactory) that doesn't count as earned credit and isn't calculated progress standards. 110 Grades such as P (Pass) or S (Satisfactory) aren't calculated into a student's grade point average, but they are counted as earned credit for graduation requirements. Since these grades count as earned credit towards graduation, they aren't non-punitive.
A term that is shorter or longer than a standard quarter or semester. The number of instructor-student contact hours is increased proportionately each week to compensate for the difference in length. VA will compute equivalent undergraduate credits to measure courses pursued during nonstandard terms. Terms of shorter than standard length are referred to as accelerated terms.
The final educational, professional, or vocational goal of a veteran, service-person, or eligible person (that is, degree, diploma, certificate, occupation). An educational objective is one that leads to the awarding of a diploma, degree, or postdoctoral certificate that reflects educational attainment. Graduate certificate programs generally do not lead to an educational objective. A professional or vocational objective is one that leads to an occupation. It may include educational courses essential to prepare for the chosen occupation.
A combination of subjects, unit courses, or training activities pursued at a school or training establishment which is generally accepted as necessary to meet requirements for a predetermined educational, professional, or vocational objective (that is, diploma, degree, certificate, occupation). An "approved program" is a course of study or program of training that the appropriate State Approving Agency has determined meets the legal requirements for payment of VA educational assistance benefits to Veterans and other eligible persons
A punitive grade is a grade that doesn't count as earned credit, but is used in determining a student's progress toward graduation requirements. The common punitive grade is "F". Punitive grades, unlike non-punitive grades, factor into the progress standards (for example, GPA or earned/attempted credit standard).
The term "pursuit" means to work, while enrolled, toward the objective of a program of education. This work must be in accordance with approved institutional policy and regulations, and applicable criteria of title 38, United States Code; must be necessary to reach the program's objective; and must be accomplished through resident courses (including teacher training courses and similar courses which VA considers to be resident training), independent study courses, a graduate program of research in absentia, or medical/dental internships and residencies, nursing courses and other medical/dental specialty courses. VA considers a person who qualifies for payment during an interval between terms or school closing, or who qualifies for payment during a holiday vacation to be in pursuit of a program of education during the interval, school closing, or holiday vacation.
Refresher training is a course at the elementary or secondary level to review or update material previously covered in a course that has been satisfactorily completed. Under some education programs, the term also means training in a program of education in which the veteran is already qualified, provided that the program pursued is training to permit the veteran to update knowledge and skills and to be instructed in the technological advances which have occurred in the veteran's field of employment during the veteran's period of service. It may be used to update skills learned either during or prior to service but not for skills first acquired after discharge from service. Veterans pursuing "refresher training" are not limited to "refresher courses" at the elementary or secondary level.
These terms refer to noncredit training at the secondary level that is required for entrance to or preparatory to the successful pursuit of a post-secondary educational program. If secondary level training is needed for the student to reach a certain mastery level necessary for pursuit of a post-secondary program of education, the courses must be listed separately on the Enrollment Certification. Upon entrance each student's academic background should be evaluated and, as warranted, a required noncredit program established. These secondary level courses may include, for example, basic English skills, fundamental math, reading, or other special academic assistance necessary for the student to qualify for admission. These courses may also include noncredit secondary level training to overcome a handicap such as in speech and may be offered at a high school, college, or other educational institution. It is the institution's responsibility to determine if remedial/deficiency courses are necessary.
VA pays an annual reporting fee to schools. This fee is intended to help defray the cost of processing VA certifications. The annual reporting fee is based on the number of VA students, including Chapter 31 (Vocational Rehabilitation), certified by the school during the calendar year. The fee is $12 ($15 if advance pay request was processed) for each student. The reporting fee is paid as soon as possible after the end of the calendar year.
Restored Entitlement Program for Survivors. Certain survivors of deceased Veterans who died on active duty, or of service-connected causes incurred or aggravated prior to August 13, 1981, are eligible for benefits. The benefits are similar to the benefits for students and surviving spouses with children between ages 16 and 18 that were eliminated from the Social Security Act. The benefits are payable in addition to any other benefits to which the family may also be entitled. The amount of benefits is based on information from the Social Security Administration.
The term means, with respect to the Armed Forces, the Army Reserve, the Naval Reserve, the Marine Corps Reserve, the Air Force Reserve, the Coast Guard Reserve, the Army National Guard of the United States, and the Air National Guard of the United States. The Public Health Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration do not have Selected Reserve units.
A semester is a division of the academic year at institutions that operate on a semester system. Credits are earned and measured in semester hours. A "standard semester" is a period of instruction usually 15 to 19 weeks long.
The term means an associate or higher degree awarded by an institution of higher learning that is accredited as a collegiate institution by a recognized regional or national accrediting agency or an institution of higher learning that is a "candidate" for accreditation, or an institution which is accredited by an agency recognized to accredit specialized degree-level programs.
An agency appointed by the Chief Executive of a state to approve institutional programs of education and training for payment of benefits under the various laws administered by VA.
A summer session is a division of the summer term designated in a school catalog as a distinct period of instruction. These sessions vary in length, and are often only 3-8 weeks long.
The total instruction offered by a school between the end of the spring term and the beginning of the fall term. A summer term may consist of several summer sessions (See Summer Terms and Nonstandard Enrollment Periods).
TIMS (The Image Management System) is the scanning system used by Muskogee. All education paper work is scanned into TIMS. Paper is scanned manually. Digital files like VA-ONCE Certs are copied directly into TIMS.
The term "tuition and fees" means the total cost for tuition and fees for a course a school charges all students whose circumstances are similar to Veterans enrolled in the same course. "Tuition and fees" does not include the cost of supplies or books that you are required to purchase at your own expense.
Internet based application used to submit enrollment certifications and notices of change in student status. Information about VA-ONCE is available at
WAVE is an Internet program used by Chapter 30, 1606, and 1607 students to verify their enrollment. Verification is required monthly. You can also use WAVE to change their address and direct deposit information.
WEAMS (Web Enabled Approval Management System) is the central application VA uses to store school, organization, and program approval information. Education Liaison Representatives (ELRs) and VACO personnel enter the approval information. VA personnel use the approval information to verify schools and programs are approved.
If you have questions about Military and Veteran aid, check out the VA support section for FAQs or to ask your own unique questions. The VA support page can be found here: https://gibill.custhelp.com/app/answers/list .