Step 1: Application for Veterans Education Benefits
Vetrans must apply and be approved for education benefits through the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA). Applications are designed to obtain data necessary to determine eligibility for educational assistance benefits for particular educational objectives. The application and required forms vary according to the type of benefits and to the circumstances. For more information, visit the Veterans Benefits Administration website (gibill.va.gov), or call 1-888-442-4551.
Step 2: Certificate of Eligibility
After the DVA has received the application and all necessary supporting documents, the claim will be processed and a file (claim) number established (usually the veteran's social security number). Veterans and eligible dependents will receive notification of this action in the form of a Certificate of Eligibility. The certificate will indicate the type of benefit, the number of months of benefits remaining, and the date benefits expire.
To inquire into the status of your benefits, contact the DVA's Baltimore office, 800-827-1000. (Note: The DVA regional office will only take an inquiry if it has been four to six weeks since your paperwork was sent.) When doing so, please be sure to have the following information available: semester enrollment dates, number of credit being taken, and your address.
Step 3: Enrollment Certification
Once entitlement is established by the DVA, individuals utilizing veterans education benefits must submit a Veterans Benefits Registration Form to Loyola University Maryland. This form needs to be completed for each semester that you wish to receive benefits. Loyola's Veterans Affairs School Certifying Official will then prepare enrollment certification based on your enrollment status and submit it to the DVA for processing and payment. Processing takes anywhere from nine days to ten weeks before payment authorization is made.
Note: Veterans approved for Chapter 30 Education Benefits (Montgomery G.I. Bill ®) will receive a Student Verification Form (VAF 22-8979) from the DVA at the end of each month. You must complete and return this form to the Buffalo Regional Processing Office (RPO) in order for them to send your benefits check. If you do not receive this verification form, contact the VA (800-827-1000) or come to the Records Office (Baltimore Campus, Maryland Hall 141) for assistance. Payment of Chapter 30 benefits cannot be made until this form has been received and processed by the DVA.
Maintaining Your Benefits
All students using their educational benefits from the DVA are required by law to keep the University informed of the following:
- Periods of enrollment
- Audits and withdrawals
- Change of degree programs, submitted to the DVA through eBenefits (www.ebenefits.va.gov)
- Catalog change
- Address change
- Change in dependents (VA Form 22-686c required)
- Requests for course substitutions (approval must be obtained prior to enrolling in course)
Students are advised to report any change in credit hours to the Loyola Records Office as soon as possible, as delays in reporting a change in status may impede the processing of your benefits.
Satisfactory Academic Progress
All students receiving DVA education benefits are required to maintain satisfactory academic progress according to published standards established and enforced by the University. Loyola University Maryland's Standards of Progress have been approved by the State Approving Agency (SAA) and accepted by the DVA.
U.S. Code, Title 38, Sections 1674 and 1724, requires that education assistance benefits to veterans and other eligible persons be discontinued when the student ceases to make satisfactory progress toward completion of her or his training objective. Accordingly, Loyola University Maryland will discontinue certification of enrollment and will inform the DVA of a termination (due to unsatisfactory academic progress) for undergraduate students who remain on academic probation for two consecutive semesters and for graduate students who are subject to dismissal. This may result in the student being over paid. Students have a right to appeal terminations. The DVA determines whether or not payment will be terminated and the conditions for reinstatement.
Other Helpful Information
Benefits will not be paid for repeating courses in which a passing grade is received. For undergraduate students, a passing grade is D (1.000) or better. For graduate students, a passing grade is C (2.000) or better. The only exception (at this time) is when University policy requires that the student earn a higher grade in a specific course. The academic program of a student on warning or probation may be restricted by the Dean. If enrollment restrictions include repeating courses for which the student initially received a passing grade, the DVA will not reimburse the student for the course. There is, otherwise, no limit on the number of times an eligible person may repeat a course for which a failing (or otherwise unacceptable) grade is received, provided the University's overall Satisfactory Progress Standards are met.
Tutorial assistance may be paid to eligible veterans enrolled at least half-time and receiving benefits under Chapters 30, 31, 33, 35, and 1606. (Note: Loyola does not participate in VEAP, Chapter 32.) Tutorial assistance aids the student in defraying tutorial expenses and will be paid to reimburse reasonable charges by a tutor. To qualify, students must have a weakness in a subject for which the professor deems tutoring necessary. The maximum benefit is $1,200. A charge to entitlement will be made for assistance received in excess of $600 by Chapters 30 and 1606.
Break pay (also known as interval pay) is a benefit paid for those periods between semesters during which the student attends at the half-time rate or more. Continuous payment will be made whenever possible. However, DVA will not authorize interval payment in the following instances:
- Between terms if the student is attending less than half-time or is on active duty.
- Between terms at the same institution which spans a full calendar month or more
(i.e., July 31 – September 1).
- Of more than 30 days between consecutive terms which the student transfers to another institution.
- An interval, regardless of length, preceding a change of program when the student also changes institutions.
Vocational Rehabilitation (Chapter 31)
A veteran may be eligible for Chapter 31 benefits if he/she incurred or aggravated a service-connected disability on or after September 16, 1940, which entitles them to DVA disability compensation, and who is in need of vocational rehabilitation because his/her disability creates an employment handicap. Under Chapter 31, the DVA pays the cost of tuition, fees, books, equipment, and supplies. The veteran also receives a monthly subsistence allowance.
Vocational rehabilitation may be provided for up to 48 months. An eligible veteran generally has 12 years from the date he/she is notified of entitlement by the DVA compensation in which to use these benefits. The DVA may approve an extension of time and/or length of training in certain cases. Disabled veterans are encouraged to contact the nearest DVA office to obtain detailed inf ormation and to request a Disabled Veterans Application for Vocational Rehabilitation (VA Form 28-1900).
DVA Work-Study Program
Veterans and Reservists enrolled 3/4 time or more and training under Chapters 30, 31, 33, 35, and 1606 and Section 903 may be eligible for employment on a part-time basis. (Note: Loyola does not participate in VEAP, Chapter 32.) The DVA will pay a non-taxable allowance equal to the prevailing federal or state minimum wage, whichever is higher. The Veterans Services Office has a limited number of positions that are periodically available. For more information, call 410-962-2571.
Undergraduate financial assistance programs include loans, grants, scholarships, and student employment. Loans from state and federal government sources must be repaid; however, the interest rate is usually low and the repayment period is extended. Grants, scholarships, and income earned through student employment do not have to be repaid. Most of these programs are based on the financial need of the student.
You must maintain satisfactory academic progress and complete all your classes. Classes for which benefits will be paid for by the VA must fulfill requirements for graduation in your stated program. You are allowed two programs of study. Any subsequent programs must be requested and approved by the VA. Summer credits are counted a little differently, so please check with Melaina Valentine-Gresko, Loyola Veterans Certifying Official (410-617-2482 or firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information.