Frequently Asked Questions
What will the Forever GI Bill - Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act -- do for me?

The "Forever GI Bill" was signed into law August 17, 2017, and brings significant changes to veterans' education benefits over the next few years. Most changes enhance or expand education benefits for veterans, servicemembers, families and survivors. Please download this fact sheet for an overview.

What will the Post 9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act do for me?

The Post-9/11 GI Bill provides financial support for education and housing to individuals with at least 90 days of aggregate service after September 10, 2001, or individuals discharged with a service-connected disability after 30 days. You must have received an honorable discharge to be eligible for the Post-9/11 GI Bill.

Some of the benefits the Post-9/11 GI Bill will pay include:

Your full tuition & fees directly to the school for all public school in-state students, if you qualify at the 100% rate.

A monthly housing allowance (MHA) based on the Basic Allowance for Housing for an E-5 with dependents at the location of the school. For those enrolled solely in distance learning the housing allowance payable is equal to ½ the national average BAH for an E-5 with dependents

An annual books & supplies stipend of $1,000 paid proportionately based on enrollment.

This benefit provides up to 36 months of education benefits; generally benefits are payable for 15 years following your release from active duty.

How do I start using my Post 9/11 benefits?

Apply for your benefits online at benefits.va.gov/benefits/vonapp.asp Select a school you would like to attend and make sure it is approved for veterans benefits. Register only for courses required under your degree program. Request transcripts from all previous educational institutions and your military transcript and have them evaluated for possible credit toward your degree. This is a DVA (Department of Veterans Affairs) requirement.

Am I eligible to transfer my Post 9/11 benefits to my spouse or children?

The transferability option under the Post-9/11 GI Bill allows Servicemembers to transfer all or some unused benefits to their spouse or dependent children. The Department of Defense (DoD) determines whether or not you can transfer benefits to your family. archive.defense.gov/Home/Features/2009/0409_gibill/

What will the Montgomery GI Bill do for me?

The Montgomery GI Bill will provide you with a monthly educational allowance to help you pay for your education. The monthly benefit amount depends upon the number of credits you take each term, the length of each course, and the length of your initial enlistment. During a standard 16-week semester, 12 semester hours or more is considered full time. You may be eligible for 36 months of full-time educational benefits, provided you completed your initial obligation with an honorable discharge. Benefits are payable for 10 years following your release from active duty.

How do I start using my Montgomery GI Bill?

Apply for your benefits by applying online at benefits.va.gov/benefits/vonapp.asp. Select a school you would like to attend and make sure it is approved for veterans benefits. Register only for courses required under your degree program. Request transcripts from all previous educational institutions and your military transcript and have them evaluated for possible credit toward your degree. This is a DVA (Department of Veterans Affairs) requirement.

How does the Department of Veterans Affairs know to pay me?

The campus Veterans Coordinator will certify your enrollment. The DVA will process your claim and send a payment directly to the bank account designated by you.

Students who receive either the MGIB or Selected Reserve MUST verify their enrollment each month to receive payments. This verification can be done either by using the Web Automated Verification of Enrollment (WAVE) system or by using an automated telephone system (1-877-823-2378).

When will I receive my first payment? How do I find out the status of my payments?

Because DVA pays based on your previous month's attendance, it will take 6-8 weeks from the start of a semester to receive your first payment. You will be paid retroactively from the first day of class. Once you receive your first payment, subsequent payments are deposited the first week of the month.

Students may inquire about the status of a pending claim by calling 1-888-442-4551.

Must I attend school full-time to receive my benefits?

No. You may take as many or as few courses as you feel you can comfortably manage. Your monthly payment will be determined by the number of semester hours in which you are enrolled and the length of your courses.

Will I automatically receive benefits next semester?

No. Students must submit a Notification of Veterans Student Status form at the start of each semester. The Veterans Coordinator will review your program of study and certify the courses you are enrolled in are required to complete your degree program. Certification of enrollment will then be sent to the Processing Office.

What happens if I withdraw from a course? What if I fail a course?

If you withdraw from a course the DVA may require you to repay the money for the course unless you withdrew due to reasons beyond your control. If the DVA accepts your reason for withdrawing, you will be paid through the last day of attendance. If this is the first instance you withdrew, the DVA may consider mitigating circumstances exist without explanation from you for withdrawing from a course or courses totaling not more than 6 semester hours. Note: You must report any changes in your class schedule to your Veterans Coordinator to avoid overpayment of your educational benefits.

Can I enroll in any course I want?

No. You can only take classes required under your degree plan; DVA will not pay for a course that cannot be used in your degree program. Also, DVA will not pay for a course you have already taken and successfully completed.

Can I change my degree program?

Yes. The DVA allows you to make a plan change.

What if I am called to active duty?

Once you have received orders, you have the following options:   

  • Drop all classes and 100% of the tuition and fees will be refunded. 
  • Withdraw from all classes and receive a "W" grade.  Please note there will be no refund of tuition and fees.
  • Make arrangements with the instructor to receive an incomplete grade.
  • Complete the work upon return from active duty and convert the incomplete grade to a letter grade.  Please note failure to complete the work will result in a failing grade.

Please note your decision may impact any tuition assistance or financial aid you may have through state and federal programs.  Please consult with the Veterans Coordinator and the financial aid office as soon as possible.

What about transcript requests?

Submit official transcripts for evaluation to the Office of Admissions and Records, including your DD-214, and transcripts from prior colleges and military service schools. The DVA requires an evaluation of your military training/experience and all prior college credits. All transcripts must be submitted and evaluated by the end of your second semester; otherwise DVA will stop your benefits.

Community College of the Air Force
Joint Services Transcript (Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps and Navy)

What information can I obtain by calling 1-888-442-4551?

The automated system provides a wide range of information about DVA educational benefits and specific information about individual accounts.