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Frequently Asked Questions

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What if I add or drop classes after I am certified?

You will be required to contact our office if you need to change your schedule any time after you are certified. Our standard policy is to place a registration hold on your account that will prevent you from making changes without notifying us in advance. You will then need to complete and submit a Schedule Change Request Form to our office for processing. All forms of schedule changes must be reported to our office. This includes, but is not limited to, adding and dropping classes or changing your mode of instruction (online vs. face to face).

Is attendance important?

Yes, you must attend class and submit assigned work in order to receive benefits. The VA only pays for classes you attend and complete. If you register for a class but never attend or stop attending at any point during the semester, you may receive an unofficial withdrawal and a debt will be created against you by the VA. Even if you are failing the course, it is best to either withdraw or continue attending the class and fail if you do not want to pay money back to VA. The VA will allow you to fail a course without having to pay money back, as long as you attended the entire semester.

What is a Certificate of Eligibility?

A Certificate of Eligibility is an award letter from the VA stating your percentage of eligibility for VA benefits and the number of months and days of entitlement you are allotted. It is required in order for us to process your benefits. These letters are mailed to all students every semester after a certification is processed.

Do I have to submit a Certification Request every semester?

Yes, you must fill out and submit a new Certification Request Form every semester. Chapter 30, 1607 and 1606 recipients must also verify their enrollment via WAVE at the end of each month.

Why am I certified for fewer credits than what I am enrolled in?

The VA will not pay for open electives that are not part of your degree plan. If you wish to get the course certified, please have your advisor send an email to stating that the course is part of your degree plan.

Do I need to inform the VA if I change schools?

Yes. If you have used your benefits at another school and are transferring to Tarleton State University, you are required to complete a Change of Program/Place of Training form to the VA. You can do this via VONAPP. If you are a veteran, you will submit the VA Form 22-1995. All dependents regardless of chapter will submit a VA Form 22-5495. These forms are submitted directly to the VA and cannot be processed by our office. The VA will mail you a new Certificate of Eligibility after you submit this form.

Do I need to let anyone know if my address changes?

Yes. Your eligibility letters will always be mailed to the address that the VA has on file. If you change your address, you should immediately notify our office and the VA.

What if I want to take classes at another school and apply them to my Tarleton degree plan?

When you enroll at Tarleton State University to pursue a degree or certification program, Tarleton is considered your "parent institution". You must request to have a Parent Institution Letter sent to your other school. You can do this by completing a Request for Certification form and indicating your other school in the “Institution” column next to each class. If you are concurrently enrolled in classes at Tarleton AND another school, remember that you also need to request to be certified for your Tarleton class. Simply indicate the class and Tarleton as the institution on the form. Immediately transfer all coursework to Tarleton State University upon completion. If you plan to attend Tarleton while attending another school, you will be considered as being concurrently enrolled and the VA will receive certifications from both institutions.

What is considered full-time for VA purposes?

During a regular semester (16 weeks), undergraduates enrolled at least 12 hours and graduates enrolled in at least 9 hours are considered full time. Additional term lengths are indicated on the table below.

Classes that only go through part of the term will affect your rate of pursuit. For example, if you sign up for 12 credits for the 1st half of the semester, you will only receive benefits for the 1st half of the semester regardless of how you are classified by the university. Once your classes end, the VA considers the semester over. It is especially important to remember this when you are registering for summer classes. The VA will calculate full-time status based on where dates overlap.

Undergraduate Credit Hours
Number of weeks in the term Number of hours to be full-time
16 12
12 9
8 6
6 5
4 3

Graduate Credit Hours
Number of weeks in the term Number of hours to be full-time
16 9
12 6
8 4
6 3
4 3
Can I be certified for “leveling” courses?

Yes. Courses required for admission to the next level of training may be approved in two situations. The first is when the University requires a student to pursue courses at an educational level for which he or she already holds a diploma. The second is when a University requires a student to pursue courses at an educational level for which he or she appears qualified by reason of previous training. For example, a college may require a student with a B.A. degree to take some undergraduate subjects for admission to a graduate degree program, or to gain teacher certification for specific subjects. If a graduate program requires a student with a bachelor’s degree to pursue undergraduate courses to satisfy admission requirements for a graduate degree program, then the courses required for admission may be certified as part of that graduate degree program. In order to certify the courses, however, the following requirements must be met:

  1. The student must be accepted into the Graduate Program
  2. The graduate program advisor must note the necessary leveling classes on the student’s Degree Works report. The advisor can also send written consent to our office that a class will fit into a student’s degree plan and exactly what requirement it will satisfy.
What if I receive a debt letter for the Department of Veteran’s Affairs?

If you receive a debt letter from the VA, bring or send it in to our office for evaluation.

Am I required to set up a direct deposit?

Direct deposit is the safest and fastest way for you to receive your education benefits payment. There are three ways to set up a direct deposit for your payments. You can call 1-877-838-2778 to set up or change direct deposit. You can use eBenefits to make necessary changes. Or, you can complete a VA form 24-0296 via VONAPP and submit it to the Muskogee Regional VA office.

Can I be certified if I am pursuing dual majors?

Yes. However, it remains that the VA does not pay for courses that are not required for your degree. If you are declaring two majors, minors will not be required or covered.

What is Educational-Vocational Counseling?

VA offers free Educational-Vocational Counseling services (also called Chapter 36 counseling) that are available to:

  • Service Members within six months prior to discharge from active duty.
  • Veterans within one year following discharge from active duty.
  • Current beneficiaries under Chapters 30, 31, 32, 33, 35, 1606, 1607.
  • Veterans and qualified dependents who are eligible for and have entitlement to education assistance under Chapters 30, 31, 32, 33, 35, 1606, 1607.

For more information, please see the VA Education and Training website.

What is Enrollment Verification?

If you are receiving Chapter 30, 1606, or 1607 benefits you must verify your enrollment with the VA at the end of each month so that you will receive your payment. Be sure that you have verified exact start and end dates for any classes in which you are enrolled that are shorter or extend beyond the regular semester. You can verify enrollment via Web Automated Verification of Enrollment (WAVE) or 1-877-823-2378. If you notice either class dates or credit amounts are incorrect while verifying, please contact our office.

Will the VA pay if I am classified as having excessive hours?

Yes. However, the VA will not pay penalty (excessive hours) fees.

Will the VA pay for my classes if I have not declared a major?

Students pursuing a bachelor’s degree may not have to declare a major; however, only “General Education” courses can be certified prior to the declaration of a major. In addition, the student cannot be certified beyond his/her first sophomore semester unless a major has been declared.

What if my benefits end during a semester?

If you are a Veteran using your benefits, you are entitled to no more than 48 months of combined VA benefits (Chapters 33, 30, 31, 1606, 1607). What this means for you is that although your Certificate of Eligibility might state that you only have a couple of days or months of benefits remaining, the VA may still cover you for the entire semester at the basic rate. If you have any further questions regarding your remaining benefits and payment, call the VA at 1-888-442-4551 or check out your eBenefits account.

If you are eligible for the ARMY College Fund, other ―kickers, or benefits with payment for dependents, the additional amount will stop on the delimiting date, but the basic rate will continue through to the end of the current enrollment period.

If you are the dependent using transferred entitlement, the VA will cover your tuition up until you’ve exhausted your months and days, or until your delimitating date, whichever comes first. You can ask the Veteran to remove the delimitating date by contacting the VA or making the adjustment in eBenefits.

What if I fail a class?

You will not receive a debt for a class that you fail as long as you attended the class through the end of the term. You will also be able to use your benefits to retake the class to satisfy your degree requirements. The VA considers a failing grade to be any grade in which you did not meet the minimum grade to “complete” the course. For example, some courses require a C+ or better to receive credit, if you receive a C, you did not pass and therefore the VA will pay for you to retake the course. We do not report “I” grades to the VA. However, the VA does not pay repeated course fees.

Can I still be certified if I am on academic probation?

You cannot be certified for more than two semesters on academic probation.

Will my benefits cover a graduate degree?

Yes. Provided you have remaining entitlement, the VA will cover graduate and post-baccalaureate classes.

What if I do not have enough required classes for my degree plan to be full-time during my final semester?

VA regulations allow a student to be certified for additional, non-required courses during their graduating semester in order to receive full-time benefits. It must be your absolute last semester before obtaining your degree. This procedure can be done only once per program. In rounding out a full-time schedule, VA students may use any credit hour unit subject, including a subject that has previously received a passing grade.

Will my benefits pay for internships, nursing clinical work, or student teaching?

Yes. However, it will be your responsibility to bring it to our attention that you are required to complete clock hours for your class. For example, your student teaching semester only requires you to be enrolled in 9 credit hours, but you will be working 40+ hours a week in a school. You can be paid as a full-time student if you bring it to our attention and provide documentation of the required weekly hours.

Can I be certified for online courses and how will this affect my benefits?

Yes, the VA will pay for online classes. However, if you enroll in only online courses for a semester, the VA will only pay you 50% of the national average for E-5 with dependents BAH, even if you are full-time. If at least one of your classes is face-to-face class (meaning a class you go to), then you will receive the amount of BAH you’d normally get.

Can I be certified for remedial classes?

Yes. These courses can be certified but only for students for whom a verifiable need has been established. You will need to bring us a copy of your test scores that support your need for these courses. Chapters 30, 33, 1606: Entitlement is charged for remedial and deficiency training. Chapter 35: Entitlement is not charged up to 5 months of full-time remedial and deficiency training. Independent study (online) remedial and deficiency courses cannot be certified.

Can I be certified for R.O.T.C. courses?

Students in a ROTC program can be certified for courses required for their degree (including electives) and for courses required for the ROTC program.

Can I be certified for Study Abroad courses?

Yes, as long as the course will satisfy a requirement for your degree. Your Chapter 33 benefits will cover Tarleton’s basic tuition and fees. You will also receive your BAH as well as normal book stipend. In order for the VA to pay additional fees specific to the Study Abroad program, the program must be required for graduation.

What is Tuition Assistance and can I use it in conjunction with my benefits?

Tuition Assistance (TA) is a Department of Defense (DoD) program. VA does not administer TA. Some students may be prohibited from simultaneously receiving education benefits from VA and TA benefits from the military.

Chapter 33: Students receiving TA will be certified as any other Chapter 33 student, with TA benefits deducted from the net tuition and fee charges submitted to VA.

Chapter 30: We cannot certify classes for which an active duty service member will receive TA under Chapter 30 (with the exception of Top-up). If a student takes several courses, the student cannot receive Chapter 30 benefits for the courses for which TA is paid, but the student can receive Chapter 30 benefits for the courses for which TA isn’t paid.

Chapter 1606 and 1607: We cannot certify any class for VA benefits under chapter 1606 or 1607 if the member is receiving TA for the class. National Guard and Reserve M-day (Guardsman or Reservist Federally mobilized and placed in a Title 10 Active duty status) service members can receive Federal TA for some classes, and receive Chapter 1606 or 1607 benefits for other classes (for which Federal TA isn't paid) during the same term. Also, students may receive Chapter 1606 or 1607 benefits and State TA simultaneously.

When can I use my VA benefits for the same classes for which Federal TA is being paid?
VA Benefits and Federal Tuition Assistance
Benefit Active Duty/AGR Drilling Status
Chapter 33 Yes Yes
Chapter 30 No Yes
Chapter 1606/0607 No No
Chapter 1606/0607 less than half-time No No
All other chapters No No
Does the VA provide tutorial assistance?

Tutorial assistance may be paid to students under Chapters 30, 33, 35 and 1606. Tutorial assistance helps the student pay for necessary tutoring and is a supplement to the student's regular VA benefit. The monthly rate may not exceed the cost of tutoring or $100. The maximum amount payable is $1200 per student per benefit program. There is no entitlement charge for the first $600 under Chapter 30 and 1606. There is no entitlement charge under Chapter 33 or 35. The student, tutor, and certifying official must complete an Enrollment Certification for Individualized Tutorial Assistance (VA Form 22-1990t).

All of the following criterion must be met for a student to be eligible for tutorial assistance:

  • Must be in a post-secondary program ½-time or more.
  • Must have a deficiency in a course that is part of their approved program.
  • Must be enrolled in the course during the term in which the tutoring is received for the course.
  • Tutoring may not occur between quarters or semesters.