Where Do I Begin?
1. Have you applied to UIW?
- If not, visit the Next Steps link on this site.
- Under Related Links, there are links to Admissions, where you can get information on the different academic formats UIW offers (Main Campus, ADCaP, and UIW Online) to see which is the best fit for you. The Admissions website also features detailed information on the requirements to be admitted to UIW, and pre-requisites for various programs.
2. Have you applied for education benefits with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)?
- If not, you will need to contact the VA. They will determine your eligibility and begin the process of applying for your benefits. You can contact VA Education Services at 1-888-GIBILL-1 (1-888-442-4551) (TDD 1-800-829-4833). www.gibill.va.gov/apply-for-benefits/road-map/ is a handy site that will walk you through, step-by-step, from determining your benefits to the application process.
- Eligible service members enrolled in the Post-9/11 GI Bill program may transfer their unused educational benefits to their spouse or children. Visit www.gibill.va.gov/post-911/post-911-gi-bill-summary/transfer-of-benefits.html for more information.
3. What documents will I need to apply for benefits?
- DD214 Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty for most recent period of active duty.
- If you are still on active duty, just enter your dates of service.
- Kicker Contract (the Department of Defense may be able to provide this information if you cannot locate a copy of the contract).
- You may complete your application online by visiting www.gibill.va.gov/apply-for-benefits/application/
4. I am currently on active duty. Can I use my education benefits now?
- Yes, but any benefits you use will be subtracted from your overall benefits package.
5. If I apply now, do I have to use my benefits immediately?
- No, you do not have to designate a school/institution on the application, but each chapter has time limitations; please visit www.gibill.va.gov/benefits/index.html for information on all benefit chapters.
- If you need further assistance choosing which chapter is right for you, the VA Vocational and Employment office offers counseling that is free to all veterans; please call 1-800-827-1000 or you may discuss your options with a VA education benefits specialist by calling 1-888-GIBILL-1 (1-888-442-4551) (TDD 1-800-829-4833).
6. How long does the VA take to approve benefits?
- The VA application and review process takes approximately 4 to 6 weeks, but may be longer during high volume times of the year, such as the start of fall semester.
I’ve Been Admitted to UIW and Approved for Benefits...Now What?
1. What is the next step after I have registered for classes?
- Either come by the UIW Center for Veterans Affairs, or learn more on our website: www.veterans.uiw.edu
2. What information will I need to provide?
- Your Certificate of Eligibility from the VA – we will need the most recent copy.
- Students may contact VA Education at 1-888-442-4551 to request a copy to be faxed to the UIW Center for Veterans Affairs (fax 210-832-2155).
- Your military transcript(s) – this is a requirement for all service members, and transcripts must be submitted to Admissions.
- Transcripts from any other college(s)/institution(s) you have previously attended – this is a requirement for all service members, and transcripts must be submitted to Admissions.
- Your DD214, member 4
- A completed UIW VA Enrollment Certification Request Form – required for each term/semester you are enrolled.
- If you have previously used your benefits at another college/university: VA Form 22-1995 or 22-5495.
- Chapter 31 only: VA Form 1905 (Authorization and Certification of Entrance and Re-entrance into Rehabilitation and Certification of Status) completed by your VA Counselor.
3. I can’t find my DD214, what do I do?
4. How do I get a copy of my military transcript(s)?
5. My tuition won’t be covered 100% by VA benefits, what other financial assistance is out there for me?
- A good starting place is the UIW Office of Financial Assistance: www.uiw.edu/finaid/. Their website includes a link for information on various grants and scholarships, as well as loan information.
- Just FYI, The Hazlewood Act (SB639, 82nd Texas Legislature) is available only for students attending Texas public colleges/universities. UIW is a private institution and is ineligible to participate.
6. How long does UIW take to process my enrollment certification?
- The usual processing time takes 3-5 business days, but may be longer during high volume times of the year, such as the start of fall semester.
- You will receive an email confirmation from the VA when your certification request has been submitted. The email will come to your UIW Cardinal Mail and your personal email address (if you provided).
7. Since UIW is a private institution, how much will the VA pay for me to attend?
- For a private Institution of Higher Learning, the VA will pay the lesser of a set national cap per academic year (Aug 1-Jul 31) or the actual tuition and fees charged by the institution.
- If you are entitled to 100% of the Post-9/11 benefits and will exceed the set yearly cap, UIW is participating in the Yellow Ribbon Program for 2012-13, which means your remaining balance may be covered, based on your entitlement.
How Do I…
1. How do I receive VA benefits for each term or semester that I am attending?
- Submit a completed and signed UIW VA Enrollment Certification Request Form to the Center for Veterans Affairs.
- We encourage all students to submit the Request Form as soon as they have registered for classes.
2. How do I receive a book and supply voucher?
- Ch. 31 Voc Rehab students are the only students provided with these vouchers. Once certified for the current term/semester, visit the UIW Business Office to obtain a voucher. Please note, a current VA 22-1905 must be on hand to provide the vouchers.
3. How do I check the status of my payment?
- Refer to the award letter the VA provided you – the award letter outlines school payments, applicable monthly housing stipends, book stipends, etc.
- Or call VA Education Services at 1-888-GIBILL-1 (1-888-442-4551).
- Or check your benefits online: www.ebenefits.va.gov/ebenefits-portal/ebenefits.portal.
4. How do I drop or add a class in the term/semester after I have been certified for VA benefits?
- Please follow the “drop or add a class” guidelines as provided by your academic advisor or the Registrar’s Office.
- Then send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and include your name, school ID and the class name & number of any drops or additions.
5. How do I get a refund of the money that I paid into the Montgomery GI Bill?
- Unfortunately, the money you contributed into the Montgomery GI Bill is non-refundable unless you elect to use Montgomery GI Bill benefits. You have 10 years and 1 day from the date of your honorable discharge to use the MGIB.
- If you paid the $1200 buy-in for the Montgomery GI Bill and elect to use the Post 9/11 GI Bill, you may be refunded a portion of the buy-in if, and after, all entitlement under the Post 9/11 GI Bill is used. If you do not use all your entitlement under the Post 9/11 GI Bill you will not receive a refund for your buy-in.
6. How do I apply for an extension of VA educational benefits?
- Contact VA Education Services at 1-888-GIBILL-1 (1-888-442-4551) for assistance. You may not receive more than a maximum of 48 months of benefits under any combination of VA educational programs.
1. Can I change degrees while using VA educational benefits?
- Yes, you may - please see your academic advisor to change degrees.
- The change must be updated in Banner before we can certify your new classes.
2. Why did I receive a letter from the VA stating that no tuition and fees were charged for the current term?
- The benefit for tuition and fees will now be based on net cost to the Post 9/11 GI student. To meet this requirement:
- Once our office receives your certification request, it will be initially submitted to the VA with $0 cost for tuition and fees. This will ensure the applicable housing and book stipends may be awarded on time.
- This process will be repeated for each mini-term (Spring I, Spring II, etc.).
- After the 100% refund drop date for each program (Main Campus, ADCaP, and UIW Online), we will resubmit the certification request with the net cost for the enrollment.
- You will receive an amendment notification from the VA when the tuition and fees are reported.
3. How do I use my VA benefits at another college or university?
- Download and submit the Request to Study at Another Institution form to request approval of class(es) from another institution; approval signatures are required from your advisor and the Registrar’s Office.
- If approved, contact the UIW Center for VA Office with the contact name and fax # of the other school’s VA Office.
- We will fax an approval letter, listing the class(es), term, and your chapter of benefits to the other school.
Students must follow-up with all processes required by the other school’s VA Office.
4. Are VA education benefits taxable?
- No. Any veterans’ benefits paid under any law administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) should not be reported as income to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). You will not receive a W-2 from the VA.
5. What if I receive a failing grade?
- If you fail a class, you will receive what is called a punitive grade for that class. A punitive grade is one that does not count as earned credit, but is counted in determining your progress toward graduation requirements. That means the grade you receive counts negatively toward your overall degree progress. Since the grade does count toward your graduation process (albeit negatively) you are not required to repay any GI Bill benefits you received for that class.
- You may take the class again to attempt to receive credit towards graduation, or to raise your GPA, and you may receive GI Bill benefits to retake the class.
6. What typically causes a debt when I use my VA educational benefits?
- If you decrease your training time (drop classes, leave school, etc.) and the VA has sent UIW a payment for tuition and fees, an overpayment will occur. When UIW notifies the VA of a change in your status, a debt is created against your VA account. UIW will then issue a refund to the VA, which may not fully cover the debt with the VA. If the amount refunded by UIW does not satisfy the debt, you are responsible for the remainder.
- If UIW refunds money directly to the VA, the VA will credit your account the amount refunded.
- If UIW refunds money directly to you, you must clear the debt with the VA.
- A decrease in your credit hours could also result in changes to your housing allowance and books and supplies stipend. If the VA has already issued you a payment for the term, a debt will be created on your VA account.
- The VA Debt Management Center is the authoritative source of debt collection information. You can reach them at 800-827-0648.
7. If I transfer my Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits to my spouse or child, where do the payments go?
- Payments for a spouse or child are distributed like all Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits. The tuition payment will go directly to UIW and the housing allowance (BAH) and book stipend will go the spouse or child. By transferring your benefits, you are essentially giving them up to another person, so you would not be entitled to receive the BAH and/or book stipend.