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FAQs


Where do I begin? Common Questions

1. Have you applied to UIW?

2. I am currently on active duty. Can I use my GI Bill now?

Yes, but any months used will be subtracted from your overall benefits package.

3. I am a dependent or spouse of an active-duty member. When can I use my GI Bill?

Please visit the GI Bill site to learn more at: http://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill/post911_transfer.asp or call VA Education at 1-888-442-4551

4. 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; see the GI Bill Comparison Tool/ Payment Rates for all chapters.
  • If you need assistance choosing which GI Bill chapter is right for you, discuss your options with a VA education benefits specialist by calling 1-888-GIBILL-1

5. How long will it take the VA to approve my GI Bill?

GI Bill application and review process is usually 4-6 weeks, but may be longer during high volume times of the year, such as the start of fall semester.

Sign up for an eBenefits account to get electronic updates:

  1. Check on your GI Bill status, payments, and remaining months of benefits
  2. Send e-inquiries to VA
  3. Manage healthcare benefits
  4. Request copies of service/medical documents and much more!

Get started today: https://www.ebenefits.va.gov/ebenefits-portal/ebenefits.portal


I’ve been admitted to UIW and approved for VA Benefits…now what?

1. Do I need to be registered for classes to use my GI Bill?

  • Yes, students must have enrollments before we may submit your certification to VA.
  • After you have finalized your schedule, either come by the UIW Center for Veterans Affairs, or refer to Step 3 on our website

2. I need my DD214/ military transcript(s), how do I obtain a copy?

Veterans Links on our site has links for all branches of the service and military records.

3. When will UIW process my GI Bill request?

  • To receive your benefits in time, please ensure to have all required documents submitted to our office within 30 calendar days of class start.
  • Required Documents/Forms at www.veterans.uiw.edu/start-my-benefits
  • Please email/send documents to veterans@uiwtx.edu include your name, student ID and a phone number.
    **Remember, we cannot certify your attendance with the VA until all of the required documentation is received by our office**
  • By the end of the 30 days if our office hasn’t received all required documents or any correspondence, we will shred your file to protect your privacy/personal identifiable information (PII).
  • You can always re-start this process.
  • After we have all required documents, usual processing time is 10 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 sent to your UIW Cardinal Mail when your certification request has been submitted.

Chapter 31 Vocational Rehabilitation

1. I am using Ch. 31, Voc Rehab, how do I receive a book and supply voucher?

Ch. 31 Voc Rehab students are the only students provided with these vouchers. After you are certified for the current term/semester, visit the UIW Business Office to obtain a voucher; a current VA 22-1905 must be in Office to provide the vouchers.

2. Reminder for Ch. 31, Vocational Rehabilitation Students

  • Ch. 31 Voc Rehab students needing to repeat courses must be pre-approved by your VA Case Manager and provide an approved VA Form 22-1905
  • Laptops or special item purchases must be pre- approved by your VA Case Manager and provide an approved VA Form 22-1905

Please contact your VA Case Manager with any questions


Post 9/11 GI Bill

1. I am using Post 9-11 GI Bill, when will UIW receive my tuition and fee payment?

  • Post 9/11 GI benefit for tuition and fees is based on the net cost to student:
    • Once our office receives your certification request, it will be initially submitted to the VA with $0 cost for tuition and fees; this still allows applicable housing and book stipends to 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, School of Professional Studies, and School of Applied Sciences), we will resubmit the certification request with the tuition and fee cost for the enrollment; students receive an amendment notification from the VA
    • VA will send payment in approximately 4 - 6 weeks

2. I am using Post 9-11 GI Bill, how do I get a refund of the money that I paid into the Montgomery GI Bill?

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 Post 9/11 GI Bill is used. Please call 1-888-GIBILL-1 for assistance.

3. 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.


Rate of Pursuit and Training Time for VA Certification

1. Undergraduate

  • Rate of Pursuit (Chapter 33)
    VA calculates rate of pursuit by dividing the number of credit (or credit hour equivalents) being pursued by the number of credit considered to be full-time by the school. The resulting percentage is the student’s rate of pursuit.
    The chapter 33 housing allowance is paid if rate of pursuit is more than 50%.
  • Training Time (Chapters 30, 35, 1606, and 1607)
    VA benefits are paid based on training time. In a standard semester, VA measures training time as follows:
    • 12 credit is full-time
    • 9-11 credit is ¾-time
    • 6-8 credit is ½-time
    • 4-5 credit is less than ½-time (<½-time)
    • 1-3 credit is ¼-time or less (<¼-time)
  • Undergraduate Semester Credit Equivalency Table

2. Graduate

Accredited schools report graduate training time based on the school's academic regulations.
For certification purposes, University of the Incarnate Word (UIW) graduate students are considered full-time when they enroll in six hours during the first mini-term and six hours during the second mini-term of a full 16-week semester. (2009-2011 UIW Undergraduate Catalog Addendum March 2010, Page 4)
Students enrolled in the full 16-week fall and spring semesters are considered full-time with nine (9) concurrent credit hours.
The unit load for a full-time doctoral student is six (6) concurrent credit hours for course work or three (3) credit hours for dissertation in the full 16-week fall and spring semesters
Graduate Summer Terms Rate of Pursuit and Training Time for GI Bill Certification (PDF)

  • Rate of Pursuit (Chapter 33)
    VA calculates rate of pursuit based on the training time reported by the school. The monthly housing allowance is paid if rate of pursuit is more than 50%.
  • Training Time (Chapters 30, 35, 1606, and 1607)
    VA benefits are paid based on the training time certified by the school.

Other Common Questions - UIW

1. Extended Academic Programs (SPS & SAS) “Blended” Classes

For students in the School of Professional Studies (SPS) or School of Applied Sciences (SAS), blended (hybrid classes) combine face-to-face and online learning to accommodate working adult's schedules.

  • Per VA standards, these will be designated as online/distance learning classes, due to the amount of time that students are face-to-face in the actual classroom
  • To be eligible for the housing benefit, students are advised to pair an additional class that is considered in-residence.  Please note any adjustments to enrollments, may affect eligibility for the housing stipend

2. How do I check the status of my tuition payment?

  • Refer to the award letter the VA mailed to you – this includes school payments, monthly housing and book stipends, remaining entitlement, etc.
  • Or call VA Education Services at 1-888-GIBILL-1
  • Or check your benefits online: www.ebenefits.va.gov/ebenefits-portal/ebenefits.portal

3. How do I drop/add 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 veterans@uiwtx.edu and include your name, school ID and the class name & number of any drops or additions.
  • If you drop enrollments due to death in your immediate family, personal health reasons, or unforeseen change in work obligation, please inform the Center for Veterans Affairs

4. 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.

5. Can I use financial aid with my GI Bill?

  • Yes, you may - please visit the UIW Office of Financial Assistance
  • Reported tuition and fees under the Post 9/11 GI Bill benefit will be calculated minus any tuition-only scholarships/ aid, but excludes Title IV funds (ex: student loans and Pell grants)
  • 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. Since UIW is a private institution, how much will my GI Bill pay?


Other Common Questions - VA

1. Why did I receive a letter from the VA stating that no tuition and fees were charged?

  • Post 9/11 GI Bill benefit for tuition and fees will is based on net cost to the student. To meet this requirement:
    • Your certification request will be initially submitted to the VA with $0 cost for tuition and fees.
    • 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, SPS and SAS), we will resubmit the certification request with the net cost for the enrollment.
    • Students will receive a new award letter from the VA with payment information included

2. What causes debts with VA Education Programs?

  • If you decrease your training time (i.e. drop classes, leave school, etc.) and VA has already processed a payment for tuition and fees, an overpayment will occur. When UIW notifies VA of a change, a debt is created against your account. The school will issue any refunds in accordance with internal policy, which may not fully cover the debt with the VA. If the amount refunded by the school does not satisfy the debt, you are responsible for the remainder.
  • If the school refunds money directly to the VA, then VA will credit your account any amount the school refunds.
  • If UIW refunds money directly to you, you must clear the debt with VA.
  • A decrease in your credit hours could also result in changes to your housing allowance and books & supplies stipend. If VA has already issued you a payment for the term a debt will be created on your account.
  • You are responsible for keeping track of your tuition and fee account balance and payments. Be sure to review your student business account and ensure the charges are correct and that payments and refunds are processed correctly
  • Contact us to if the certification information does not match your schedule
  • Please contact the Debt Management Center if you receive a debt notification from the VA. The Debt Management Center is the authoritative source of debt collection information. You can reach them at 800-827-0648 or e-mail them at dmc.ops@va.gov

3. Can I change degrees while using my GI Bill?

Yes, please see your academic advisor to change degrees and inform us ASAP. Your school record must be updated before we may certify your new classes.

4. 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 for transfer credit, forward the approval email from the UIW Registrar's Office to the UIW Center for VA email: veterans@uiwtx.edu with the contact name of the other school's VA Office.
  • We will email the student a PDF copy of the approval letter, listing the class(es), term, and chapter of benefits – students may then deliver or email the letter to the secondary school.
    Students must follow-up with all processes required by the other school’s VA Office.

5. Are GI Bill benefits taxable?

No. GI Bill benefits paid should not be reported as income to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and you will not receive a W-2 from the VA.

Yellow Ribbon Program

We are pleased to announce UIW’s 2016-17 Yellow Ribbon Program is now open!

Learn more

VA Coordinator

The UIW Center for Veterans Affairs employs a dedicated staff to assist you with VA benefits. Call today at 210-832-2154 or e-mail veterans@uiwtx.edu

Location

Office Hours

Mon-Thurs 8 AM - 6 PM CST
Friday 8 AM - 5 PM CST

Students may send in documentation or any questions to veterans@uiwtx.edu

Tribute Stole for Grads

UIW Veterans are honored during graduation with a Tribute stole. It is worn during the graduation ceremony and is provided free of charge. Contact us to receive your stole for commencement.

Learn More