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Frequently Asked VA Questions

Q: What type of benefit am I eligible for?

A: The Department of Veterans Affairs determines eligibility for benefits; UT Dallas cannot make this determination. To apply, visit www.gibill.va.gov and click on “Apply for Benefits.” Select “VONAPP” from the drop-down menu, which will allow an electronic submission of the application to the VA. Typical processing time by the VA is 6-8 weeks, after which a certificate of eligibility will be mailed to you providing information regarding your eligibility/ineligibility.

Q: I know I’m eligible for a specific benefit, but how do I get certified?

A: Please follow the steps listed on the individual pages for each benefit type (on the sidebar to the left of the screen).

Q: Does UT Dallas participate in the Yellow Ribbon Program?

A: No. The Yellow Ribbon Program allows schools to enter into an agreement with VA to fund the tuition and fees that exceed the basic amounts payable by the VA. This is typically needed for students who are charged out-of-state tuition and fees. However, UT Dallas has several waivers that cancel the out-of-state portion. For more information about these, please visit our Exemptions and Waivers page.

Q: What is the Choice Act (Section 702)?

A: The Choice Act is an in-state provision that requires public institutions of higher learning to charge qualified veterans, spouses and dependents in-state tuition.

Students eligible for the in-state tuition under Section 702 are:

  • A veteran who lives in the state in which the institution of higher learning is located (regardless of his/her formal state of residence) and enrolls in the school  within three years of discharge from a period of active duty service of 90 days or more.
  • A spouse or child using transferred benefits who lives in the state in which the institution of higher learning is located (regardless of his/her formal state of residence) and enrolls in the school within three years of the veteran’s discharge from a period of active duty service of 90 days or more.
  • A spouse or child using benefits under the Marine Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry Scholarship who lives in the state in which the institution of higher learning is located (regardless of his/her formal state of residence) and enrolls in the school within three years of the service member’s death in the line of duty following a period of active duty service of 90 days or more.

You can read more about the Choice Act and its additional requirements here.

Q: How long does it take to receive my benefits once I’ve been certified?

A: Generally, most paperwork submitted to our office is processed within 5-10 business days. After the certification is sent to the Department of Veterans Affairs, it takes an additional 4-6 weeks to process your certification and release the funds. If you are using your benefits for the first time, the expected processing time is typically 6-8 weeks for the VA.  As a final note, VA processing times can increase greatly during the beginning of the term, so these timelines are guidelines.

Q: Who do I contact if I haven’t received my monthly stipend or housing/book allowance?

A: If you have received an email from our office notifying you that you have been certified, and it has been more than 4-6 weeks, you will need to reach out to the VA directly (888-GIBILL-1).  Please note, the VA releases housing stipends for training that occurred the previous month.  For example, if the first day of classes begins in August, the earliest a housing stipend would be released is the first of September.  Additionally, the VA pro-rates payments for the number of days in the month that a student is enrolled.  For example, if the first day of classes is Aug. 25, the VA will pay for only a pro-rated number of days and the housing stipend will be less.

Finally, for book stipends, the VA will not release these funds prior to 14 days before the term starts.

Q: I am using Post 9/11 GI Bill (Chapter 33) benefits and still have a balance due to the Bursar’s Office.  When will my tuition and fees be paid?

A: When initially certifying students using Chapter 33 benefits, our office certifies students’ enrolled semester credit hours without a tuition and fees amount – meaning these certifications will be submitted with a $0 figure amount.  After Census Day each term, our office will update certifications to include students’ actual tuition and fees charges. Students will initially receive a letter from the VA that their enrollment has been certified at $0; processing in this way allows the VA to still release housing and book stipends to eligible students.

Again, this process will not prevent students from receiving housing and/or book stipends for which they are eligible. Payment from the VA will arrive after Census Day when certifications are updated to include tuition and fees. This typically takes 2-4 weeks after Census Day. All students using Chapter 33 benefits, who have turned in an initial certificate of eligibility (COE), will have a protection placed on their account that prevents them from being dropped.

Q: I am using Post 9/11 GI Bill (Chapter 33) benefits.  Can I have my financial aid released to me before the VA sends payment?

A: Yes.  Our office will require you to submit a copy of either your COE (for the current term) or a printout of your ebenefits entitlement information.  Please note, you should only submit this document after you have received notification from our office that you have been certified, and the VA alerts you that your certification has been processed.  We will not release financial aid early to any student who cannot provide proper documentation.

Q: Are there any fees that the VA will not cover?

Yes. Some of these fees include late registration fees, reinstatement fees, any fees associated with room and board or travel costs for a field trip or study abroad program, excessive-hours fees, late graduation application fees, parking permits (exception: if you are using Chapter 31 – Vocational Rehabilitation and your Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor approves the fee), and 3-peat fees. Please note this list is not exhaustive. If you have a question about a fee you have been charged and whether or not the VA will pay it, please email veteransbenefits@utdallas.edu.

Q: I am receiving a scholarship, will this affect my benefits?

A: If you are receiving any scholarship that covers only tuition and fees and you are receiving Chapter 33 (Post 9/11 GI Bill) benefits, then yes. Our office will deduct the amount reported to the VA by the amount of the scholarship received. This does not affect other benefits (housing stipend, book stipend, et cetera) as these are based off the amount of hours you are enrolled in, not the tuition and fees reported to the VA.

Q: How many hours constitute what pay rate?

A: The following course load tables show the minimum amount of hours necessary to maintain each enrollment status:

Undergraduate Hours

Full Time

3/4 Time

1/2 Time

Fall/Spring Semester

12

9

6

Long Summer (11 weeks)

9

6

4

Short Summer (8 weeks)

6

4

3

Half Summer (5 weeks)

4

3

2


Graduate Hours

Full Time

3/4 Time

1/2 Time

Fall/Spring Semester

9

6

5

Long Summer (11 weeks)

6

4

3

Short Summer (8 weeks)

4

3

2

Half Summer (5 weeks)

3

2

1

If you are using Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits, any enrollment that is less than 50 percent will qualify for tuition and fees only.  For example, if you are enrolled in six hours as an undergraduate student for the Fall or Spring semester, the VA will pay for your tuition and fees only. For current pay rates, consult the VA web site at www.gibill.va.gov/.

Q: Can I repeat a course?

A: If you do not pass or receive the required grade in a course that is necessary for your major, the VA will pay for that course to be retaken.  However, if you wish to retake a course that you have successfully passed (say, to improve your overall GPA), the VA will not pay for that course.

Q: What if I am placed on academic probation or suspension?

A: If you are placed on academic probation, your status will be reported to the VA.  You are typically given one semester to return to academic good standing; if this is not achieved, you will be placed on continuing probation or suspension (drop status) and will be reported to the VA.  If you are placed on suspension making you ineligible to register for courses, you cannot receive any VA benefits at The University of Texas at Dallas until you regain satisfactory academic status.

Q: What happens if I decide to drop a class?

You must report ANY changes to your enrollment to our office, this includes drops, adds, withdrawals, and switching courses. You can do so by submitting an email to veteransbenefits@utdallas.edu. If you drop any or all of your courses after the last day to withdraw without a “W,” you will likely have to repay all benefits received for the course(s) to the VA. Please review the Academic Calendar for these dates. For further information please contact the VA – 888-GIBILL-1.

Q: How far back can I be certified?

A: The VA will fund certified enrollment as far back as one year from the time of your certification.

Q: What if my course(s) meets over several terms or does not meet over a standard term of enrollment?

A: Courses are certified to the VA by the start and end dates for each course (including final exams). If you are certified in several terms (such as an overlapping six week, eight week, 12-week and 16-week session), each term length is certified individually and payment is resolved by the VA.  For instance, if you enroll in nine hours for the regular fall term as an undergraduate, and then enroll in three hours for a second eight-week session, the VA will not consider you full-time until the second eight-week session begins when you are enrolled in 12 hours, which is considered full-time.

Q. Can I take a course at another school and still receive benefits?

A: Yes, as long as that course will fulfill a degree requirement for your degree at The University of Texas at Dallas. Our office will need to send your other school a Parent Institution Letter.  In order to do so, you must submit a copy of your registration summary as well as the contact information at your secondary school who should receive the letter.  You can submit these via email to veteransbenefits@utdallas.edu.

Q. I want to change my major. What do I need to do in regards to my VA benefits?

Once you have officially changed your major, you must submit the new academic degree plan to our office. You may do so via email to veteransbenefits@utdallas.edu, fax (972-883-2947) or by dropping it off at the front desk located on the first floor of the Student Services Building.

Q. Do I need to request certification each term I wish to use benefits?

A: Yes.  You must fill out the online certification form.  Instructions on how to do so can be found here.  Please note the priority deadlines for each term.  Although we continue to process certification requests received after these deadlines, we cannot guarantee the certification will be submitted to the VA before your posted payment deadline.

Q. How can I found out how many months of remaining benefits I have?

A: You may contact the Department of Veterans Affairs (888-GIBILL-1).  If you are using Chapter 33 (Post 9/11), you may also use the ebenefits website.

Q. Am I eligible to transfer my federal VA benefits to my dependent and/or spouse?

A: Contact the Department of Veterans Affairs to fill out the appropriate paperwork, 888-GIBILL-1 (888-442-4551). Only Chapter 33 Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits are eligible for transfer and the veteran must have been a member of the Armed Forces on Aug. 1, 2009. Typically, the veteran must also have transferred the benefits while he/she was still on active duty.  There are additional requirements to qualify, so make sure to ask the VA regarding their policies.

Q. Can I use Hazlewood benefits with my VA educational benefits?

A: It depends.  If you are receiving Post 9/11 (Chapter 33) benefits at 100 percent or using Chapter 31 (Vocational Rehabilitation), you are not eligible to use Hazlewood benefits simultaneously.  However, you can typically apply for the Hazlewood Exemption if you are using any other type of federal VA educational benefit. 

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