How to Use Your VA Educational Benefits
Utilizing VA benefits at Thomas Edison State University is a two-step process, which requires (1) activation of VA benefits, and (2) application of VA benefits. More information on which VA benefit programs are available for Veterans is available through the VA website.
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- Determine your VA benefits program
This is important because only two VA chapters pay for tuition up-front: the Post-9/11 GI Bill, and the Vocational Rehabilitation Program. Every other chapter reimburses tuition, which can affect your choices when applying for financial aid.
- Apply for your VA benefits
The best way to apply for your VA benefits is through the VA's Veterans Online Application (VONAPP). Once submitted, the VA will send the application to the appropriate regional office for processing, and if approved, the VA will activate your benefits and provide a Certificate of Eligibility (COE), verifying the details of your benefits, such as length of benefit and delimiting dates, if applicable.
Vocational Rehabilitation Program
Speak to your VA Counselor about changing schools
This step is critical, as VA counselors are not only directly responsible for payment of tuition, but will also discuss educational goals related to a change of school. Once the change is agreed upon, the counselor will then generate a signed VA Form 28-1905 to provide to the University.
All Other VA Programs
Submit a Change of Institution Application
Submitting a 22-1995 through VONAPP will notify the VA that you wish to change your home (degree-seeking) institution to Thomas Edison State University (formerly Thomas Edison State College), upon which they will then provide you with an updated Certificate of Eligibility (COE).
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- Complete the Veterans Benefit Information Sheet (VBIS).
This form expands on the information provided by your 28-1905, which will enable the University to accurately update your account to reflect VA Benefits.
- Submit the VBIS and signed VA Form 28-1905.
If your VA counselor already submitted the 28-1905 on your behalf, then we ask that you simply submit the VBIS alone, as we will then ensure that both the 28-1905 and VBIS are appropriately processed on your behalf.
- Complete the Veterans Benefit Information Sheet (VBIS)
This form expands on the information provided by your Certificate of Eligibility (COE), which will enable the University to accurately update your account to reflect VA Benefits.
- Submit your VA Documentation
This should include your VA COE and the completed VBIS. The date on the COE should be no more than six months old, so as to ensure that the information on your account is as accurate as possible.
If you are unable to provide a recent COE, we can accept a screenshot of your electronic benefits statement through eBenefits or WAVE, depending on your chapter, as this will provide the most up-to-date VA information available.
You may want to consider applying for financial aid if either your benefits do not cover the cost of tuition up-front, such as with the Montgomery GI Bill, or if you know only part of the cost of tuition will be covered, for example: Post-9/11 GI Bill under the 100% benefit level.
Thomas Edison State University provides a Financial Aid Shopping Sheet, which is designed to help you estimate the cost of attending Thomas Edison State University, identify potential sources of financial aid and easily compare Thomas Edison State University with other institutions so you can make an informed decision about where to attend school.
Helpful Tips for Students Using VA Educational Benefits
Check out this recorded webinar providing insight to using your VA benefits, the VA certification process, and the various VA policies involved. Webinar content is beneficial for military and veteran students looking to maximize their VA educational benefits.
Military & Veteran Education Support