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GI Bill® FAQs

GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government website at www.benefits.va.gov/gibill.

To be eligible for benefits, the student must maintain a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.0 (C) to meet the minimum standard for satisfactory academic performance. In addition, the student must complete 66 percent of all courses attempted. Satisfactory academic progress will be monitored at the end of each academic term. If a student’s cumulative average falls below 2.0 (C) or does not meet the 66 percent criteria, the student will not be maintaining satisfactory academic performance. Students will be notified in writing if they fail to comply with this policy. There is also a maximum number of credit hours for which you can receive VA educational benefits. Sixty credits are required to earn an associate degree. The student may only attempt 90 credit hours toward an associate degree program. For a bachelor’s degree program (120 credit hours required), the maximum attempted credit hours that may be accumulated is 180. All credit hours attempted, are counted toward the maximum amount allowed in the degree program. If you exceed the maximum number of credits attempted in a degree program, you will not be eligible for further benefits. This limit includes credits you have transferred in toward your degree program.

Students not making Satisfactory Academic Progress will be placed on probation for the next semester. Benefits will be processed for that semester to give the student an opportunity to regain satisfactory progress as determined by Thomas Edison State University policy.

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Chapter 30/1606 - Montgomery GI Bill/Selected-Reserve

Students currently receiving an entitlement under the older Montgomery GI Bill or the Selected-Reserve component are required to certify their enrollment every 30 days, either through the VA’s automated verification line at 877-823-2378 or via the Web Automated Verification of Enrollment site (WAVE).

Chapter 33 - Post-9/11 GI Bill

Starting in December 2021, students receiving a Monthly Housing Allowance (MHA) through the Post-9/11 GI Bill will be required to certify their enrollment on a monthly basis. Verifying enrollment under Chapter 33 will differ, in that students have the option to either verify by calling the VA’s Education Call Center (ECC) at 888-442-4551 or verify by text, using the VA’s "Opt-In" feature.

Verifying attendance via text message should be as simple as providing the VA with your cell phone number and then responding to an automated VA inquiry which is automatically sent to the student at the appropriate time. It is critical to note that if a student fails to verify attendance for two consecutive months, the VA will withhold MHA and require that a manual verification be made by contacting the ECC.

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Students who do not maintain satisfactory academic progress after the probation period will be denied additional benefits. If, because of mitigating circumstances, a student falls below the required standards, he/she may appeal by explaining the circumstance to the Appeals Committee within 30 days of notification concerning their below standard performance. All appeals should be in writing and forwarded to:

Financial Aid and Veteran Affairs Appeals Committee
Thomas Edison State University
111 W. State St.
Trenton, NJ 08608-1176

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After the University receives your electronic authorization, you will receive a confirmation from one of our team, indicating that your account has been updated. If you have not already done so, you are highly encouraged to schedule an appointment with an academic advisor, in order to discuss and plan your academic goals. Once this step has been accomplished, you should then be able register for courses via the Online Student Services portal.

Additionally, we now have a digital voucher system, exclusive to VR&E, for books purchased through our primary book supplier. When ready to order books, we ask that you please provide a screenshot of your shopping cart to the team member who provided the initial confirmation of benefits. The screenshot should include shipping and taxes, which may require you to work through the process, up to the last step, prior to checkout.

Please note that this voucher is limited to required materials only, and only works through our primary book supplier. Any other items from other suppliers, such as labs or supplies, will require coordination with the Veteran Readiness Counselor (VRC), for possible coverage or reimbursement.

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You must fill out a “Request for Change of Place of Training” (VA Form 22-1995) which can be found through the GI Bill website and selecting the “eBenefits” link to access the VONAPP interface.

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Students who are registered for, or progressing through, their final nine credits for degree completion may submit the Request for Graduation form. Learn more about graduation. Please note that the graduation audit fee is only covered under Chapter 33, Post-9/11 GI Bill or Chapter 31, Veteran's Vocational Rehabilitation. All students under any other chapter are responsible for ensuring the appropriate fees are paid.

Although the graduation audit fee is covered for students using Chapter 31 and 33 benefits it is highly recommended that students pay the graduation audit fee at the time of application to avoid potential delays with processing. Students will be reimbursed after the University receives the graduation audit fee money from the VA.

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The VA calculates the amount of monetary entitlement based on the amount of credits taken during a standard semester, defined by the VA as 15–18 weeks in length.

Standard semester calculation (15–18 weeks):

3 credits per semester is less than half-time
6 credits per semester is half-time
7 credits per semester is more than half-time
12 credits per semester is full-time

Undergraduate semesters at Thomas Edison State University run 12 weeks: shorter than a standard semester. Therefore, the following formula can be used to determine the entitlement eligibility for courses taken at TESU:

18 x the number of credits taken, divided by the length of the semester, measured in weeks.

Example: You have registered for three, 3-credit courses, for a total of 9 credits online, which run for 12 weeks.
18 X 9 (credits) = 162. Divide 162 by 12 (weeks), equals 13.5 (credit hours).

Using the above example, the VA would consider 9 undergraduate credit hours at TESU to be equivalent to 13.5 credits, or full-time attendance for that semester.

Since the University’s graduate semester length is also shorter than the standard graduate semester, defined by the VA as being 15–19 weeks in length, Thomas Edison State University utilizes what the VA calls a Full-time Modifier (FTM). Therefore a similar calculation is applied, in order to determine the graduate rate of pursuit. The two key differences in this calculation are a maximum length of 19 weeks (vs. 18) and a full-time standard course load of 6 credits (vs. 12). As with the undergraduate program, a shorter semester leads to a greater equivalency, when utilizing VA benefits.

Example VA graduate semester calculation (sorted by length):

12 Week Semester

  • 3 credits per semester should be greater than half-time
  • 6 credits per semester should be full-time

8 Week Semester

  • 3 credits per semester should be full-time
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Thomas Edison does not calculate the monthly benefits for our VA students. We recommend contacting the VA directly or visiting this link on the GI Bill website for more information.

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No, in order to use Chapter 33 Post 9/11 you must take at least 1 course at a minimum of 1 credit at TESU to have a certification processed.

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Yes, if the courses fit into your degree plan and are approved by an Academic Advisor at TESU. We can then provide a Parent Letter to the school where you would like to take the courses. Please find the Parent Letter form in the Required Forms section of Operation Vet Success and complete all sections of the form and email to coe@tesu.edu.

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If you drop or withdraw from courses, you must notify the Veterans Administration (VA) and the Office of Military and Veteran Education at Thomas Edison State University and/or the veterans’ coordinator at the college/university where courses were taken. The law prohibits payment of veterans’ benefits for a course from which a student withdraws.
PLEASE NOTE: For students using Chapter 33 Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits, withdrawing from a course could cause a recoupment of your housing allowance (BAH)
 

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Buffalo Regional VA Office
PO Box 4616
Buffalo, NY 14240-4616
ATTN: Education Unit

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Chapter 33 Post 9/11 GI Bill and Chapter 31 VA Voc Rehab certifications are processed prior to the first day of the term for the number of credits only. This allows the VA to process book and housing payments where applicable. An amended certification is processed at the end of the first month to include Tuition and Fees so the University receives payment for the courses per the VA policy.

All other chapters (30, 32, 35, 1606, and 1607) are processed during the first month of the term, which typically starts after the add/drop period.  Students are still required to verify enrollment via the GI Bill WAVE website or by Telephone verification at (877) 823-2378.

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The student is expected to purchase books prior to the term start date. Certifications are processed approximately 1 week prior to the term start; at that time the book stipend will be processed by the VA and the payment will be received by the student approximately 2-3 weeks into the term. The book stipend is capped at $1,000.00 per year and the funds are prorated based on the number of credits the student is enrolled in.

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The VA will send your benefits to you after receipt of your enrollment certification and your eligibility has been established. Tuition and fees for all courses must be paid at the time of registration (with the exception of individuals in the Chapter 33 full benefit/100% eligibility tier). If you are eligible for educational benefits, the Veterans Administration (VA) will mail a check to you after the semester has begun.

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