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Stage 3: Advisement: Degree Review & Course Planning

So you have your academic evaluation in-hand, great! Now what? The next recommend step is scheduling an academic advising appointment. This critical step will not only help you get oriented with your degree, but will also enable you to plan future VA-approved courses, both from Thomas Edison State University and other institutions, so that you can then see exactly where they will apply on your degree.

This step is not only critical, it is necessary, as the VA wants the University to ensure that any courses reported for benefits actually apply to your degree.

The Parent Letter: Transfer Courses
While you are planning your Thomas Edison State University courses with an academic advisor, you may also want to add courses that you plan to take at a local college, to later transfer into your degree. One of the most common reasons to do this is to maximize your housing benefit under the Post-9/11 GI Bill, as the VA only pays 50% of a nationalized rate if you are pursing only online courses exclusively.

Generally students will chose to maximize this benefit by registering for six credits with Thomas Edison State University, and three credits with a local institution. This meets the 7-credit or greater requirement to receive full-time benefits, and since at least once of these courses is a local "on-campus" course, the Veteran will receive the full housing allowance, based on the location of the local college.

Each college is responsible for submitting their own registration information to the VA. The VA will then collect this information, and process the appropriate benefit. This means that while we will certify your TESU registrations to the VA on your behalf, your local college will be responsible for submitting their registration information.

The only way they can do this while ensuring that the courses-in-question apply to your degree at Thomas Edison State University is by receiving a signed parent letter, explained in greater detail in step 4, given submitting the actual request happens only when you are ready to register.

Next, Stage 4: Registration »