Common Benefits Questions
I am a Post-9/11 GI Bill® recipient. How much Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) will I receive?
Please contact the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs at (888) 442-4551 or use the GI Bill® Comparison Tool to find out how much you will receive in Basic Housing Allowance. The VA pays BAH based on the location where you complete the majority of your classes and only the VA can determine your eligibility. Note that BAH is paid only to Post-9/11 GI Bill® recipients. Additionally, active duty servicemembers and spouses of active duty servicemembers using transferred benefits are not eligible for BAH.
I am a Post-9/11 GI Bill® recipient. Will I receive BAH if I am not a full-time student?
You will receive less BAH if you are not enrolled full-time. Additionally, you must be enrolled more than half-time to receive any BAH at all. Note that BAH is paid only to Post-9/11 GI Bill® recipients.
I am a Post-9/11 GI Bill® recipient, and I am also receiving federal, state, or institutional financial aid (i.e., Pell Grant, APU Support Grant, student loans, etc.). Can I receive a refund from this additional aid?
Yes, refunds are available for various financial aid awards. When the financial aid award disburses into your student account, it will be applied toward your outstanding balance. If your financial aid exceeds your outstanding balance, you can request a refund of the excess. After the VA has sent the tuition payment to APU, you can then request a refund for the remaining financial aid funds that were originally applied to your balance.
To request a refund, contact the appropriate area to begin the process:
- Traditional undergraduate students: Email your Student Account Specialist in the Student Services Center.
- Graduate and professional students: Email your Student Account Specialist in the Student Services Center (SSC) at email@example.com.
Do I have to pay the VA back?
There are instances in which you may incur a debt to the VA. This typically occurs when you drop a course after the add/drop date, or if you receive a “W” in a course.
Do I have to submit a Certification Request Form every semester?
Yes, you must submit a Certification Request Form for every semester that you wish to use your education benefits. Use the appropriate form below:
When should I submit my Certification Request Form?
You should submit a Certification Request Form after you have enrolled in courses for that term. APU cannot certify you for courses that you plan to take; we can only certify you for courses you are enrolled in. It is in your best interest to submit your Certification Request Form as soon as possible after you have enrolled in courses.
What can I expect when I submit a Certification Request Form?
When you submit a Certification Request Form online, you can expect to receive a confirmation reply via email within 48 hours. Once your certification has been processed, you will receive an automated email from VA-ONCE, which is the system we use to submit your certification to the VA. If for any reason we cannot move forward with your request, you will receive an email explaining what we need from you in order to move forward. It is important that you check your APU email regularly.
I've added or dropped a course. What should I do?
If you make a change to your enrollment, you must notify us right away by submitting an Add/Drop Form.
Can I be certified for courses that do not apply to my degree program?
No. The VA will pay benefits only for courses that apply to the student’s degree program. The only exception to this is during a student’s last enrollment period if the student does not have enough required courses left to take in order to reach full-time enrollment. In this situation, the student can enroll in additional, nonrequired courses in order to reach (but not exceed) full-time enrollment status—this is called “rounding out.” Note that this can be done only during the last enrollment period. The VA defines an enrollment period as an individual set of dates. Therefore, students enrolled in multiple sessions within a semester (e.g., Fall 1 and Fall 2) can round out only in one session or the other (whichever one in which they’ll complete the last remaining required courses).
Additionally, the VA allows students to utilize the Rounding Out policy only if the classes used to round out are classes that could have been used to satisfy graduation requirements specific to a student’s program of study. Classes that have been previously completed cannot be used to round out the student’s course load.
For example: a student pursuing a degree in political science may be required to take one of three potential courses in government as a graduation requirement: GOV 101, GOV 201, or GOV 301. Let's say the student decides to meet the graduation requirement by taking GOV 101. Later on, if the student does not have enough graduation requirements left to meet full-time enrollment during the last term of enrollment before completing the program, then the student can round out by taking GOV 201 or GOV 301. The VA will allow the student to take those additional government courses because they are included in the student’s program of education. If the student chooses a course outside of their program of study to round out, we will not be able to certify it for full-time enrollment.
I am a Chapter 1606, 30, or 35 recipient. Will the VA send a tuition payment directly to the university?
No, these VA entitlements do not send payment to the university directly. Instead, you will receive a monthly stipend sent directly to you. Note that, while you can use your stipend to help pay your tuition and fees, the amount of the stipend is typically not enough to pay your entire balance.
I am unsure which VA benefit I should apply for. What do I do?
To obtain more information about the various VA entitlements and see what you may qualify for, please call the VA’s education hotline at (888) 442-4551.
How do I apply for VA education benefits?
Visit vets.gov/education to apply for VA education benefits.
Can your office tell me if I am eligible to receive benefits or how much I have left?
Unfortunately, we do not have access to VA records and are, therefore, unable to verify whether you are eligible for benefits or how much entitlement you have remaining. To obtain this information, please call the VA’s education hotline at (888) 442-4551.
After I apply for VA education benefits, how long will it take for the VA to send me a Certificate of Eligibility, and do you really need it?
After you apply, it can take up to 30 days for the VA to process your application and send you your Certificate of Eligibility. Our office needs a copy of this form from you, because it contains information we need to reference when we submit your enrollment certification to the VA. Without a copy of this letter, we are unable to complete your certification correctly.
I am a Post-9/11 GI Bill® recipient and I received a letter from the VA that states that my certification was submitted with $0 in tuition. What does this mean?
Post-9/11 GI Bill® certifications are originally submitted with a tuition amount of $0. After the add/drop deadline, once tuition has been finalized, we will edit your certification to reflect the actual amount of tuition charged so the VA can send its contribution.
I am a Post-9/11 GI Bill® recipient. Do I qualify for Yellow Ribbon?
To qualify for Yellow Ribbon, you must be a Post-9/11 GI Bill® recipient at the 100% eligibility level as determined by the VA. Additionally, active duty servicemembers and spouses of active duty servicemembers using transferred benefits are not eligible for Yellow Ribbon.
I am a Post-9/11 GI Bill® recipient at the 100% rating and eligible for Yellow Ribbon. Why do I still owe a balance to the university?
There are some charges that are not covered by the Post-9/11 GI Bill® or Yellow Ribbon. Any non-mandatory fees charged to your student account cannot be paid for by the Post-9/11 GI Bill® or Yellow Ribbon. These include parking permit, vehicle fines, housing, and dining plans, to name a few.
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 https://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill.