VA Benefits FAQ's

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VA Benefits FAQ's

What am I eligible for?

To be eligible for Veterans Administration (VA) education benefits, you must fall into a category referred to as a “Chapter.” You may be eligible for more than one education benefit but cannot receive payment for more than one benefit at a time. See GI Bill Education Benefits to determine which chapter is appropriate for you. You should contact the VA to discuss your education plans if you are eligible for multiple benefits.

How do I pick a major/program of study?

The VA requires that you declare a major to receive VA education benefits. You can change your major in the future if necessary. If you are undecided as to a major, you have the following option :

You can select a major based on your current interests. This usually means selecting a major that gives you knowledge/skills in the occupational field in which you hope to become employed.

How do I enroll in classes?

You can register for classes online via your Banner account. Registration for new students takes place during New Student Orientation.

• Enroll ONLY in classes that meet your education goal.
• Refer to the Spelman Course Sequence Booklet to guide your course selection.
• The VA will not pay for courses not required for graduation.

Do I renew my benefits each semester?

In short, yes! It is your responsibility to notify the Spelman VA Certifying Official before or at the beginning of each semester you wish to receive benefits. As a courtesy, at the end of each term, all VA students will receive an email requesting to recertify and confirm that they are using their VA benefits for the upcoming term.

How much money will I receive from my VA education benefits?

Please view the payment rates on the Veterans Affairs website.

Do I have to be attending school full-time to get benefits?

No, when your enrollment is certified, the number of credits you are taking is reported to the VA and paid at the rate you are entitled to.

* Note that if you are enrolled for less than six credits, you will receive tuition only.

What is the VA's turnaround time for payment?

Payment takes about 24 days from the time your enrollment is certified.

Can my VA education benefit payments be suspended for any reason?

Yes, if you are placed on academic probation for three semesters, your VA education benefits will be suspended.

Do I have to pay back the VA if I fail a class?

If you fail a class, the VA Certifying Official will contact you and your instructor to document your last date of attendance for the class. As long as you attended class for the entire semester, you will not have to pay the VA back. The following can result in an overpayment by the VA and require you to owe money back:

  • Getting a ‘W’ grade (withdrawing from a class)
  • Getting an ‘I’ (incomplete) grade
  • Registering for but not attending a class

My payment is late; is my claim ok?

If you have turned in the required veteran’s paperwork to the VA Certifying Official and it is your first semester, the delay is likely due to the backlog at the beginning of each semester. You can call the VA to check the status of your claim.

What is the VA's phone number?

1-888-442-4551: When you hear the automated system answer, dial 1, then 0.

I cannot get through to the VA; what should I do?

The VA often has high call volume times. Try again or try calling in the mornings.

What should I do if I change my address?

You can call the VA directly or change your address under the “Contact Us” section on the VA website. You also need to update your address in Banner.

When will my enrollment be certified?

For new first-time students, your enrollment will be submitted after New Student Orientation and after our add/drop period (the last day to withdraw from courses).

For continuing students, your initial enrollment will be submitted one month before the start of classes as long as you are registered. Final enrollments will be certified after the add/drop period (the last day to withdraw from courses).

Am I responsible for paying the required deposit and balances shown on my account before VA funds are received?

For most VA benefits, students will utilize financial aid or the payment plan to pay towards the required deposit/balance since VA payments will not occur until after the semester has begun. Once you begin receiving VA payments, you can use the funds to pay towards any balance owed at that time. The only exception is for Post 9/11, GI Bill Chapter 33 students in which funds are guaranteed by the VA to be sent directly to the school.

Are there scholarships available to veteran students?

While we do not have veteran-specific scholarships, our scholarship coordinator is Rosa McQuay ( Please note that tuition-driven scholarships are deducted from the amount that the VA will pay for Post 9/11 GI Bill (Chapter 33) students.

Do I have to submit my documents every semester?

The COE and VA submission form only has to be submitted once unless benefits have been adjusted. Each term, all VA students will receive an email requesting to recertify and confirm their intentions to use their VA benefits for the next term.

Does the VA pay for summer and winter semester courses?

Currently, the VA pays for traditional terms (Fall and Spring) and not special terms (Summer and Winter semesters), as special terms are not listed in our school bulletin; hence, the State Approving Agency will not approve terms that are not included.