GI Bill Military Education Benefits FAQ
How do I use my GI Bill education benefits at DU?
If you have never used your education benefits before, you will need to apply for benefits with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). If you have used your benefits at another school, you will need to submit a Request for Change of Program or Place of Training form (VA Form 22-1995). The VA may also allow you to transfer benefits to a qualified family member, who must then apply to use them. Once you have been approved for benefits, the VA will mail you a Certificate of Eligibility (COE), usually within four to six weeks.
Once you have been approved for benefits and received your COE you will need to submit it to us via email at VACertify@du.edu. You may also download and send us a copy of your Statement of Benefits to serve as a placeholder until you receive your COE. Additionally, you will need to complete and submit the Intent to Use Veteran Benefits Information Sheet. Make sure you include your full Social Security number, the term/year you intend to start using your benefits, and your anticipated term/year of graduation. The VA File Number is for CH 35 dependents only and matches the Social Security number of the service member who earned the benefit.
Once we receive your COE (or Statement of Benefits) and your Intent form, approximately 30 days before the start of the term we will certify you for your enrollment credits only. This will prompt the VA to send you your book and housing stipends at the appropriate times if you qualify to receive them. Then, for Chapter 33 beneficiaries, about three weeks after the start of the term we will submit a second certification for your tuition and fees.
I qualify for Yellow Ribbon benefits. How do I apply to use them and how much do I get?
There is no application needed for Yellow Ribbon. If you qualify, Yellow Ribbon benefits are applied automatically once you reach the annual tuition cap set by the VA. To qualify for Yellow Ribbon, you must have Chapter 33 benefits available to use and 100% eligibility. The amount of Yellow Ribbon funding received varies depending on your program.
- All Undergraduate students eligible for Yellow Ribbon are eligible for unlimited funding.
- Graduate students in Daniels College of Business, Graduate School of Social Work, Josef Korbel School of International Studies, University College, the Graduate School of Professional Psychology and Sturm College of Law are eligible for unlimited Yellow Ribbon funding.
- Graduate students at Morgridge College of Education are eligible for a total of $11,000 in Yellow Ribbon funding.
- All other graduate students are eligible for $10,000 in Yellow Ribbon funding.
I have Chapter 35 (DEA) benefits. How much do I get and how is it paid?
Chapter 35 benefits are paid directly to the student and are meant to assist with the cost of education, not pay for it completely. Payments are based on your enrollment credits. Please visit the Education and Training page and scroll down to the rate table for Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance Program (DEA/Chapter 35) to determine your payment.
How much is my book stipend and how will I receive it?
Full-time CH 33 (100% eligibility) and Fry Scholarship students receive $1000 each year for books. Students with less than 100% eligibility and those attending less than full-time will receive a prorated amount. Funds are typically disbursed after the start of the term, so plan to pay for your books up front and be reimbursed when VA makes their payment. They are deposited into the same account used for your BAH/MHA stipends. Book stipends are paid out by the VA each academic quarter, so if you have questions regarding your eligibility or payment, call the VA at (888)442-4551.
What’s the difference between BAH and MHA? How is it calculated?
BAH is a housing benefit provided by the DoD and is for active-duty service members, whereas MHA is a benefit provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs. MHA is for veterans, dependents, and National Guard and Reserves service members. Both use the same BAH rate tables, but eligibility and calculations differ. Only students registered for more than half-time qualify for housing. Full-time for undergraduates is 12 credits per quarter. Full-time for graduate students is 8 credits per quarter. Additionally, VA will only pay housing for the dates you are in class. Online-only courses qualify for ½ of the national average housing rate. Classroom, hybrid courses, internships, externships, and independent study courses qualify for the housing rate based on DU’s zip code.
- To calculate your BAH click here. To calculate your MHA click here. The calculations are estimates only and assume at least 36 months of active-duty service. Service lengths of less than 36 months will reduce the percentage of maximum benefit payable. Please call the VA at (888)442-4551 for specifics on your particular payment eligibility.
- BAH and MHA are managed and distributed by the VA. If you have questions regarding eligibility or payment, call them at (888)442-4551.
My graduate program requires an in-person immersion experience. Will my GI Bill benefits pay for that?
No, the VA will not pay for any experiential/immersion learning fees. This is because those fees contain costs for food and lodging, which are items that the VA will not cover. You will be responsible for paying those fees yourself.
Can I use my GI Bill benefits to earn non-credit professional certificates at DU?
No, students must be pursuing either an undergraduate degree, graduate certificate, or graduate degree at DU. Benefits cannot be used for Boot Camps or any other non-credit certificates.
What happens if I drop a class?
That depends on several factors, so please email VACertify@du.edu for the best answer for your situation.
I have less than 100% eligibility. How does that affect my tuition payments?
Students whose eligibility rate is less than 100% are subject to tuition caps based on their percentage. Each quarter the VA will pay your percentage and you are responsible for paying the remainder. Once you have reached the tuition cap for your percentage the VA will not make any more payments and you will be responsible for the full cost of your tuition and fees for the remainder of the academic year. Caps for less than 100% eligibility rates for the 2023-2024 academic year are as follows:
- 90% Eligibility = $24,408.05
- 80% Eligibility = $21,696.04
- 70% Eligibility = $18,984.04
- 60% Eligibility = $16,272.03
- 50% Eligibility = $13,560.03
- 40% Eligibility = $10,848.02
The VA requires that all tuition-based funding, such as private scholarships, institutional scholarships, grants, federal tuition assistance, and employer assistance be deducted before billing them for the final tuition and fees each quarter. This means that any aid mentioned above cannot be used to bridge the gap between the student’s charges and what the VA pays. Students with less than 100% eligibility will have an out-of-pocket balance due each quarter.
I am Chapter 33 and I received a letter/notification from the VA that says my tuition and fees were not submitted for certification. What’s going on?
Most likely the reason is that we simply have not submitted them yet. The certification process is completed in two steps. The first step is to certify for enrollment credits only. This is typically done 30 days before the start of each term and ensures that your book and housing stipends are sent at the appropriate times if you qualify to receive them. The second step of the certification process occurs approximately three weeks after the start of the term when we certify your tuition and fees.
If I withdraw from DU and want to return, how does that work with my GI Bill?
Undergraduate students who withdraw from the University of Denver retain the ability to re-enroll for five calendar years. Graduate students seeking readmission after withdrawal should consult the graduate bulletin as well as their graduate program regarding time limits for completion of their degree. Please visit the Steps for Withdrawing from the University page for detailed information on the withdrawal process. As far as what the VA Certify office needs from you, please email VACertify@du.edu an updated COE or Statement of Benefits and complete and submit a new Intent to Use Veteran Benefits form before your return. Once we receive those documents we can set you up in our system to be certified each quarter through your expected graduation date as long as you have benefits to use.
Can I transfer my Chapter 33 benefits to my spouse or child?
That depends. You may be able to transfer your Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits if you’re on active duty or in the Selected Reserve and you meet all requirements.
All of these must be true:
- You've completed at least 6 years of service on the date your request is approved, and
- You agree to add 4 more years of service, and
- The person getting benefits has enrolled in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS).
Please visit the Transfer Your Post-9/11 GI Bill Benefits page for more details