General Rules & Information
Award (Benefit) Letter
The award letter is the official written notice from the VA advising you of your monthly rate of payment, inclusive dates of payment, and remaining entitlement at the end of the award period. The VA will send you an award letter whenever they award or change your education benefit. Always save your letter.
Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH)
If you receive Post-9/11 (chapter 33) benefits, you may qualify for housing allowance if your rate of pursuit is greater than 50%. You do not qualify if you or your spouse who transferred benefits to you are serving on active duty. BAH is based on military housing allowance for E5 with dependents for the institution zip code 59701. It is paid at your eligibility rate.
**Effective August 1, 2011: BAH is prorated based upon your rate of pursuit rounded to the nearest tenth. If you change your registration during the semester after we certify you, and that change results in a change in rate of pursuit, your BAH will be decreased or increased accordingly. If the rate of pursuit is lower than originally certified, the VA may assess an overpayment.
Book and Supply Stipend
You may receive an annual book stipend of up to $1,000. This stipend will be paid at the beginning of each term. It is paid proportionately based on the number of credits taken by each student at $41 per credit hour.
Effective August 1, 2011: Break or interval pay is no longer payable under any VA education benefit program.
Certificate of Eligibility (CoE)
After the VA approves your application, they send you a CoE confirming your eligibility. Please bring us a copy for our files. Keep a copy for your files.
Certification and licensing tests
You may be entitled to receive reimbursement for the cost of licensing or certification tests approved by the VA. The VA pays only for the cost of the test, up to $2,000, but not other fees connected with obtaining a license or certification. For further information, http://gibill.va.gov/resources/education_resources/programs/licensing_and_certification.html.
Change in registration/student Status
If your classes have been certified for educational benefits and you change your enrollment or if you add or drop a class, we will review your classes to verify that those classes are still eligible for educational benefits. If it results in a change in status for VA purposes, we will report that change with the effective date of that change to the VA. They may determine that they have overpaid your benefits for that semester and request repayment. If you receive BAH, that change may also result in a lower BAH rate. You must contact the SCO in MG 207 if you make any changes.
Change of program (degree and/or major)
Any change in degree or program will be reported to the VA effective the date of the change. If you receive BAH, that change may also result in a lower BAH rate. If that change results in a reduction of status, the VA may assess an overpayment which you must repay.
You may receive benefits while attending more than one institution during a semester, provided the classes taken at the secondary institution are required for your current degree plan, and those classes will transfer back and meet degree requirements.
DD214: Veterans must submit a copy of the DD214/member 4 showing the type of discharge to the SCO.
When elective coursework is not specified in the degree plan, the SCO will verify that the course is an approved elective and will count toward completion of your degree.
Refers to the number of months of full-time benefits you can receive. The VA determines your entitlement.
If you are admitted to a graduate program and are required to take lower division courses, your graduate advisor must identifying the classes by course number and title, and explaining why you are required to take the course(s) in question and submit by email to the SCO.
If your branch of service offered you a kicker (e.g., MGIB-AD College Fund, MGIBSR kicker, National Guard College Fund) as part of your enlistment or reenlistment contract, it will add additional money to your VA payment.
Effective August 1, 2011: Kickers may be paid to recipients of MGIB-AD and MGIB-SR on a monthly basis instead of a lump sum, even if you are attending school at half-time or less. If you do not receive the benefit to which you believe you are entitled, contact the VA Regional Office.
Make sure your classes count
Only those classes that apply toward completion of your current degree program(s) are certified for VA education benefits
Undergraduate students must submit AARTS, CCAF, CGI or SMART transcripts to the Office Enrollment Services for evaluation.
If you are called to active duty after the semester has begun, we will report the date of your withdrawal based on the date of your withdrawal paperwork is submitted. Provide our SCO with a copy of your orders calling you to active duty for our file.
We will certify classes for the minor as declared in your college. If your minor is optional, then classes pertaining to your minor will be certified only if they satisfy other degree requirements.
National Testing Program allows the VA to reimburse claimants for the fee charged for:
National tests for admission to institutions of higher leading, e.g., SAT, GRE, GMAT, LSAT, etc., and
National tests providing an opportunity for course credit at institutions of higher learning,e.g., CLEP.
*If you receive Post-9/11 GI Bill, you may use this benefit beginning August 1, 2011. See http://gibill.va.gov/resources/education_resources/programs/national_testing_program.html for further information.
Notify your school certifying official of important changes
You are responsible for notifying your school certifying official regarding a change in major or minor, change of address, phone number, e-mail address, change in your classes and change to your registration status.
Remedial online courses will not be certified.
***Effective October 1, 2011: Those enrolled solely in distance or online training will be entitled to 1/2 the national average BAH rate of $1,347.00 monthly (or $673.50 monthly).
Period of Enrollment
Most classes are certified according to the standard semester dates published in the academic calendar. Generally, the period of enrollment begins with the first day of class and ends with the last day of finals. If you enroll in a course which begins and ends on dates other than the standard dates, that course will be certified separately using the meeting (non-standard) dates shown in the online course schedule. This may affect your status for VA purposes, and your monthly benefits may therefore vary.
Physical Education courses
Most degree plans do not require HPER courses. If HPER courses count toward the degree, we will include them in your certification.
You may receive educational benefits for required prerequisite coursework.
Program of study
We will certify classes according to the degree requirements stated in your catalog.
Request for Certification
You must fill out a Request for Certification every semester that you wish to be certified to the VA. This form must be completed after you have registered for your classes for the semester for which you are requesting benefits. If you fail to fill out the request your benefits may be delayed.
Rate of pursuit
Pertains to Post-9/11 GI Bill only. It is the measurement obtained by dividing the number of credit hours or equivalent credit hours we certify to the VA by the minimum number of credit hours considered to be full-time training by the institution. The resulting percentage (rounded to the nearest hundredth) will be your rate of pursuit not to exceed 100%. The VA will consider any rate of pursuit higher than 50% to be more than half time.
****Effective August 1, 2011: Monthly housing allowance benefits are prorated based upon rate of pursuit, rounded to the nearest tenth.
If you repeat a required course because you did not meet minimum grade requirements as stated in the catalog, that course can be certified. If you received a passing grade (C- or above) we cannot recertify that course.
Tuition and required fees
Tuition and required fees are reported on your certification to the VA if you are on active duty, your certification status is less than half time, or you receive benefits under the Post-9/11 GI Bill.
We report the tuition corresponding to the number of hours we certify. If you receive Federal, State, institutional or employer-based aid or assistance (excluding loans and title IV funds) that is paid directly to MT Tech and specifically designated for the sole purpose of defraying tuition and fees, those amounts will be deducted from the tuition we report to the VA.
Tuition assistance (TA) is a Department of Defense (DOD) program. TA is not administered by VA. TA rules vary by branch of service and can even vary between units depending on whether the unit is active, reserve, or National Guard. If you use the Post-9/11 GI Bill, we are required to reduce the tuition amount we report to the VA by the amount you receive in TA. Please refer any questions regarding TA to your unit education representative. Direct any questions regarding tuition and fees to the Business Office in MG 207.
Tuition Assistance Top-up
Top Up is an MGIB-AD benefit administered by the VA, and is paid in tandem with tuition assistance. It pays the difference between what tuition assistance pays and the cost of the class, not to exceed the total cost. It may be deducted from your MGIB-AD entitlement. To qualify, you must be a serviceperson eligible for MGIB-AD and approved for tuition assistance. You must apply directly to the VA for Top-up. See http://gibill.va.gov/documents/pamphlets/tuition-assistance-top-up.pdf.
Verify attendance to the VA
(MGIB-AD, MGIB-SR, or REAP only) You must verify your attendance to the VA on or after the last calendar day of each month before the VA will pay you for the preceding month. You may verify your enrollment by phone at 1-877-823-2378, or through the Web Automated Verification of Enrollment (WAVE) at https://www.gibill.va.gov/wave/index.do. It is your responsibility to verify any changes in enrollment status. If you have questions about the enrollment information reported to the VA, contact your SCO.
You may be eligible for an additional allowance under a work study program. Under the program, you perform veteran-related work and are paid an hourly wage. You must be enrolled at three-quarter status or more in order to participate in this program. Payment will be at the federal or state minimum wage, whichever is greater, and is nontaxable.
Yellow Ribbon Program
MT Tech is participating in the Yellow Ribbon program. It is awarded students on a first-come first-served basis. To apply for this benefit please contact the SCO in MG 207.