Good Day, Penn Staters!
We are encouraged to see so many students taking advantage of their VA Education Benefits this semester. Whether you are a new or continuing student, we’re here to help you get the most out of your benefits.
If you are new to working with our office, I encourage you to browse through our website and the GI Bill® Web site for more information.
Here are just a few reminders to pass on to students who will be working with the office to obtain their GI Bill® benefits:
When you are planning to visit the office, remember the following:
- Bring your PSU ID card. You will need to swipe your PSU ID for us to review your records. Our office will never need your military or Tri-care ID cards.
- Call for an appointment time. While students may walk-in to be seen without an appointment, there is no guarantee of walk-in appointment availability.
- Bring your documentation. See below for more details.
See REMINDERS FOR SELECT CHAPTER CODES, below.
Please bring the following documentation to your first office visit:
- either a copy of your Award Letter or Certificate of Eligibility from the VA, showing your benefits eligibility
- OR a copy of the application the student submitted online using VON-APP. If a copy of the application is submitted, students are required to submit their original Certificate of Eligibility to our office once they receive it from the VA. We will copy the document and return the original to the student for their personal files.
Other documentation needed by our office for new students varies by chapter code:
- Chapter 33, Post 9/11 GIBill, benefits based on your own military service: court-certified copy of discharge papers (MEMBER 4 DD214)
- Chapter 33, Post 9/11 GIBill, benefits based on your parent’s or spouse’s military service: copy of Department of Defense Transferability Authorization
- Chapter 1606 Montgomery GIBill Select Reserve: copy of Notice of Basic Eligibility (DD2384-1) and court-certified copy of discharge papers (MEMBER 4 DD214)
During your office visit, we’ll verify that you’ve completed the Certification Request Form, required every semester, and verify your intended major. We’ll also discuss how your VA monies get paid.
Reminders for select chapter codes, including new and returning students
Chapter 33, Post 9/11 GI Bill®:
Prior to my being able to certify you for benefits, students must have a Penn State registration status that is COMPLETE. Check your student schedule, course detail view, for your registration status statement. Whether or not a student’s registration is complete is tied into their schedule of classes and whether or not their bill/financial obligations to the University have been satisfied.
IMPORTANT: Students who have already submitted their Certificate of Eligibility to our office may complete the Notification of Pending Aid. Students must visit the Financial Aid Office (W113 Smith) in person—bring your PSU student ID card. We’ll be able to give a student credit for their monies forthcoming from the VA. The earliest a student can complete Notification of Pending Aid for Spring 2014 is Monday, November 18, 2013.
Students who do not yet have their Certificate of Eligibility from the VA should make arrangements to set up deferred payments. Students will need to pay 1/3 of their outstanding balance, after financial aid has been applied, plus a nominal fee. Once the Certificate of Eligibility is presented and we give the student the appropriate credit, as defined in the Certificate of Eligibility, any payments made in excess of student’s charges will be refunded to the student.
Chapter 31, Vocational Rehabilitation and Education:
This is the first semester I’m requiring VR&E students to complete the Certification Request Form. We need to ensure that we report correct contact information to the VA and students should be signing up for the office listserv.
If you have any other questions, please check out the GI Bill® Home Page or call my office at 814-949-5086.
School Certifying Official
GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by the VA is available at the official U.S. government website at www.benefits.va.gov/gibill.