Applying for Benefits

Students interested in applying for VA Educational benefits should complete an application for benefits on the VA website, http://benefits.va.gov/gibill/. Please note, the VA Certifying Official’s (VACO) at APUS cannot determine if you are eligible for VA Educational Benefits. The Department of Veterans Affairs may approve or deny benefits, based on the information provided on the application.

If you have never applied for VA Benefits

Students who have never completed an application for VA Benefits should complete the online application, VA Form 22-1990, using the VA’s online application. Your application will be electronically submitted to the VA Processing Center.

Please print your application and confirmation page for your records, prior to completing the online application. Once the VA has completed review of your application, the VA will mail you a Certificate of Eligibility (COE), outlining the chapter benefit you are entitled to and the number of months of benefit you can use. A copy of the COE is not submitted to the school. APUS requires students to fax, 877-480-4236, or email, VAQuestions@apus.edu, a copy of your COE to the school.

If you have previously used VA Benefits

Students who have used VA benefits at another institution or have changed their academic program of study with APUS should complete the Request for Change of Program or Place of Training application, VA Form 22-1995, using the VA’s online application. Your application will be electronically submitted to the VA Processing Center.

Please print your completed 22-1995 form for your records, prior to completing the online application. A copy of the 22-1995 form is not submitted to the school. APUS requires students to fax, 877-480-4236, or email, VAQuestions@apus.edu, a copy of your 22-1995 form to the school.

If using the Post 9/11 GI Bill®, Chapter 33, you will also need to include a copy of your COE along with the 22-1995.

If you are transferring or receiving transferred benefits

Students who are receiving benefits transferred to you by a service member (Chapter 35) will need to complete a 22-5490, Application for Survivors' and Dependents' Educational Assistance. The completed form will need to be sent to the St. Louis Regional Processing Office for processing.

If you have been transferred Chapter 33 benefits, the VA will send you a Certificate of Eligibility, which will need to be submitted to APUS. Please see the Chapter 33 process for more information.

Applications for VA Benefits

  • For most prompt form processing, please complete your application for VA benefits here.
  • If you have never used VA Benefits, please complete the 22-1990.
  • If you have previously used benefits or have changed your program, please complete the 22-1995.
  • If you are transferring Montgomery GI Bill® (Chapter 35) to a spouse or dependent, please complete the 22-5490.
  • If you are using Chapter 35 and you have changed your program or place of training, please complete the 22-5495.
  • If you are transferring Post 9/11 GI Bill® (Chapter 33) to a spouse of dependent, please complete the 22-1990e.

“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 Web site at http://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill.

VA Enrollment Information

Enrollment verification cannot be submitted until the APUS Military Assistance Office receives a copy of your completed VA paperwork and you have successfully enrolled in a class. Once your paperwork is processed and you have started classes, the VA Certifying Official will electronically submit your Certification of Enrollment (22-1999). All VA enrollment verifications will be submitted after the session drop period, beginning the second week of your course. Once your enrollment has been submitted, you will receive an email from the VA as verification.

WAVE Enrollment Verification

The VA requires that students using GI Bill® benefits (excluding Ch. 33) verify their enrollment monthly. Verification begins the last day of the month of the courses you are enrolled in. Students will not receive VA benefits if they do not verify through WAVE. Please note, it may take up to 6 weeks for your enrollment information to be available in WAVE. To verify attendance through WAVE, please click here or call the VA at 1-877-823-2378.

Using Tuition Assistance and GI Bill®

Federal law prohibits Active Duty servicemembers from receiving VA benefits for the same course tuition that is being paid by Military Tuition Assistance. Effective November 2014, the Department of Defense announced that they will no longer authorize Tuition Assistance for classes for which a member is also receiving benefits under the Montgomery GI Bill® – Selected Reserve program (Ch. 1606), Reserve Educational Assistance Program (Ch. 1607), or any other GI Bill® program other than the Montgomery GI Bill® – Active Duty program (Ch. 30) or the Post-9/11 GI Bill® program (Ch. 33). Active Duty servicemembers who are eligible for Ch. 30 benefits can use non Active-Duty TA in conjunction with VA benefits. For students using Ch. 33 benefits, TA must be applied to the registration first, and any remaining tuition can be certified under the Ch. 33 benefit.

VA Top-Up Information

The Top-Up benefit may be used when a student is using Active Duty federal tuition assistance and the course cost will not be completely funded by TA. TA Top-Up may be used for Chapter 30 & 33 only. Students who wish to apply for TA Top-Up should contact VAQuestions@apus.edu to request a TA Top-Up Request Form. APUS will submit an enrollment to the VA to include the amount of tuition and fees’ remaining after all TA funding has been reduced. Please note, the use of Top-Up will exhaust a portion of your GI Bill® benefits. The amount exhausted depends on the chapter benefit being used and the time length of the courses.

VA Payments

Students using Chapters 30, 32, 35, 1606, and 1607 will receive monthly payments from the VA based on their enrollment status each month enrolled in courses. The VA makes payments based on your monthly attendance and not semester attendance. Payments are sent from the VA by direct deposit or check after you have verified your monthly attendance through WAVE. APUS requires students using Chapters 30, 32, 35, 1606, and 1607 to make payment arrangements with the university prior to the start of courses. A 22-1999 Enrollment Verifications will not be submitted until payment arrangements have been finalized.

Tuition and Fees for Chapter 33 is paid directly to APUS. If students are not receiving the 100% benefit rate, payment arrangements will need to be made with the university prior to course access. Current VA payment rates may be viewed here.

Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH)

Beginning for courses starting on or after 1 October 2011, students (other than those on Active Duty) will receive a housing allowance for courses solely in distance learning with the Chapter 33 benefit. The housing allowance payable is equal to ½ the national average BAH for an E-5 with dependents. A student must be enrolled at a rate of pursuit greater than half time (.51%) to receive this benefit. Please remember, the housing allowance is pro-rated based off your enrollment status, percentage of eligibility, and dates of course enrollments. Current VA payment rates may be viewed here.

Using VA Benefits at Multiple Institutions

The VA requires students to declare an institution in which they will receive a degree or certification. VA benefits cannot be used at multiple institutions without declaration of a primary school and subsequent secondary school. For more information regarding using benefits at APUS and another institution, please contact VAQuestions@apus.edu.

VA Consent to Enrollments Submitted

When a student selects a VA payment option (Ex. Ch. 33 payment) at the time of registration, you are consenting that you wish to have your enrollment for that particular course(s) submitted to the VA on your behalf. Students who register selecting a payment other than VA will be prompted for consent at the time of registration to have the course(s) submitted to the VA on your behalf. Students who register prior to submitting VA documents to APUS may be required to complete a VA Consent Form to identify courses or terms students would like to have submitted to the VA.

Submitting Enrollments to the VA (VA 22-1999)

APUS will submit all enrollments to the VA electronically, beginning after the course drop period (second week of courses). Once your enrollment has been submitted to the VA, you will receive an automated email from the VA notifying you that the enrollment has been received.

Change of Academic Program

When a VA Student changes their academic program with APUS, the VA will be updated electronically of the change in academic pursuit. A credit evaluation will be completed by APUS for the new program and any credits that are applicable towards the new program of study will be applied. When registering for courses within the new program, students must continue to consent to APUS submitting the new program enrollments to the VA on your behalf.

Yellow Ribbon Program

The Yellow Ribbon Program is an agreement between the VA and participating institutions to cover all or a portion of tuition and fees charged after a student has exceeded the maximum benefit rate. APUS is a Yellow Ribbon participating institution. Please click here for more information about Yellow Ribbon. Contact us for questions about this program at VAQuestions@apus.edu.

Course Drops/Withdrawals

Any course submitted to the VA that is dropped or withdrawn from, a 22-1999 enrollment verification will be sent to the VA by the school VACO within 30 days of the change of enrollment. VA enrollments will be adjusted or terminated as of the date of student drop/withdrawal. A drop/withdrawal after the first date of the term may result in a VA request for repayment of BAH, Books/Supplies, or tuition from the student as of the date of the enrollment change.

Mitigating Circumstances

Mitigating circumstances are circumstances beyond the student's control that prevent the student from continuing in school or that cause the student to reduce credits. The VA requires schools to document potential mitigating circumstances. Any withdrawal with a mitigating circumstance selected will require additional documentation of the mitigating circumstance to be submitted to APUS prior to the mitigating circumstance being reported. For more information on mitigating circumstances, please click here. If mitigating circumstances cannot be validated, the VA may request repayment of BAH, Books/Supplies, or tuition from the student, as of the first date of the term.

Graduations

When a VA Student has successfully completed the requirements for the program of study and has officially conferred the program of study, APUS will report the student’s graduation to the VA via electronic certification. All Chapter 33 students will have the mandatory graduation fee accessed by APUS added to the last VA enrollment submitted for the program being conferred.

Graduate Capstone/Practicum Courses

University policy states Capstone and Practicum Courses must be the last course of your degree program and may be taken only after the completion of all course work. Additionally, no concurrent coursework is permitted. Accordingly, as a program advisory notice, Capstone/Practicum courses are only offered in 16 week sessions. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) regulations state students must have a rate of pursuit greater than 50% in order to be eligible to receive BAH. The VA will cover course tuition and fees up to the percentage for which you are eligible. However, your course load will not qualify you for BAH.

Graduate Comprehensive Exam Courses

University policy states the Comprehensive Exam Course must be the last course of your degree program and may be taken only after the completion of all course work. Additionally, no concurrent coursework is permitted. Accordingly, as a program advisory notice, Comp Exam courses are only offered in non-credit, pass/fail 8 week sessions. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) regulations state students must have a rate of pursuit greater than 50% in order to be eligible to receive BAH. The VA will cover course tuition and fees up to the percentage for which you are eligible. However, your course load will not qualify you for BAH. Your enrollment will be reported as one credit hour.

Course Extensions

Please note that if you are granted a course extension from your professor, you will not receive VA benefits during the extension period. The VA will automatically discontinue benefits on the day after your original term ending date. Benefits will not start until a new course has been enrolled and the verification has been sent to the VA. Submission of a course extension for VA benefits will likely result in an overpayment to the student and will require future repayment.

Academic Probation / Unsatisfactory Academic Progress

VA requires institutions to report veteran students who are not meeting an institution’s academic standards. When APUS is made aware of a VA Student no longer meeting academic standards, notification will be electronically submitted to the VA on the student’s VA record.

Excessive Credits

Students who are using VA benefits for courses may not register for courses that are not applicable to the current program of study. Any courses that are deemed not applicable to the current degree program will be considered excessive credits and an enrollment for the courses will not be submitted.

Prior Credits

The VA requires that all prior credit must be evaluated by APUS prior to a student’s initial enrollment. Students must identify any prior credit that has been earned. Additionally, a Joint Services Transcript or Community College of the Air Force transcript must be received by APUS for all students who will be using VA benefits for any courses with APUS. Students who are currently having prior credits evaluated are strongly encouraged to register only for courses in which they know they will not receive prior credit. If prior credit is later given for a course a student is currently taking, APUS must terminate the enrollment, as this would constitute excessive credits. Terminations of enrollment will likely result in a reduction in BAH and/or books and supplies payment for the course/term a prior credit was awarded.

Courses for Transfer Programs

Students who are enrolled in an Undergraduate Courses for Transfer program at APUS are restricted by VA policy on which courses APUS can submit for VA benefits. A student must be below a Junior in academic standing. Please note, the junior status also includes any credits previously taken at other institutions. Only General Education courses can be submitted to the VA while a student has an undeclared program, unless a valid Parent School Letter is on file stating the course taken at APUS will transfer to the students Primary School.

Graduate Courses for Transfer courses are not eligible for certification to the VA unless a valid Parent School Letter is on file stating the course taken at APUS will transfer to the students Primary School.

Student VA Tuition & Fees Debts

A debt is established on the student for tuition/fees/Yellow Ribbon when:

  • The student withdrew after the first day of the term.
  • The student reduced hours whether the reduction occurred before or during the term
  • If the student attended more than one day of any of the classes certified and a payment has been issued, any debt created by the withdrawal should be charged to the student
  • The school submitted a change in enrollment (1999b) and reported a reduction in tuition, fees, and/or Yellow Ribbon due to student action reducing or terminating training.
  • If a student drops a course and adds a course so that there is no net change in training time, any change to tuition, fees, and/or Yellow Ribbon is a student debt

“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 Web site at http://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill.

VA Enrollment Chart

APUS offers courses in an 8 week and 16 week format. Courses start each month at APUS. All VA enrollments are based on a student’s monthly enrollment status. Overlapping course starts may result in differing enrollment statuses than those below.

Course Load and Student Status for VA Benefits

Student status for VA Benefits is based on monthly course load. The chart below applies to VA Benefit requirements for full, three quarter, or half-time benefit levels.

Graduate: 8-Week Courses

Monthly Course Load Student Status Rate of Pursuit1,2
6 Credit hours Full-time 1.00
3 Credit hours Three-quarter time .75

Graduate: 16-Week Courses

Monthly Course Load Student Status Rate of Pursuit1,2
9 Credit hours Full-time 1.00
6 Credit hours Three-quarter time .75
3 Credit hours Half-time .38

Undergraduate: 8-Week Courses

Monthly Course Load Student Status Rate of Pursuit1,2
6 Credit hours Full-time 1.00
5 Credit hours Three-Quarter time .83
4 Credit hours Three-Quarter time .67
3 Credit hours Half-time .56
2 Credit hours Less than Half-time .38

Undergraduate: 16-Week Courses

Monthly Course Load Student Status Rate of Pursuit1,2
12 Credit hours Full-time 1.00
9 Credit hours Three-quarter time .75
6 Credit hours Half-time .50
4 Credit hours Less than Half-time .33
3 Credit hours Less than Half-time .25
1

BAH is only payable for a rate of pursuit greater than .50.

2

Rate of Pursuit is calculated by Department of Veterans Affairs. This calculation is determined by training level, credits taken in a term, and length of term. APUS does not calculate the Rate of Pursuit.

Please note: The above chart does not apply to Federal Student Aid (FSA). If you are applying for Federal Student Aid, there is a different enrollment status standard for determining aid eligibility. Please see the chart below for FSA status definitions.

“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 Web site at http://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill.

Helpful Websites for GI Bill® Information & Veteran Success

“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 Web site at http://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill.