The VA will be notified of "Unsatisfactory Progress" for VA
students who are academically dismissed from USF. If a
student is permitted to re-enroll by the University, the VA
will automatically be notified of reinstatement WHEN THE VA
STUDENT REQUESTS NEW CERTIFICATION for VA benefits in the
Office of Veterans Services.
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) defines courses that
do not meet on the official start and end date of a standard
semester as an “accelerated term”. The following is a quote
from The VA Handbook for Certifying Officials. “If a school
offers training on a nonstandard term basis, or if there are
nonstandard formats or terms within standard terms, the
beginning and ending dates of each term must be shown
separately from the standard semester or quarter”. Your
monthly VA education benefits will be affected if you enroll
for an accelerated term course. If you plan to enroll in a
course that meets on dates other than the official start and
end date of a standard semester, you must notify our office
immediately. Proper changes to your enrollment certification
will be submitted to the VA as soon as possible to help
decrease any overpayment of VA education benefits.
The VA requires that a VA student attend
classes regularly. If a student stops
attending, theu niversity is required to
report his or her last date of attendance
(pursuit) in any given class. Please,
immediately, notify Veterans Services, if
you decide to drop any classes.
Payments will be made for all breaks in
enrollment except as noted below. Payment
will not be made for:
Breaks between terms at the same school
which exceed eight weeks or the term preceding or following
the break is shorter than the break.
Breaks between terms which exceed eight
weeks or the term preceding or following the break is
shorter than the break if the student transfers from one
school to another, but is not charged with a change of
Breaks of any length when the student
transfers from one school to another and is charged with
a change of program. (If a change of program occurs and
the student remains in the same school, normal break pay
Any break of any length between terms
if the student is:
On active duty or,
The student is training at the less than half-time rate
on the last day preceding the break.
Any breaks for which the student requests
that pay not be made as long as the request is made before
the award is authorized.
Breaks where it is to the student's
advantage not to receive benefits, e.g., where entitlement
would otherwise be exhausted during the break, but before
the beginning of the following enrollment period.
Any break of any length where a student
withdraws from all courses in the term preceding the break.
BREAK PAY - SUMMER TERMS OR SESSIONS (breaks
between individual summer sessions and between summer
sessions and the winter/spring or fall terms)
The rules for paying breaks which occur
before, during, or after summer terms or sessions are
the same as for Fall, Winter, and Spring terms with the
following exception: If a student is enrolled for a combination
of summer terms/sessions, then the length of that period
is measured from the start of the first summer session
to the end of the last summer session for purposes of
the Eight Week Rule for break pay for breaks which immediately
precede or follow the summer period. This provision does
not apply if a student fails to enroll during a summer
session which intervenes between the first and last summer
sessions. Additionally, a break between summer sessions
cannot be paid if it exceeds 30 days and the term preceding
or following the break is less than eight weeks in length.
Payment for overlapping periods is based
on the equivalent semester hours for each term for the
overlapping periods only.
Break pay when overlapping terms are
Compare break pay using all the possible combinations
of beginning and ending dates for the break.
Certification is the process by which the
administrative specialist in Veterans
Services verifies to the VA a student's
date of attendance, program (degree,
major or teacher certification), and
number of credits. The VA will not pay
any student without receiving this
certification. This certification of a
student's attendance is not automatic.
The VA student must request VA
certification on a form called the "VA
Benefits Request Form," obtained in
Veterans Services. This paperwork should
be done six to eight weeks prior to the
start of the semester to insure timely
receipt of VA benefits.
It is the responsibility of the
student to insure that he or she has
requested certification for each semester
attended, especially for the summer
semester. It only takes a few minutes to
fill out the form and even less time to
check with Veterans Services (call or
come in) to find out if one is needed for
the next upcoming semester. REMEMBER:
NO REQUEST = NO MONEY.
If your training rate is less than
half-time, you must request certification
at the beginning of each new semester.
There will always be a delay in receipt
of VA benefits each semester, as the
University cannot confirm the enrollment
to the VA until after the drop-add
The Civilian Health
and Medical Program of the Department of Veterans
Affairs (CHAMPVA), provides healthcare benefits for
the children and spouses of veterans who
have been rated by
VA as having a total and permanent disability,
died from VA-related
service-connected conditions, or who at the time
of death, were rated permanently and totally disabled
from a VA-rated service-connected condition, or
died in the line
of duty and not due to misconduct who are not otherwise
entitled to DoD Tricare benefits, and
are not eligible
for Medicare, Part A
CHAMPVA is administered
by the VA's Health Administration Center in Denver,
Colorado. For more information on CHAMPVA eligibility
and application procedures, go to the CHAMPVA
To remain eligible for CHAMPVA benefits, a dependent
child over the age of 18 must be certified as a full-time
student. It is important that you notify USF Veterans
Services that you are receiving CHAMPVA benefits.
Veterans Services will then send a certification letter
to the Health Administration Center each term of your
enrollment upon your request. A copy of the letter
will be kept with your student record, if any, in
Change of Address:
If you change your address, it is vital that you let
the Health Administration Center know your new address.
You should mail the information to: CHAMPVA, PO Box
65023, Denver, CO, 80206.
It is very important that you notify the
VA when your address changes. The Post Office, in most
cases, does not forward Treasury checks; instead it sends
them back to the Treasury and your benefits will be suspended.
Therefore, the quickest way to notify the VA of an address
change is to call the toll free number, 1-888-442-4551or
Students should also correct their local
address for school records in the Registrar's Office,
on-line via OASIS, and in the Veterans Services office.
Whenever you have an addition or loss
of a dependent (Chapter 34/30), you must notify the VA
(via Veterans Services, if desired) of the change. When
dependents reach the age of 18, they may no longer be
claimed for VA benefits, unless the dependent is a full
time student under the age of 23. If the dependent is
a full time student, contact Veterans Services to fill
out the appropriate documentation (21-674
Request for Approval of School Attendance).
Under the federal regulations governing
the payment of VA education benefits, all schools are
required to review each VA student's prior education,
training, and experience. The school should then grant
credit to a VA student's current program as appropriate
under the school's rules and established policies. It
is required that Veterans Services report any credit for
prior training to the VA within two semesters. After that
time period the VA will suspend a student's future benefits.
If a student is transferring to USF from
another school and is eligible for the interval payment
between semesters, the VA will not pay it until they receive
the information concerning credit for prior training.
If thirteen or more credits do not transfer, the VA will
charge a student with a change of program AND not pay
for the interval between semesters.
In order to receive VA educational benefits
for a course taken at an institution other than USF (the
parent institution), you must obtain from Veterans Services
the Cross Enrollment Form.
Not only will this form serve as an authorization to dually
enroll, but it will also direct the other institution
to certify you to the VA for the course taken at their
institution. Since this form is sent to the other institution,
there will be a delay with the VA in awarding the full
amount of training time due. This form is required in
addition to the University's Cross Enrollment form.
To be considered as an independent
student, based on veteran status, the Department of
Education uses the following
A veteran is a former member of the Armed Forces of
the United States (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps,
and Coast Guard) who served on active duty and was discharged
under conditions, which were other than dishonorable.
There is no minimum number of days a student must have
served on active duty to be considered a veteran. However,
periods of active duty for training, pursuant to an enlistment
in the National Guard or Reserves, do not qualify a student
as a veteran. Thus former or current members of the National
Guard or Reserves are not considered to be veterans unless
they had prior or subsequent service with an active component
of the Armed Forces. (Reservists called to active duty
by Executive Order qualify as veterans.) Since the DD
Form 214 is issued to those leaving the active military
as well as to members of the National Guard and Reserves
completing their initial active duty for training, possession
of this document does not necessarily mean the student
is a veteran.
Persons who attended military academies are now considered
veterans for financial aid purposes.
A VA student may receive VA educational
benefits for courses leading to a dual major, or a dual
degree. Before starting the program, approval must be
received from the State Approving Agency (SAA), Department
of Education. The request for approval must be received
by the SAA prior to the earning of 90 credit hours of
a baccalaureate degree program. For graduate students
the request must be submitted during the second semester
of the VA student's enrollment in graduate school. Contact
Veterans Services for the paperwork needed for a dual
As a member of the Servicepersons
Opportunity College, Veterans Services can recommend
credit to the USF Admissions Office for military experience.
In order to be a school approved for VA educational
assistance to students, it is required that all prior
training (military included) be evaluated for possible
credit. All veterans and reservists must have their
military experience evaluated. Veterans Services needs
either a copy of your DD Form 214 or DD Form 295 (evaluation
of military experience). Credit may be awarded for Army,
Coast Guard, Marine and Navy experience as well as for
specific Department of Defense courses.
Courses administered by
the Air Force are all shown on an official copy of the
Community College of the Air Force transcript. This
college is an accredited school and transcripts should
be submitted to the Office of Admissions for evaluation.
Transcripts may also be acquired for the Army veteran
(AARTS transcripts) and Marine\Navy veteran (SMART transcripts).
Transcript orders for AARTS can be made at http://aarts.army.mil/.
Transcript orders for SMART can be found at
Transcript orders for the Coast Guard can be found at
Consult Veterans Services office for assistance in acquiring
the applications to obtain these forms. Courses taken
from the War Colleges and Defense Language Institute
are also accredited and transcripts are required. Courses
taken by correspondence, such as those offered by the
Marine Corps Institute, are accepted for credit under
A veteran student's eligibility to receive
benefits ceases at the end of ten years from the veteran's
release from active duty (called delimiting date). Veterans
who were prevented from initiating or completing a program
of education within their period of eligibility because
of a physical or mental disability, POW/MIA Status, or
upgrade of Character of Discharge may be eligible for
an extension of their 10-year delimiting date. Spouses
and children attending school under Chapter 35 may also
be eligible. For Chapter 1606 the delimiting period is
the date of separation from the Selected Reserve OR 14
years from the date original eligibility began. If an
individual is separated from the reserves due to a disability,
an extension of the delimiting date may be made. There
is no fixed delimiting period for Chapter 1607 unless
separated for disability. Questions should be directed
to the VA in writing or by phone.
The maximum allowable entitlement under
any combination of two or more programs is forty-eight
Chapter 30: maximum entitlement is 36 months of
full time training (or the equivalent if less than full
time training); if entitlement is exhausted during the
semester, a student's entitlement will be extended to
pay through the end of the semester.
Chapter 32: maximum entitlement is 36 months (based
upon the amount of contributions) with no extensions allowed.
Chapter 35: maximum entitlement is 45 months with
no extensions allowed; a dependent child with a mental
or physical disability could be approved for a program
of Special Restorative Training exceeding 45 months. In
addition, Chapter 35 provides for up to 5 months of training
with no charge to entitlement for required remedial or
Chapter 1606 and 1607: maximum entitlement is 36 months
with no extensions allowed.
Federal regulations require that any student who applies
for financial aid and expects to receive veterans’
educational benefits provide the Financial
Aid Office (SVC 1102) with verification of the amount
being received for each month during the annual reporting
period of 1 July through June 30. Verification can be
provided by submitting the VA educational benefits award
letter sent to you from the VA at the beginning of each
enrollment period. In the event an award letter is not
available, verification can also be provided by the
Veterans Services staff for all VA students. If you
participate in the VA Work Study Program, earnings will
be considered an income for the campus-based programs.
VA educational benefits cannot be paid for a course in
which a student has already earned a satisfactory grade.
An 'F' constitutes an unsatisfactory grade, of course.
A 'D' may also be considered unsatisfactory, but only
if the student's major requires a 'C' or better for that
particular course. In these cases, the course may be repeated
and VA benefits paid. Also, USF policy stipulates that
a student may apply for grade forgiveness a maximum of
three times, with no more than one repeat per course.
This policy applies to undergraduate and non-degree seeking
students only (see the USF catalog, Grade Forgiveness Policy).
Graduate students concurrently enrolled in
undergraduate courses are paid based on the
total credit-hour load or training time
certified, whichever is greater. Students
who are enrolled in undergraduate classes
solely will be paid at the undergraduate
Mitigating circumstances are unanticipated
and unavoidable situations beyond a student's control
that prevent a student from completing a course. The VA
expects some documentation to substantiate the student's
statement. The VA student must submit a description of
the circumstances in writing to the VA within 1 year from
the date the VA notified the student. The following are
some general categories of mitigating circumstances (this
list is not all-inclusive):
A serious illness or injury.
A serious illness or death in the VA
student's immediate family.
Unforseen family or financial obligations
which requires a student to suspend pursuit of the educational
program, to obtain employment or to change hours or
place of employment.
Cancellation of a course by the University.
Unanticipated active duty military
service, including active duty for training.
Unanticipated difficulties in child
care arrangements during a semester.
An unavoidable geographical transfer
resulting from the student's employment.
Examples of unacceptable circumstances
include: withdrawal to avoid a failing grade, dislike
of an instructor, and too many courses attempted. If the
VA does not accept the claim, a student can appeal the
decision in writing (see Appealing
a VA Decision).
The Six Credit exclusion: On or
after June 1, 1989, the VA will consider mitigating circumstances
to exist in the first instance of withdrawal from courses
totaling not more than six semester hours.
Example: A VA student withdraws
from 3 credit hours on June 5, 2006, and from an additional
3 credit hours on June 10, 2006. The exclusion applies
to the first 3-credit withdrawal, but not to the second.
This is because the 6-credit exclusion applies only
to the first instance of withdrawal on or after June
1, 1989, regardless of how many credits are involved
in that withdrawal.
VA students may not take courses that
do not apply to their degree program! A graduate student
may not exceed minimum thesis or dissertation hours required
by the degree program. Only during the last semester before
graduation may a student "pad" her or his schedule
with non-applicable courses in order to have enough hours
to be full-time. In filling out a full-time schedule,
VA students may use any credit hour unit subject, including
a subject which they have previously successfully completed
(received a passing grade). For example, if a student
is soon to graduate and has to take only two more classes,
6 hours for example, but wishes to receive full-time benefits,
he or she can register for 6 additional hours (or more)
of classes that do not have to apply to the intended degree
Additionally, non-applicable courses
may be approved for VA benefits if they are being taken
to remove a deficiency in the student's grade point average,
and this deficiency is preventing the student from graduating.
A non-degree seeking is, for VA purposes,
exclusively Teacher Certification. All other
recipients of VA educational benefits, whose
registration curriculum code is SPC 0C, are
degree-seeking non-matriculated students.
Students who enroll at USF as Non-Degree
Seeking may be eligible to receive VA
educational benefits if they meet the
requirements listed below. Certification
will be processed for one term only and all
requirements must be met before
certification can be processed. A separate
request must be submitted for each term if
circumstances require that you enroll as a
non-degree seeking student for more than one
term. The VA will only pay for a maximum of
two semesters (regardless of training rate)
while a student is in the non-matriculated
The University requires that no more than
14 hours as an undergraduate student and 12 hours as a
graduate student may be accepted toward the requested
degree program while attending as a non-degree seeking
student. All VA students whose registration curriculum
code is SPC 0C must attach a Course
Verification Form, signed by an authorized college
representative, to their VA Benefits
NO STUDENT MAY REQUEST VA BENEFITS IF THE OFFICE OF ADMISSIONS
HAS DENIED THE APPLICATION.
Requirements for VA Certification:
1. If a student's goal is a degree:
An application for admission must be
submitted to the Admission Office.
A course verification form signed by
an authorized college/campus advisor verifying that
currently enrolled courses are applicable to or prerequisites
for the requested degree program.
2. If a student's goal is Teacher/Administrator
A complete listing of all courses required
(not just current term) for certification requirements
must be submitted. Subjects must be listed by course
code, title, and credit hour equivalent. This must be
signed by the authorized person in the College of Education.
The subject area and level (middle or secondary) must
Student must request certification
If a VA student has previously received
educational benefits under any other program, this constitutes
a change of program (see Veterans Services for the Change
Courses taken for recertification
in the same subject area do not qualify for benefits.
A student cannot be paid VA educational
benefits for the concurrent pursuit of different courses
leading to teacher certification in more than one subject
or grade level. Each subject or grade level is considered
to be a program of education.
VA students are not entitled to VA benefits
for courses in which non-punitive grades are assigned.
A non-punitive grade is one that does not affect either
hours earned or the GPA. Such grades are IU, N, U, MU,
and W. Punitive grades are A, B, C, D, and F because they
do affect either hours earned or the GPA. At USF a non-punitive
When a course is dropped after the
When there is a withdrawal from all
courses after the drop/add period.
When "U", "IU",
or "MU" grades are assigned.
When a VA student has repeated an unsatisfactory
grade and the grade is later "forgiven" by the
school, the VA has no requirement for the "forgiven"
grade to be reported as non-punitive.
Under certain circumstances the VA may
accept mitigating circumstances of a personal, financial
or academic nature and waive the overpayment created by
the non-punitive grade(s) (see Mitigating
Circumstances). A waiver may also be considered for
"good faith pursuit," including an attempt to
remedy the situation. UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES WILL THE
VA PAY FOR AN AUDITED COURSE. Contact Veterans Services
for further information.
There may be a time that
you will receive an overpayment of VA benefits while in
attendance at USF. An overpayment can occur for the following
Withdrawal from school.
Withdrawal from one or more courses
which changes the benefit status.
Receive a "U", "IU",
or "MU" grade.
Change in dependency status.
Taking courses that do not apply
to the declared degree program.
This list is by no means
all inclusive, and other reasons may also cause an overpayment.
If any of the above circumstances should occur, promptly
notify Veterans Services so that the proper steps can
be taken. Under certain circumstances, the VA will allow
some of the money to be kept, depending on mitigating
circumstances and/or a personal finance statement (see
If the VA does not hear from
the student within 30 days of notification, the overpayment
will be recouped from future monthly benefits, and, possibly,
with interest charges added to the unpaid balance due.
If all else fails, and the VA still wants the money, a
request for waiver of the overpayment may be made to the
VA. If you have any questions concerning the amount of
overpayment, you should call 1-888-442-4551.
The VA will not pay benefits
for a class you have previously taken and for which a
satisfactory grade was received. If you must take a class
again, either to pass the class or to earn a high enough
grade to meet the requirements of your degree program,
then the VA will pay for repeating the class. When in
doubt about the necessity of repeating a class, you should
contact the Coordinator of Advising in your respective
College (see Grade Forgiveness).
The transient student is
one whose primary school is an institution other than
USF. The student wishes to attend classes at USF with
the intention of transferring the earned hours back to
her or his primary school. Veterans Services must have
a letter from the primary school stating that the courses
taken at USF are applicable and transferable to her or
his intended degree program. The courses should be listed
in the letter.
Under transient status, the
VA student has to recertify for VA benefits each semester.
When you notify the Registrar's Office
that you are withdrawing from a class, you must at the
same time notify Veterans Services of this reduction in
hours by submitting the required form - Change
in Benefits Form. Changing the number of hours may
change the rate of pay. The VA will make the withdrawal
retroactive to the beginning of the semester, if mitigating
circumstances are not found (see Mitigating
Circumstances). If mitigating circumstances are found,
the VA will reduce the payments effective the next month,
unless a student withdraws from all classes. Then the
effective date would be the last day of class attendance.
Chapter 30 students will always have an effective date
of the change in status if mitigating circumstances are
found. You should always make a special effort to plan
your academic schedule, so that dropping classes can be
avoided (see Non-Punitive Grade Policy).