Frequently Asked Questions about VA Benefits

How do I receive the GI Bill® at Methodist University?

Just bring your VA-issued Certificate of Eligibility (COE) to the Office of Veteran Services, room 100 of Stout Hall and complete a Request for Certification form, and all approved courses will be certified.

When do I submit the Request for Certification Form?

Once you have been officially accepted, all your transfer credits have been evaluated, and you have registered for classes.

Where do I get the Request for Certification Form?

These forms are available in a box outside the door of the Office of Veteran Services.

How do I get a COE?

If you are a veteran, go to the official web site of the Department of Veteran Affairs, Education Division at and complete an electronic application, VA Form 22-1990, Application for VA Education Benefits. You will be mailed a COE in approximately 8 weeks.

But classes start before that, can I be certified without a COE?

Yes, if you provide documentation that you are eligible for the benefit, and that you have applied. However, only the Department of Veteran Affairs can determine eligibility for VA benefits. We are only estimating what they will pay. You will be responsible for any amount of your debt VA has determined they will not pay for. If you are unsure, wait until your COE is mailed to you.

I was told I would have a semester to get all my transcripts in. Can I get the GI Bill® now?

No. In a few cases MU will allow this grace period but all of your prior training must be officially evaluated prior to certification of your course schedule to the VA.

I am using my parent or spouse’s GI Bill®, can I give you their COE?

No, those documents state that they are eligible, not you. You must have a COE with your name on it or the approved Transferability Authorization and submitted VA Form 22-1990E.

What is the Yellow Ribbon Program?

The Yellow Ribbon Program is a provision of the law that created the Post-9/11 GI Bill®. The program allows VA to pay an additional amount above the annual cap not to exceed 50% of the difference of net tuition and the cap or the MU Yellow Ribbon contribution.

How do I apply for the Yellow Ribbon Scholarship?

You don’t. The Yellow Ribbon is part of the Post 9/11 GI Bill® and is automatically applied if your tuition costs exceed the maximum state cap for VA tuition reimbursement and if you are qualified for the Post 9/11 GI Bill® at the 100% rate. The Yellow Ribbon does not apply for active duty personnel, their spouses, or veterans receiving less than 100% of the benefit.

Wait! What? If I’m active duty I can’t get my full tuition covered with the Post 9/11 GI Bill?

Because of the change in the Post 9/11 GI Bill® effective August 1, 2011, an active-duty service-member must have served at least 36 months to be qualified at the 100% rate and even then the VA will not match the Yellow Ribbon contribution of MU for active duty service members and their spouses.

What is the John David Fry Scholarship?

The Marine Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry Scholarship, amends the Post-9/11 GI Bill® (Chapter 33) to include the children of service members who die in the line of duty after September 10, 2001. Marine Gunnery Sergeant John D. Fry, 28, of Lorena, Texas, was killed March 8, 2006 by an improvised explosive device in Anbar province, Iraq. The Marine explosives ordnance technician was seriously wounded previously and could have returned home but stayed in Iraq because he was helping fellow Marines and Iraqis, especially children. Effective Fall 2015, surviving spouses may also be qualified for the scholarship.

Can I get other financial aid?

You may possibly qualify for PELL grants, outside scholarships or grants and student loans. The first step would be to complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Go to to complete the form then talk to our financial aid counselors in the Office of Financial Aid in Stout Hall.

Does VA offer scholarships?

The North Carolina State VA offers scholarships for children of disabled or deceased veterans if the child was born in North Carolina or the veteran was a resident of the state prior to enlisting. Contact your county Veteran Service Officer at for details or to apply.

How will other financial aid affect my GI Bill®?

It depends on the type of benefit. We are required to report to VA the net tuition cost after applying grants, scholarships, discounts, etc. that must apply to tuition. The balance is what VA will pay under chapter 33.

I know that after August 1, 2011 active duty and spouses will no longer get their full tuition paid by the VA, will the Yellow Ribbon apply to us?

No, VA will not match Yellow Ribbon contributions by the school for active-duty personnel and spouses. However, if you qualify at the 100% rate and despite the fact that the funds will not be matched, after applying other financial aid, MU will offer institution funds up to the cost of tuition only.

How do I get transfer credit for my military training?

You must provide an official copy of your Joint Services Transcript JST (Army, Navy & USMC) and for Air Force Veterans; Air University (Officers) or CCAF (enlisted) transcript during the admissions process along with your prior college transcripts and High School transcripts so they can be evaluated. The joint services website to request official transcripts is  Once requested the school should receive an electronic transcript in about 24 hours.

What are approved courses?

All of the academic programs at MU have been approved for Veterans Education Benefits. However, only those courses that are required for your declared major can be approved for your benefits, and electives if needed.

Why can’t I sign up for elective classes if I cannot get a full-time schedule?

If electives are needed you can. If you do not need electives, VA will pay only for those courses required for your program. Thirty-six months of benefits means you need an average of 15 credit hours each semester in your program to graduate and that is what we want you to do.

Can I change my major?

Yes. We recommend you first consult with your Academic Advisor. Your advisor must change your major with the Registrar’s Office so you can provide our office with the approved print-out.

What if I want to double major?

You may be approved for a minor or dual major but you must have at least 50% of your major requirements completed before you can be certified outside your declared major. You should also confer with your Academic Advisor before adding a minor or additional major. You must provide a copy of your declaration with the Registrar office.

Is there a veteran’s organization on campus? Is it open to family members?

There are two veterans’ organizations. Student Veterans of America – MU Chapter, open to all veterans and their family members; and Chi Delta Chi, the Veterans’ Honor Society, open to all MU students who have achieved a GPA of 3.0 or higher. Applications for both groups are available in the Office of Veteran Services.

Will VA pay the additional fees if I take a directed study or independent study class?

No. VA will not pay for the additional fee, they will pay for the tuition cost. Additional fees would be your responsibility. Courses taken on a pass-fail basis or for audit are also not covered by VA Education Benefits.

My instructor says I need a specific type of (brush, calculator, instrument, etc.), will VA pay for that?

The Post 9/11 GI Bill® will pay the fees that are required for all students such as the Student Activity Fee and Student Health Insurance premium. Fees for applied music lessons, PGA Golf Management fees, tennis fees, parking fees, etc. must be purchased using your book and equipment allowance that is sent to you, not charged to the school. If you are using chapter 31, Vocational Rehabilitation, your VA career counselor at Fort Bragg may approve additional required expenses.

How can I get my books now?

Your book allowance is sent to your bank or mailing address by the VA once your course schedule has been certified. If you did not submit your schedule and Request for Certification form in on time (about 4-6 weeks before the start of the term) you will need to pay for your books yourself. If you have a credit from other financial aid (PELL Grant or other scholarships) you can request the Business Office for a book slip to charge your books at the book store.

I am not doing very well in my class, should I withdraw?

That would be your decision, however, it you drop a course after the add-drop period you will have to reimburse VA for what they paid (not what MU charges).

But if I stay in the class I might fail then I’d have to pay VA back too, right?

No, an F means you attended class but did not score high enough to pass; VA will pay for the course and pay for you to re-take it and replace the failing grade; however, you must maintain the Standards of Academic Progress as described in the MU catalog. Failure to maintain SAP will result in termination of VA benefits. Repeating classes will adversely affect your SAP but will positively affect your GPA.

What if I just stop going to the class?

In that case you should be awarded a WF which is a punitive grade. It would affect your GPA the same as an F and you would have to repay the VA for that course.

But I had family problems and was unable to attend, why am I going to be punished?

The VA will consider extenuating circumstances if they are made known. You should withdraw from the class in accordance with MU procedures and provide your reasons to the Office of Veteran Services with your drop slip to include the LDA (last date of attendance). If they accept your extenuating circumstances, they might pay for the class up to the LDA but not for the entire term.

I’m using the Post 9/11 GI Bill® at the 100% rate but I keep getting an email from Methodist that my financial agreement isn’t complete. Doesn’t the VA take care of payment?

Yes, however you still need to clear through the business office and sign their statement of understanding outlining your responsibilities financial-wise. For chapter 33 recipients qualified at the 100% level this is a formality but a necessity. Sorry for the inconvenience. By the way, the VA will only cover your required fees, you may have a debit balance with the business office if you opt for other fees like a book slip (allowing you to charge your textbooks to the MU bookstore) or you would like a permit to be allowed to park your car on campus.

I want to stay on campus, does the VA housing stipend pay for that?

Yes and no. The housing stipend for the Post 9/11 GI Bill® is a flat rate payment based on the zip code of the school paid direct to the student and it is paid at the end of each month after enrolling. This amount may or may not cover the cost of room and board at the school. The charges are payable at the time of registration. It is your responsibility to make arrangements with the Business Office for payment.

I am using my Montgomery GI Bill® because I was told if I use it first I can also get the Post 9/11 GI Bill®, right?

It is possible. Individuals authorized more than one GI Bill® benefit are allowed to use up to 48 months of benefits but only one at a time. If you have used up your entire chapter 30 and have never used a different chapter (31, 32, 34, 35, 1606 or 1607) you could be eligible for an additional 12 months if you have not reached your delimiting date.

So if I am a veteran and a military spouse, I can only use 12 months of the TOE after using my own GI Bill®?

No, spouses or children using the Post 9/11 GI Bill®’s Transfer Of Eligibility are eligible for up to 72 months of total benefits if they are also eligible for the Post 9/11 GI Bill® in their own right.

Will I get paid during the break between semesters?

Benefit payments for all chapters will only be paid during the term dates. President Obama issued an Executive Order January 5, 2011 revoking authority from VA to pay the break pay after August 1, 2011.

I called the VA and they said my payment was sent to the school but the Office of Student Accounts says it has not been credited to my account, why are you holding it?

We ask that you allow two weeks for the payment to be processed by the various departments (Bookkeeping, Veteran Services Office, Financial Aid, Institutional Computing, Office of Student Accounts) for checks and balances, to ensure accuracy and to make any changes that may be necessary (for instance if you have any course changes since your initial registration and issuance of financial aid award letter).

I have made no changes why does it take so long to process mine?

While your particular case may be a simple one the person whose payment we received before you may need a lot of attention. We ask that you be patient and allow us to take the time and care necessary to be accurate.

I did not receive a W-2 from VA. Do I need to pay taxes on my GI Bill® benefits?

No. Any veterans’ benefits paid under any law administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) should not be reported as income to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). You will not receive a W-2 from the VA.

My award letter from VA says the school did not bill for tuition. Do I have to pay it myself?

If you are not using the Post 9/11 GI Bill® or Voc-rehab you do have to make payment arrangements yourself through the Office of Financial Aid or the Office of Student Accounts. If you are using chapter 33 or 31 the tuition is billed after the add-drop period so you will receive an updated letter from VA once the tuition is billed.

How do I transfer my GI Bill® benefits to another school?

If you are currently using Chapter 33 or Chapter 30 benefits you will need to fill out a VA Form 22-1995. If you are using Chapter 35 benefits fill out a VA Form 5495 and give it to the school you are planning to attend.

Why are courses that are required for my major not certified for VA Benefits?

Courses cannot be certified that you have previously passed or received transfer credit for. Courses that are taken on a pass-fail or A-P-F basis cannot be certified. The MU Academic Department determines how classes are graded. The Office of Veteran Services is required to comply with Federal and State regulations concerning the administration of the GI Bill®.

I have a problem with the way MU is administering my benefits. Who can I talk to about it?

The local chapter of the Student Veterans of America may be able to help you. Their stated mission is to assist veterans in the transition from a military to academic lifestyle through peer-to-peer counseling. Their email is  The Department of Veteran Affairs also has set up an on-line complaint system at

I have a question that is not listed here can you answer it?

Contact the Office of Veteran Services, room 100 in Stout Hall, call (910) 630-7174, e-mail or you can go to the source at


GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).