Frequently Asked Questions

 

How do I apply for the GI Bill?

The first step is to complete the application VA Form 22-1990 or VA Form 22-5490. This form is available online or you can request a copy from a school VA certifying official. Once completed, submit this form to the VA regional office via fax, mail or electronically. Some supporting forms may be required to complete the application. (e.g. DD-214, N.O.B.E., proof of $600 kicker). Once you have submitted your application, if you qualify for the GI Bill, you will receive a certificate of eligibility from the VA.

 

What do I need to do to get my benefits started at LSU?

If you have already applied for your certificate of eligibility from the VA, your next step is to contact the LSU VA Certifying Official  to request processing of enrollment certifications. You will need to submit your certificate of eligibility from the VA and the LSU VA fact Sheet which you can get from the LSU VA Certifying Official. You will need to contact the LSU VA Certifying Official each semester you plan to use benefits and submit the LSU VA fact sheet. Periodically you may also be required to submit an updated certificate of eligibility.  

 

I just transferred from another school. What do I need to do to get my benefits?

You will need to complete a VA-22-1995 or VA-22-5495 depending on your VA chapter type. You will also need to contact the LSU VA Certifying Official  request enrollment certification.

 

Is there a form that I need to fill out each semester?

Each semester you will need to complete and sign the LSU VA Fact sheet and return it to the VA certifying official’s office in 112 Thomas Boyd Hall.

 

How does the VA pay monthly benefits?

With the exception of advance pay, the VA pays at the end of each benefit month. Students receiving Chapter 30 and 1606 benefits are required to “verify” their enrollment status on or after the last day of the month. Students may verify by calling the toll-free number (1-877-823-2378) or by accessing the VA website (www.gibill.va.gov/wave). Upon verification, the VA will process the payment and send it to the student either by mail or direct deposit. It is highly recommended that students elect the direct deposit option to eliminate lost or stolen checks. In addition, students using direct deposit receive benefits in four or five working days as opposed to seven to ten days by mail.
Chapter 35 does not yet have the direct deposit option. 

 

Do I need to call the VA each month?

If you are a veteran planning on receiving chapter 30, 1606 or 1607 benefits, please call 1-877-823-2378 or go online to here verify your attendance each month. This verification can be completed as early as the last calendar day of each month.

 

How much will I get paid?

This differs depending on what chapter of VA benefits you are receiving and how many hours you are taking. The GI bill will pay different rates for full time, ¾ time, ½ time or less than ½ time. Also, these rates get adjusted from time to time. The updated rates are available online here.

 

What is considered full time, ¾ time, ½ time or ¼ time for VA benefits?                                 

Full Time = 12+ hours                                    

¾ Time = 9-11 hours                                                  

½ Time = 6-8 hours                                                    

Less than ½ time = 4-5 hours

Less than ¼ time = 1-3 hours

During the summer semester 6 hours is considered full time for VA benefits.

During intercession courses 3 hours are considered full time for VA benefits.

  

Does VA pay for repeated courses?

VA will pay for repeated courses as long as they are required and the grades previously earned do not meet degree requirements. Enrolling again in a course from which a student withdrew is not considered a repeated course. If a student declares academic bankruptcy, the VA does not pay for repeated courses unless the student earned an unsatisfactory grade the first time the student attempted the course.

 

Does the VA pay for remedial courses?

The VA will pay for a remedial course if the student has a deficiency in the subject. The VA will not pay for refresher courses. 

 

What do I do if I change my major?

Please contact your VA Certifying Official, as this may cause your enrollment certification to change.

  

Can I change my major in the middle of the semester?

Yes. The change will not take effect until the next semester. Once you certify your classes for the semester, this is your major for the semester.

 

What courses will the VA pay for?

The VA does not pay for courses which are not prerequisites or required in students’ degree programs. Students are responsible for ensuring that the courses apply toward their degrees. If they are not sure, they should consult with their academic advisors. If students wish to take courses that are not required, we will certify only the required courses and report a change in status affecting only those courses.

  

I don’t have enough classes required for my major to make me full time. What do I do?

The VA will only pay for courses that count towards your degree plan. Just because you have 12 hours does not mean that those 12 hours will all certify. If 9 hours count towards your degree, 9 hours will be certified.

 

What will happen if I drop a class?

If you drop a class, please contact the VA certifying official. This will need to be reported to the Department Veterans Affairs.

 

What happens if I fail a course?

If you fail a class you receive what is called a "punitive grade" for that class. A punitive grade is a grade that doesn’t count as earned credit, but is used in determining a student’s progress toward graduation requirements. This means that the grade you receive counts in your overall degree progress, albeit negatively. Since this grade counts towards your graduation progress you are not required to repay any GI Bill money you received for that class.

You may take the class again in an attempt to receive credit towards graduation or raise your grade for it and you may receive GI Bill payment for the retaking of the class.

 

I’m in the National Guard. How do I get my tuition exemption?

Tuition exemption is NOT a GI bill program. This is a state program for the Louisiana National Guard. To use this benefit you must contact your unit and notify them to send the proper paperwork to the LSU Certifying official. You should also check in with the LSU VA Certifying Official each semester you plan on using this benefit.

 

I’m the dependent of a veteran. What do I need to do to get Title 29?

This is a Louisiana Department of Veteran Affairs program that entitles some dependents of disabled or deceased Louisiana veterans to receive tuition and fee exemption. For more information on this program, contact the Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs. Once you have completed the steps necessary to qualify for Title 29 with the LADVA then you will submit paperwork to the LSU VA Certifying Official.

  

What happens when a student withdraws from a course or resigns?

If the withdrawal changes the student’s enrollment status, the VA will reduce the student’s rate of pay. If the withdrawal occurs during the drop/add period, as defined by the VA, an adjustment is made on the rate of pay. If the withdrawal occurs after the drop/add period, the reduction may create an overpayment, unless there are mitigating circumstances. If there are mitigating circumstances, the student must submit a “Statement in Support of Claim” to the VA. The statement needs to include the VA file number. If the VA does not approve the claim, the overpayment is applied retroactively to the beginning of the semester. The only exception is the “one-time up to six-hour exclusion” which does not require mitigating circumstances.

 

What happens when a student is deployed?

If students are deployed, they should contact the LSU Office of Veterans Affairs immediately and, if possible, provide copies of their orders. If resignations or changes of status occur for this reason, the VA will not charge students with overpayments, provided they submit documentation. Students must contact their deans’ offices to initiate resignations. Students who were deployed for Operations Enduring Freedom and Noble Eagle were given 100 percent refunds of tuition and most fees. A copy of the University policy on military deployment is available in the LSU Office of Veterans Affairs. Students who resign because they are deployed need to re-apply for admission, if they are not enrolled for a regular semester. The application fee is waived with proper documentation of the deployment. 

 

What happens if I have an emergency and need to withdraw after the withdrawal period ends?

If a student drops a course or withdraws from school after the drop period and receives a non-punitive grade, VA will reduce benefits effective the first day of the term unless mitigating circumstances are found. 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.

Examples are:

  • An illness or injury afflicting the student during the enrollment period.
  • An illness or death in the student’s immediate family.
  • An unavoidable change in the student’s conditions of employment.
  • An unavoidable geographical transfer resulting from the student’s employment.
  • Immediate family or financial obligations beyond the control of the claimant that require him or her to suspend pursuit of the program of education to obtain employment.
  • Discontinuance of the course by the school.
  • Unanticipated active military service, including active duty for training.
  • Unanticipated difficulties with childcare arrangements the student has made for the period during which he or she is attending classes.

When a student terminates or reduces after the drop period and a non-punitive grade is assigned, mitigating circumstances are an issue. If mitigating circumstances are needed and adequate evidence of mitigating circumstances is not received with the Notice of Change in Student Status; VA will not pay for the course or courses in question.

If the student has already been paid for the course or courses, VA will create an overpayment (subject to the 6-credit hour exclusion) from the beginning of the term, quarter, or semester. If you know what the student’s mitigating circumstance is, concisely describe the circumstance in remarks.

For example, you might enter: “Student withdrew 5/6/11 following Father’s death on 4/30/11.” Submitting the reason for the reduction or withdrawal at the time the change is reported will help the student avoid or reduce an overpayment if the change is for an acceptable reason.

 

What is the 6 credit hour exclusion?

VA automatically grants mitigating circumstances for up to 6 credits the first time a student reduces or terminates and mitigating circumstances must be considered.

This automatic grant is called the 6-Credit Hour Exclusion. The exclusion is a one-time grant made the first time mitigating circumstances must be considered for the student. Up to 6 credits can be excluded if the student has been awarded benefits for the credit. The 6-Credit Hour Exclusion cannot be granted if the student completes the term and receives non-punitive grades.

If the student withdraws from 3 credits, the exclusion will be granted for 3 credits and the student’s one time exclusion is used.

If the student withdraws from 12 credits, the exclusion will be granted for 6 credits, the student’s one time exclusion is used, and the student must provide mitigating circumstances for the other 6 credits.

 

Can I receive benefits while enrolled in the LSU 25+ program?

Benefits are not available for this program. Persons receiving Vocational Rehabilitation benefits may receive these benefits if recommended by an approved Vocational Rehabilitation counselor.