You may be eligible for several types of VA education and training benefits, but there are many things to consider before you apply for a GI Bill program. For most participants, the Post-9/11 GI Bill is the best option. Other students would benefit more from the Montgomery GI Bill. The following comparison tools may make it easier to decide which education and training benefits are best for you To view the different educational and training rates from the VA use the following link.
Note: The University of Maryland - College Park does not participate in the Yellow Ribbon Program.
If you have any questions concerning Veterans education benefits, please contact the Veteran's Certification Office:
University of Maryland
1113 Mitchell Building
You must fill out the UMD VA Enrollment Certification Request and submit to the Veterans Certification Office before you can receive your G.I. Bill benefits.
G.I. Bill Benefit Website — This is a great resource for Veterans and dependents about hte G.I. Bill. You can create an account where you can have your questions answered by officials from the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Chapter 33 - Post 9/11 GI Bill
The Post 9/11 GI Bill provides financial support for education and housing to individuals with at least 90 days of aggregate service on or after September 11, 2001, or individuals discharged with a service-connected disability after 30 days. You must have received an honorable discharge to be eligible for the Post-9/11 GI Bill. The Post-9/11 GI Bill will become effective for training on or after August 1, 2009. The amount of support that an individual may qualify for depends on where they live and what type of degree they are pursuing. For a summary of Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits, see the benefit comparison chart. Approved training under the Post-9/11 GI Bill includes graduate and undergraduate degrees, and vocational/technical training. All training programs must be offered by an institution of higher learning (IHL) and approved for GI Bill benefits. Additionally, tutorial assistance, and licensing and certification test reimbursement are approved under the Post- 9/11 GI Bill.
Information on how to initiate Chapter 33 benefits
Each student has unique circumstances and goals and is at different steps in the VA Education Benefit/University application process. I will try, then, to give you a general explanation of the steps that need to be taken in order to enroll at the University of Maryland, College Park using your VA Education Benefit.
1. Apply to the VA for an education benefit (you can do this online through VONAPP at http://www.gibill.va.gov/ ).
2. Apply to the University for Undergraduate Admissions (you can do this online at http://www.umd.edu/admissions/ ). You may contact Undergraduate Admissions by email, email@example.com, or phone, 301-314-8385 or 1-800-422-8567.
3. Once admitted to the university, register for class. Since you will be considered either a Freshman or a Transfer Student, you must first attend an orientation before you can register for class. If you haven't already, you can schedule your orientation date through the following link: http://www.admissions.umd.edu/admissions/apply/orientation.asp . You will need to submit a UMD VA Enrollment Certification Request form (found here: http://www.testudo.umd.edu/vabenefits/index.html ) to our office, and we will certify your enrollment to the VA. This form can be submitted to in person at 1113 Mitchell Building, mailed, emailed (firstname.lastname@example.org), or faxed at 301-314-9568. This form needs to be filled out every time AFTER you register for a term or semester.
4. If you are a Post 9/11 GI Bill student, it helps to have a copy of your Certificate of Eligibility (CoE ? document from the VA stating benefit type, percentage rate, and duration) on file in our records. Though it is not required, there is an advantage to providing a copy of your CoE. As soon as we certify your enrollment to the VA, UMD can credit your account for the expected tuition and fees VA payment. Otherwise, you must wait for the VA to actually send the payment, which on average happens two to six weeks after we certify your enrollment. If you see late fees on your student account (related to your VA eligible tuition and fees), know that late fees related to your VA benefits are forgiven once the VA tuition and fees payment is credited to your student account. This can happen sooner if we have a copy of your CoE on file!
5. The VA will in turn pay education benefits based on your eligibility, as determined in step one above. The VA usually takes two to six weeks to process an enrollment certification, so I recommend that you submit your UMD VA Enrollment Certification Request Form to our office as soon as you are registered for classes.
Steps one and two may be completed in either order, but steps three and four must be done after steps one and two.
We highly recommend you look through GI Bill web site at www.gibill.va.gov for answers to all of your questions about the GI Bill, and also contact the GI BILL department of the VA at 1 888 GIBILL1 (442-4551), for advice on which program is best for your specific situation. To be transferred directly to an operator, press "1" then "0" when you hear the voice prompt.
Also, be sure to visit UMD's Veteran Student Life website at www.veterans.umd.edu , where you will find scholarships and other financial aid options for veterans under 'Financial Aid' and 'UMD Veterans Scholarships.'
If you are a Veteran and will be on campus soon you need to check out the new Veterans Center. This area was created for the Veteran community on campus and provides a relaxing space to take a break from class. Whether you want to meet other Vets, sip on some coffee, surf the Internet, print out your homework for free, or play on the PS3, you can stop by 1122 Cole Field House. In order to gain swipe-card access, you should write to VetStudentLife@umd.edu. Also, you can view upcoming events on the Office of Veteran Student Life's Google Calendar: www.veterans.umd.edu .
Feel free to contact me, should you have any further questions. Good luck and I hope to be one of the first to welcome you as a student to UMCP!
VA Certifying Official Contact Information:
Mr. Michael Vivian
Assistant, Office of the Registrar
University of Maryland
1113 Mitchell Building
College Park, MD 20742
PHONE 301 314 8239
FAX 301 314 9568
Chapter 30 - Montgomery GI Bill
The Montgomery GI Bill (Chapter 30) assists students who entered active duty for the first time after July 1, 1985, and who agreed to have their pay reduced by $100 for 12 months. Veterans must have received an honorable discharge and active-duty personnel must have served at least two years to be eligible to use their benefits.
Certain veterans and active-duty military personnel who were eligible for educational assistance under the Vietnam Era GI Bill (Chapter 34) on December 31, 1989, may be eligible for benefits under the Montgomery GI Bill if they have served on active duty since October 19, 1984, without a break in service and served three continuous years on active duty from June 30, 1985, through June 30, 1988, or served two continuous years on active duty followed by four years in the selected reserves after June 30, 1985. A break in service of 90 days or less during the period October 19, 1984, through June 30, 1985, will not disqualify a person from eligibility for benefits. However, a break in active duty of any length after June 30, 1985, will disqualify a person for Chapter 30. These participants are not required to make contributions to the program. Certain individuals who are voluntarily or involuntarily separated from active duty with an honorable discharge may elect to participate and make a $1,200 contribution to the Montgomery GI Bill program before separating from active duty. This includes individuals who may have participated in the Veterans Educational Assistance Program (VEAP - Chapter 32).
Individuals are allowed 36 months of full-time entitlement. Participants who have eligibility through the Vietnam Era GI Bill have 36 months of entitlement or the amount of entitlement they have remaining from Chapter 34, whichever is less. Benefits must be used within 10 years from the date the individual was last discharged from active duty
Chapter 30 - Montgomery GI Bill Tuition Assistance Top-up
Tuition Assistance Top-up is available to students on active duty and approved to use federal tuition assistance and eligible for Chapter 30, the Montgomery GI Bill.
On October 30, 2000 an amendment to the Montgomery GI Bill was signed into law which permits the Department of Veterans Affairs to pay a Tuition Assistance Top-up benefit. Prior to this law, all branches of the military could pay up to 75% of a service member's tuition and expenses through the Tuition Assistance program. Service members were required to pay the remaining costs of their tuition bill themselves and they were not allowed to receive Tuition Assistance and use their Montgomery GI Bill for the same course. With the passing of the law, all branches of the military are allowed to pay 100% of the service member's tuition and expenses. When the military cannot or does not cover 100% of the tuition and expenses, a service member, eligible for the Montgomery GI Bill can elect to receive his or her benefits for all or part of the remaining expenses.
The use of Tuition Assistance Top-up reduces future entitlement to the Montgomery GI Bill and service members should carefully consider their situations.
Chapter 31 - Vocational Rehabilitation
Vocational Rehabilitation (Chapter 31) provides assistance to veterans who have a service-connected disability of at least 20 percent and are in need of vocational rehabilitation.
Eligible veterans may be allowed up to 48 months of full-time benefits. Veterans generally have 12 years from the date they are notified of their entitlement to the program.
Chapter 32 - Veterans Educational Assistance Program (VEAP)
The Veterans Educational Assistance Program (Chapter 32 - VEAP) extends benefits to active-duty personnel and veterans who enlisted in the military between January 1, 1977, and July 11, 1985. Veterans must have been released under conditions other than dishonorable. Individuals must have contributed voluntarily to an educational fund through monthly pay reductions of $25 to $100, up to a maximum of $2,700. Contributions are matched at the rate of two dollars for each dollar contributed. (Eligibility to enroll in VEAP ended on March 31, 1987.)
Individuals are eligible to receive monthly benefits for the number of months they contributed or for 36 months, whichever is less. Eligibility in the program expires 10 years for the date of the participant's discharge or release from active duty. Participants in this program are allowed to request a refund of any remaining unused benefits.
Sections 901 and 903 - Department of Defense Educational Test and Pilot Program
Section 901 (Educational Assistance Test Program) and Section 903 (Educational Assistance Pilot Program) benefits are available to students whom the Department of Defense chose for participation from among those who enlisted between November 30, 1980, and September 30, 1981.
Participants are allowed 36 months of full-time benefits that must be used within 10 years from the date of last separation from active duty.
Chapter 1606 - Montgomery GI Bill - Selected Reserves
Montgomery GI Bill - Selected Reserves (Chapter 1606) benefits are available to reservists who enlist, reenlist, or extend an enlistment in the Selected Reserve for not less than six years on or after July 1, 1985. For officers, the six-year period is in addition to any other obligated period of service. Eligibility for the program requires that the reservists have obtained a high school diploma or equivalent. In addition, the reservist must have completed Initial Active Duty Training (IADB). Finally, a reservist must be participating in training at the time benefits are used.
A reservist is allowed 36 months of full-time benefits.
Chapter 35 - Survivors and Dependents Benefits
Survivors and Dependents Benefits (Chapter 35) provide educational benefits to spouses and children of veterans who either died while in service, died as a result of a service-connected disability, or became totally and permanently disabled as a result of their military service.
Survivors and dependents are allowed 45 months of full-time benefits. Spouses have 10 years from the date of the veteran's effective date of permanent and total disability rating or the veteran's death. Dependents' benefits end on their 26th birthday or eight years from the veteran's effective date of permanent or total disability rating or the veteran's death, but not after the dependent's 31st birthday.
REPS - Restored Entitlement Program for Survivors
Restored Entitlement Program for Survivors (REPS) may be available to certain survivors of deceased veterans in addition to Chapter 35 benefits. Eligibility for these benefits is limited to unmarried full-time students between the ages of 18 and 22 whose parent died while on active duty before August 13, 1981, or who died as a result of a service-connected disability incurred before August 13, 1981. These benefits are similar to the benefits eliminated from Social Security. The amount of the benefits is based on information from the Social Security Administration.
Students who are applying for benefits for the first time must complete DVA form 21-8924, Application of Surviving Spouse or Child for REPS Benefits.
For a full outline of education benefits available to veterans please visit the Department of Veterans Affairs Web site:www.gibill.va.gov