Where Do I start?

1. Have you applied to USW?
2. Have you applied for education benefits with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)?
  • If not, you will need to contact the VA. They will determine your eligibility and begin the process of applying for your benefits. You can contact VA Education Services at 1-888-GIBILL-1 (1-888-442-4551) (TDD 1-800-829-4833). www.gibill.va.gov/apply-for-benefits/road-map/ is a handy site that will walk you through, step-by-step, from determining your benefits to the application process.
  • Eligible service members enrolled in the Post-9/11 GI Bill® program may transfer their unused educational benefits to their spouse or children. Visit www.gibill.va.gov/post-911/post-911-gi-bill-summary/transfer-of-benefits.html for more information.
3. What documents will I need to apply for benefits?
  • DD214 Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty for most recent period of active duty.
  • If you are still on active duty, just enter your dates of service.
  • You may complete your application online by visiting www.gibill.va.gov/apply-for-benefits/application/
4. I am currently on active duty. Can I use my education benefits now?
  • Yes, but any benefits you use will be subtracted from your overall benefits package.
5. If I apply now, do I have to use my benefits immediately?
  • No, but each chapter has time limitations; please visit https://benefits.va.gov/gibill/ for information on all benefit chapters.
  • If you need further assistance choosing which chapter is right for you, the VA Vocational and Employment office offers counseling that is free to all veterans; please call 1-800-827-1000 or you may discuss your options with a VA education benefits specialist by calling 1-888-GIBILL-1 (1-888-442-4551) (TDD 1-800-829-4833).
6. How long does the VA take to approve benefits?
  • The VA application and review process takes approximately 4 to 6 weeks.
I’ve Been Admitted to USW...Now What?

1. What is the next step after I have registered for classes?
  • Contact a Veteran associate for more information.
2. What information will I need to provide?
  • The most recent copy of your Certificate of Eligibility from the VA.
  • Students may contact VA Education at 1-888-442-4551 to request a copy to be faxed to USW.
  • Your military transcript(s) must be submitted to Admissions.
  • Transcripts from any other college(s)/institution(s) you have previously attended – this is a requirement for all service members, and transcripts must be submitted to Admissions.
  • Your DD214, member 4
  • If you have previously used your benefits at another college/university: VA Form 22-1995 or 22-5495.
  • Chapter 31 only: VA Form 1905 (Authorization and Certification of Entrance and Re-entrance into Rehabilitation and Certification of Status) completed by your VA Counselor.
3. I can’t find my DD214, what do I do?
4. How do I get a copy of my military transcript(s)?
  • Contact your branch of the service.
5. My tuition won’t be covered 100% by VA benefits, what other financial assistance is out there for me?
  • A good starting place is the USW Office of Financial Aid. Their website includes a link for information on various grants and scholarships, as well as loan information.
6. How long does USW take to process my enrollment certification?
  • The usual processing time takes less than a week.
  • You will receive an email confirmation from the VA when your certification request has been submitted. The email will come to your USW email and your personal email address (if provided).
7. Since USW is a private institution, how much will the VA pay for me to attend?
  • For a private Institution of Higher Learning, the VA will pay the lesser of a set national cap per academic year (Aug 1-Jul 31) or the actual tuition and fees charged by the institution.
  • If you are entitled to 100% of the Post-9/11 benefits and will exceed the set yearly cap, USW participates in the Yellow Ribbon Program for 2012-13, which means your remaining balance may be covered, based on your entitlement.
How To

1. How do I receive VA benefits for each term that I am attending?
  • Submit a completed and signed USW VA Enrollment Certification Request Form to Financial Aid.
  • We encourage all students to submit the Request Form as soon as they have registered for classes.
2. How do I receive a book and supply voucher?
  • Ch. 31 Voc Rehab students are the only students provided with these vouchers. Once certified for the current term, contact the USW Business Office to obtain a voucher. Please note, a current VA 22-1905 must be on hand to provide the vouchers.
3. How do I check the status of my payment?
  • Refer to the award letter the VA provided you – the award letter outlines school payments, applicable monthly housing stipends, book stipends, etc.
  • Or call VA Education Services at 1-888-GIBILL-1 (1-888-442-4551).
  • Or check your benefits online: www.ebenefits.va.gov/ebenefits-portal/ebenefits.portal.
4. How do I drop or add a class in the term after I have been certified for VA benefits?
  • Please follow the “drop or add a class” guidelines as provided by your academic advisor or the Registrar’s Office.
  • Then send an email to veterans@uiwtx.edu and include your name, school ID and the class name & number of any drops or additions.
5. How do I get a refund of the money that I paid into the Montgomery GI Bill®?
  • Unfortunately, the money you contributed into the Montgomery GI Bill® is non-refundable unless you elect to use Montgomery GI Bill® benefits. You have 10 years and 1 day from the date of your honorable discharge to use the MGIB.
  • If you paid the $1200 buy-in for the Montgomery GI Bill® and elect to use the Post 9/11 GI Bill®, you may be refunded a portion of the buy-in if, and after, all entitlement under the Post 9/11 GI Bill® is used. If you do not use all your entitlement under the Post 9/11 GI Bill® you will not receive a refund for your buy-in.
6. How do I apply for an extension of VA educational benefits?
  • Contact VA Education Services at 1-888-GIBILL-1 (1-888-442-4551) for assistance. You may not receive more than a maximum of 48 months of benefits under any combination of VA educational programs.

GI Bill® is a registered trademark of theU.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government website at http://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill.