For questions about enrolling and using VA educational benefits:
For questions about student accounts of VA students:
Where Do I Start?
HOW to apply
USW looks forward to assisting you with your VA Education Benefits!
Follow these steps to apply for benefits, apply to USW, and finish the process of setting up your benefits with USW.
Apply to USW!
Apply to the USW academic program of your choice
Provide other transcript(s) for previously attended institutions along with any Military transcript(s) during admissions process
Review Credit for Service policy
VA Benefits are Applied to your Student Account
USW will note the account as using VA Benefits once confirmed to notify departments across campus. Notification will be seen in Self-Service for students as a reminder to notify the USW SCO of any enrollment changes
Should you choose to use benefits at USW and your account is noted, what’s next?
USW’s School Certifying Official (SCO) will submit an official certification of enrollment each semester after the add/drop of the term
VA students are responsible for notifying USW of any benefit and enrollment changes
Complete USW VA Certification form each academic year for continued enrollment verification to the VA
Check Self-Service Student Finance page regularly for account balances and deadlines
Policies, Forms, & Resources
Education is essential for your career. It is important to use your education benefits wisely.
Check out our College Financing Plan, available to all students that have completed a FAFSA and have been awarded financial aid.
In addition to your GI Bill® benefits, you may be eligible for state, federal, and private education programs, scholarships, and college funds that can help you reach your goals. To learn more about your specific education benefits check out the following related links:
Credit For Service
DANTES Military Evaluations Program
Pursuing your college degree can be the best career move you can make, but it can also be very expensive and time consuming. That's why claiming credit for your military experience is vital. Applying your military experience credits could save you money and time. Best of all, using these college credits costs you nothing; you've already earned them!
The American Council on Education
The American Council on Education (ACE) was created in 1942 to recognize the educational value of military training and experience. Since that time ACE has continuously evaluated military schools, correspondence courses and occupations to determine the amount and level of academic credit each should be awarded. Through ACE, you can take academic credit for most of the training you have received, including Basic Training. The ACE military evaluations program is funded by the Department of Defense (DoD) and coordinated through DANTES.
Visit the ACE Military Programs website to see how much credit you may have earned.
Getting ACE credits
The first step to claiming the credits you have earned is to request a transcript from your military service. Each service will provide unofficial personal copies and send us an official copy of your transcript at no charge. Each service branch has their own system for recording your military education and experience credits:
The Army uses the AARTS system, which automatically captures your academic credits from military training, and Standardized tests. The AARTS system is available to enlisted soldiers only. AARTS Home Page
Army Officers must use the form DD 295 (Application for Evaluation of Learning) to report their military training and experience.
Navy and Marines
The Navy and Marine Corps use the SMART system. This system automatically captures your training, experience and standardized test scores. SMART Homepage
The Community College of the Air Force (CCAF) automatically captures your training, experience and standardized test scores. Transcript information may be viewed at the CCAF web site.
The Coast Guard Institute (CGI) requires each Service member to submit documentation of all training (except correspondence course records), along with an enrollment form, to receive a transcript.
Under most circumstances, Veterans are eligible to use their former service branches transcript program. However if you are not eligible for AARTS, SMART, CCAF, or CGI systems, you will need to fill out form DD-295 and provide your DD-214 Discharge Document to receive credit or your experience.
Applying Your ACE Credits
In most cases, ACE recommended credits will be used to fulfill your free-elective requirements, but we will determine the number of credits that we will accept, and how they will be applied toward your degree.
One Last Money-Saving Tip
Have all of your official transcripts from previous colleges and service branches sent to USW for evaluation, before you start taking any classes. Many students waste valuable time and money taking classes that are unnecessary duplications of previous courses, because they signed up before their military and prior college transcripts were completely evaluated.
Student Bill of Rights
The Military Student Bill of Rights spells out ten specific “rights” that military students should have as they explore, enroll, and work toward degrees at SOC Consortium colleges and universities.
All military student populations have these basic righs to satisfactory college marketing, admissions, and student services practices including the right to:
Accurate information about a school’s programs, requirements, accreditation, and its potential impact on course transferability.
Access basic college/university information and fees without disclosure of student personal information.
Educational planning and career guidance without high-pressure registration and enrollment efforts from institutions.
A clear and complete explanation of course/program enrollment procedures and all resulting financial obligations.
Explore, without coercion, all financial aid options before signing up for student loans or other financial assistance.
Accurate scholarship information, free of misleading 'scholarship' offers based on military tuition assistance.
Appropriate academic screening and course placement based on student readiness.
Appropriate, accessible academic and student support services.
Clearly defined institutional “drop/add” and withdrawal policies and procedures including information about the impact of military duties (e.g., mobilization, activation, temporary duty assignments) on their academic standing and financial responsibilities.
Clearly defined grievance/appeals processes.
VA Pending Payment Compliance
In accordance with Title 38 US Code 3679(e), University of the Southwest (USW) adopts the following additional provisions for any students using U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Post-9/11 G.I. Bill® (Ch. 33) or Vocational Rehabilitation & Employment (Ch. 31) benefits, while payment to the institution is pending from VA. University of the Southwest (USW) will not:
Prevent the student’s enrollment;
Assess a late penalty fee to the student;
Require the student to secure alternative or additional funding;
Deny the student access to any resources (access to classes, libraries, or other institutional facilities) available to other students who have satisfied their tuition and fee bills to the institution.
However, to qualify for this provision, such students may be required to:
Produce the VA Certificate of Eligibility (COE) by the published due tuition due date (i.e., approximately one week prior to the first day of class);
Provide a written request to be certified, which can be completed with the USW VA Certification Request Form;
Provide any additional information needed to properly certify the enrollment.
USW proudly works with a distinguished list of educational partners to provide excellent services to our military students: