Education Benefits

Military Student Services

 

Learn how your VA education benefits and your Tuition Assistance Program work here at WCU. 

Information found below should help you better understand what is covered and what you will need to pay out of pocket, requirements, and the forms you need to complete. Feel free to contact us if you have questions or if we can help you with your education benefits. Briana Ford, Director of Military Student Services, can be reached at 828-227-3074 or blford@wcu.edu

 **Attention: the following information applies to Western Carolina University procedures only. Other schools may have different requirements.
***VA regulations and Western Carolina University procedures are subject to change without prior notice.

dependent education program

Chapter 35-Dependent's Education Assistance

  • Apply to use this benefit at www.gibill.va.gov or complete the paper version VA form 22-5490.

  • Complete the Military Education Benefits Notification form.

  • Provide a copy of your application and/or your certificate of eligibility to the certifying official.

  • This benefit is paid directly to the student on a monthly basis. The VA pays at the beginning of the month for the previous month.

  • All charges at the school are the responsibility of the student and due on the regular due dates.

  • If this is the first time you are using this benefit, please remember it can take the VA up to 12 weeks to process your certification once it is submitted. Budget accordingly.

  • If you have used this benefit previously at another school, please complete VA form 22-5495 and provide a copy to the certifying official.

mgib

Chapter 30-GI Bill™

Apply to use this benefit at www.gibill.va.gov or complete the paper version VA form 22-1990.

  • Complete the Military Education Benefits Notification form.

  • Provide a copy of your application and/or your certificate of eligibility to the certifying official.

  • This benefit is paid directly to the student on a monthly basis. The VA pays at the beginning of the month for the previous month.

  • The student must call 1-877-823-2378 or log in to W.A.V.E to verify his/her attendance each month.

  • All charges at the school are the responsibility of the student and due on the regular due dates.

  • If this is the first time you are using this benefit, please remember it can take the VA up to 12 weeks to process your certification once it is submitted. Budget accordingly.

  • If you have used this benefit previously at another school, complete VA form 22-1995 and provide a copy to the certifying official.

post 9/11

Chapter 33-Post-9/11 GI Bill

  • Apply to use this benefit at www.gibill.va.gov or complete the paper version VA form 22-1990.

  • Complete the Military Education Benefits Notification form.

  • Provide a copy of your application and/or your certificate of eligibility to the certifying official.

  • The VA will pay the school directly for the tuition and fees. Only the instate rate is approved. The VA does NOT pay the out of state tuition and fee rate. 

    • There will be an estimate put on the student’s account for the amount we expect to receive from the VA for tuition and fees only. This is just an estimate and may be adjusted based on what the VA actually pays the school.
  • With the exception of instate tuition and fees, ALL charges at the school are the responsibility of the student and due on the regular due dates. This includes housing and meal plans.

  • Chapter 33 does pay a housing allowance. It is paid directly to the student on a monthly basis. The VA pays at the beginning of the month for the previous month.

  • If this is the first time you are using this benefit, please remember it can take the VA up to 12 weeks to process your certification once it is submitted. You may not receive your housing allowance until mid to late semester. Budget accordingly.

  • If you have used this benefits previously at another school, please complete VA from 22-1995 and provide a copy to the certifying official.

  • Chapter 33 does pay a book stipend. It is paid directly to the full time student once in the fall and once in the spring.

  • If you are due a refund, please keep in mind we can not refund you monies we have not yet received. Therefore, all or part of your refund may be delayed until the funds arrive from the VA. You should expect these funds to arrive mid to late semester. Budget accordingly.

  • The regulations for chapter 33 are complex and the benefits varies based on many different factors. For information on your specific benefits, please contact the VA directly at 1-888-442-4551

post 9/11 transferred to dependent

Chapter 33-Post-9/11 GI Bill Transfer of Eligibility

  • Parent must file to transfer the benefit to the dependent (spouse or child)
  • Once, approved the dependent then applies to use this benefit at gibill.va.gov or complete the paper version VA form 22-1990e.
  • Complete the Military Education Benefits Notification form.
  • Provide a copy of your application and/or your certificate of eligibility to the certifying official.
  • The VA will pay the school directly for the tuition and fees. Only the instate rate is approved. The VA does NOT pay the out of state tuition and fee rate.
    • There will be an estimate put on the student’s account for the amount we expect to receive from the VA for tuition and fees only. This is just an estimate and may be adjusted based on what the VA actually pays the school.
  • With the exception of instate tuition and fees, ALL charges at the school are the responsibility of the student and due at the regular due dates. This includes housing and meal plans.
  • Chapter 33 does pay a housing allowance. It is paid directly to the student on a monthly basis. The VA pays at the beginning of the month for the previous month.
  • If this is the first time you are using this benefit, please remember it can take the VA up to 12 weeks to process your certification once it is submitted. You may not receive your housing allowance until mid to late semester. Budget accordingly.
  • If you have used this benefits previously at another school, please complete VA from 22-1995 and provide a copy to the certifying official.
  • Chapter 33 does pay a book stipend. It is paid directly to the full time student once in the fall and once in the spring.
  • If you are due a refund, please keep in mind we can not refund you monies we have not yet received. Therefore, all or part of your refund may be delayed until the funds arrive from the VA. You should expect these funds to arrive mid to late semester. Budget accordingly.
  • The regulations for chapter 33 are complex and the benefits varies based on many different factors. Contact the VA directly at 1-888-442-4551 for information on your specific benefits. 

reserve education assistance

Chapter 1606/1607-REAP (Reserve Education Assistance Program)

Updated information (January 4, 2016):

We would like to provide a brief heads up that affects members of the Reserve. On November 25, 2015, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) of 2016 decided to sunset the Reserve Educational Assistance Program (REAP).
REAP served to bridge the education benefit gap between those eligible for the Montgomery GI Bill-Selected Reserve and those serving in the Reserve component who were called to active duty but were not eligible for the Montgomery GI Bill-Selected Reserve. Long story short … the Post-9/11 GI Bill in many ways has replaced REAP because it has also closed this gap by providing eligibility for certain Reserve and National Guard members called to active duty.
The change affects beneficiaries differently:

  • Current REAP beneficiaries - if you were attending an educational institution during the semester, quarter, or term that immediately preceded Nov. 25, 2015, you may continue to receive REAP benefits.

  • REAP beneficiaries not attending school - Beneficiaries who applied for REAP but were not attending an institution during the semester, quarter, or term that immediately preceded Nov. 25, 2015, are not eligible to receive REAP benefits.

  • New REAP applicants - if VA received your initial REAP application after Nov. 24, 2015, you are no longer eligible for REAP benefits.

VA understands this change may have an impact on students who expect to return to school for the spring 2016 semester. In most cases, students will be eligible for Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits.
Should you need immediate information, please call the VA at 1-888-GIBILL-1 (7 a.m. to 7 p.m. CST, Monday through Friday) to speak with an Education Call Center Agent for questions about benefits or eligibility for education assistance programs.
For students who already receive REAP assistance:

  • Procedures for applying for this benefit vary by branch. Please contact your ESO or Commander for details.

  • Complete the Military Education Benefits Notification form.

  • Provide a copy of your application and/or your NOBE to the certifying official.

  • This benefit is paid directly to the student on a monthly basis. The VA pays at the beginning of the month for the previous month.

  • All charges at the school are the responsibility of the student and due on the regular due dates.

  • If this is the first time you are using this benefit, please remember it can take the VA up to 12 weeks to process your certification once it is submitted. Budget accordingly.

  • If you have used this benefit previously at another school, complete VA form 22-1995 and provide a copy to the certifying official.

vocational rehabilitation

Chapter 31- Vocational Rehabilitation

  • Once you are approved for this benefit and have been accepted at the university, complete the Military Education Benefits Notification form.
  • Always follow the instructions provided by your case manager.
    • There will be an estimate put on the student’s account for the amount we expect to receive from the VA for tuition and fees only. This is just an estimate and may be adjusted based on what the VA actually pays the school.
  • You may charge supplies at the book store, if approved. Check with your case manager for details.
  • You will be required to pay some fees up front and be reimbursed later. For example, you will have to pay the tuition deposit (currently $150) to ensure your place here at the school. This amount will be included in the tuition reported to the VA.
  • If this is the first time you are using this benefit, please remember it can take the VA up to 12 weeks to process your certification once it is submitted. Budget accordingly.
  • If you are due a refund, please keep in mind we can not refund you monies we have not yet received. Therefore, all or part of your refund may be delayed until the funds arrive from the VA. You should expect these funds to arrive mid to late semester. Budget accordingly.

army tuition assistance

Go Army Ed

  • Download the GAE Hip Pocket Guide
  • Complete the application at goarmyed.com.
  • Apply and be accepted to the university.
  • Complete the Military Education Benefits Notification form.
  • Register for class at Western.
  • Register for the exact same class in goarmyed.com.
  • There will be an estimate put on the student’s account for the amount we expect to receive from the Army for tuition only. This is just an estimate and may be adjusted based on what the Army actually pays the school.
  • Any additional charges are the responsibility of the student and are due at the regular due dates.
  • If you receive a bill you believe to be incorrect, contact us immediately. Do not ignore the bill. Please contact Briana Ford at 828-227-3074 or blford@wcu.edu.

all other tuition assistance

All Branches Except Army

  • Apply to use TA per your military branch's specific requirements. See your ESO for details.
  • Complete the Military Education Benefits Notification form.
  • Provide a copy of your TA authorization form to the certifying official.
  • There will be an estimate put on the student's account for the amount we expect to receive from the Military for tuition and fees only. This is just an estimate and may be adjusted based on what tuition assistance actually pays the school.
  • Any additional charges are the responsibility of the student and are due at the regular due dates.
  • If you receive a bill you believe to be incorrect, contact Briana Ford immediately. Do not ignore the bill.
GI BILL is a registered trademark of the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government web site at www.benefits.va.gov/gibill
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