New Legislation for the Post 9/11 GI Bill® Effective Fall 2011 (August 1, 2011)
Tiered Eligibility for Active Duty
Effective March 1, 2011, the VA has established tiered eligibility for active duty members. Your percentage of eligibility is calculated based on your active duty time served after September 11, 2001. Your percentage of eligibility will determine your percentage of payment based on the annual cap for tuition and fees (see below).
Example: If your percentage of eligibility is 50%, you will be eligible for 50% of the annual cap of $19,198.31. Each term, the VA will send a 50% payment for the amount of tuition and fees certified. You will be responsible for the remaining cost.
Annual Cap of $19,198.31
The VA has established for BOTH active duty and veterans a private school annual cap of $19,198.31 for tuition and fees combined. Once this cap has been reached:
- If you are a veteran eligible for Yellow Ribbon, the Yellow Ribbon program would cover the remainder of your cost. (The Law Program has a Yellow Ribbon cap of $8,000.00 per year; all other programs are unlimited. If you exceed the Yellow Ribbon cap for the year, you will be responsible for the remaining cost.)
- If you are not eligible for Yellow Ribbon, you will be responsible to cover the remaining cost.
- Active duty service members are still not eligible for the Yellow Ribbon program.
Reporting Net Tuition and Fees
Regent will certify the NET cost of your Tuition and Fees (minus discounts, scholarships, Tuition Assistance, 3rd party funds, and other aid). This will be very helpful to not exhaust your cap as quickly.
- Title IV funds will NOT be deducted (e.g. Pell grants, federal loans).
- Private loans will NOT be deducted.
- Any aid that is not specifically designated for Tuition/Fees will NOT be deducted. (Example: A scholarship that could be used for books/housing/etc. will not be deducted.)
Example: Your total tuition for the semester costs $6,000.00 and your total fees cost $400.00. You have received a tuition scholarship for $2,000.00 and a Pell grant for $1,200.00. You are also using Tuition Assistance for $1,500.00. When certifying your enrollment with the VA for this term, Regent would report your tuition as $2,500.00 and your fees as $400.00.
University policy restricts institutional financial aid (scholarships/grants) from paying more than 100% of tuition when combined with certain non-Regent awards. Should your GI benefit cover 100% of your tuition costs, your GI Benefit will take precedent over any institutional scholarships or grants for which you might otherwise qualify. Examples of this are:
- All non-Law Yellow Ribbon eligible students
- Undergrad students who are receiving a 100% active duty benefit
Should your status for 100% eligibility change, or you reach your annual $9,198.31 cap, you would then be able to utilize your institutional scholarship or grant.
Under certain circumstances, your GI Benefit may be used in conjunction with other institutional awards for which you may qualify. Examples of this are:
- All veterans or active duty service members whose percentage of eligibility is less than 100% (Regent awards will be reduced to the combined maximum of 100% tuition)
- Graduate and doctoral students who are 100% active duty
The purpose for this policy is to best utilize the $19,198.31 cap and have the minimum impact on the semester costs for students as a result of the new GI benefit tuition caps.
E-benefits is a new tool available to you through the VA website. Please visit www.ebenefits.va.gov to enroll. You will be able to access information such as your percentage of eligibility, how much of the cap you have used for the current year, etc. You will be able to print off documents like award letters, Certificates of Eligibility, and DD-214's.
Changes to BAH Payments
- Veterans enrolled at less than full-time will see their housing stipend prorated to match the number of credit hours taken each term. No longer will the 51% rate of pursuit get the same as 100% rate of pursuit.
- Housing allowances will be prorated by the student's rate of pursuit (rounded to the nearest tenth).
- A student training at a rate of pursuit of 75% would receive 80% of the BAH rate.
- Break pay or interval pay is no longer payable under any VA education benefit program unless under an Executive Order of the President or due to an emergency, such as a natural disaster or strike.
- This means that when your semester ends (e.g. December 10th), your housing allowance is paid for the first 10 days of December only and begins again when your next semester begins (e.g. January 3rd) and is paid for the remaining days of January.
Who To Contact
The Department of Veterans
If you have questions about being certified under the Post 9/11 GI Bill®, please contact:
VA Certifying Official
Please refer to the Financial Aid Office to apply for scholarships and discounts.
Please refer to the Military Benefits Office for information about using Tuition Assistance via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or 757.352.4490.
"GI Bill®" is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government website at www.benefits.va.gov/gibill.