Application for Veteran’s Benefits
VA applications determine eligibility for educational assistance. All students must file an application upon starting classes at USC Lancaster. Students who have not previously received VA benefits must file an original application; students who have used their benefits at another school must file a Request for Change of Program or Place of Training form. Students should complete the original application or the Request for Change of Program or Place of Training form through Veterans Online Application (VONAPP) located on the VA website at http://gibill.va.gov/apply-for-benefits/application/.
Types of Education Assistance Programs
Chapter 33 (Post 9/11 G.I.-Bill):
- Students eligible for Chapter 33 must have served on active
duty after September 11, 2001 for:
- A minimum of 90 combined days (excluding entry level and
- At least 30 continuous days if discharged for a service
- Tuition and Fees: The tuition and fees payment
is prorated by the student’s Chapter 33 eligibility
percentage and is paid directly to the school;
- Monthly Housing Allowance: The monthly housing
allowance is also prorated by the student’s Chapter
33 eligibility and is paid directly to the student.
***Active Duty personnel are not eligible for the
- Books and Supplies: A lump sum stipend is paid
directly to the student when the school’s enrollment
certification is processed.
- For more information about chapter 33 VA benefits please visit: http://gibill.va.gov/post-911/post-911-gi-bill-summary/
Chapter 30 (G.I. Bill-Active Duty):
Chapter 35 (Dependents Educational Assistance):
- Must be the child or spouse of:
- A veteran who died or is permanently and totally
disabled as the result of a service-connected disability
- A veteran who died from any cause while such service-connected
disability was in existence.
- A servicemember missing in action or captured in
line of duty by a hostile force.
- A servicemember forcibly detained or interned in
line of duty by a foreign government or power.
- A servicemember who is hospitalized or receiving
outpatient treatment for a service connected permanent and
total disability and is likely to be discharged for that
- For more information on eligibility and benefit information please visit: http://gibill.va.gov/post-911/other-programs/dea.html
Chapter 1606 (Selected Reserve):
Chapter 1607 (REAP):
Upon receipt of all required documentation, the certifying official
will forward an Enrollment Certificate to the Veterans Administration
Regional Office. No paperwork will automatically be prepared and
forwarded to the Veterans Administration for processing and payment
without the student's request. Students must complete the Veterans
Certificate Request Form (see link at top of this page)
for each term that they wish to receive benefits. Completed forms
should be forwarded to the USC Lancaster Financial Aid and Veteran
**If you are eligible for any of the VA Education programs, please contact Brandi Thompson at 803-313-7068 for required documentation information prior to enrollment certification.
Non-required Courses & Repeating a Course
The VA does not permit payment for any course that is not required for graduation. This includes repeats of a grade 'D' or better (unless a higher grade is required). Additional or excessive electives cannot be certified. This does not apply for courses failed that are needed for graduation. If you are unsure if a class can be certified, please contact our office at 803.313.7068.
Changes in Student Status
All students using education benefits from the VA are required to keep the University Certifying Official informed of all of the following: Withdrawals, change of major, and change of address.
Dropping the enrolled hours below the number of hours certified for may result in a retroactive reduction in benefits and a debt to the VA.
Satisfactory Academic Progress
All students receiving education benefits from the VA are required to maintain academic progress according to the standards established by USC Lancaster. Students who do not maintain satisfactory progress will have their benefits discounted and the Certifying Official will inform the VA of this action. The VA will determine the conditions for reinstatement of benefits.
Important Veteran News:
POST 9/11 VETERANS EDUCATION ASSISTANCE IMPROVEMENT ACT OF 2010
On January 4, 2011, President Obama signed into law the Senate Bill (S-3447), “Post 9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Improvement Act of 2010”. A brief summary of this new law’s impact is outlined below:
Effective now but not payable until October 1, 2011:
- Expands the Post-9/11 GI Bill to include Active Service performed by National Guard members under title 32 U.S.C. for the purpose of organizing, administering, recruiting, instructing, or training the National Guard; or under section 502(f) for the purpose of responding to a national emergency
Effective August 1, 2011:
- Simplifies the tuition and fee rates for those attending a public school and creates a national rate for those enrolled in a private or foreign school
- No individual state caps
- Private school costs are capped at $17,500 annually
- The Yellow Ribbon Program still exists for costs above the cap
- Allows VA to pay kickers on a monthly basis instead of a lump sum at the beginning of the term and also pay kickers to those who are attending school at half-time or less
- Allows those who are eligible for both Chapter 31 Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment benefits and Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits to choose the Post-9/11 GI Bill’s monthly housing allowance instead of the Chapter 31 subsistence allowance
- Allows reimbursement for more than one “license and certification” test (previously only one test was allowed)
- Allows reimbursement of fees paid to take national exams used for admission to an institution of higher learning (e.g., SAT, ACT, GMAT, LSAT)
- Break 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 situation such as a natural disaster or strike.
Effective October 1, 2011:
- Allows students to use the Post-9/11 GI Bill for non-college degree programs such as on-the-job training, flight (for other than a private pilot license) at flight schools, apprenticeship training, and correspondence courses
- Flight programs: Pays the lesser of actual net costs for in-state Tuition and Fees assessed by the school or $10,000, which ever is less “per academic year.”
- Housing allowance is now payable to students (other than those on active duty) enrolled solely in distance learning, the housing allowance is ½ the national average BAH for an E-5 with dependents (the full time rate would be $673.50 for 2011)
- Prorates housing allowance by rate of pursuit (rounded to the nearest tenth)
- A ¾ time student would receive 80% of the BAH rate
- Allow students on active duty to receive a books and supplies stipend.