Veterans Affairs Frequently Asked Questions

Student veterans talking outside

This is a guide to the benefits that veterans may be eligible to receive as students at WSU Vancouver. However, it is recommended that you see one of the Veterans Representatives in the Student Services Center for the most up-to-date information. Thanks!

Frequently asked questions and answers


How can I find out how many months of education benefits I have remaining?

You can view this information if you have an ebenefits account. You can call the VA Education Benefit hotline at 1-888-442-4551, to receive an update on the status of your remaining eligibility.

When will I be paid my monthly stipend from the VA?

The VA typically pays on the first of every month for the previous month. For example, October 1 you’ll get a check for the month of September. Payments are prorated, meaning checks will be less during months we aren’t in school from beginning to end (August, December, January and May).

Student veteran outside smilingAm I eligible for any tuition waivers?

Veterans: If you are a resident of the state of Washington and received an "Honorable" discharge from the military, you may be eligible for a 50% tuition waiver. Please see the tuition waiver applications to view all the requirements or get in contact with the Veterans Coordinator for more details.

Dependents: If you are a child or spouse of a deceased or 100% disabled veteran, firefighter or law enforcement officer, you may be eligible for a 100% tuition waiver. Please see the tuition waiver applications to view all the requirements or get in contact with the Veterans Coordinator for more details.

 *The tuition waiver programs are provided by the state of Washington and are administered separately from the VA education benefits. Participation in tuition waiver programs will have an effect on your financial aid entitlement.

Can I use financial aid and VA benefits?

Yes! In fact, we encourage that you file your FAFSA to see what financial aid you may be eligible for. VA benefits aren’t always enough to cover the cost associated with being a student (books, living expenses, etc.), so financial aid can be helpful. There are financial aid counselors available to help you determine what would be beneficial for you to accept from the financial aid package you are offered. Grants and scholarships are “free” money, but loans are debt that you do pay back.

When I filed the FAFSA, it was based on my income while I was in the military. Now that I’m a student, my income situation has changed. Is there anything I can do about this?

Yes! You can file a Special Circumstance Appeal to have your financial information recalculated. Once the committee reviews your appeal, this could change what you are offered in financial aid. 

How does tuition payment work if I receive financial aid and VA benefits?

Chapter 30 (Montgomery GI Bill), Chapter 35 (Dependents), Chapter 1606 (Montgomery GI Bill Reserves), Chapter 1607 (REAP):

If you are receiving a tuition waiver, this is included in your financial aid package. Financial aid will be used to pay your student account balance and any excess funds will be refunded back to you.

Chapter 31 (Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment):

Financial aid will be applied to the tuition balance on the student account automatically on the first day of the term. Pullman places a “VA Guarantee” on the student account during the first two weeks of the term. Once the guarantee is on the account, financial aid will be refunded to the student. If it is a financial hardship to wait for your financial aid refund in this timeframe, please see the Veterans Coordinator as soon as possible for other options.

Chapter 33 (Post 9/11 GI Bill):

If you are receiving a tuition waiver, it is included in your financial aid package. Your financial aid money is applied to your tuition balance automatically on the first day of the term. The Veterans Coordinator reports tuition to the VA after the tenth day of classes at the start of each term. It takes approximately 4 – 6 weeks from the time tuition is reported to when payment is applied to the student account. Students will not be charged any late fees while waiting for VA funding to come through. If it is a financial hardship to wait for your financial aid refund in this timeframe, please see the Veterans Coordinator as soon as possible for other options.

Student veteran wearing a proud to be a veteran t-shirtI’m using the Post 9/11 GI Bill, but I’m not eligible for 100%. Is there anything WSU can offer to help with the portion of tuition that my GI Bill doesn’t cover?

Yes! You may be eligible for a tuition waiver up to 50%. If you are eligible 90% of the GI Bill, WSU can offer you a 10% waiver etc. One thing to note about this—WSU is required to report to the VA that you are receiving a tuition waiver.

For example—70% GI Bill, 30% waiver:

  • $5,441.50 (Tuition)
  • -$1,632.45 (30% tuition waiver)
  • $3809.05 (This is what WSU reports to the VA for your tuition)
  • -$2,666.33 (VA pays 70% of what WSU reports)
  • $1,142.72 tuition balance you are responsible for paying

I am a non-resident student and want to attend WSU Vancouver. Will the Post 9/11 GI Bill cover all of my tuition?

No. The Post 9/11 GI Bill will only pay the costs associated with in-state enrollment. However, the laws concerning veterans and residency for purposes of tuition are evolving. Currently, a veteran who enters an institution of higher learning within three years of discharge and demonstrates intent to establish Washington residency is eligible for resident tuition rates immediately. Please see the Veterans Coordinator for more information and to provide documentation to ensure you are charged the correct tuition rates.

True Washington residency can be established in 12 months. Please visit the WSU residency page for details. If you do not qualify for resident tuition, WSU does participate in the Yellow Ribbon Program, which is designed to help offset the extra costs associated with attending school as a non-resident. It will reduce your extra tuition costs by $1,300 per year and is applied to your fall semester tuition bill. Please notify the Veterans Coordinator if you wish to participate.

I’m using the Post 9/11 GI Bill. How long until the VA pays my tuition and fees?

Tuition is reported to the VA after the tenth day of classes. It takes approximately 4 – 6 weeks from the time your tuition is reported to when payment is applied to your student account. You will not be charged any late fees while we wait for VA funding to come through.

How many credits must I be enrolled in to be eligible for BAH under the Post 9/11 GI Bill?

Students using Chapter 33 benefits must be enrolled in at least seven credits to be eligible for BAH. If you are enrolled less than fulltime (12 credits), BAH payments will be prorated in 10% increments. BAH rates are based on the zip code of the school. WSU Vancouver’s zip code is 98686. 

Can I take online classes and classes on campus if I am using the Post 9/11 GI Bill?

Yes, you can take a combination of resident (on campus) and distance (online) classes. Students must take at least one class on campus to receive the BAH rate for the school’s zip code. If a student is enrolled in all online classes, the BAH rate is half the national average, which is about $700 per month. If you are thinking about taking online classes, it is beneficial to take at least one class on campus to get the higher BAH rate.

Student veteran wearing a proud to be a veteran t-shirtI recently came off active duty. Why haven’t I received any BAH payments yet?

You probably need to send the VA an updated DD214. You are not eligible for BAH from the GI Bill while you are active duty. For example, if the semester starts in August, but you come off active duty in October, you will not be paid BAH for August, September, or October. You will begin earning BAH November 1 and you will receive payment on December 1 for the month of November. The VA needs the most up to date DD214 showing when you came off active duty in order to start paying your BAH. You can fax your updated DD214 to the VA at 1-918-781-7863.

If my GI Bill exhausts during the semester, will the VA pay the entire semester?

It depends. If you are a veteran and this is the first VA benefit you have used, the VA will pay for the rest of the semester. If you have combined your benefits (for example, used 36 months of the Montgomery GI Bill and are now using 12 months of the Post 9/11 GI Bill) and will exceed your 48th month during the semester, then the VA will only make payments up to the last day of that 48th month and your tuition payment and BAH will be prorated.

If you are a dependent, there is no exceeding the 36th month of the Post 9/11 GI Bill, and payments will stop mid semester if your eligibility is exhausted. Similarly, Chapter 35 Dependent Education Assistance students may not exceed the 45 month limit of their benefit, except under rare circumstances which must be approved by the VA. A dependent student may combine his or her Post 9/11 GI Bill and their Chapter 35 benefit. This could yield a maximum of 81 months of combined eligibility (up to 36 from the GI Bill and 45 from DEA).