VA Education Benefits Certification Information - Chapter 33: (Post 911 GI Bill)

Veterans Education Benefits Certification Information

Eligibility Requirements and Documents Required - 
Chapter 33: (Post 9/11 Veterans Benefits)

Depending on the student's situation, chapter 33 benefits can include payment of tuition and fees, a monthly housing allowance, a stipend for books and supplies, college fund (―kicker) payments, a rural benefit payment, and a Yellow Ribbon Program benefit. Chapter 33 differs from other education chapters in that each type of payment is issued separately, with some payments made directly to the school and others directly to the student.

Post-9/11 Veterans Education Benefits education and training general information - Any veteran who served any active duty time after 9/11/2001 may be eligible to receive Chapter 33 benefits.

Chapter 33 benefits information is available online

Tuition and Fees

The tuition and fees payment is paid directly to the school on behalf of the student when the school's enrollment certification is processed.

The tuition and fees payment is prorated if the student does not receive 100% VA education benefits. It is also limited to the highest per credit hour tuition and the maximum fees charged by a public institution for undergraduate training in the state where the student is enrolled. Tuition and fees normally arrive at the college 4-6 weeks after they were certified to the VA. 

Monthly Housing Allowance

A monthly housing allowance is paid directly to the student at the end of the month the student was enrolled in classes. The first payment may not arrive at the end of the first month if the student was late in submitting their term planner. The standard processing time by the VA is 30 days from the time the school certifies the student's enrollment. The allowance is prorated if the student wasn't enrolled in classes for the full month. Active duty personnel are not eligible for the housing allowance.

The monthly housing allowance paid equals the Department of Defense's Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) for an E-5 with dependents and the zip code of the school.

Rate of Pursuit

Rate of pursuit applies specifically to chapter 33. It differs from training time, which is used for all other chapters. Schools certify actual credit. VA calculates rate of pursuit by dividing the number of credit (or credit hour equivalents) being pursued by the number of credit considered to be full-time by the school. The resulting percentage is the student's rate of pursuit.
Examples: If full-time is 12 credits, then rate of pursuit for:
- 7 credits (or credit equivalents) is 58% (7 / 12 = 58%). The VA will round up to 60% rate.

The Housing Allowance is paid if the student's rate of pursuit is more than 50%. Rate of pursuit determines whether a student receives or doesn't receive the housing allowance. If pursuit is more than 50% the student receives the housing allowance. If pursuit 50% or less the student doesn't receive the housing allowance.

Distance Learning and the Housing Allowance

Students whose enrollment is exclusively distance learning (online, hybrid, etc) will be paid 50% of the housing rate they would normally be entitled to for the number of credits they were certified for. If a student's enrollment is both distance learning and resident training (standard classroom instruction) and pursuit is more than 50%, then the monthly housing allowance will be paid at the full rate for the number of credits they were certified for.

Books and Supplies Stipend

The books and supplies stipend is a lump sum payment (each quarter, semester or term attended) paid directly to the student when the school's enrollment certification is processed. The stipend is prorated by the student's length of service percentage. Active duty students are not eligible for the stipend.

The books and supplies stipend pays $41.67 per credit certified, up to $500 per term and $1,000 per academic year. The VA academic year runs from August - July.