CH 33 Post 9/11 Benefits

This page is dedicated to students using Ch. 33 Post-9/11 at USF. Please see links below for information for new students with next steps on using your benefit at USF, what to expect, the certification process, and important information about your USF student bill. If you cannot find your answer on this page, please reach out to our team at veterans@usfca.edu

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Welcome to USF! We look forward to working with you to ensure smooth processing of your VA educational benefits. Please see below for next steps:

  • Please submit a copy of your Certificate of Eligibility (COE) and DD214 to veterans@usfca.edu. Please redact your SSN prior to sending in the DD214. We also accept screenshots of va.gov’s eligibility page in lieu of the COE.
  • If you are a dependent or spouse using benefits, the DD214 is not required, only the Certificate of Eligibility.
  • If you used your benefits elsewhere, please complete a change of place of training with the VA, switching your school to USF.
  • We are unable to waive your admission deposit. You will need to pay this out of pocket and will be reimbursed after the VA sends USF your first semester tuition and fees.
  • Complete required 'Not Anymore' course (Graduate and Undergraduate). Failure to complete this course will result in a fee NOT covered by the VA.
  • Complete required 'ICARE' course (Undergraduates only). Failure to complete this course will result in a fee NOT covered by the VA.
  • Complete Webtrack (Undergraduates)
  • Waive USF’s health insurance by the deadlines if you do not need it (Fall: Sept. 1, Spring: Feb. 1). You will receive several email reminders about this.
  • Register for classes.
  • Submit the required USF Request for Certification form.

Below is more information of what you can expect with the VA benefits process at USF.

  • Fall certifications begin at the end of July and run through August. Spring and Intersession certifications run from December through January. Summer certifications run from April through July.
  • You must inform us each semester that you intend to use your VA benefits. Students are required to complete the online certification request form to start the certification process and confirm your use of benefits once you are registered. We do not automatically certify students.
  • Certification requests are processed in the order they are received. Intersession, Spring, Summer certification requests will be accepted from November - March. Fall requests will be accepted from April - October.
  • We will submit your first certification to the VA with your future semester dates, number of registered credits, and tuition/fees at $0. The VA will use this information to calculate and send your book and housing stipends. You will receive a confirmation email at your USF email when we submit your certification to the VA. Please note, USF is required by law to certify based on the location of your classes, whether they are at the main San Francisco locations, online, or the additional campus locations. You will receive more than one email confirmation if you are at multiple locations.
  • Starting the fourth week of the semester, we will submit a second certification with any credit adjustments and your semester tuition and fees. The VA will then process any credit adjustments and send eligible funds to USF.
  • Pending Chapter 33 aid will be applied at the start of each term. Anticipated VA aid will show on billing statements as "bill to agency credit." Please be aware that bill to agency credits are calculated based on your enrollment and entitlement; adjustments may be necessary due to registration changes and the actual dollar amount that is sent by the VA on your behalf. It is your responsibility to notify us if or when any changes are made to your benefit eligibility.
  • Balances resulting from aid adjustments due to registration or entitlement changes are your responsibility to pay. Since you will be able to see your benefit amount prior to the semester payment due date, you are required to adhere to all payment due dates. If you have a remaining balance after your VA aid has been applied, you may also consider utilizing the semester payment plan for balances over $2,250.
  • Any add or drop changes to your course schedule will be updated with the VA starting the fourth week of the semester.
  • As a USF student, you must maintain satisfactory academic progress. If you do not meet the standards set by USF, we are required to notify the VA and your benefits may be discontinued.
  • The GI Bill cap is for the academic year, not per semester. Please plan accordingly. This typically affects students in the spring (after most of the funds are used in the fall semester).
  • If you withdraw from a course, please keep in mind that the VA does not pay for withdrawals. If there is a mitigating circumstance, the VA may pay a portion of the withdrawal. If you need to withdraw from a course, please email veterans@usfca.edu to see how it will impact you.

Monthly Housing Allowance

Below are the number of units required to receive the full-time housing allowance during a standard 16 week semester:

Level FALL & SPRING INTERSESSION SUMMER
Undergraduate 12+ units 4+ units 6+ units
Graduate & Doctoral 6+ units 3+ units 4+ units
  • To remain in compliance with the VA, USF is required to split up certifications if courses are shorter than the standard semester, ie: 6-8 week courses for graduate students. The VA will calculate what the housing allowance will be based on the shorter session dates. The VA will not pay for gaps in between classes, please plan accordingly.
  • The first housing stipend can take up to two months to deposit to your account and then it will come regularly at the beginning of each month with a payment for the previous month. Please plan accordingly.
  • Please note, the VA pays the housing allowance based on your campus location. USF's additional campuses have different housing allowance rates. To view the housing stipends for USF, please visit the VA's online comparision tool.

Remote Classes during COVID-19 and the Monthly Housing Allowance

  • Legislation was passed protecting VA benefits through Dec. 21, 2021. If classes are converted to online/remote due to COVID-19, the law authorizes that the classes can still be considered in-residence through Dec. 21, 2021. This means the VA will still calculate the courses as in-person until Dec. 21, 2021 for the housing stipend. 
  • Only courses that were converted to online/remote due to COVID-19 are covered to receive the in-person rate, not courses that were already online or programs that were already solely online.
  • Our office is closely monitoring which courses were converted to online due to COVID-19 and will certify those courses as in-residence. You may verify this when you receive the certification confirmation email. 
  • Students must submit VA eligibility documentation, register for classes and complete the VA certification request form in order to have VA benefits applied to their account.
  • Continuing students only need to register and complete the certification request form each semester.
  • Students must submit a certification request form each semester in order to utilize VA benefits at USF. Failure to do so may result in delays of VA housing benefits/ course registration cancellation. 

VA Rate Tables

  • The VA sets a maximum tuition and fee reimbursement per academic year. The maximum (100% eligibility) amount for the 2020-2021 academic year is $25,162.14. 
  • Please note: the academic year is August - July. The VA allotment will reset August 1st for the next academic year.
  • The VA rate table can be found on the VA website. 
  • Students may be eligible for additional Yellow Ribbon funds. 

Billing

  • Billing statements are available online 25 days before the semester due date.
  • Students who submit the certification request form before statements are generated will have their benefit applied on their first billing statement.
  • Students who submit the certification request form after statements are generated will have their benefit applied within 5 business days of submission. 
  • Anticipated VA aid will show on billing statements as “bill to agency credit”. 
  • Please be aware that bill to agency credits are calculated based on a student’s enrollment and entitlement; adjustments may be necessary due to registration changes or the actual dollar amount that is sent by the VA.
  • Students are responsible for notifying the Veterans Office if or when any changes are made to their benefit eligibility. 

Payment

  • Students are required to adhere to all payment due dates for any out of pocket expenses.
  • Please contact specialbilling@usfca.edu with billing discrepancies questions. 
  • Balances resulting from aid adjustments due to registration or entitlement changes are the student’s responsibility to pay. 
  • Students with owing balances after their aid has been applied may consider using the payment plan for balances over $2,250.

Refund Policy

  • Students who withdraw or take a leave of absence from the University on or after the first day of the semester must comply with the official USF Withdraw or Leave of Absence policy in order to be eligible for a refund.
  • Pro-rated charges due to a withdrawal or leave of absence may not match VA tuition payments. Students will be responsible for balances not covered by the VA.
  • Students that reduce registration before census date will not generate prorated charges as long as they keep some registration for the term.

Holds

  • Students with unpaid balances may be subject to holds/ late fees.
  • It is the student’s responsibility to pay late fees for balances not covered by the VA.
  • Contact specialbilling@usfca.edu with any questions regarding holds/ late fees.

Financial Aid

  • Financial aid refunds will only be processed for overpayments of refundable aid. 
  • Students receiving additional financial aid should consult with a financial aid counselor to understand their award packages.

VA Debts

  • Enrollment changes may result in VA debts. 
  • Students receiving debt letters from the VA for tuition and fees should forward the letter(s) to the Veterans Office for review.

Yellow Ribbon Program

The Yellow Ribbon Program is a provision of the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2008. This program allows private degree-granting institutions of higher learning in the U.S. to voluntarily enter into an agreement with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to fund up to 50% of the gap, if any, between an eligible student’s primary Post-9/11 (Chapter 33) benefit and the annual cost of tuition and fees. Yellow Ribbon matches whatever amount the school contributes.

For more information about applying for Yellow Ribbon and how it works at USF, please visit the Yellow Ribbon Program website.

As a student at USF using VA educational benefits, it is your responsibility to:

  • Complete the online certification request form each term you intend to use your VA benefits. Students that do not submit this form will not be certified.
  • Notify the certifying officials regarding registration changes, withdrawing from classes, leave of absences, withdrawals from USF, and/or going on active duty.
  • Notify the certifying officials of debt letters you receive from the VA.
  • Maintain satisfactory progress. If you do not meet the academic standards set by USF, we are required to notify the VA and your benefits may be discontinued. View the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy for more information. 

Parent Letters

  • If you are taking courses at another institution during your time at USF and would like to be certified at the other institution, please complete the following to generate a parent letter. A parent letter is sent from the USF VA team to the other institution authorizing to certify as a guest student at that school.
    • Complete the Petition to Enroll at Another Institution (PEAI) form and email the completed and approved copy to veterans@usfca.edu.
      • Provide the host institution's course dates and certifying official’s contact information to veterans@usfca.edu.
    • The VA team will prepare your parent letter and send it to the contact information you provided. You will receive a copy of the email. We will also update your certification to reflect concurrent enrollment. 

We often have students who switch from Chapter 33 to Chapter 31 while at USF. The first step is to meet with a VR&E Counselor. 

  • Provide education plan (receive from (receive from your program/major advisor) to counselor.
  • Have your counselor submit your PO Authorization form through the Tungsten portal to be sent to USF.
  • Be sure to begin this process the term PRIOR to your Post 9/11 benefits expiring.

Due to VA and federal regulations, a visiting student must meet one of the following conditions to receive certification from USF:

  • The student has an approved parent letter from the home institution which guarantees that the courses can be transferred back to the original program.
  • The student is pending admission for a USF degree program and the course(s) will count towards the pending degree program.