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Student Veterans

VA Benefits at PUC

» Post 9/11 GI Bill; Steps to New GI Bill Application Process

» Comparison between old and new GI Bill

Who's Who?

  • The VA Regional Office for the Western Region is located in Muskogee, OK.  They can be reached at 1-888-GIBILL1 (1-888-442-4551).
  • Your PUC VA Certifying Official is not a VA employee.  The Certifying Official is a PUC employee who works with the VA to ensure your classes are properly certified and paid for by the VA.
  • You can find your VA Certifying Official in the Records Office, which is located at the north end of Graf Hall, facing Irwin Hall.
  • The PUC Certifying Official cannot recommend which benefit chapter is best for you.  You will need to consult directly with a VA representative on this.
  • PUC cannot advise you on the amounts you will receive from the VA.  This is determined case-by-case, and is a VA function over which PUC has no control.

What will the VA cover?

  • VA benefits can cover some or all of your tuition, fees, books/supplies, and housing, depending on which chapter you use.
  • If you are under the Chapter 33 Post 9/11 GI Bill, and are eligible for benefits at the 100% level, you may also be eligible for the Yellow Ribbon program, which can help cover additional costs Chapter 33 does not.  Ask your Certifying Official for more information.
  • The VA will pay benefits only for core, G.E., or elective courses that directly apply toward your declared major in some way.
  • VA benefits will cover elective classes only if they are needed to meet a minimum credit requirement for your degree.
  • VA benefits will not cover repeat courses.  If you have taken a course previously, the VA will not pay for it.
  • The VA will not pay for remedial (below college-level) online/web courses for any reason.  This means at PUC, any courses numbered lower than 100 – for example, MATH-096 – must be taken in a physical classroom setting.
  • The VA will provide benefits for transfer classes from other schools, as long as PUC will accept the classes to meet your degree requirements.  You will need to request a Parent School Letter from your Certifying Official.

What are my responsibilities?

  • Once you begin receiving VA benefits, you have a maximum of TWO quarters to have all official transcripts for prior credit sent to PUC.  If you have not attended any other schools, you should let your Certifying Official know.  If your transcripts are not received within two quarters, the VA may hold all benefit payments until PUC receives your transcripts.
  • You should register for your classes for the upcoming quarter as soon as possible.  Certification is submitted 30 days before the start of the next quarter.  If you are not fully registered by then, your certification – and consequently your payment – will be delayed.
  • If you make any changes to your schedule less than 30 days before the start of the quarter, or at any time during the quarter, you should notify your Certifying Official immediately.  These changes must be reported to the VA.  These include adding or dropping classes during the first week of the quarter, or withdrawing from classes at any point during the quarter.
  • Any changes to your registration after you have been certified may mean that you will owe some money back to the VA.  For this reason, changes to your registration are discouraged.
  • If you change your benefit chapter, you need to complete paperwork with the VA and the PUC Certifying Official.  If you only apply for a new chapter with the VA, PUC will still certify you under your original chapter, and your payments will be delayed or held until properly certified.

Anything else I should know?

  • In some circumstances, the American Legion can provide emergency financial assistance in the case of a late VA payment.  This is reserved for true financial emergencies such as pending eviction, food provisions, etc.  Speak with a local office for more information.  You can find a local office at http://www.legion.org.
  • VA benefits can be a complex and confusing issue.  If you have any questions or would like more information, don't hesitate to ask Veteran Services Coordinator Jennifer Wareham Best, and she can help direct you to the best person for your answers.