Frequently Asked Questions about Veterans Benefits

How do I apply for veterans benefits (GI Bill)?

You need to submit VA Form 22-1990, titled "Application for VA Education Benefits" which you complete via the Veterans ON-line Application (VONAPP) site. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) will process your application and mail you an award letter.

I am not a veteran but my parent was in the military. Can I receive education benefits based on my parent's service?

You may receive benefits based on your parent's service if your parent is 100% disabled or deceased as a result of military action.  To apply, print and complete an Application for Survivors' and Dependents' Educational Assistance and then deliver the application to the Veterans Representative in the Financial Aid Office.

You may also receive educational benefits that were transferred to you from a parent that served in the military. To apply, you complete VA form 22-1990E (“Education benefits application for family members to use transferred benefits") via the Veterans ON-line Application (VONAPP) site. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) will process your application and mail you an award letter.

Do I need to complete an application for veterans benefits every semester?

It depends. Education benefits you receive from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) are applied for one-time only and remain in effect until they are exhausted. Benefits from the National Guard and Reserve components need to be applied for each year or each semester, depending on the specific benefit.

You should apply as early as possible before you start your first semester.

How long will it take to receive my first benefits payment?

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) will process your application and send you a Certificate of Eligibility. The next step is your enrollment is certified by Penn College. Afterwards, you can recieve book stipend and tuition benefit payments no sooner than 14 days before the start of a semester in which you are enrolled. Monthly housing payments are made on the first day of the month following each month that you are enrolled.

What will be the amount of my monthly veterans educational benefits?

Education benefit payment rates are provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

What can I use my monthly veterans education benefits for?

Benefits that are paid directly to you at the end of the month in which you are enrolled are to be used for any educational expense, including the cost of housing, food, books and supplies.

What if I enroll in a course that is not required for my major?

The VA will only pay you for those courses that are required for your major in order to earn your degree or certificate.

I am in the Pennsylvania National Guard. What other benefits, besides the GI Bill, can I apply for?

Besides the GI Bill, you should complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and Penn College's Financial Aid Application (FAA). You should also apply for Federal Tuition Assistance (FTA) from the GoArmyEd site and for the Educational Assistance Program (EAP) through your Unit of Assignment.

I am a member of the Army Reserves. What other benefits, besides the GI Bill, can I apply for?

Besides the GI Bill, You should complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and Penn College's Financial Aid Application (FAA). You should also apply for Federal Tuition Assistance (FTA) on the GoArmyEd site.

Am I eligible to receive veterans benefits via direct deposit?

Direct deposit is available for active duty, National Guard/Reserves, and REAP (Reserve Educational Assistance Program) students. Those students may call the VA at 800-827-1000 for more information.

What is verification of enrollment?

In order to receive benefits for Chapter 30, 1606 or 1607, you must verify your enrollment on the last calendar day of each month or later. To do so, use the Veterans Benefits Administration's Web Automated Verification of Enrollment (WAVE) or call 877-823-2378.

After I verify my enrollment, how long does it take to receive my benefits payment?

Payment by direct deposit will take 3 to 5 days. Payment by check will take 10 to 14 days.

Can I receive veterans benefits from both active duty and National Guard service at the same time?

Some education benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the National Guard or Army Reserve can be combined. Contact Penn College's Financial Aid Specialist for Veterans Affairs for more information.

I plan to transfer to Penn College from another college. How do I transfer my veterans benefits?

You should complete and submit a Request for Change of Program or Place of Training form. You first log in and then you select the correct form. You should also contact the Financial Aid Specialist for Veterans Affairs at Penn College if you have not already done so.

What if I am called to active duty or training while I am attending Penn College?

Please refer to this military withdrawal checklist.

Does Penn College award any fitness credit for my military service?

Yes! Students who have been in the military may receive a fitness elective credit for their basic training, provided the training has taken place within the past 10 years. You need to submit a transcript to the Admissions Office from the American Council on Education (ACE) stating that the training has been evaluated.

Any requests for additional credit will be handled on a case-by-case basis, and should be directed to the department head for fitness and lifetime sports or the dean of the School of Health Sciences.

I served in a Combat Zone last year. Do I need to report my combat pay earnings on my FAFSA?

In general, the answer is no. Combat pay that is exempt from federal tax is not reported on your FAFSA.

In case any of your combat pay was included in your Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) on your federal (IRS) tax return, you do report the amount included in FAFSA Question #44e (or Question #93e for parents).

You find the amount of your combat pay in Box 12, code Q, of your military W-2 Form.

For more information on veterans issues, visit the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Questions and Answers site.

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