Certification and VA Policies

GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government Web site at http://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill.

  • Benefit Status
    • The student receiving benefits is solely responsible for knowing the status of the benefits, e.g., how much of the benefit has been used and how much coverage (time and amount) remains. If a student submits the semester enrollment form, LMU will certify term enrollment. When submitting enrollment certifications, LMU certifies the units in which the student is enrolled and the resulting tuition and fees. LMU does not certify eligibility to receive VA funds; only the VA can do that. The student should contact the VA if there are questions about the status of benefits: 1-888-GI-BILL-1 (1-888-442-4551).
    • When using benefits, it is the student's responsibility to notify the University's School Certifying Official of any/all enrollment change(s), e.g., add, drop, withdraw, cancellations, etc., as soon as they occur in the semester. This may be done in-person and/or by email from your LION email account only to VA.Certification@lmu.edu. Failure to do so may result in delayed payment and/or VA overpayment.
  • Intent to Use Benefits (New and Continuing Students)

    Students requesting certification of their VA educational benefit for a term must complete the VA Educational Benefits Semester Enrollment. This form notifies the certifying official that you are enrolled and would like to utilize VA benefits. This form must be submitted EVERY semester and summer session in which you have enrolled and plan to use your benefit.

    Chapter 33 Yellow Ribbon recipients:

    LMU guarantees continued participation in the Yellow Ribbon with the following conditions:

    • You have VA YR eligibility in each semester
    • LMU certifies you as eligible for participation in the YR program each semester
    • You maintain continuous enrollment during your academic career (fall and spring semesters only) at LMU. If you take a Leave of Absence or otherwise not enroll for a semester, the resumption of YR benefits is not guaranteed. Every effort, however, will be made to place you again in the YR program.

    Questions concerning guaranteed participation should be directed to the School Certification Officer in the Registrar's Office.

  • Certification of Enrollment

    When submitting enrollment certifications, LMU certifies the units in which the student is enrolled and the resulting tuition and fees. LMU does not certify eligibility to receive VA funds; only the VA can do that. In order to prevent gaps in benefit payments, LMU follows the dual certification process recommended by the VA.

    Pre-certification

    • In this process, LMU submits only enrolled units without the accompanying tuition and fees which allows for the benefits to continue in advance of the term.

    Certification

    • LMU certifies the student's enrollment data (term dates, hours and enrollment status, tuition and fees) on the first workday after the close of the first week of school.
    • Remember to submit the VA Benefits Semester Enrollment form as soon as you have registered for classes to allow your benefits to continue. LMU will not certify enrollment to the VA without the prior submission of this form.
    • You may apply benefits to past terms, but you have one year from the start of a semester to file for benefits.
  • Course Certification Policies

    Only courses required by the degree program can be certified. Electives cannot be certified if they are not needed to reach the minimum number of credits for your program.

    • Courses that you are taking in hopes of adding or changing to a different major and/or degree program cannot be certified. For example, if you wish to change your degree program, you may not take courses intended or required for the new program if you have not been admitted to the program.
    • Undeclared majors can only be certified for courses meeting specific college lower-division requirements.
    • Undeclared majors cannot be certified after earning 60 credits.
    • Audited courses cannot be certified.
    • Continuing Education courses or programs cannot be certified.
  • Attendance and Enrollment Status: Full-time and Part-time

    Attendance

    It is important to understand that the VA pays you for being in and completing courses, not just registering for them. The VA expects you to remain enrolled through the end of the term and earn a passing grade.

    When using benefits, it is the student's responsibility to notify the University's SCO of all enrollment changes to your schedule as soon as they occur in the semester. This may be done in-person and/or by email from your LION email account only to VA.Certification@lmu.edu. Failure to do so may result in delayed payment and/or VA debt.

    Enrollment Status

    • An undergraduate student enrolled for 12 or more semester hours in a Fall or Spring semester, or 6 or more semester hours in a single Summer session, is considered a full-time student.
    • A graduate student enrolled for 6 or more semester hours in a Fall, Spring, or a single Summer session is considered a full-time student.
    • Doctoral students who have completed course requirements and are working solely on the dissertation are considered full-time when enrolled in 2 or more semester hours in a Fall, Spring, or single Summer session.

    Tuition Charges

    • Undergraduates pay a flat tuition fee for a full-time status of 12 or more units. If enrolled in 11 or fewer units, the student pays by the unit.
      • A student who changes enrollments but remains in full-time status will not have a change in tuition and fees reported to the VA.
      • A student who moves from part- to full-time status will have the new tuition and fee charges reported to the VA.
      • A student who moves from full-time to part-time status may have the change in tuition and fees reported to the VA.
      • If there are any questions concerning this VA policy, you must call your VA counselor or the general number (888.442.4551) to discuss specifics. The Certifying Official is not able to tell you the financial consequences of a change in enrollment affecting status.
    • Graduate students pay by the unit as there is no flat fee.
      • Any change in enrollment will be reported to the VA and may result in an overpayment of tuition by the VA. The student will be responsible for re-paying the VA the difference in charges.
      • If there are any questions concerning this VA policy, you must call your VA counselor or the general number (888.442.4551) to discuss specifics. The Certifying Official is not able to tell you the financial consequences of a change in enrollment affecting status.
  • Degree, Major and Minor

    Degree

    The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs will pay an eligible student education benefits for pursuit of an approved program of education or training. An approved program is a course of study or a program of training which the appropriate state approving agency has determined meets the legal requirements for payment of VA educational assistance benefits to veterans and other eligible persons. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs prohibits the payment of VA education benefits for training in any course if the training is not part of the student’s approved program of education.

    The VA requires all veteran students to declare a major by the end of their sophomore year. VA students must be classified as degree-seeking students no later than their second semester of enrollment. Degree-seeking means that a student is officially pursuing a degree and is classified by the school as a matriculated student. Selecting a major does not necessarily define the student as degree-seeking.

    Major

    Students are allowed to change majors at any time. Follow the directions on the Change of Program form. Each time a student changes a major field of study, the student must provide the SCO with the form for the chapters below and a current degree audit and study plan on how and when the courses will be completed. The SCO is required to report this change of program to the VA with a copy of the new study plan.

    • Chapters 30, 32, or 1606: complete VA Form 22-1995, Request for Change of Program or Place of Training.
    • Chapter 31: contact the assigned Vocational Rehabilitation counselor or case manager to obtain permission to change majors.
    • Chapter 35: complete VA Form 22-5495, Request for Change of Program or Place of Training Survivors’ and Dependents Education Assistance.

    Minor

    If your degree program has sufficient elective credits, these electives may be used to earn a minor. The VA will not pay for units or courses taken beyond those required for the degree and major program. 

  • Grades, Repeat Courses, and VA Benefits

    May I retake a class to improve my grades?

    • If you received a passing grade in the course whether at LMU or any previous institution, the VA will not pay for you to take the course again.

    What if I do not earn the passing grade for the course?

    • If the course has a minimum grade requirement for passing, you must earn that grade. If you fail to do so, you may retake it until you do and the VA will pay for the course.

    What if I withdraw from a class?

    • If you withdrew from the course (W grade), the W is reported to the VA and it will not pay for you to take the course again.

    What if I receive an F?

    Scenario 1 - the earned grade of F: You completed the course but failed to understand the material and submitted work which did not allow you to pass the course. You will receive an earned grade of F due to the poor quality of work. Under these conditions, the VA will pay for you to take the course again.

    Scenario 2 - the unearned grade of F: If you stop attending a class before the end of the semester, the professor will assign a grade of F and note the last date of attendance. This can be determined by the last time homework was received, last test, etc. If this date is earlier than the end of the semester, the unearned grade of F is treated like a grade of W and is reported to the VA. The VA will not pay for you to take the course again.

    What if I audit a class?

    • The VA will not pay for a grade of audit and you may incur a debt to the VA for the cost of the tuition and fees.
  • Satisfactory Academic Progress

    Satisfactory Academic Progress

    All students receiving VA education benefits are required to maintain satisfactory academic progress according to published standards established and enforced by the University. LMU's progress to degree standards have been approved by the State Approving Agency (SAA) and accepted by the VA.

    U.S. Code, Title 38, Sections 1674 and 1724, requires that education assistance benefits to veterans and other eligible persons be discontinued when the student ceases to make satisfactory progress toward completion of her or his training objective. Accordingly, LMU will discontinue certification of enrollment and will inform the VA of a termination (due to unsatisfactory academic progress) for undergraduate students who remain on academic probation for two consecutive semesters and are subject to disqualification, and for graduate students who are subject to disqualification. This may result in the student being over paid. Students have a right to appeal terminations. The VA determines whether or not payment will be terminated and the conditions for reinstatement.

  • Academic Standing: Probation or Disqualification

    The VA uses the same progress standards listed in the LMU catalog. If low grades lead to academic probation or eventual disqualification from the University, the probation and disqualification status are reported to the VA.

    A disqualification of a student from the University for other than academic reasons is also reported to the VA.

  • Overpayment of Benefits

    All Veteran Benefit payments are made at the discretion of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). LMU will only confer expected payments and apply funds received from the VA to a recipient’s student account. If the VA determines that a student is not eligible for expected funds, it is the student’s responsibility to repay the overpayment of funds to the VA and LMU.

    See Punitive and Non-Punitive Grades

  • Study Abroad

    Veterans and Dependents of Veterans

    In addition to federal/state and LMU aid, veterans and dependents of veterans have the ability to use the Post 9/11 GI Bill (chapter 33) for Study Abroad. The bill can be used to pay tuition for all approved study abroad and faculty-led programs where credits earned apply toward graduation requirements. Students receive LMU credit and grades for all courses taken abroad through LMU.

    Disclaimer: It is the student's responsibility to understand their eligibility to use the GI Bill and coordinate the application of funds. Any amounts payable are reduced if the student is not eligible at the 100% payment tier. The VA cannot pay any fees specific to studying abroad unless the student is required to study abroad as part of their academic program.

    Post 9/11 Study Abroad Fact Sheet