Using Your Benefits

Use Your Benefits

You are in control of when and how you use your VA benefits!

To get started, submit a Veterans Affairs Information Form to SRFS at the link below. You can indicate that you’d like to use your benefits for the duration of your enrollment or apply them to specific terms.

Please submit any additional required documents (COE, DD-214, scholarship award letters, etc.) via our Secure Document Upload portal. Please do not e-mail financial documents or documents containing personal identifiable information such as social security numbers.

Submit VA Form

If you have previously used VA education benefits at another institution of higher education, you must complete VA Form 22-1995 Veteran Request For Change of Program or Place of Training.

Getting Started

IMPORTANT: To ensure accurate and timely reporting to the VA, any change in enrollment or VA education benefits must be reported to the Penn School Certifying Official (SCO) at veterans@upenn.edu as soon as possible. Examples of changes in enrollment or Chapter benefit include dropping courses, changing programs, withdrawing from school, taking a leave of absence, switching from post-9/11 GI Bill benefits to Chapter 31 VR&E, exhausting VA education benefits, etc. Changes in VA education benefit eligibility, including a change to VA Chapter, will require the submission of updated documents to the Penn SCO.

Non-Degree Students and Visiting Students

VA education benefit-eligible students who would like to enroll in one or more courses at Penn as a non-degree student are considered “visiting students” by the VA and are subject to different restrictions when using their VA education benefits. Visiting students are advised to contact the Penn SCO prior to registering for classes and incurring charges as benefit eligibility varies on a case-by-case basis. Visiting students who are degree-seeking at another institution are required to submit an approved letter from the home institution which guarantees that the courses can be transferred back to the original program. Visiting students who are not degree-seeking and are seeking to enroll in courses to gain admission to a degree program can be certified for up to two terms as a non-degree student. 

Certification Process

Veteran education benefits are certified on a semester basis. The VA requires schools to submit certifications each semester in two steps, known as the dual certification process. During the initial certification, we submit students’ enrollment to the VA without including tuition and fees. This enrollment certification allows students to begin receiving the monthly housing allowance (BAH/MHA) and book stipend, if applicable. Once the add/drop period has ended, we then submit certification for tuition and fees. Tuition and fees are reported after the last day to drop courses to prevent students from winding up with a debt, which can happen if a student drops courses or changes their enrollment after the VA has already processed payment for the term.

As a result of the dual certification process, VA funding for tuition and fees for Chapter 33 (Post-9/11 GI Bill®) recipients typically pays late in the semester. To prevent students from being assessed late payment penalties, during the Fall and Spring terms we typically place a VA temporary credit memo on those students’ accounts for the expected VA funds. Students are still required to pay any balance not covered by their VA benefits or other funding by the normal billing deadlines.

Satisfactory Academic Progress for Veterans Receiving VA Benefits

If you receive VA educational benefits, you must maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) in your chosen program of study. Veteran students will be ineligible for VA benefits for one term if they do not meet these standards. That means you will not receive your benefits for the term following such a determination. If a veteran or dependent is placed on Academic Suspension/Dismissal, Veterans Affairs (VA) benefits will be terminated immediately. Students may be re-certified for veteran's benefits ONLY after attaining the minimum required cumulative grade point average and submitting a request to the School Certifying Official (SCO) for re-certification.

"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 website at www.benefits.va.gov/gibill.