Frequently Asked Questions
Payments and Entitlement
- When will I get my first BAH payment? VA payments are made in arrears, so the earliest you will ever receive a payment is the first of the month, based on the previous month's attendance. We do our best to certify as far in advance as we are able, but payment is made by VA and subject to their internal processing time, which fluctuates throughout the year. You can check the status of a pending payment by contacting VA at 888-442-4551.
- Can I be certified for BAH even if I have used all of my base benefit for the year? Yes. If you would like to use your entitlement for BAH, you may opt to be certified even if the benefit will not generate additional tuition/fees payments. It is important to note that your entitlement will be deducted at the same rate if a period is paid as tuition and housing, or just housing.
- Who does VA make payments to? VA makes tuition and fees payments directly to Stanford. Housing and books/supplies payments are made directly to the student.
- I am a full time student but only received a partial BAH payment, why? There are multiple reasons you may have received a partial payment. Common reasons include having a debt for an overpayment being withheld from your payment, or the payment being for a partial month (common around breaks). You can confirm the reason for the partial payment by contacting the VA at 888-442-4551.
- Will I get BAH for winter or spring break? No, VA only pays benefits for periods of academic attendance.
- What charges will VA pay for?
- For Chapter 33 beneficiaries, please review the charges chart here. If you are unsure if a charge may be covered by the VA, contact email@example.com for clarification.
- For Chapter 31 beneficiaries, your caseworker will determine which charges are covered. Please direct all questions related to covered charges to your caseworker.
- For all other Chapter beneficiaries, VA pays all benefit funding directly to the student to offset schooling costs. The student is responsible to use this funding how they see fit.
- When does the Chapter 33 benefit reset every year? Chapter 33 amounts (base benefit and Yellow Ribbon) reset on August 1; this also the date when any adjustments would be made to BAH rates. If a term overlaps this date, the entirety of the term, and all payments associated with it, are considered to be a part of the previous academic year.
- How does VA calculate my tuition base? VA determines the maximum base tuition/fees amount students can receive under Chapter 33. The posted maximum base tuition/fees benefit is for students at the 100 percent eligibility level. Students at a different percentage can determine their maximum base benefit by multiplying their percentage and the maximum base benefit amount. Annual VA rates can be viewed here.
- What is Yellow Ribbon and how does it work? The Yellow Ribbon program is a voluntary program allowing schools to opt into an opportunity to match additional funds with VA for eligible students, ultimately offering additional tuition and fee coverage. Stanford does not limit the number of Yellow Ribbon participants or require eligible students to apply for this program-- all eligible students (those at the 100% eligibility level) who exhaust their base benefit will automatically receive this funding. Active duty servicemembers and spouses using transferred Ch. 33 are eligible for Yellow Ribbon for terms beginning August 1, 2022 and later.
- How does VA calculate how much is deducted from my entitlement? Entitlement months are granted as an amount of time in full time benefits. If a student has periods of time where they are enrolled in less than full time Rate of Pursuit (ROP), the amount of entitlement is deducted from the remaining entitlement at a lower rate than if the student were at full time ROP for that same term.
- What happens if my benefits run out in the middle of a term? If your benefits run out due to delimination, your payments will stop effective on your delimiting date. Tuition and fees payments made for a term in which a delimiting date occurs will be prorated based on that date.
- Why did I go into debt with VA? There are multiple reasons you may have gone into debt with VA. The most common reasons include reducing the number of credits you are taking or withdrawing from a term after it has begun. VA will hold you responsible for any overpayments you received directly and will work with Stanford for payments issued to the school.
If you receive a debt notice from Debt Management, it is important to follow the instructions enclosed to avoid the debt being recouped from a future housing payment. We will contact you if you need to be involved in settling a tuition/fees debt.
- How do I make arrangements to settle a debt with VA?
To repay a debt, set up a payment plan, or request a debt waiver with VA, you will need to contact Debt Management at 1-800-827-0648, or through their website.
Rate of Pursuit
When submitting certifications to the VA, schools are required to report the start and end dates of the term, as well as the actual credits the students are enrolled in for that period. If there are non-standard terms offered deviating from the standard, full-term dates, these periods must be certified separately, with the actual start and end dates and the number of credits specific to that period. Please note: Stanford is required to report the same information for students who have been granted a reduced courseload - VA is the sole determiner for payment calculations.
VA bases a student's monthly payment on their Rate of Pursuit (ROP), which they determine by calculating the number of credits a student is pursuing versus the minimum number of credits needed to be considered full time (or the proportionate equivalent, for a non-standard term). VA completes a per-day ROP calculation when determining your monthly payments. Please take this into account as students are responsible for scheduling themselves appropriately. For questions regarding ROP coverage with a particular schedule, please contact the SCO team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The following examples are provided for illustrative purposes. For these examples, a hypothetical 9/21 - 12/15 quarter is used, with 12 credits being the full time threshold. In each example, the student is considered full time by Stanford; however, VA will complete a separate ROP calculation for each separate certification and use this information to determine student payment.
10 credits : 9/21-12/15
2 credits : 10/1-10/31
- 10 cr / 12 cr = 83.33%
- For Chapter 33 and Chapter 31 - VA will round this down to the nearest 10%; Student can anticipate 80% of their standard rate for time attended in September, November, and December
- For Chapter 35 – VA will pay at the ‘under full time but above 3/4 time’ tier – Chapter 35 tiers here
- For all chapters - in October, when both enrollment periods overlap, Student can anticipate 100% of their standard rate
6 credits : 9/21-11/2
6 credits : 11/3-12/15
- Since these periods are half the length of a standard full term, the equivalent threshold is 6 credits. Student can anticipate being paid at their standard full time rate for time attended in both periods.
Certification and Enrollment
- What documents do I need to submit with my enrollment request? Documentation varies depending on your benefit chapter and any additional outside considerations we must track per VA’s regulations. Please refer to the chart below:
|Benefit Chapter||Documentation||Additional Steps|
|Chapter 33 (service member)||dd-214 (member-4 or service-2) |
Certificate of Eligibility
|Set up Enrollment Verification with VA|
|Chapter 33 (dependent)||Certificate of Eligibility||Set up Enrollment Verification with VA|
|Chapter 31||dd-214 (member-4 or service-2)||Create Third Party Contracting Account|
|Chapter 35||Certificate of Eligibility||None|
|Chapter 30||Certificate of Eligibility||Create W.A.V.E. account|
|Chapter 1606||Notice of Basic Eligibility||Create W.A.V.E. account|
Situations Requiring Additional Disclosure
Some situations require additional information in the form of official documentation to ensure proper processing in line with VA regulations.
|Required Disclosure Situation||Documentation||Additional Details|
|Scholarship Recipient||Scholarship award letter||Issued by the granting organization; includes details of how scholarship should be processed|
|Medical Residents/Fellows||Departmental letter||Current requirements can be found in Policies & Procedures|
|Research Assistants||Departmental letter||Current requirements can be found in Policies & Procedures|
|Internships/Practical Training||Departmental letter||Current requirements can be found in Policies & Procedures|
|Visiting Students||Parent School letter||Issued by your parent school; contact your parent school’s SCO for this document|
- Can I pick which terms I use benefits for? Yes, you may choose which terms you would like to be certified for. Undergraduate students should contact the Financial Aid Office and graduate students should communicate with a financial aid officer in their School. All students should email the VA Certification team to discuss their options when choosing which periods to be certified for.
- I got a grant or scholarship. How does this affect my benefits and what do I need to do? The exact answer depends on the specific award. Make sure you submit your award letter to the appropriate financial aid office, as well as the VA Certification team so together we are able to correctly calculate this into your funding package.
- What happens if I completely withdraw from the term? VA is only able to pay for periods in which you are enrolled and actively attending a term. If you withdraw from a term for which payments have already been made, there is a possibility you will incur a debt with VA. VA will contact both the student and the school to inform them of the portion of an established debt they are responsible to repay. If there is a difference in VA and Stanford’s refund calculations resulting in a negative balance on your Stanford account, you will be responsible for covering the difference. The Stanford refund policy can be found here.
- What happens if I am enrolled part time for a term? Students who are enrolled in a term at less than full time Rate of Pursuit (ROP) will be subject to VA’s calculations for determining prorated housing payments, but are still able to use any remaining funds left in their base benefit cap.
- How do I change which terms I requested certification for? If you have already submitted your enrollment request for an academic year and would like to change which terms you have requested certification for, you don’t need to re-submit the form. Simply, email email@example.com and let us know what changes you would like to make.
- I am using benefits transferred from my parent/spouse. Do I have to give them access to my Stanford account? Students using transferred benefits are not required to give the transferring service member access to their account by adding them as an Authorized User. However, if the student wishes Stanford's VA office to speak to the parent/spouse on their behalf about their file, they will need to be added.
Special Certification Situations
- Can I use my GI Bill® for a study abroad quarter? It depends. You may use benefits for study abroad only if it is an unmet graduation requirement for an approved program in which you are matriculated.
- Will VA cover an internship? It depends. You may use benefits for an internship only if it is an unmet graduation requirement for an approved program in which you are matriculated.
- Will VA cover a Coterm? Yes, you are able to use benefits while in Coterminal status provided both programs are VA eligible. Please ensure the VA Certification team knows if you switch to Coterminal status by reaching out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- How do I change from one chapter to another? There are some situations in which a student is eligible for more than one type of benefit. Since each situation is unique, please contact the SCO team at email@example.com if you think you will be changing from one chapter to another.
- I am on terminal leave, am I able to start classes? Yes, you are able to begin attending classes while you are on terminal leave. It is important to note that you are still considered active duty by VA until the first of the month following your separation date, meaning you will not be eligible to receive BAH until that date.
- I am active duty, am I able to start classes? Yes, you are able to begin attending classes while you are active duty. However, please note you are not eligible for BAH while you are drawing active duty/terminal leave pay. Students currently in Active Reserve status who wish to use Tuition Assistance (TA) can access the DOD MOU here.
Other Frequently Asked Questions
- Is my GI Bill taxable? No, your benefits are not taxable, and you will not receive tax forms from VA for payments issued. You can read more about this on the VA website.
- Will Stanford charge me late fees if VA pays my tuition late? Stanford will not hold you responsible for delayed processing or posting of tuition and fee payments through your benefits. Additionally, Stanford places a positive service indicator on your account to prevent enrollment holds or late fees. We always encourage students to pay any charges they are responsible for as soon as they can, as the positive service indicator will only remain on your account while we are awaiting VA payments.
- How do I update my contact information with VA? You can update your contact information with VA through your eBenefits.va.gov account, which is the recommended method. You can also contact the VA at 888-442-4551.
- I have a specific question about my benefits that I don’t see answered here, who do I talk to? You can always contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for help navigating your VA educational benefits. Please be sure to include your student ID number if you are a current or previous student.
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 https://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill.