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Veterans Educational Benefits

Your service pays off. Students who hope to receive veterans’ educational benefits at Vanderbilt should request a certificate of eligibility (COE) from the VA at (888) 442-4551 or Apply for Benefits. The VA will determine whether or not a student is eligible for VA educational benefits.

Post-9/11 GI Bill®

Students who qualify for benefits under the Post-9/11 GI Bill® may use the GI Bill® Comparison Tool to obtain an estimate of their benefits. The tool will request the student to enter the percentage of eligibility (POE) from the certificate of eligibility (COE).  It is important to know that the housing allowance is pro-rated based on the number of days the student is enrolled in classes.  A student’s academic time status is determined by the number of hours in which a student is enrolled. Academic time status definitions may be found in the school catalog .

Because Vanderbilt University is a private university, students who receive Post-9/11 GI Bill® benefits are subject to a maximum tuition and fee reimbursement rate each academic year. This amount may be found at the current rates of payment.

Students who receive any scholarships that are designated specifically for tuition and fees should be advised that the amount of these scholarships must be deducted from the total amount of tuition and fees that is reported to the VA.

Deadlines

In order to expedite the processing of VA educational benefits, it is recommended that students who wish to use VA educational benefits adhere to the following deadlines.

  • Fall semester: submit all required documents by July 1.
  • Spring semester: submit all required documents by November 1.
  • Summer semester: submit all required documents by March 1.

Students who cannot provide all documents by these deadlines should consult with a VA School Certifying Official in the Office of the University Registrar prior to the deadline.

Calculating Post-9/11 GI Bill® Benefits

Forever GI Bill—Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act

Please be sure to review the federal legislative changes in the Forever GI Bill—Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act . One significant change will be the way that monthly housing allowances are calculated for students receiving Post-9/11 GI Bill® benefits. The VA is offering Colmery Webinars at the following link https://benefits.va.gov/gibill and has posted slides from previous webinars.

If you have specific questions about possible changes to your monthly housing allowance, we recommend using the Submit a Question feature at https://benefits.va.gov/gibill. Because the VA pays the monthly housing allowance directly to students receiving Post-9/11 GI Bill® benefits, the VA has informed our office that, due to federal privacy laws, they are unable to share specific information about a student’s monthly housing allowance with the school certifying official.

Important Information

Due to the extended processing time of the VA, it is not recommended that students rely on VA payments to arrive prior to Vanderbilt’s payment deadline. We suggest that all students have a plan to cover their living expenses until VA educational benefits are paid. The VA can take as long as 6-8 weeks to process certifications for VA educational benefits.

The activity fee and health insurance fees are not covered by VA educational benefits because those fees are not mandatory for all students at Vanderbilt. Additional information regarding the waiver of these fees may be found at activity fee waiver or a student health insurance waiver. Maintenance fees in the Owen Graduate School of Management are also not approved for VA educational benefits.

Executive Master of Business Administration

VA educational benefits for EMBA students may not be certified until after the beginning of each semester due to fluctuation in the enrollment dates associated with these classes. Students should be prepared for the possibility of having to cover several months of living expenses until VA educational benefits are paid. 

Nursing Students

Vanderbilt University may be unable to certify out-of-state clinical practicum courses or other out-of-state courses with a clinical component for VA educational benefits. Nursing students are advised to contact a school certifying official with questions.

The VA considers the programs offered by the School of Nursing to be distance programs. Please note that the effective Monthly Housing Allowance rate for those enrolled solely in distance learning is one-half the national average MHA. For more information, click here.

Peabody College

The Peabody online programs offered by Peabody College are distance programs. Peabody weekend courses are distance courses. Please note that the effective Monthly Housing Allowance rate for those enrolled solely in distance learning is one-half the national average MHA. For more information, click here. Students in the Peabody online programs should also review the VA’s information on How is my housing allowance paid if I'm not a full-time student?

Overseas Study

Students who wish to study overseas should review Information for Students Wishing to Attend Foreign Schools provided by the VA to determine whether or not the program in which they hope to enroll is approved for veterans’ educational benefits. If the overseas program is approved for veterans’ educational benefits, students should contact a school certifying official to find out when VA educational payments will occur and whether or not the VA educational payments will cover the total cost of the overseas program.

Yellow Ribbon Program

At Vanderbilt, all students who qualify for the Yellow Ribbon Program are entitled to receive a yellow ribbon award. Students apply for the Yellow Ribbon Program by submitting the Yellow Ribbon Program Application and sending it to the VA School Certifying Official in the Office of the University Registrar. The VA School Certifying Official will review the requests and notify students if they do not qualify for the Yellow Ribbon Program based on the criteria below:

The POE must be 100% for the student to be considered for the yellow ribbon program. Service members and their spouses are not eligible for the Yellow Ribbon Program if the service member is on active duty. Children of a service member who is on active duty are eligible for the Yellow Ribbon Program.

Service members who have earned a Purple Heart may use the Yellow Ribbon Program as of August 1, 2018.

The Law School and the Owen Graduate School of Management award up to $10,000 in yellow ribbon funds based on the unmet need of a student; all other schools award yellow ribbon funds up to $6,000 of unmet need.

Yellow ribbon funds are distributed after the national cap for the Post-9/11 GI Bill® has been expended. Yellow ribbon funds are awarded for each semester or session in which the student has requested certification provided that the student has unmet need. Yellow ribbon awards may reduce, or be reduced by, other institutional aid awarded. The university will review its yellow ribbon commitment each year. Participation levels may vary in future years.

Examples of how Yellow Ribbon Program awards are calculated are listed at: https://registrar.vanderbilt.edu/va/gi-bill-benefits.php

If students have questions about how the Yellow Ribbon Program is administered, please address those questions to the VA School Certifying Official at VASCO@vanderbilt.edu. Appeals to Yellow Ribbon Program policies and procedures should be directed to Molly Thompson, Associate University Registrar.

If you wish to request VA educational benefits under the Post-9/11 GI Bill®, please complete the VA-1 Form for Chapter 33 and the Yellow Ribbon Program Application and send to the Office of the University Registrar.

Other VA Educational Benefit Programs

If you wish to request VA educational benefits under any other VA educational benefits program, please complete the VA-1 Form and send to the Office of the University Registrar.

Questions

Questions regarding VA educational benefits should be directed to the VA School Certifying Official in the Office of the University Registrar at: VASCO@vanderbilt.edu.

Tuition

Current tuition rates are published by the Office of Student Accounts under Fees and Charges.

Questions regarding financial aid should be directed to the financial aid office in each Vanderbilt school.

All images © Heather L. Bradley.