Benefits & Financial Aid

Office of Veteran & Military Student Services

The Office of Veteran & Military Student Service works closely with Financial Aid & Student Accounts to serve veterans and other military-connected students.

Contact us at [email protected] or 518-442-8387.

This page includes the following content:

 

Apply for Military Benefits

All veterans and military reserve members, as well as dependents using transferred benefits, must complete these steps to access their GI Bill and/or other types of military benefits
 

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Step 1: Obtain a Certificate of Eligibility (once)

All students must send a copy of their Certificate of Eligibility (COE) to [email protected]. Here’s how to obtain that document: 

This step only needs to be completed once at UAlbany — unless you change your major, academic level or other major educational goal. 

Note: Your entitlement period varies based on the educational program you are using. This information will be included on your Certificate of Eligibility.

Step 2: Complete the Certification Request Form (every semester)

All students using military benefits must complete UAlbany’s Certification Request Form every semester or term (Fall, Winter, Spring and Summer) after they have registered for classes for that semester or term. 

Note: Only courses that are “degree-applicable” — meaning they are required for your degree completion — are counted for certification credit totals. 

After you submit the UAlbany form, please monitor MyUAlbany, E-Pay and your UAlbany email. Notify us if you plan to change your registration.  

We will not begin certifying benefits until charges are posted to your student account. Review the Managing Student Finances section below for more information. 

 

Apply for Financial Aid

We strongly encourage all UAlbany students to apply for financial aid. Veterans and other military-connected students should review this additional guidance: 
 

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FAFSA Question 49 (Are you a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces?)

When you complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), Question 49 will ask you, “Are you a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces?” 

You should answer “No” if any of the following are true: 

  • You are not a veteran and you have never engaged in active duty (including basic training) in the U.S. armed forces (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines or Coast Guard). 

  • You are not a veteran and you are currently a Reserve Officers’ Training Corps student, or are a cadet or midshipman at a service academy. 

  • You are not a veteran and you are a National Guard or Reserves enlistee activated only for state or training purposes. 

  • You are not a veteran and you were engaged in active duty in the U.S. armed forces but released under dishonorable conditions. 

  • You are currently serving in the U.S. armed forces and will continue to serve through June 30 of the applicable aid year. 

You should answer “Yes” if any of the following are true: 

  • You are a veteran and you have engaged in active duty (including basic training) in the U.S. armed forces, or are a National Guard or Reserves enlistee who was called to active duty for something other than state or training purposes, or were a cadet or midshipman at one of the service academies. 

  • You are a veteran and you were released under a condition other than dishonorable. 

  • You are not a veteran now but will be a veteran by June 30 of the applicable aid year. 

To view an estimated personalized cost of attendance, please visit the SUNY Net Price Cost Calculator and select University at Albany from the dropdown.  

You’ll receive a more in-depth and accurate picture of your cost of attendance once you’ve applied for financial aid, applied for admission and been accepted. 


 

Managing Student Finances

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How & When to Expect Military Benefit Payments

Each respective service will transfer authorized tuition assistance to UAlbany’s Office of Student Accounts. 

These benefits will appear as a “pending financial aid” deferral on your student account until the end of the semester, when the funds will be disbursed. The deferral will reduce you student account balance by the amount of the benefit. 

If you are expecting a refund, please email [email protected] and we will work with Student Accounts to expedite this process. 

Students who have a remaining balance after their military benefits are added to their student account will be automatically entered into the free UAlbany Veteran Payment Plan (see below). Students are responsible for paying any balances in excess of the amount of their expected benefits.  

Payments are only made during the semester or term for which you are enrolled. (For example, if you semester ends on December 15, your housing allowance is only paid for the first 15 days of December and will begin again when your next semester or term begins.) However, payments are made during short breaks that fall within a term or semester (such as Thanksgiving Recess or Spring Break).  

Continuing students’ checks typically take about six to eight weeks to process and new students’ checks typically take about eight to 10 weeks to process, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs. However, wait times increase during peak processing times. To check the status of your benefits, call the VA at 1-888-442-4551

Some students set up direct deposit with the Department of Veterans Affairs when filling out the initial application for education benefits or by calling the VA at 1-877-838-2778

New York State Residency & Tuition

SUNY policy allows some military-connected students to qualify for New York State residency — and therefore, in-state tuition.  

If you believe you meet SUNY’s Military In-state Tuition Eligibility Requirements, please email [email protected] and request an updated residency status.

Dropping Courses or Withdrawing

Please contact the Office of Veteran & Military Student Services ([email protected]) before withdrawing from a class or changing your enrollment status at the University. 

All registration changes or withdrawals are updated with Veterans Affairs as soon as possible. Some registration changes will result in overpayment and subsequent debt, which you will be required to pay. 

Veterans who withdraw from a course due to a situation beyond their control (mitigating circumstances) can submit an appeal to the VA. 

Visit Financial Aid & Student Accounts’ Financial Liability page for additional information. 

Financing Summer Session Classes

Students can use their military benefits during the summer term. Enrollment is reported and paid based only on the actual dates of the courses you are attending. 

This means your status (full-time, part-time, etc.) will vary based on the length of the course you are taking. For example: 

  • A course worth three credits that is being taught for four weeks will be considered full-time enrollment. 

  • A course worth four credits that is being taught for six weeks will be considered full-time enrollment. 

Please contact the Office of Veteran & Military Student Services ([email protected]) before Summer Session begins to determine your status.  

UAlbany Veteran Payment Plan

Students using military benefits who have a remaining balance on their student account after the benefits have been posted are automatically entered into the free UAlbany Veteran Payment Plan. This will delay payment deadlines on E-Pay

  • Fall semester payment deadlines: October 15, November 15 and December 15 

  • Spring semester payment deadlines: March 15, April 15 and May 15 

The UAlbany Veteran Payment Plan does not offer a summer option. However, all students are eligible to enroll in Student Accounts’ summer payment program

 

Types of Military Benefits

 

Federal Programs 

Visit the Veterans Affairs’ Rate Tables webpage for programs’ payment rates. Learn about other federal financial aid programs on the Financial Aid website. 
 

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Post-9/11 GI Bill — Chapter 33

The Post-9/11 GI Bill (Chapter 33) helps you pay for school or job training. If you’ve served on active duty after September 10, 2001, you may qualify. 

Learn more on the Veterans Affairs’ Post-9/11 GI Bill webpage

Montgomery GI Bill Selected Reserve (MGIB-SR) — Chapter 1606

The Montgomery GI-Bill Selected Reserve (Chapter 1606) provides educational benefits to members of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard Reserves, as well as the Army National Guard and the Air National Guard. 

Learn more on the Veterans Affairs’ MGIB-SR webpage.

Montgomery GI Bill Active Duty (MGIB-AD) — Chapter 30

If you’ve served at least two years on active duty, the Montgomery GI Bill Active Duty (MGIB-AD) could help you pay for education and training programs. 

Learn more on the Veterans Affairs’ MGIB-AD webpage.

Survivors’ & Dependents’ Educational Assistance (DEA) — Chapter 35

The DEA program (Chapter 35) supports the children or spouse of a veteran or service member who has died, who is captured or missing, and who has disabilities. 

Learn more on the Veterans Affairs' DEA Program webpage.

Veteran Readiness & Employment (VR&E) — Chapter 31

The VR&E program (Chapter 31) provides support to veterans with a service-connected disability that limits their ability to work or prevents them from working. In some cases, the veteran’s family members may also qualify for certain benefits. 

Learn more on the Veterans Affairs’ VR&E webpage.

Military Tuition Assistance

Military Tuition Assistance is a benefit paid to eligible members of the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force and Coast Guard. Congress has given each service the ability to pay up to 100% for the tuition expenses of its members. 

Each service has its own criteria for eligibility, obligated service, application process and restrictions. This money is paid directly to the institution by the individual services. 

Please contact your respective military service unit and education office for details on eligibility and application.  

If you’re approved, but don’t see your benefits posted to your student account within four to six weeks, please contact our office ([email protected]).

National Guard & Reserve Tuition Assistance

Please contact your military unit and education support servicing unit (such as your Education Service Officer, Military Counselor and supervisor) to obtain necessary approval for utilizing these educational benefits. 

Once approved, those benefits will certified and transferred electronically to UAlbany.

Yellow Ribbon Program

The Yellow Ribbon Program can help you pay for higher out-of-state or graduate school tuition and fees that the Post-9/11 GI Bill doesn’t cover. 

Learn more on the Veterans Affairs’ Yellow Ribbon Program webpage.

New York State Programs 

Learn about other New York State financial aid programs on the Financial Aid website.
 

New York State Recruitment Incentive and Retention Program (RIRP)

The Recruitment Incentive and Retention Program (RIRP) is a New York State program designed to recruit and retain members for the State Military Forces (Army and Air National Guard, and Naval Militia). This competitive program will pay the cost of tuition up to SUNY rates. 

Learn more on the Division of Military & Naval Affairs RIRP webpage.

New York State Veterans Tuition Awards (VTA)

Veterans Tuition Awards (VTA) are awards for full-time study and part-time study for eligible veterans matriculated in an undergraduate or graduate degree program. 

Learn more on the Higher Education Services Corporation’s VTA webpage.