Frequently Asked Questions

GI Bill Benefits - General
Who qualifies for VA benefits under the Vocational Rehabilitation Program (Chapter 31)?

Chapter 31 is separate from the GI Bill and eligibility is based on a service-connected disability. Veterans who are looking to receive Vocational Rehabilitation benefits should visit the Department of Veteran Affairs website.

What should I do about my veterans benefits if I decide to withdraw from a class or change my enrollment?

You should contact the Office of Veteran & Military Student Services immediately, and whenever possible, before dropping courses or withdrawing.

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

Mitigating circumstances: Veterans who withdraw from a course due to a situation beyond their control can submit an appeal to the VA. Please email uaveteran@albany.edu for more information.

Can I receive GI money for summer term classes?

Students can use their GI Bill 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. Less than standard / full term length examples include: 

  • A course worth 3 credits that is being taught for 4 weeks will be considered full-time enrollment.
     
  • A course worth 4 credits that is being taught for 6 weeks will be considered full-time enrollment.

You should contact the Office of Veteran & Military Student Services at uaveteran@albany.edu to determine your exact status during the summer term. Please contact us as early as possible, and before the summer term begins, to allow adequate time for review before liability begins. 

Will I receive the future increases in the GI Bill?

The Department of Veterans Affairs typically increases their payment rates for each program every October. Find those rates on the VA's website.

GI Bill Benefits - Applying
How do I receive my veteran, National Guard or Reserve educational benefits?

Veterans, National Guard, Reserve using GI Bill benefits (including dependents using transferred benefits)

Begin by reviewing the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs' webpage on educational benefits. This website provides detailed information on what is available and also links to the portal you'll use to apply for veterans educational benefits. 
 

New Students

Once a veteran or authorized dependent has received confirmation from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (via a Certificate of Eligibility) and been accepted to attend the University at Albany, please contact the Office of Veteran & Military Student Services at veterans@albany.edu.

Returning Students

In order to certify your GI Bill benefits, you must apply here on the UAlbany website, this is required every term of use, on the UAlbany GI BIll Request Form.

I've been approved for benefits. What do I need to do to renew my benefits each semesters?

You will need to email veterans@albany.edu before each term and then again after you have finalized your term registration.

Please monitor your UAlbany email. That's where we will contact you if there are any questions or concerns regarding course registration.

As a reminder, only those courses that are “degree-applicable” (meaning they are required for your degree completion) are counted for certification credit totals.

I'm transferring from another school where I previously received veterans educational benefits. What do I do?

You will need to notify the Department of Veterans Affairs that you are changing institutions by completing this online form.

What documents do I need to receive veterans educational benefits?

A Certificate of Eligibility, which you apply for through the Department of Veteran Affairs.

GI Bill Benefits - Payment
I just applied for my educational benefits for the first time. How long will it be before I receive my first check?

The Department of Veterans Affairs estimates that continuing students' checks will take roughly six to eight weeks for processing, while checks for new students or continuing students who have changed schools will take eight to ten weeks for processing. Those wait times increase by about two weeks during peak processing time.

To check on the status of benefits, call the Department of Veterans Affairs call center at 1-888-442-4551.

Does UAlbany offer a payment plan while I wait for my benefits?

Yes. Please email veterans@albany.edu before each term you wish to be enrolled for Fall or Spring term. Plan details are as follows:

  • Free for veteran students and authorized dependents using GI Bill benefits.
     
  • Payments will be due on the 15th of each month noted below (paid via epay.albany.edu):
     
    • Fall: October/November/December
       
    • Spring: March/April/May

There is no Veteran Payment Plan for summer term. However, there is a general Summer payment plan offered by Student Accounts.

What are the current rates for veterans educational benefits?

Education rates vary based on the education benefits the student receives. Please review the Post-9/11 GI Bill (Chapter 33) Payment Rates for detailed information.

How do I receive my veteran, National Guard or Reserve educational benefits?

Veterans, National Guard, Reserve using GI Bill benefits (including dependents using transferred benefits)

Begin by reviewing the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs' webpage on educational benefits. This website provides detailed information on what is available and also links to the portal you'll use to apply for veterans educational benefits. 
 

New Students

Once a veteran or authorized dependent has received confirmation from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (via a Certificate of Eligibility) and been accepted to attend the University at Albany, please contact the Office of Veteran & Military Student Services at veterans@albany.edu.

Returning Students

In order to certify your GI Bill benefits, you must apply here on the UAlbany website, this is required every term of use, on the UAlbany GI BIll Request Form.

How long will I receive veterans benefits?

Your entitlement period varies based on the educational program you are using.

Students initially applying for education benefits typically can receive up to 36 months of benefits. This number varies based on credible service time and the Department of Veterans Affairs will advise you of that on your Certificate of Eligibility.

In addition, some veterans are eligible for multiple programs. Please contact the VA for specific questions and review visit their GI Bill website. Students looking for specific details about their records should call the Department of Veterans Affairs at 1-888-442-4451.

Do I get veterans benefit payments during small breaks in school attendance?

In August 2011, the Department of Veterans Affairs changed the policy regarding break (interval) pay to the following:

"Break or interval pay is no longer payable under any VA education benefit program unless under an Executive Order of the President or due to an emergency, such as a natural disaster or strike. This means that when your semester ends (for example: December 15), your housing allowance is paid for the first 15 days of December only, and begins again when your next semester begins (for example: January 10) and is paid for the remaining days of January.

Students using other VA education programs are included in this change. Monthly benefits will be pro-rated in the same manner. Entitlement that previously would have been used for break pay will be available for use during a future enrollment."

For small breaks that fall within the term (such as Spring Break and Thanksgiving Break), payment will be given. For breaks between terms, payments will not be given.

Can I have my monthly veterans benefit check sent directly to my checking account?

You can set up direct deposit with the Department of Veterans Affairs. You can supply this information when filling out the initial application for education benefits or you can call the Department of Veterans Affairs at 1-877-838-2778.

I paid the extra buy up towards my GI Bill. How much will I receive in addition to the base amount?

Please review the information found on the Department of Veterans Affairs website.

Students using the Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits are not eligible to receive the additional "buy up" amount.

National Guard and Reserve Tuition Assistance
How do I receive National Guard or Reserve Tuition Assistance?

National Guard and Reserve

Military students must contact their respective military unit and education support servicing unit (for example: Education Service Officer, Military Counselor and supervisor) to obtain necessary approval for utilizing respective educational benefits.

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

How will my benefits be applied to my account?

Each respective service will transfer authorized tuition assistance to the Billing Unit in the Office of Student Accounts (SAO).

SAO will review requests and once approved post those on your MyUAlbany account (also visible at epay.albany.edu) as a deferral. 

Please note, these funds typically do not disburse to your account until after the term is over. You will not be responsible for payment of this amount as noted above a deferral is added reducing the balance.

If you are expecting refunds based on this and other aid, please email uaveteran@albany.edu after the term begins and funds are visible and we will work with the billing unit to expedite refund processing.