Military Affairs

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Veterans Affairs (VA) Educational and Vocational Benefits

The Office of Military Affairs shares introductory information about VA benefits, but the office responsible for certifying VA benefits at UNCW is the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid. Please visit their Military page for contact information and Frequently Asked Questions, as well as the workflow for certification of VA benefits. 

*Update: The COVID-19 special rules concerning online classes and the Post-9/11 GI Bill MHA have been extended through Dec. 21, 2021. 

Topics on this page:

Contact Information 
Types of VA Benefits
Eligibility for VA Benefits
How to Transfer or Apply for VA Benefits
Enrollment Certification
Changing Your Course Schedule After Enrollment Certification
Enrollment Rates
Post-9/11 GI Bill
Veteran Readiness & Employment
Dependents' Educational Assistance
Montgomery GI Bill

Contact Information

*Zoom room drop-ins: UNCW's School Certifying Officials may be reached in their Zoom drop-in rooms. Try the VA-Military Students counselor for your part of the alphabet first, but you may switch to the other counselor if the first Zoom room is full. 

*Questions about VA benefits? Email veterans@uncw.edu. The VA School Certifying Officials/VA-Military Financial Aid counselors respond to this email address. 

*Need to submit a Certificate of Eligibility? Email it to finaid@uncw.edu. Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid support staff will receive and upload your document to your account. 


Types of VA Benefits

Many military-affiliated students use some form of VA benefits to help pay their costs of attendance. The use of VA benefits is the same for both undergraduate and graduate students. 

Here are the educational benefits programs available through the VA: 

  • Chapter 30 (Montgomery GI Bill)
  • Chapter 33 (Post-9/11 GI Bill, Fry Scholarship, and STEM Extension Scholarship)
  • Chapter 35 (Dependents' Educational Assistance Program)
  • Chapter 1066 (Montgomery GI Selective Reserves)
  • Chapter 1607 (Reserve Educational Assistance Program)

Here is the vocational benefit program available through the VA: 

  • Chapter 31 (Veteran Readiness & Employment/VR&E; associated with VA disability rating)


Eligibility for VA Benefits 

To learn about your eligibility for any of the above benefits, visit the VA website, try the VA Welcome Toolkit, or contact the VA.

You may also work with the education office or transition coordinators at your/your sponsor's command for assistance with understanding your options. Please note that the Office of Military Affairs does not represent the VA, nor are we able to assess eligibility for VA benefits. 


How to Transfer or Apply for VA Educational Benefits

All students who plan to use VA educational/vocational benefits at UNCW must apply for those benefits through the VA. This includes students who have successfully used their VA benefits at other schools. We recommend completing the application or transfer process before orientation.

  1. Apply/transfer VA benefits online at eBenefits. Click on the green button that says "Find your education benefits form" under the heading "How do I apply?" Then select and submit the appropriate application:
    1. Applying for a new benefit (students who have not used VA benefits before at any school OR who are changing the chapter of benefits)
    2. Updating my program of study or my place of training (students who used VA benefits at their previous school OR who are changing degree programs/starting a graduate degree or certificate program at UNCW after using VA benefits at UNCW as an undergraduate)
    3.  
  2. Submit the New Military Student VA Benefits Form. This form acts as a placeholder while you wait for your Certificate of Eligibility to arrive. 
  3. Submit Certificate of Eligibility to Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid. You will receive a Certificate of Eligibility letter in the mail from the VA, approximately 4-6 weeks after submitting the application for VA Benefits online. If you do not receive your letter within this timeframe, contact the VA to confirm your application. Scan and email your COE to finaid@uncw.edu.   
  4. Check that your Certificate of Eligibility was received. Within 3-5 business days after submitting your COE to finaid@uncw.edu, you may check that it was uploaded to your account by going to the “Student Services & Financial Aid” tab in Seanet and clicking “My Eligibility”. Next, select the appropriate program year, and under the “Student Requirements” tab, view the status of the requirement and the date it was satisfied. 

Once you complete the steps listed above, you will not need to do them again for the remainder of your time at UNCW, unless you change the chapter of benefits you will be using. 

The first time you use your VA benefits at UNCW, you may expect a delay in the first payment of several weeks; the first payment will include back pay to the start of the semester. 


Enrollment Certification for the VA

Once you have submitted your Certificate of Eligibility and your New Military Student VA Benefits Form, and after you have registered for classes each term, the VA Certifying Officials will pull your course registration information  and submit your enrollment certification to the VA. 

  • Shortly before the start of a class registration period, you will receive an email reminding you that the VA certification process is about to begin for the following term.
  • You will be asked to respond to that email ONLY if you DO NOT want to use your benefits for the upcoming term; if you are changing your chapter of benefits (requires a Certificate of Eligibility from the VA for that chapter); or you no longer qualify for benefits.
  • Once you have registered for classes, the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid will begin the certification process by pulling your course registration information. 
  • You will receive an email from the VA once your class enrollment has been certified. 
  • If you make changes to your class schedule after you have registered for classes, you must email veterans@uncw.edu to inform them of the change in your enrollment.  

Changing Your Course Schedule After Your Enrollment Certification

Students have up to the end of the registration period each term to make changes to their course schedules (in the fall and spring semesters, the registration period extends through the first week of classes; in the summer sessions, the registration period extends through the first day of classes). If you make a change to your course schedule after your enrollment has been certified, simply send an email with your name, 850-# (student identification number) and the course name and number that you have added or dropped from your schedule to veterans@uncw.edu.  


Enrollment Rates

Full-time enrollment for regular undergraduate programs is considered 12 credits for the fall or spring semester and 4 credits for a summer session. Enrollment rates for online accelerated programs and graduate programs may vary; please contact the VA Certifying Officials at veterans@uncw.edu for assistance with determining your rate of enrollment and benefits usage rates.


Post-9/11 GI Bill 

Here are some general guidelines to help you plan to use your Post-9/11 GI Bill effectively. If you have specific questions regarding your Post-9/11 GI Bill, please contact the VA Certifying Officials at veterans@uncw.edu for clarification. 

The Certificate of Eligibility provided by the VA shares two important numbers: The percentage of entitlement and the number of months of benefits. The percentage does not change, but the number of months of benefits goes down each time your class enrollment is certified.

The information below applies only to students who have 100% of the Post-9/11 GI Bill benefit per their Certificate of Eligibility. If the percentage of your benefits is less than 100%, you will need to pay the remaining percentage. 

The Post-9/11 GI Bill encompasses 3 benefits: Tuition and fees; the monthly housing allowance; and the book stipend. 

Tuition and Fees

The Post-9/11 GI Bill pays the following line items directly to the bill listed in the student's account:
  • Tuition up to the in-state rate
  • Mandatory fees
  • Campus security fee
  • Student health insurance fee (if not waived)

As long as your Certificate of Eligibility is on file (and, if you are a new student, you have completed the New Military Student VA Benefits Form), you do not need to pre-pay tuition and the fees listed above (unless your eligibility is less than 100%). 

Residency/In-state tuition/Veteran's Choice Act

The Post-9/11 GI Bill covers UNCW tuition only up to the in-state rate.

If you are not considered a resident of North Carolina for tuition purposes (according to North Carolina Residency Determination Service), you will not be eligible for the in-state tuition rate.

However, you may be eligible for the Veteran's Choice Act, which would waive the difference between in-state and out-of-state tuition. You must apply for the Veteran's Choice Act; it will not be applied automatically to your account. The Veteran's Choice Act is available to qualified veterans and their dependents, as well as active duty dependents if they are using transferred benefits.  

Monthly Housing Allowance

Here are the current monthly housing allowance rates for UNCW.

The Post-9/11 GI Bill pays the Monthly Housing Allowance (MHA) at the end of a month in which you were enrolled in classes. 

The MHA payment will be prorated for the number of days you were in school that month. This does not apply to breaks such as spring break, fall break or Thanksgiving break, but it does apply to the start and end of each semester and summer term. 

The MHA payment is deposited directly to the personal bank account listed in eBenefits (you may update your direct deposit information by signing in to eBenefits)

If you plan to live on campus while using the Post-9/11 GI Bill, you will need to pay any on-campus housing fees by the billing date, because the MHA is not paid directly to the school.  

Students must be enrolled at the full-time rate for their academic program to receive their full MHA; less than full-time enrollment will lead to a reduced MHA rate. For undergraduate students in non-accelerated programs, this is 12 credits for a spring or fall term and 4 credits for a summer term. 

Taking only online courses means the student will receive 50% of the national MHA rate (up to the percentage to which they are entitled); however, there are special rules around enrollment through December 21, 2021 due to COVID-19. Certain courses that have been shifted to an online modality because of COVID-19 still count as "in-person" enrollment under the special rules. 

Contact the VA Certifying Officials if you have questions about your enrollment and MHA. 

Book Stipend

The Book Stipend pays up to $1,000 per year. The amount per payment is pro-rated per the amount of enrolled hours. This means that a student may receive different amounts in different terms.

Like the Monthly Housing Allowance, the Book Stipend is paid directly to the personal bank account listed in eBenefits. 

Additional Information

Please note that the following costs are not covered by the Post-9/11 GI Bill

  • UNCW application fee
  • Enrollment fee
  • Orientation fee
  • UNCW ID card fee (OneCard)
  • Parking permit fee

Students are encouraged to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and scholarship applications to assist with the cost of attendance. 

Students may also enroll in the Military Student Payment Plan, which divides the bill into 3 payments over the course of the semester; students may enroll in this plan through their eBill once it is available for the coming term. 

Additional student aid or scholarships beyond the Post-9/11 GI Bill will not be paid toward the items that are covered by the Post-9/11 GI Bill.

STEM Extension Scholarship 

For students in Science, Technology, Engineering, or Math programs who are going to exhaust their Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits prior to completing the degree, you may be eligible to apply for the VA's STEM extension scholarship

Can I Use My Sponsor's Post-9/11 GI Bill?

If your parent or spouse is still serving on active duty, they may apply through milConnect to have the benefit transferred to you. It is a one-time process and after the transfer is completed, you must complete the steps above to apply for the benefit and receive the Certificate of Eligibility. Please note that the Montgomery GI Bill cannot be transferred to military dependents, and the Post-9/11 GI Bill must be transferred while the service member is still on active duty. 


Veteran Readiness & Employment (VR&E)

Students who are using VR&E begin with their VR&E counselor, who is responsible for sharing eligibility paperwork with the VA Certifying Officials (who work in the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid). After you apply to use VR&E, your VR&E counselor will submit your eligibility paperwork to the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid. 

You must submit the New Military Student VA Benefits Form

Students using VR&E are not eligible for student health insurance, as your program is tied to your healthcare through the VA, so you must waive the student health insurance each semester. 

The portal for VR&E has openings in three offices at UNCW:

  • The Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid handles the housing allowance
  • Student Accounts handles the tuition payments
  • The UNCW Bookstore handles books/school supplies payments

Typically, the program does not support reimbursement (this may be different from what you have previously experienced with the program), so it is always best to check in with your VR&E counselor prior to making a purchase, particularly when it comes to expensive items, such as computers, printers or calculators. 

Sometimes, students decide that they want to change their major. Given that changing your degree plan essentially constitutes changing your vocation, you would need to work through your VR&E counselor to be approved for the change. 

Students using VR&E are eligible for the Veteran's Choice Act, which provides a waiver for the difference between in-state and out-of-state tuition. Once your VR&E eligibility information has been received by the VA Certifying Officials, they will notify the Office of the Registrar (for undergraduate students) or the Graduate School to have the waiver for the difference between in-state and out-of-state tuition applied to your account. 

If you have questions about how your VR&E program will work at UNCW, you may contact the VA Certifying Officials at veterans@uncw.edu.


Dependents' Educational Assistance and Fry Scholarship

This benefit offers a monthly stipend. See payment rate tables for Chapter 35 and the Fry scholarship here

Students who wish to use one of these benefits must complete the steps to apply or transfer the benefit

If you have questions about how your program will work at UNCW, you may contact the VA Certifying Officials (veterans@uncw.edu). 


Montgomery GI Bill

Students who wish to use the Montgomery GI BIll must complete the steps to apply or transfer the benefit

Verify your enrollment at the end of each month to keep receiving payments. You can verify your enrollment online through the VA's Web Automated Verification system (called "WAVE") or by phone by calling 877-823-2378. Verify your enrollment online. 

The Montgomery GI Bill is not transferable to military dependents. 

If you have questions about how your program will work at UNCW, you may contact the VA Certifying Officials (veterans@uncw.edu). 


If you have questions regarding your VA benefits at UNCW, please contact the VA Certifying Officials or email veterans@uncw.edu.

If you have specific questions pertaining to your payments or payment history, please contact the Department of Veterans Affairs Education Office at 1-888-442-4551 between 7am – 6pm Central Time, Monday through Friday.