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Western Kentucky University

Veterans Affairs

Welcome to Western Kentucky University's

Office of Veterans Affairs Online Orientation

 

Please read the following information carefully.

At the end of this orientation, you will be required to answer some questions and then submit a confirmation page to the VA Office (VAO) showing you have read this information and that you understand all of the information contained herein.

This confirmation will be placed in your file in the VAO.

If you have questions regarding any of the information contained in this presentation, you may contact the VAO at 270-745-3732.

 

Who We Are
 

Throughout this presentation you will encounter the following acronyms.

VAO – VA Office at WKU
DVA – Department of Veterans Affairs
VA Certifying Official – The VA representative in the VA Office at WKU. The VA Certifying Officialis for the Department of Veterans Affairs and your liaison with them if you encounter difficulties you can not resolve.

 

Admissions
 

The application for VA education benefits does not constitute admission to WKU. Application for admission to the university must be made through the Office of Admissions. You may contact the Office of Admissions at 270-745-2551 or online at: http://www.wku.edu/admissions.

You cannot be certified to the DVA unless you have been admitted to the university and registered in classes.

 

Tuition
 

Your tuition will be paid to the school by the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) after your classes have been certified and DVA pays that tuition to the school. The amount of tuition that is paid to the school will depend upon the amount of active duty time you have served post 9/11 (minus active duty for training) determined by DVA. If you do not receive the 100% amount of tuition from DVA, then you are responsible for paying the remainder of your bill to the university.

Charges for housing, meal plan, big red dollars, bookstore charges, etc. are not paid by DVA to the school. These are charges that you are responsible for paying. You are responsible for any portion of your bill that DVA does not pay to the school.

Payment
 

DVA pays a monthly stipend for each month that you actually attend classes. Your monthly stipend is based upon the Basic Housing Allowance for this school's zipcode (42101) as an E-5 with dependents. This will be your monthly stipend that is given by DVA. The Basic Housing Allowance does not pay your housing bill at the university -- it is your monthly stipend.

Training time dictates the monthly rate of pay (active duty service members receive tuition and fees reimbursal only). You must be certified in at least 7 hours in order to receive the monthly stipend (Basic Housing Allowance). A change in training time may affect your payment.

Training time varies in Summer due to accelerated terms. Check the list for the hours required for summer training at www.wku.edu/finaid/vasummertrainingtime.htm .

If you do not receive your monthly stipend, you should contact the DVA at 1-888-442-4551.

Deferment of University Bill
 

While waiting for the tuition payment to come from DVA, you may want to request a deferment of tuition from the Office of Veterans Affairs at WKU. If you do not request the deferment, your bill will be due up front to the university by you. DVA works with a lag time and the deferment is required in order to prevent your classes from being dropped or a late fee added. However, your Certification Request Form must be submitted (and your VA file complete by the first day of the semester) before you can request a deferment.

If you choose to request a deferment, you will have a "hold" placed on your student account until your bill is paid in full by yourself and/or DVA. This "hold" will prevent you from dropping/adding classes, receiving grades, transcripts, etc.

The Deferment Request can be submitted online on the VA Forms page.

Book Stipend
 

You will receive a book stipend based upon the number of hours certified to VA. This rate can be found on VA's website at www.gibill.va.gov. The book stipend is maxed at $1,000 per year. This stipend will be sent to the student directly from DVA.

Housing
 

Students that interested in on campus housing should contact the Office of Housing and Residence Life by visiting their website or calling 270-745-4359 or visit their website at http://www.wku.edu/housing.

 

Applying for Federal Financial Assistance
 

Veterans may be eligible for financial assistance (grants, loans, etc.) even if receiving VA Educational Benefits. The process of applying for financial aid begins with the completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). You may file via the Internet at www.fafsa.ed.gov. Federal financial aid cannot affect your VA Educational Benefits. 

Credit for Military Service
 

Credit for military training is evaluated/determined by the Office of the Registrar. In order to learn what credit may be granted, you must provide a copy of your DD295, DD214, Certificate of Training or other applicable documents. If you have served on active duty in a branch of the military for 181 days or more and earned an honorable discharge you may receive three (3) semester hours of credit applicable to category F of the general education requirements. Therefore, any course under category F of the general education requirements will not be certified to DVA.

Note: WKU does not award credit for MOS training.

 

Certification Request Form
 

Every semester, upon completion of registration, you must submit a Certification Request Form to the VA Office at WKU.  Certification Request Forms are processed in the order in which they are received.

You will not be certified until you have submitted this form and any other documentation required to certify your courses in accordance with DVA regulations.

 

Processing Times
 

The VAO requires at least 2-3 weeks to certify your classes to the DVA after you submit your Certification Request Form. During peak times it may take longer.

However, the DVA requires approximately 12-14 weeks to process your initial application for benefits. Certifications will vary depending upon the work load at DVA.

If you have questions about the status of your certification, you should call DVA at 1-888-442-4551.

 

Certification
 

 You will receive benefits only for those courses that apply to your degree and are certified by your VA Certifying Official. The Certifying Official will not intentionally certify courses that are not part of your declared program of study.

You may take any course you want, but DVA will not pay for it unless it is listed on your degree program as a required course for graduation.

Repeat courses are not certifiable unless required by the university to make a grade of "C" or better. If you repeat the course a second time, the VA Certifying Official must go back and reduce your benefits from the 1st semester in which you registered for the course. This will create an overpayment to DVA.

DVA will not pay for you to take an audited course.

You must be degree seeking in order to be certified to DVA.

 

Drop/Add/Withdrawal
 

A Change in Status form should be submitted to the VA Office at WKU when you add a class or classes.  If you drop or withdraw, the VA Office at WKU will automatically be notified of those changes; however, any additional classes that you add must be submitted through this form. 

 

Degree Program
 

 The VAO will monitor your Program of Study through your online interactive degree audit (iCAP audit). If you are pursuing a second degree, you are required to submit to the VAO a copy of your official degree program your first semester at WKU. If you are pursuing a master's degree, you are required to submit to the VAO a copy of your Form C. The VAO needs to monitor all classes according to your degree program.

 

Major/Degree Changes
 

A change in your major must be reported to the VA Office at WKU so that applicable forms can be submitted to the DVA. You must only register for classes that apply to your new major.  If you change your major in the middle of the semester, all classes in the current semester must meet degree reuqirements for the new major.

Address Change
 

You must keep your address current. You must notify VA if your address changes. Your address change can be made by telephone by calling 1-888-442-4551 or in writing to VARO, P.O. Box 66830, St. Louis, MO 63155-6830. You also need to notify the VA Coordinator and the Registrar's Office.

Failure to notify these entities could result in loss of important information to the veteran.

 

Academic Progress
 

You must make satisfactory progress toward your degree objective. Specifically, your GPA must meet the guidelines detailed in the current WKU catalog.  You must attend class. Western has an FN grade that is given to students who fail to meet the instructor's attendance policy. At the end of the semester these grades are reported to DVA and the student must pay back any money received for a class that was not attended.

Satisfactory Academic Progress
 

You must make satisfactory academic progress with the university. If you are placed on academic suspension, your VA educational benefits will be terminated for the duration of the suspension. You must also attend the course(s) in which you enroll. If you are placed on academic probation, it will be reported to the DVA.

 

VA Overpayment
 

An overpayment can result if you drop below the training time that was originally reported to the DVA and you fail to notify the VA Coordinator in a timely manner.

Example: You are certified full-time and then drop a class, which puts you below full-time. If VA continues to pay you at the full-time rate (even though you are below full-time), when the reduction is reported, you will receive an overpayment letter and those funds will need to be repaid to DVA.

 

Email Address
 

Upon initial registration to the university you will be issued a WKU email address. Students will be notified periodically about important information through this form of communication.

This will be the email address that the VAO will use to correspond with all veterans and dependents.  If you do not know how to access your WKU email account, please read the instructions found at www.wku.edu/financialaid under "How Do I..."

 

Advance Pay
 

WKU does not participate in Advance Payment.

 

Topnet
 

You can view the date that you are certified to DVA by checking your WKU TOPNET account.  The date you are certified to your DVA along with how many courses are certifiable will be posted under your account.  You can view this information by logging into your account, click on Student Services, Financial Aid, Awards and Veteran Information.

 

Reporting Changes
 

You must notify the VA Office at WKU of ANY and ALL changes within five (5) working days. The VAO will then notify the DVA.

 

VA Regional Office
 

Questions concerning status of application, remaining benefits, status of benefit check, etc., may be obtained by contacting the DVA.

Mailing Address: VARO
P.O. Box 66830
St. Louis, MO 63166-6830
Telephone: 1-888-442-4551.
DVA website: http://www.gibill.va.gov

 

VA Office at WKU
 

Telephone: 270-745-3732
Fax: 270-745-6586
Email: va.questions@wku.edu

Feel free to contact the VAO with any questions that you may have. We will respond in a timely manner to assist you with your questions.

 

VA Forms
 

The Certification Request Form and the Change of Status Form is listed on the VAO website at www.wku.edu/veteran

The Certification Request Form is submitted once you have finalized your class schedule for the semester. The Change in Status Form is used after you submit your Certification Request Form, and have added additional courses, not previously on the Certification Request Form.

 

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 Last Modified 9/24/14