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Veterans Affairs

The Office of the University Registrar serves as the liaison between the University, its students, and the various federal, state, and local agencies concerned with veterans' benefits. Stanford certifies enrollment for students in degree seeking programs and students in one of 23 VA approved certificate programs offered through the Stanford Center for Professional Development. Other non-matriculated and certificate programs are not eligible. All students eligible to receive veterans' benefits while attending the University are urged to complete arrangements with the appropriate agency in advance of enrollment.

Stanford University is required to certify only those courses that meet minimum graduation requirements. Courses not directly related to a student's degree program or courses beyond those required for a specific degree program are not certified. Undergraduates should meet with an adviser to develop a course enrollment plan. Graduate students should have their departments approve their study lists as meeting graduation requirements on a quarterly basis.

To comply with federal regulations concerning credit for previous training (38 CFR 21.4253), Stanford University is required to evaluate all previous education and training completed elsewhere to determine what credit, if any, should be granted to students eligible to receive Veterans Affairs (VA) educational benefits. Stanford is required to complete an evaluation; credit is granted when appropriate. Credit is evaluated toward the degree program registered with Veterans Affairs as determined by the Office of the University Registrar in conjunction with the relevant academic department(s) or program(s). All relevant policies regarding transfer credit apply. In addition, this evaluation occurs each time a student's degree program is changed. Stanford University has made a good faith effort to comply with the Principles of Excellence established by Executive Order 13607 effective 2013-14. The Student Veterans Office in the Student Services Center serves as the first point of contact for veterans' benefits assistance.

Subject to current federal and University guidelines, students eligible for receipt of VA educational benefits have their prior education and training evaluated up to the credit limits outlined in the "Residency Policy for Graduate Students" and “Undergraduate Degrees and Programs” sections of this bulletin. As an exception to that policy, students in master's programs in the schools of Earth Sciences, Education, Engineering, Humanities and Sciences, Law, Medicine, and Graduate Business are allowed a maximum of 6 transfer (quarter) units.

VA Status

In order to activate students’ VA educational benefits at Stanford the Office of the University Registrar requires that students submit the following forms:

It is the students’ responsibility to ensure that all forms are submitted to the Office of University Registrar in order to activate the student as VA benefits receiving student. 

In order to comply with VA regulations, students are responsible for the following:

  • Obtain official transcripts from all postsecondary institutions attended, whether VA benefits were received or not.
  • Report any changes in enrollment status to the Office of the University Registrar.
  • Report any changes that are made to a degree plan. Undergraduates declaring or making changes to their major(s), minor(s), honor(s), or degree program(s) in Axess and Graduates adding or removing degree programs through the Graduate Program Authorization Petition  in Axess should submit a Student Services Center Help ticket (attention VA Certifying Official) to report degree plan change.
  • General overpayments of VA benefits are the responsibility of the student, even if the payment was submitted directly to the school on the student’s behalf.
  • Stanford University is required to certify only those courses that meet minimum graduation requirements. Courses not directly related to a student's degree program or courses beyond those required for a specific degree program are not certified. Undergraduates should meet with their adviser to develop a course enrollment plan. Graduate students should have their departments approve their study lists as meeting graduation requirements on a quarterly basis.
  • If concurrently enrolled with another college/university, notify both Stanford and the host institution.
  • Undergraduates only: VA regulations require undergraduates to declare their major by the end of their sophomore year. Stanford cannot certify enrollment to the VA beyond sophomore year unless a major has been declared. Note that a student can change their major at any time.

Certification

The Office of the University Registrar certifies enrollment to the VA Office quarterly, approximately one week after the Preliminary Study List Deadline. See the Stanford Academic Calendar for exact dates in each quarter.

After the Final Study List deadline, the Office of the University Registrar confirms that your enrollment has not changed in Axess. If enrollment has increased or decreased your enrollment certification is adjusted.

The Office of the University continues to certify the student to the VA until the student leaves the program or unless notified by the student and/or the VA to stop the process of certification.

General overpayments of VA benefits are the responsibility of the student. If the enrollment change has resulted in tuition overpayment, the student is responsible for paying the tuition and fees back to the VA. If the student is a Ch. 33 recipient and the enrollment change has resulted in tuition overpayment, a refund check will be issued by Stanford to the student. It remains the student’s responsibility to provide tuition and fees back to the VA. If the enrollment change has resulted in underpayment, the VA sends the difference in tuition fees to the student, excluding Ch. 33 recipients. If you are a Ch. 33 recipient, fees will be paid directly to the institution in a separate payment.

Programs Subject to Restriction

Note that the following programs cannot be certified due to VA and federal regulations:

  • Certificate programs for non-matriculated students: The VA defines “matriculated” as having been formally admitted to a college or university. Per the VA, educational benefits cannot be paid to “non-matriculated” college or university students. Hence, any certificate program that does not officially admit its students into Stanford University cannot be certified.
  • Visiting Students Programs: Stanford cannot certify visiting students unless they meet one of the following conditions:
  1. The student has an approved parent letter from the home institution which guarantees that the courses can be transferred back to original program.
  2. The student is pending admission to a Stanford degree program and is required to take a prerequisite course(s). In that case the student can be certified for two terms.
  • Medical Residencies/Fellowship programs that are not certified by the ACGME: these residencies are not allowed to be certified as on the job training. This is according to VA guidelines and the Federal Code of Regulations. See the School of Medicine for a full list of the fellowship/residency programs.

All students eligible to receive veterans' benefits while attending the University are urged to complete arrangements with the appropriate agency in advance of enrollment.

Financial Aid

The Post-9/11 GI Bill, also known as Chapter 33, is the most commonly used VA educational benefits program at Stanford. This program provides funding for tuition, required fees, books and housing. The level of an individual student’s Chapter 33 benefits is determined by the qualifying veteran’s length of military service since 9/11/2001. For the 2013-14 academic year, the base benefit for tuition and fees is capped at $19,198.31 . Eligible students may also receive funds through the Yellow Ribbon Provision.

Most of the VA educational benefit programs pay benefits directly to students on a monthly basis.  However, under the Post-9/11 GI Bill (Chapter 33), the VA sends tuition and fees benefits to Stanford, where the Financial Aid Office is responsible for applying the funds to the student account (university bill). Chapter 33 books and housing benefits are sent directly to students monthly. Students may need to apply the housing benefits to the university bill to pay for on-campus room and board.

Yellow Ribbon Provision

Stanford elects on a yearly basis to participate in the Yellow Ribbon Program. Under this provision Stanford provides an annual contribution to supplement the Chapter 33 base tuition benefit. The VA matches Stanford's Yellow Ribbon contribution. For the 2013-14 academic year, Stanford's annual Yellow Ribbon contribution for undergraduate students is $3,000, with the VA providing a matching amount of $3,000. For graduate and professional students, the amount of Stanford's Yellow Ribbon contribution varies by school and program; see the Yellow Ribbon information on the University Registrar's web site.

Undergraduates

Undergraduates may apply for need-based financial aid from Stanford to supplement VA educational benefits. If the financial aid application demonstrates financial need beyond the amount of expected VA benefits, the student will be awarded institutional aid to meet the additional need.

If the student will be receiving VA educational benefits transferred from a parent, the student will be treated as a dependent student for financial aid purposes.  The student’s parents’ income and asset information will be considered in determining eligibility for need-based aid from Stanford. If the student is a veteran, the student will most likely be treated as an independent student and will not need to provide parent information. Receipt of VA educational benefits does not impact your eligibility for federal student loan programs.

VA educational benefits are treated like other outside awards in that they can reduce or replace the Student Responsibility portion of the aid package. VA benefits do not reduce or replace the Parent Contribution in the determination of eligibility for need-based Stanford aid.

Graduate Students

Schools and departments are responsible for providing the Yellow Ribbon contribution for eligible graduate students. The Financial Aid Office will coordinate receipt of funds with responsible individuals in each school.  Receipt of VA educational benefits does not impact your eligibility for federal student loan programs.