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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 Affairs (VA) education benefits and Department of Defense (DoD) tuition assistance.

Stanford University has made a good faith effort to comply with the Principles of Excellence established by Executive Order 13607. Stanford University participates in the Department of Defense Voluntary Education Partnership program so that eligible active duty service members are able to obtain Tuition Assistance from their military branch as administered by the Department of Defense. The VA Certifying Officer in the Student Services Center serves as the first point of contact for Veterans education benefits assistance and DoD tuition assistance.

Stanford certifies enrollment for Veterans education benefits for students in degree seeking programs, and students in one of 36 VA approved certificate programs offered through the Stanford Center for Professional Development and the Graduate School of Business. Other non-matriculated and certificate programs are not eligible. All students eligible to receive Veterans education benefits or DoD tuition assistance 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 education benefits or DoD tuition assistance. Stanford is required to complete an evaluation; credit is granted when appropriate. Credit is evaluated toward the degree program registered with Veterans Affairs or DoD 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. Subject to current federal and University guidelines, students eligible for receipt of Veterans education benefits or DoD tuition assistance 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.

GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government web site at https://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill.

VA Status

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

  • A copy of the Certificate of Eligibility distributed by the VA
  • DD-214 (if applicable)
  • Any official transcripts from other institutions

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 a VA education 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 education 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 email the VA Certifying Officer at vabenefits@stanford.edu to report a degree plan change.
  • General overpayments of VA education 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 Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) quarterly, using a two-step certification process. Up to 30 days prior to the start of the quarter, students enrolled full-time per their degree program will be certified for the Monthly Housing Allowance (MHA). See the Stanford Academic Calendar for exact dates in each quarter.

After the Final Study list deadline, the Office of the University Registrar confirms student enrollment and completes the certification for tuition and fees. Students are certified based on the terms indicated in the VA Education Benefits Enrollment Application that must be submitted annually. Should an adjustment need to be made, it is the student’s responsibility to contact the VA Certifying Officer at vabenefits@stanford.edu as soon as possible to correct the terms of use.

General overpayments of VA education 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 debt letter will be sent to the University to return said overpayment. The student will also be issued a debt letter to return any Monthly Housing Allowance overpayments. 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 and fees to the student, excluding Ch. 33 recipients. If you are a Ch. 33 recipient, tuition and 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. All Stanford approved certificate programs are listed via the Web Enable Approval Management System (WEAMS).  
  • 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 education 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 education 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. Eligible students may also receive funds through the Yellow Ribbon Provision.

Most of the VA education 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 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 website. Also, see the U.S. Department of Veteran's Affairs Yellow Ribbon web site for additional information.

Undergraduates

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

If the student will be receiving VA education 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 education benefits does not impact your eligibility for federal student loan programs.

VA education benefits are treated like other outside awards in that they can reduce or replace the Student Responsibility portion of the aid package. VA education 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 education benefits does not impact your eligibility for federal student loan programs.

Veterans Education Benefits

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 education benefits. Stanford certifies enrollment for students in degree seeking programs and VA approved certificate programs offered through the Stanford Center for Professional Development and Graduate School of Business. Other non-matriculated and certificate programs are not eligible. All students eligible to receive Veterans education 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 advisor 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 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.

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" section 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. Students should consult with the VA Certifying Officer for consideration of optimal use of  VA education benefits.

Stanford participates in the Yellow Ribbon provision of the Post 9/11 GI Bill (Ch. 33). If a matriculated student qualifies for Chapter 33 benefits at the 100% level, the student may be eligible to receive additional funding through the Yellow Ribbon Program. Under this program, Stanford provides an institutional award to supplement the Chapter 33 base tuition benefit. The VA also matches Stanford's Yellow Ribbon contribution. The amount of institutional contribution varies by school and program. See the U.S. Department of Veteran's Affairs Yellow Ribbon web site for additional information.

See the Office for Military Affiliated Communities (OMAC) website for additional information about Veterans education benefits.

Veterans Benefits and Transition Act of 2018 (Section 103)  

Stanford University is a participant in the Veterans Benefits and Transition Act of 2018 signed into law on December 31, 2018, by the President of the United States. This provision was effective August 1, 2019 for any students who are considered "a covered individual" using "Chapter 33: Post 9/11 GI Bill" benefits or any participants in "Chapter 31: Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Program" benefits at a public, private for-profit, or not-for-profit institution regarding unpaid tuition and fees.

The policy states that the University will not:

  1. Assess late penalty fees/charges due to delayed disbursements from the Department of Veterans Affairs under Chapter 31 or Chapter 33.
  2. Prevent students from enrolling in classes.
  3. Require the student to secure alternative or additional funding to cover the applicable tuition and fee expenses.
  4. Deny the student access to any school resources to include (access to classes, libraries, or other institutional facilities) that are available to other paid students.

The school will require that each student provide the following:

  1. An official Department of Veterans Affairs Certificate of Eligibility" or "Statement of Benefits" from the VA website or (eBenefits, VAF 28-1905) on or before the first day of class for the quarter.
  2. Complete a written certification request to be certified for benefits.
  3. Provide additional information required to ensure proper certification of benefits.

If there is a difference in the amount of the student's financial obligation to the University and the amount that the student is eligible to receive from the Department of Veterans Affairs, the student may incur an additional fee or payment may be required to make an additional payment to make up the difference.

With all contingencies met, the Department of Veterans Affairs will provide the University with payment ending on the earlier of the dates following:

  • the date on which the payment from the VA is made to the institution.
  • 90 days after the date that the institution has certified tuition and fees following the receipt of the "Certificate of Eligibility".

Who is a "Covered Individual?"

Any individual who is entitled to receive educational assistance under either "Chapter 33: Post 9/11 GI Bill" or a participant under "Chapter 31: Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Program".