Frequently Asked Questions

Below is list of frequently asked questions related to the usage of VA benefits at Villanova University. Please email the Office of Veterans and Military Service Members if you have further questions or if your matter is not addressed below.

You must meet with an academic advisor to register for classes, and sign the appropriate paperwork here, letting our office know that you are intending to use benefits

For matters dealing with specific payments or bank accounts, the student needs to contact the VA directly through their Education Benefits hotline, 1-888-442-4551. The VA will not discuss a student’s personal payment issues with Villanova’s Certifying Officials, as this constitutes a violation of the Federal Privacy Act.

Have you properly established your benefit? If you are a dependent, has your sponsor formerly transferred the benefit to you (Post 9/11 GI Bill)? Have you applied for VA Benefits and received a certificate of eligibility from the VA? Have you submitted a supplemental application to our Veterans Services staff, thereby notifying us of your intentions to use your benefit?

For chapters 30, 1606 and 1607, has your monthly enrollment certification been accomplished through WAVE or through the verification hotline at 1-877-823-2378?

Has enough time passed since the Office of Veterans Affairs certified your enrollment? Two to eight weeks is the typical timeframe. Longer processing times occur at the beginning of semesters because of increased workloads.

That depends on when you are certified. Usually a few weeks before classes start.

The housing stipend, also known as the monthly housing allowance (MHA), is based on the DoD's cost of living assessment for the zip code of the university. This is completely independent of what a school's housing office and local rental agencies may charge for housing. In other words, your MHA may, or may not, cover your actual living expenses.

MHA payments typically arrive on the first of the month and pay for the previous month. MHA payments are also prorated if a student was not in school for the entire month in question.

No. Only classes that will fulfill a requirement for your degree program can be reported to the VA for the purpose of determining your rate of pursuit.

The VA requires that you notify them of your major at the start of classes. If you later wish to change your major you will need to submit a form 22-1995 or 22-5495 (dependents) to the VA and provide the Certifying official with a copy as well.

Direct deposit authorizations can be initiated at the time of application. To update, change or add direct deposit information call: 1-877-838-2778.

Address changes can be accomplished by calling 1-888-442-4551.

Tuition Assistance is administered by the services. Contact your unit or base education office for procedures to establish the benefit, and information on current payment rates and rules. When you receive a Tuition Assistance Authorization form, please provide Villanova with a copy; we will make sure that it is applied to your student account.

 

Veterans and Service members using Chapter 33 benefits can obtain this information at the eBenefits website. Chapter 33 dependent students and recipients of all other GI Bill benefits must call the VA Education Benefit hotline, at 1-888-442-4551, to receive an updated status of their remaining eligibility.

It depends. For specific questions, call the VA Student Hotline at 1-888-442-4551.

 

This is a long answer, but hang in there because there is a lot to consider:

Option 1: Stay in the Class(es)

This is usually the best option for most students, unless you’re already on academic probation and can’t risk another failing grade. With a little tutoring and some extra study time, you may end up passing the class after all! If you don’t pass, you can probably repeat it, and it is usually easier the second time around.

Effect on VA benefits: Usually nothing. If you stay in the class all the way to the end, you don’t have to pay money back, whether you pass or fail. The main thing is that you tried. The Veterans Affairs Office may require some additional documentation for your VA records to prove that you stayed in your class to the end so be sure to check with your School Certifying Official after your grade is posted. If you end up repeating the class more than twice, you may have to pay back benefits for the first or second (or more) unsuccessful attempts.

Effect on GPA: Potentially significant. Your current-term GPA is determined by calculating a numeric value for your letter grade, multiplied by the number of units (credits) for your class to get your grade points for the class. Add up the total grade points for all your classes in the term and divide by the total units you attempted in that term to get the Grade Point Average (GPA) for the term. Your cumulative GPA is calculated the same way, but with your total points divided by your total units. An “F” grade is assigned a value of zero, which is an instant GPA killer, especially if you haven’t taken many classes, yet. It can take a long time and a lot of hard work to drag that GPA back up again. Just be sure to discuss this with your academic advisor.

Option 2: Drop the class(es)

If you are concerned about the damage that a bad grade can do to your GPA or if your class is consuming so much of your time that you can’t focus on other classes and are at risk of failing them all, then dropping a class may be your best option, if there’s still time to drop. The deadline for each semester is noted on the academic calendar.

Effect on VA benefits: Potentially significant, particularly if you drop below full-time student status. If your drop will take you down to part-time status, you will have to pay back some of your monthly housing allowance, either back to the day you stopped attending class or all the way back to the beginning of the term, depending on your circumstances. If you'll still be a full-time student after the drop, the reduction probably won't affect your benefits. If, under the Post 9/11 GI Bill, you drop below 12 credits, you will be required to pay back a portion of the VA's tuition payment. Depending on your situation, this could potentially add up to thousands of dollars, especially if the monthly housing allowance is reduced. The Chapter 33 book stipend is also based on course load and will have to be paid back for every credit dropped. Be sure to discuss this with the Veterans Resource Center staff. If you decide to take the drop and get charged for the overpayment, you can always make repayment arrangements with the VA, and set up a payment plan.

Option 3: Stop going to class(es)

This is probably the worst thing you could do. The VA considers “not attending” the same as if you had formally dropped so you’ll still have to pay back some of your benefits. Additionally, if you don’t go to class, you’ll probably end up failing so your GPA will suffer as well.

Effect on VA benefits: Potentially significant

Effect on GPA: Potentially significant

If a failing (“F”) grade is received in a course, the VA will only be notified if the cause of the failing grade is lack of class attendance or lack of completing assignments. See previous question.

You may repeat a course and receive VA payment for it if you received an “F”, “NP” or “W” grade on the original attempt. The VA does not pay for repeats of “D” or better grades or for incomplete grades, unless the Incomplete is changed to an “F” grade.

EXCEPTION: When a class is required for a major and must be passed with a certain grade level to progress to another required class (prerequisite) then the VA will pay for the repeat.

If you don’t attend class, you are not entitled to benefits. If a student stops attending a class he/she must drop officially with the college and report the drop to the VA certifying official. This is a student responsibility – not ours. Federal law requires that students report any change in enrollment status that might affect their VA education benefits to the school and the VA. Your signature on the Supplemental Application form shows acceptance of the responsibility to keep the VA certifying official informed of any change in student status.

When there is an overpayment, the VA will ask for repayment of the overpaid benefits. If you ignore the VA’s request, they can withhold future GI bill payments, disability payments, or depending upon the situation, they can take a student to court, charge interest, take future tax return refunds, attach wages, put legal holds on property or deny home loans.

When adding or dropping classes, the student must report the drop or add directly to the VA certifying official.