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How To Be A GI Bill Expert: Know Your Surroundings
To be a GI Bill expert means to know your surroundings. There are school personnel dedicated to helping you with the GI Bill, the policies you should be aware of, and little known parts of the program that can power you through graduation and beyond.
The Department of Veterans Affairs provides dedicated support to school personnel.
You rely on your school certifying official, or SCO, to provide support and report your information to VA about your attendance. SCOs are the frontline personnel administering the GI Bill and VA provides a wealth of support for them including:
- A dedicated SCO hotline for questions about tuition and fee payments.
- Updated school official's handbook with policies and procedures for processing the GI Bill.
- Quarterly webinars and online training.
This help is provided free of charge and your SCO should take advantage of it. A SCO who utilizes what VA provides is someone who considers your best interests. If you find your SCO is not providing the support you need then please direct him or her to the resources listed above or call VA at 1-888-GIBILL-1.
Know the difference between VA requirements and local school policies.
Your school or employer plays an important a role in helping process the GI Bill, but can sometimes unfairly place VA between you and your payment. VA sends you a certificate of eligibility confirming your entitlement to the GI Bill. Schools do not have to require a certificate to report your enrollment to VA, but some still do. There’s no VA policy that schools require you to show proof of eligibility. A school can verify your enrollment without it, though it may go against their local policy.
VA will not prioritize your application if a school decides not to verify your enrollment without a certificate of eligibility. If you or your friends are in this situation then ask if your school will accept a DD-214 in lieu of a certificate.
Find the hidden gems in the GI Bill to help you in school and beyond.
Finally, there are free services VA provides and underutilized parts of the GI Bill to help you succeed. VA offers educational and career counseling service with a Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment counselor at no cost. Tutorial assistance is available if you are receiving VA educational assistance at the half-time or greater rate and have a deficiency in a subject. In fact, no entitlement is charged for using tutorial assistance under the Post-9/11 GI Bill. Are you interested in going to medical or law school after you finish your degree? The GI Bill pays for national tests like the LSAT, GRE, MCAT and more. VA will reimburse you for required test fees, but some fees are not covered like registration or administrative fees.
If you understand the support VA provides those around you, then you’ll master your surroundings. And don’t forget the small but beneficial parts of the GI Bill to help you achieve your educational goals. Do these things and you’ll be a GI Bill expert in no time.
U.S. Army aviation officials have launched an effort to restore full air assault capability to the 101st Airborne Division — a capability the Screaming Eagles have been without since 2015.
The U.S. military's withdrawal from northeast Syria is looking more like Dunkirk every day.
On Wednesday, the U.S. military had to call in an airstrike on one of its own ammunition dumps in northern Syria because the cargo trucks required to safely remove the ammo are needed elsewhere to support the withdrawal, Task & Purpose has learned.
President Donald Trump belittled his former defense secretary, James Mattis, by characterizing him as the "world's most overrated general," according to a Washington Post report published Wednesday.
The account from numerous officials came during an afternoon closed door meeting with congressional leaders in the Cabinet Room of the White House on Wednesday. In the meeting, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer reportedly brought up dissenting views towards the president's decision to withdraw the vast majority of roughly 1,000 U.S. troops stationed in Syria.
Retired two-star Navy. Adm. Joe Sestak is the highest ranking — and perhaps, least known — veteran who is trying to clinch the Democratic nomination for president in 2020.
Sestak has decades of military experience, but he is not getting nearly as much media attention as fellow veterans Pete Buttigieg and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii). Another veteran, Rep. Seth Moulton (D-Mass.) has dropped out of the race.
After preliminary fitness test scores leaked in September, many have voiced concerns about how women would fare in the new Army Combat Fitness Test.
The scores — which accounted for 11 of the 63 battalions that the ACFT was tested on last year — showed an overall failure rate of 84% for women, and a 70% pass rate for men.
But Army leaders aren't concerned about this in the slightest.