Using VA Benefits
Students using VA benefits need to submit the following document to the Veteran Services Coordinator:
- Certificate of Eligibility (this will be given to you by the VA once your application is approved)
Keep in mind that processing the certification can take the VA some time. Because of this, you will be granted deferred billing on your student account until the end of the term to avoid any late fees or withdrawal for non-payment.
Some students depend on using Federal Financial Aid (Pell grants, loans, etc.) for living assistance. Federal law mandates that financial aid must be applied to your account if there is a balance. Many times Federal Financial Aid will disburse before VA benefits do. This puts some students in a difficult financial situation.
Please contact the Veterans Coordinator before the start of the term if you are dependent on those funds for expenses other than tuition and fees, and we will certify your benefits earlier. You must be enrolled in classes and let us know at least a month in advance for time to process your benefits before the start of term.
Other important considerations:
Schedule changes may affect your military education benefits.
- Add or drop any course. (Especially partial-term courses)
- Change address. (Student must also notify the VA directly.)
- Withdraw from or terminate enrollment at Iowa Western.
- Change graduation date.
- Change majors.
- Receive notice from the VA that eligibility for benefits has expired.
- Wish to receive benefits during the summer term.
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- Courses meeting for only part of a term (i.e., Accelerated Session I or II, 8-week classes) count for benefits only for the portion of the semester in which the course is being taught.
- 11.5 credits will not be certified as full-time.
- Repeating a course that was taken either at Iowa Western or another institution may result in a retroactive loss of benefits.
- Students in the following categories must contact the Coordinator of Veteran Services or the Certifying Official for special instructions:
- Repeating a course in which the previous grade was a D or better.
- Enrolled in any zero-credit course.
- Enrolled in accelerated courses (certification will only be for the actual duration of the course).
- Concurrently enrolled at two educational institutions.
- Veterans enrolled at less than 1/2 time receive subsistence allowance for tuition and fees only, not housing, etc.
- Withdrawal from the College or a course drop may result in retroactive loss of benefits. The reduction in training time reverts back to the beginning date of enrollment for that semester unless VA finds mitigating circumstances in the case of withdrawals and drops. VA benefits recipients who drop or withdraw will be responsible for providing any documentation of mitigating circumstances to the VA.
- Mitigating circumstances as defined by VA include:
- Serious illness of veteran or eligible person.
- Serious illnesses or death in the immediate family.
- Immediate family or financial obligation that requires a change in terms, hours, or place of employment.
- Discontinuance of a course by a school.
- Active military duty.
- Veteran or eligible person demonstrates good faith pursuit in the course to point of withdrawal and submits evidence that, through counseling, an attempt was made to remedy the unsatisfactory work with withdrawal.
- Any other circumstances hindering progress that are out of the student’s control.
- Incomplete (I) grades must be converted to credit grades within one calendar year or benefits for that course will be terminated which may result in an overpayment liability.