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Academic Advising

Do I need to be enrolled full-time to receive my education benefits?

Only recipients of the Child of Veteran Award are required to attend full-time to receive education benefits. All others will be prorated based on enrolled credits.

Will I receive Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) if I attend part time?

If you are eligible for benefits pertaining to Chapter 33 (Post 9/11 GI Bill) this is the BAH rate of pursuit:

Summer (each session): 4+ crs. = 100%
3+ crs. = 80%
Fall / Spring: 12+ crs. = 100%
11 crs. = 90%
10 crs. = 80%
9 crs. = 80%
8 crs. = 70%
7 crs. = 60%
(less than 7 crs. not applicable for BAH)

Can I receive Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) for distance learning courses?

Yes, but the VA requires that a minimum of one course is attended on campus each semester (each summer session is considered a semester) in order to receive your full eligible BAH.

Note: A hybrid course is considered and certified as a distance learning course

Can I receive credit for my Physical Education classes?

If you have been discharged within 10 yrs., you can receive 2 credits of Physical Education, (1 credit for Concepts of Physical Wellness, and 1 credit for Activity Phys. Ed.). You would need to provide the College VA Certifying Official with a copy of your DD214.

How do I receive credits for my military experience?

Request your official Joint Services transcript for evaluation of transfer credit.

Will the VA pay for developmental and pre-requisite courses?

Yes, the VA will pay for all required developmental coursework as well as pre-requisites for a required course in a program. However, all courses must apply toward the degree.

What happens if I fail a class? Will I have to pay the VA back?

No, you will not have to refund the VA for the failed class, however, the VA will only pay for the same course twice.

Do I have to maintain a certain GPA to continue to receive my VA benefits?

Academic separation and academic probation standing are reported to the VA by the College’s VA Certifying Official. You will no longer receive benefits while on academic separation status.

A student must maintain a 2.0 cumulative GPA to be considered making satisfactory academic progress. Students who have achieved a cumulative GPA of less than 2.0 at the College are placed on academic probation. Students on academic probation may continue study, but may not enroll in more than 14 credits in a Fall or Spring semester or six credits in a summer session. Students who have attempted 30 credits or more at the College who have a cumulative GPA of less than 1.5 and a semester GPA of less than 2.0 are separated for a period of one year. Students who are separated may not enroll in any credit course offered by the College.

What happens when I make a change to my course schedule or withdraw?

The College VA Certifying Official will notify the VA Regional Office of any changes to your enrollment. The change may result in an adjustment to your monthly benefits, or create an overpayment. (Chapter 33 recipients refer to BAH rate of pursuit FAQ# 2).

What should I do if I get deployed during the semester?

You should contact the Veterans Academic Advisor to discuss your academic options. Also, you will need to supply a copy of your orders to the VA Certifying Official who will notify the VA. Those that have paid tuition out of pocket can refer to the Student Accounts Office web site, print and complete a Refund Request Form, include a copy of Military Activation Orders signed by your Commanding Officer, and mail to the Tuition Credit Review Committee as instructed.

Do I receive monies for books or a book voucher through the VA?

Those veterans eligible for Post 9/11 GI Bill will receive a book stipend paid directly to the veteran no earlier than 14 days prior to the start of the semester.

Veterans who are eligible for Vocational Rehabilitation will receive an authorization for books & supplies, sent to and processed by the College VA Certifying Official.

Education Benefits

How do I apply for my education benefits?

You can apply online using the Veterans Online Application (VONAPP).

What do I need to do if I previously used my benefits at another college?

You need to complete a VA Form 22-1995 (or 22-5495 for Chapter 35 recipients) at www.gibill.va.gov or obtain the form from the College VA Certifying Official to continue your benefits at the new college.

What is a Certificate of Eligibility?

A Certificate of Eligibility is an approval of your benefits. The certificate is mailed to you from the VA after they have approved your application for education benefits. This usually takes approximately 45 days after you have applied. You will need to supply the College VA Certifying Official with a copy of your certificate.

What is an Enrollment Certification?

An Enrollment Certification is sent to the VA from the College VA Certifying Official. It includes the beginning and ending dates of the semester, and the number of credits you are enrolled for. This information helps the VA determine when and how much to pay you.

As a Veteran student, can I have the College application and placement assessment fees waived?

Yes, these fees will be waived. Please show your DD214 or military ID card to the Admissions Office and placement assessment proctor to be granted a waiver.

Can I receive benefits retroactively?

Taking into consideration the effective date of your benefits, the VA will pay retroactively one year.

Am I required to make payment up-front, or do I sign a promissory note for tuition and fees?

All students are required to pay the $50 non-refundable tuition deposit at the time of registration. Chapter 33 at 100% rate and Chapter 31 are excluded. Please refer to the Student Accounts Office home page for the deletion schedule.

Recipients of Chapter 30 (Veterans), Chapter 1606 (Reservists), and Chapter 35 (Dependents) are required to make full payment of tuition & fees by the college’s payment deadline.

National Guard members who are utilizing the Education Incentive Program are required to sign a promissory note with the Student Accounts Office for tuition, and pay the fees by the college’s payment deadline.

Recipients of Chapter 31 (Vocational Rehabilitation) and Chapter 33 (Post 9/11 GI Bill approved at 100% rate) are required to sign a promissory note with Student Services Central for tuition and fees.

Post 9/11 GI Bill Veterans who are approved for less than 100% are required to sign a promissory note for the approved amount, also pay the balance of tuition and fees by the college’s payment deadline.

Does the VA cover out-of-state tuition costs?

No, the VA only pays in-state tuition rate. If applicable, you will sign a promissory note for the in-state charges and be responsible for paying the out-of-state portion by the college's payment deadline.

Note: If you are a soldier (or spouse or dependent of soldier) temporarily stationed in New York, you will be eligible for in-state tuition. You will need to provide the Student Accounts Office with your PCS orders as well as show military i.d.

How do I track payments (pending and/or past), and keep abreast of my remaining entitlement?

To track payments, log on to www.ebenefits.va.gov to monitor payments and your remaining entitlement.

Who are my contacts for Veteran’s Services?

At SUNY Orange you can contact the College Veteran’s Certifying Officials. Assistance is available in the Academic Advising Office in Middletown or Newburgh. Refer to the Community resources web pages for more local contacts.

The regional contact is: The VA Buffalo Regional Office - VARO (130 South Elmwood Ave., Buffalo, NY 14240); phone 888-442-4551.

Financial Aid

As a Veteran receiving educational benefits from the VA, can I apply for financial aid?

Yes, we encourage every student to file a FAFSA to see what their Federal Grant and Loan Eligibility is.

Will my Veteran’s educational benefits be impacted if I receive other forms of financial aid?

Yes, your NYS TAP award and Veterans Tuition Assistance (VTA) can/ will be affected if you are receiving Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits (Chapter 33) at the 100% rate.

Do I receive a book voucher if I receive financial aid?

Yes, if my federal grants and loans are higher than the cost of tuition and fees, a loan voucher can be produced during the book voucher period for up to $650, provided all required documents for verification have been submitted to the financial aid office.