UCI Veteran Services Center

Frequently Asked Questions

COVID-19 Pandemic

Can I take classes as Pass(P)/No Pass (NP) and still get my VA benefits?

Yes, you can take classes as P/NP. However, your Monthly Housing Allowance (MHA) may be reduced if you receive a Not Pass (NP) grade. The VA will not pay for units that receive a NP grade (non-punitive), as the units do not count toward your degree progress and are not factored into your GPA. Units that are graded NP must be deducted from your certified unit load. If this drops you below 12 units, your MHA will be reduced accordingly and the VA will bill you for the balance. If you would like to get more information, please contact the Veteran Services Center (VSC) at veteran@uci.edu.

How do I know if I am taking a residence or online class? I want to make sure I take residence classes to receive the resident MHA rate.

Resident courses will be noted with a VRTL REMOTE designation in WebAdmin along with an assigned class time. Classes that have the TBA ONLINE designation are considered online for VA reporting purposes. Please keep these designations in mind when registering for classes and feel free to confim your class schedule with the VSC. You can email us at veteran@uci.edu.

VA Education Benefits (Chapters 30, 31, 33, 35, and 1606)

How do I know if my degree program, residency, or fellowship is approved for VA education benefits?

For an accurate list of our currently approved VA programs, please visit the website below. Once you find the “University of California-Irvine,” click on the “Programs” tab. Once you are there, click on “Institution of Higher Learning” and you will see the list of our approved VA programs. https://inquiry.vba.va.gov/weamspub/buildSearchInstitutionCriteria.do.

What if my enrollment window opens after the deadline to submit my Request for Certification (RFC)?

Our expectation is that students anticipate their classes for any given academic term in accordance with both study plans and major-specific course progression. Please reach out to your academic advisor for assistance in completing your degree plan. In an effort to avoid delays in your Monthly Housing Allowance (MHA) disbursement, submit a “New” Request for Certification (RFC) by our stated deadline and an “Updated” RFC with any unit and/or course changes. This will ensure we submit your request in advance and avoid delays in receipt of your benefits. 

Does my financial aid affect my GI Bill® benefits?

The GI Bill® is considered a second payer to certain grants. This means that any grants you receive will be used to cover your tuition before the VA covers the remaining amount, which may reduce the amount covered by the VA but will not reduce any MHA payments or book stipends.

I've made changes to my schedule but have already submitted my Request for Certification (RFC) form, do I need to notify you?

Yes! You won't need to complete a new form, but you will need to send us an email at veteran@uci.edu letting us know which classes were added/dropped and the number of units so that we can update the VA with these changes.

The VA says my tuition hasn't been paid yet, why is that?

When certifying benefits, our office performs a process called "double certification". Initially, we will certify you for $0 tution and fees so that the VA can distribute your MHA and book stipends. Once lab or techonology fees have been included in your tution, we will perform a second certification to include this amount along with the tution and fees.

The quarter/semester just started, why hasn't my Monthly Housing Allowance (MHA) come yet?

The MHA works similar to a paycheck. It is awarded after each month is completed. For example, if the student is in school for the month of September, the payment is expected to arrive within the first few days of October.

Why is my MHA payment less than expected?

The MHA payment is prorated based on the number of days the student is under instruction. For example, in the month of September, if instruction is from September 28-30, the payment is prorated for payment of only those 3 days, which will be less than the full MHA payment.

What is the Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act (VACAA)?

The VACA Act is known as the Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act of 2014, or also known as the Choice Act. Section 702 of the Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act of 2014 (“Choice Act”), requires VA to disapprove programs of education for payment of benefits under the Post-9/11 GI Bill® and Montgomery GI Bill®-Active Duty at public Institutions of Higher Learning (IHLs) if the school charges qualifying veterans and dependents tuition and fees in excess of the rate for resident students for terms beginning after July 1, 2015. Under the VACAA, the out-of-state portion of the tuition is waived. For more information, please visit http://benefits.va.gov/gibill/post911_residentraterequirements.asp.

How do I qualify for the non-resident waiver under VACAA?

For veterans, you can qualify for the VACAA if you are living in the state of the institution regardless of your formal state of residence.

For dependents, you can qualify for the VACAA is you are using transferred benefits, living in the state of the institution regardless of your formal state of residence, OR if the sponsor is currently in active-duty service.

For more information, please visit, http://benefits.va.gov/gibill/post911_residentraterequirements.asp

What if I qualify for the non-resident waiver under VACAA, but I exhaust my Post-9/11 GI Bill® benefits?

If you are using the Post-9/11 GI Bill®, also known as Chapter 33, and qualify for the waiver, as long as you are continuously enrolled at UCI you can remain eligible for the waiver, even if you have exhausted your Chapter 33 benefits.

If you take a break from enrollment, the Registrar's Office will need to reevaluate your eligibility for the waiver upon re-enrollment.

CalVet College Fee Waiver for Veteran Dependents

If I have the CalVet College Fee Waiver, why does my Zot Account say I still owe some money? I thought all tuition and fees are waived?

The CalVet College Fee Waiver is a state education benefit. As a result, it waives "Tuition" and "Student Services Fee" only. Please refer to the Current Chart for the academic year at https://www.reg.uci.edu/fees/ to review these covered benefits and what you may still owe before the payment fee deadline. 

NOTE: Students are still responsible for all other fees, including lab fees or technology fees incurred during the term

Can I use the CalVet College Fee Waiver for summer school?

Yes! Please submit your CalVet College Fee Waiver letters to summer-coursechanges@uci.edu and you will be provided additional steps afterwards.

Can I use the CalVet College Fee Waiver for graduate programs?

Yes, but only some graduate programs will qualify for the CalVet College Fee Waiver. To view all graduate programs, please visit the following tuition and fees charts: https://www.reg.uci.edu/fees/. All programs listed as "Self-Supporting" will not qualify for the CalVet College Fee Waiver. Please follow the Current Chart for the academic year and review the Fees for Self-Supporting Graduate Degree Programs section to identify programs not allowed for the CalVet College Fee Waiver. 

Can I use CalVet College Fee Waiver for study abroad?

Yes, but it can only be used for UCEAP. It CANNOT be used for Summer Session Travel Study or IO Programs. The CalVet College Fee Waiver applies to the following UCEAP fees: UC student services, tuition, pre-ILP and ILP instructional, and UCEAP participation fees. All other fees will remain your responsibility. Submit a copy of the CalVet College Fee Waiver award letter for the current academic year to the UCEAP Student Finance unit. A separate letter is required for each academic year that you participate in UCEAP.

Paul Merage School of Business

What is considered full-time student status?

According to UCI’s Graduate Division Enrollment Policy, full-time academic enrollment is expected of graduate students at the University of California.

Study for the Ph.D. requires a full-time commitment from the doctoral student. Full-time study is defined as enrollment in at least 12 units of upper-division or graduate academic credit per quarter, including credit for supervised research or teaching.

Graduate students may enroll in lower-division courses with the approval of their academic advisors, but such courses are not considered to be part of any graduate program. Graduate students ordinarily may notreceive credit for more than 12 units per quarter in graduate courses, or 16 units in upper-division courses, or a proportionate number in combination.

Course loads in excess of 16 units must be approved in advance by the student’s Graduate Advisor. If a program’s full-time status deviates from the 12 unit policy, it must be expressed in the UCI Catalogue and approved by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

What are “non-standard term courses”?

Non-standard term courses are courses that do not last the entire length of a given quarter. For example, some Paul Merage School of Business (PMBS) programs offer accelerated courses that only last 2-4 consecutive days instead of lasting the entire quarter. These courses are only certified according to their non-standard dates of instruction.

How do know if I will be taking non-standard term courses in my program?

Before starting the academic quarter, please discuss your inquiry with your graduate advisor. Your graduate advisor will note your instruction dates on your Request for Certification (RFC). They should also be able to share this information upon your request.

If my study list indicates I am enrolled in 12 units for the quarter, will I be considered full-time for the entire quarter for the receipt of VA education benefits?

The receipt of full-time Monthy Housing Allowance (MHA) is determined by the VA and is impacted by standard term course dates, non-standard term course dates (if any enrolled in such courses), and number of units. You will only receive full-time MHA for the length of time in which you are enrolled in 12 units or more.

For example, if you are taking 12 units but 4 units are for a non-standard term course, you will not receive full-time MHA. Even though you are taking a full-time courseload, the non-standard term dates will impact your MHA. This means that the VA will prorate your MHA for the full-length of term for 8 units and increase your eligiblity to 12 units only for overlapping dates.

For specific information about MHA entitlement after the VSC processes your certification, please contact the GI Bill® Hotline at (888) 442-4551 during normal business hours.

I am enrolled in non-standard term courses. What is required to ensure I am correctly certified for VA education benefits?

For standard term courses, list all courses on a single RFC. As a reminder, a standard term course takes place during the full length of the academic quarter as noted in the academic calendar.

For non-standard term courses, submit a separate RFC for each course that has unique start and end dates. The separate RFC(s) will require your graduate advisor to indicate specific start and end dates associated with each course.

My graduate advisor informed me that I am considered full-time according to their program but I am enrolled in less than 12 units. Why am I not considered full-time for my VA education benefits?

If a particular program is considered full-time at less than 12 units, it must be expressed in the UCI General Catalogue within the Graduate Division’s Enrollment Policy and approved by the VA.

I received a debt letter from the VA. What should I do?

First, call the GI Bill® Hotline (888-442-4551) to verify if they have determined that you have incurred debt. On occasion, debt letters are sent automatically although no debt may be incurred by the military-connected students. Second, if the VA determines that you have incurred debt, contact the VSC as soon as possible so we may review your certifications and assist in responding to the VA.

Division of Continuing Education

What benefits are accepted at the Division of Continuing Education?

The UCI Division of Continuing Education (DCE) accepts Chapter 31, Chapter 33, and Chapter 35 VA education benefits. Visit https://ce.uci.edu/resources/financial/veterans/links_forms.aspx for more information on how to apply for these benefits at DCE. 

Are there Division of Continuing Education programs where benefits cannot be used?

Several programs offered by the UCI Division of Continuing Education are approved by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Student veterans interested in using their VA education benefits at the UCI Division of Continuing Education may contact Karen Tseng at (949) 824-3314 or send an email to dce-services@uci.edu for more information.

Business, Management & Leadership

Law

Finance & Accounting

Post-Baccalaureate Programs

Can the CalVet College Fee Waiver be used for Division of Continuing Education programs?

Under California law and University of California (UC) policy, the CalVet College Fee Waiver cannot be used towards UCI Division of Continuing Education programs or self-supporting UC programs.

The CalVet College Fee Waiver applies only to UC system-wide tuition and fees charged for state-supported programs. Please visit the California Department of Veterans Affairs website for more information: https://www.calvet.ca.gov/VetServices/pages/college-fee-waiver.aspx

Summer Session

How to I enroll in Summer Session(s) I, II, and/or 10-Week?

All student veterans and dependents receiving a CalVet College Fee Waiver, Post-9/11 GI Bill® (Chapter 33), or Veteran Readiness & Employment (Chapter 31) education benefit can enroll by requesting digital enrollment forms from summer-coursechanges@uci.edu. In your email, please state the education benefit you wish to apply to your enrollment and a Summer Session Operator will send you a digital enrollment form via email through DocuSign. Once your form is filled out and signed, the Summer Session team will review and process it.

Please be aware that an outstanding balance will be reflected on your account until Summer Session adds the credit. The credit should be applied to your account 3-5 business days after submission of documents to the Summer Session office. Remember to submit your Request for Certification (RFC) form if you would like to receive your VA education benefits. Deadlines to submit your RFC will be shared with military-connected students prior to the start of each Summer Session. Please ensure you review your UCI email regularly.

*If you decide to add or drop courses, please send the Veteran Services Center (VSC) an email to veteran@uci.edu with the course title and number of units you are changing so we can update your records. There is no need to complete and submit an additional RFC with changes.

What is considered full-time during the Summer Sessions? How will this impact my Monthly Housing Allowance?

At UCI, the VA pays Monthly Housing Allowances (MHA) to military-connected students using VA education benefits based on the number of units enrolled. For six-week sessions (Summer I and II), the VA will pay full-time benefits to students enrolled in 6 units or more. If you enroll in units below this threshold, then the VA will pay you a lower MHA. Military-connected students taking 12 units or more during the 10-Week Summer Session are considered full-time. Unfortunately, the VSC is not able to determine specific MHA rates. For specific questions about your MHA, please contact the GI Bill® Hotline at (888) 442-4551.

Other

What if I need proof of enrollment for my VA educational benefits?

You will need to fill out a Verification Form for proof of enrollment at UCI. Please fill out the following document: http://reg.uci.edu/services/verifications/verificationsrequest.pdf and email it to lmrafael@uci.edu.