UCI Veteran Services Center

Frequently Asked Questions

COVID-19 Pandemic Provisions (End on 06/01/2022)

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.

Monthly Enrollment Verification

When do I have to start verifying my enrollment to the VA?

As of December 17, 2021, enrollment verification will be a new requirement for Post-9/11 GI Bill® students to verify that they have remained enrolled in the same courses or training every month. Students who receive MHA/Kicker payments will have their payments withheld if they fail to verify or report that they are no longer enrolled in their courses or training. To streamline the process, VA is providing the option to verify enrollment easily and securely via text message.

This requirement is only for Post-9/11 GI Bill® and does not impact other programs, including Veteran Employment Through Technology Education Courses (VET TEC), Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance (DEA), Veterans’ Educational Assistance Program (VEAP), or the Edith Nourse Rogers STEM Scholarship. If you are a Veteran Readiness & Employment (Chapter 31) student veteran, we encourage you to reach out to your VA Counselor for guidance.

Post-9/11 GI Bill® recipients at Institutions of Higher Learning (IHLs) will have to start reporting their monthly enrollment after December 17, 2021. Therefore, these changes will affect your 2022 Winter Quarter or 2022 Spring Semester (School of Law) and will not affect your 2021 Fall Quarter/Semester enrollment.

How do I verify enrollment?

You can verify enrollment using the following two methods:

Via Text Message

  • Students with a U.S. cell phone number can use text messages as a simple, quick option for verifying monthly enrollment. You will receive the following opt-in text: “POST-9/11 GI BILL HOUSING AND KICKER PAYMENTS NOW REQUIRE MONTHLY ENROLLMENT VERIFICATION. WOULD YOU LIKE TO SUBMIT YOURS VIA TEXT? PLEASE REPLY YES OR NO.” Reply “YES” to opt in. The text message link will expire 14 days after receipt, so please respond within that time frame.
  • After opting in, you can verify your enrollment simply by responding to the following text message from VA: “DID YOU REMAIN ENROLLED IN YOUR COURSES IN MON YYYY AS CERTIFIED? PLEASE REPLY YES OR NO. IF YOU HAVE DROPPED ALL YOUR COURSES, YOU MUST REPLY NO.” Reply “YES” to verify enrollment for the previous month.
  • Please be assured that enrollment verification via text message is safe and secure. VA will never ask for your personal information, such as social security number or bank account information, via text.
  • VA strongly recommends this method for verifying enrollment. It will be easier and faster than calling the ECC.
  • If you’re not sure if VA has your phone number on file, please contact the Education Call Center (ECC) at 1-888-GIBILL-1 (1-888-442-4551) to ensure VA has your cell phone number.

Via Education Call Center (ECC)

  • Contact the ECC at 1-888-GIBILL-1 (1-888-442-4551) and ask a representative to verify enrollment on your behalf. NOTE: ECC wait times may be high due to the number of students verifying enrollment each month.
  • If you opt out of text verification and later change your mind, or need to update your mobile number on file, you can opt into text message verification by calling the ECC at 1-888-GIBILL-1 (1-888-442-4551).

Please note that the VA may update these instructions before the start of the next academic term. We encourage you to review the VA’s Enrollment Verification website on a regular basis to avoid any benefit delays.

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 scholarship, fellowship, teaching assistance, or other financial aid impact my VA education benefits?

For military-connected students using Chapter 31 and 33 benefits, tuition and fees are paid directly to the institution on behalf of the student when the enrollment certification is processed. Tuition and fees are prorated by the student’s benefit level for Chapter 33 beneficiaries. The actual net cost for in-state tuition and fees after the application of any waiver, scholarship, aid, or assistance [other than loans and funds provided under section 401(b) of the Higher Education Act of 1965], provided directly to the institution and specifically designated for the sole purpose of defraying tuition and fees. This means that any tuition-specific awards you receive will be used to cover your tuition before the VA covers the remaining tuition and fees, 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 tuition and fees so that the VA can distribute your MHA and book stipends. Once lab or technology fees have been included in your tuition, we will perform a second certification to include this amount along with the tuition 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

Will the VA reimburse my MBA Acceptance of Admissions Deposit?

Yes. However, the student must attend the program for which the deposit was made to. If the student chooses not to attend the program or they decide to enroll in a different program, then the deposit cannot be refunded.

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 to our office on the Graduate Advisor Form (GAF). You should receive a finalized copy of the GAF through a DocuSign email, but you can always request a copy by emailing us at veteran@uci.edu.

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?

Once we are ready to certify you for an academic term, we will reach out to the academic advisor indicated on your Request for Certification (RFC) form. We will send them the Graduate Advisor Form (GAF) where they will be able to provide our office with accurate dates for any non-standard term courses. Before starting the academic quarter, please discuss your inquiry with your graduate advisor. Your graduate advisor will note your instruction dates to our office on the GAF. You should receive a finalized copy of the GAF through a DocuSign email, but you can always request a copy by emailing us at veteran@uci.edu.

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

Is there a UCI Application Fee Waiver for prospective student veterans?

UCI Undergraduate Admissions

UC will waive application fees for up to four campuses for qualified students who would otherwise be unable to apply for admission. The fee waiver program is for United States citizens, permanent residents, and applicants eligible for AB540 benefits.

Fee waivers can't be applied to more than four campuses, regardless of their source (e.g., UC, CollegeBoard/SAT). If you apply to more than four, you'll need to pay $70 for each additional choice.

You can see if you automatically qualify for a fee waiver within the application. If you enter your family size and income in the “About You” section, you will see if you've qualified for an application fee waiver when you select your campuses in the "Campuses & Majors" section (a message will appear on that page with real-time feedback about how many campuses you can apply to for free). 

More information can be found on the UC Undergraduate Admissions webpage here: https://admission.universityofcalifornia.edu/apply-now.html

UCI Graduate Admissions

Fee waivers are available for fall quarter admission for up to two state supported programs only. They are open to U.S. citizens, permanent residents, and DACA/AB540 eligible only; international students are not eligible. Eligibility is based on program participation, financial need or US veteran status and is determined by completion of the online application. If, based on information provided on the application, an applicant is determined to be eligible to apply for a waiver, instructions will be presented on the application itself. This will allow you to upload your required document(s) (see below) and submit your application. Your application will not be reviewed until a fee waiver is granted or the fee is paid. Please note that waivers are not automatically granted.

U.S. military veterans with an Honorable or General Discharge are eligible for the Application Fee Waiver with the UCI Graduate Division. A Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty (DD Form 214) is required for proof of military service. More information can be found on the UCI Graduate Admissions webpage here: https://grad.uci.edu/admissions/application-fee-fee-waivers/

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.

What if I need to submit an RFC for terms prior to the 2021-2022 Annual RFC?

The Request for Certification (RFC) Form needs to be completed every quarter or semester for which you would like to use your Chapter 31, 33, 35, or 1606 education benefits. Our office will certify you for the number of units, rate of pursuit, and whether you waive the health insurance (i.e, USHIP, GSHIP) as indicated in your RFC form. Any changes in your course workload, such as unit increases or decreases, or changes in health insurance waivers, should be emailed to the VSC at veteran@uci.edu so that we can record and file. 

Graduate students, please make sure to provide your academic advisor’s contact information on the RFC submission page. UCI School of Law students are required to use their UCI email address ending in "@uci.edu" and not their "@lawnet.uci.edu" email address. Please use the UCI Directory to identify your official UCI email. UCI Paul Merage School of Business students may be required to complete an additional RFC if the course takes place during a non-standard term. Please contact your Academic Advisor if you have any questions or believe that you are enrolled in a non-standard term course.