Kennedy Fine Arts Building

Veterans Affairs

Savannah State University (SSU) is a military friendly university proud to support America’s armed forces. Our department of Military and Veteran Affairs (M&VA) is here to service our “Veterans” which we define as all Active Duty, Reserve, National Guard, Merchant Marine ROTC and Prior Service Students. In addition, all Military Dependents using VA Education Benefits from a qualifying sponsor are included.  Our purpose is to provide assistance to Veterans seeking to use benefits under the Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act.    

Helpful Information:

VA Education Benefits
Using VA Education Benefits at SSU
Student Responsibilities
Tuition Assistance
Veteran Resource Center
Quick Links

VA Education Benefits

How do I apply?
  1. Service Member/Veteran VA Form 22-1990
  2. Service Member/Veteran Requesting Change of Program or Place of Training  VA Form 22-1995
  3. Dependent of a Veteran who has transferred benefits to you  VA Form 22-1990e
  4. Dependent Spouse/Child VA Form 22-5490
  5. Dependent Spouse/Child Requesting Change of Program or Place of Training  VA Form 22-5495

How long does it take VA to determine eligibility?

It can take up to 30 days for the VA to process an application. VA will provide the student with a Certificate of Eligibility detailing the type of benefit awarded and the terms of eligibility.

Education Benefits

Savannah State University is not a Yellow Ribbon Program participant

Using VA Education Benefits at SSU

  1. Get admitted to SSU.
  2. If you have not done so, apply for VA education benefits. 
  3. Register for classes.
  4. Submit the SSU VA Enrollment Certification  Complete the form in its entirety and attach all supporting documentation (Certificate of Eligibility and semester schedule).  Must be done every semester the student intends to use the education benefit.
    • All students will be initially certified to the VA for $ 0.00. This will cause the VA to release MHA payments directly to the student at the earliest possible date (no earlier than a week prior to the semester start date). The closer to school start the package is submitted, the longer it will take for the VA to process the request and issue payment.
    • Approximately three weeks into the semester, when all charges and credits have been applied to the student's bill, a second certification will be submitted to the VA for Chapter 33 students detailing the actual tuition and fees charges. This will cause the VA to issue payment directly to SSU for tuition and fees, and a payment directly to the student for a book stipend. Students should be prepared to pay for books initially and be reimbursed once the VA pays. 
    • Students who receive scholarship, grant or other outside money specifically intended to be used to pay for tuition and fees (HOPE, ROTC Scholarships, Tuition Assistance, SEIS Scholarship, Zell Miller Scholarship, Georgia Military Scholarship, Military Scholar, ACCEL, GO ARMY or Employment Tuition Assistance) will have their VA Education Benefit tuition and fees payment reduced by the combined amount of these funds.  Any tuition and fees charges not covered by these funds will be paid by the VA to the limit of the veteran benefit award. MHA and book stipend payments will not be affected. This action was taken by the VA in 2011 to prevent duplication and overpayment of tuition and fees to the student from multiple sources. 
  5. Enrollment certifications will be processed as follows:
  6. Unsatisfactory Progress, Conduct, and Attendance
    Students utilizing VA Educational Benefits must be making satisfactory academic progress towards degree completion.  Failure to do so may result in discontinuance of benefits as outlined by the Department of Veteran Affairs.   

Student Responsibilities

  1. Students must submit a VA Enrollment Certification along with the certificate of eligibility/letter of remaining benefits every semester they intend to use VA education benefits.
  2. Students must notify the VA Certifying Official of changes of degree program, address, and schedule (add/drop/withdraw courses).  Students must also notify the VA certifying officer of complete withdrawals from the university or any incomplete “I” grades received.
  3. Students using CH 33 (Post-9/11) who receive Monthly Housing Allowance (MHA) and/or kicker payments are required to verify their enrollment at the end of each month by text message, email, or by calling 1-888-442-4551.
  4. Students using CH 30 (MGIB), CH 1606 (MGIB-SR), and CH 1607 (REAP) education benefits must verify their attendance at the end of each month enrolled by calling 1-877-823-2378 or online at
  5. Students using CH 30 (MGIB), CH 1606 (MGIB-SR), and CH 35 (DEA) must pay all tuition and fees no later than the published payment deadline.
  6. Students using CH 33 (Post 9/11) must pay any expenses not covered per entitlement listed on the Certificate of Eligibility letter from VA. (Ex:  60% eligibility, out of degree plan course, housing costs)
  7. Students using CH 31 (VR&E) must verify with their VR&E Counselor that their authorization (for tuition/fees, book, and/or supplies) has been uploaded. 

Tuition Assistance

All four service branches and the U.S. Coast Guard offer financial assistance for voluntary, off-duty education programs in support of service members’ personal and professional goals. The program is open to officers, warrant officers and enlisted active-duty service personnel. In addition, members of the National Guard and Reserve Components may be eligible for TA based on their service eligibility. Prior to enrolling, eligible Service members must receive approval from an Education Services Officer (ESO) or counselor within the Military Service. 

The Tuition Assistance Program may fund up to 100% of your college tuition and certain fees with the following limits:

Each military branch has its own TA application form and procedures.  Contact your Education Counselor for assistance.  Be sure to provide a copy of approved Tuition Assistance authorization/voucher to the SSU Veteran Affairs and Bursar’s offices prior to the established payment deadline.     

Military Outreach Center

The Military Outreach Center is located in King Frazier Room 244, which provides a dedicated space and comprehensive support services to enhance and complement the academic experience.  Veterans, active duty members and dependents can study, relax and decompress in an environment of their peers.  In the center there is audio/video equipment, tables, chairs, couches and computer/printer work stations for the veteran’s use.   Additional items or services such as computer programs or recreational equipment can be obtained on request.


-How many courses are considered full time, part time etc.?

The VA calculates the amount of monetary entitlement based on the amount of credits taken during a standard semester, defined by the VA as 15–18 weeks in length.

Standard semester calculation (15–18 weeks):


1-3 credits per semester is ¼ time or less

4-5 credits per semester is less than half-time
6-8 credits per semester is half-time
9-11 credits per semester is ¾ time
12 credits per semester is full-time


9 credits per semester is full-time

- What if I need to Drop or Withdraw from a course?

If you drop or withdraw from courses, you must notify the Military and Veteran Affairs Office. The law prohibits payment of veterans’ benefits for a course from which a student withdraws.

PLEASE NOTE: For students using Chapter 33 Post 9/11 VA education benefits, withdrawing from a course could cause a recoupment of your housing allowance (BAH)

- How do I apply for graduation as a veteran?

Students who are registered for, or progressing through, their final credits towards degree completion may submit the Request for Graduation form. Learn more about graduation. Please note that the graduation fee is only covered under Chapter 33, Post-9/11or Chapter 31, Veteran's Vocational Rehabilitation. All students under any other chapter are responsible for ensuring the appropriate fees are paid.

Although the graduation fee is covered for students using Chapter 31 and 33 benefits it is highly recommended that students pay the graduation fee at the time of application to avoid potential delays with processing. Students will be reimbursed after the University receives the graduation fees from the VA.

-When will I receive payment or MHA (Chapter 33 only) from the VA?

The VA will send your benefits to you after receipt of your enrollment certification and your eligibility has been established. Tuition and fees for all courses must be paid at the time of registration (with the exception of individuals in the Chapter 33 full benefit/100% eligibility tier).

-What happens if I am using CH 33 Post 9/11 and I fail to verify my enrollment?

If you fail to verify enrollment for two consecutive months, your MHA/kicker payments will be placed on hold.  In order to have your payments released, you will need to call the ECC to verify your enrollment. When you call the ECC to release your payments, you may also enroll in text message verification at that time.

- I have question/concerns about specific payments made to me by the VA. Who should I contact?

If you are receiving CH 1606, CH 33, CH 30 or CH 35 benefits, please contact the VA directly through their Education Benefits hotline for assistance: 1-888-442-4551. If you are receiving CH 31 benefits, please contact your VR&E counselor directly for payment questions or concerns.

-How can I find out how many months of education benefits I have remaining?

You can view this information if you have an eBenefits account. You can also call the VA Education Benefits hotline at 1-888-442-4551 to receive an update on the status of your remaining eligibility.

-When will I be paid my monthly stipend from the VA?

The VA typically pays on the first of every month for the previous month. For example, on October 1st you’ll get a check for the month of September. Payments are prorated, meaning checks will be less during months we aren’t in school from beginning to end (August, December, January and May).

-Why haven’t I received my stipend yet?

Have you properly established your benefits at SSU?

Have you submitted an Enrollment Certification Request to the Veterans Coordinator, thereby notifying us of your intentions to use your benefit?

Has enough time passed since the Veterans Coordinator certified your enrollment? You will receive an email from the VA system when your claim is submitted. Two to eight weeks into the semester is the typical time-frame. Longer processing times occur at the beginning of semesters because of increased workloads.

If you are a dependent, has your sponsor formerly transferred the benefit to you (Post 9/11 GI Bill®)?

Have you applied for the benefit (i.e. filled out a form 22-1990 or 22-5490, this applies to everyone, including dependents) and received a Certificate of Eligibility from the VA?

For Chapters 30, 1606 and 1607: has your monthly enrollment certification been accomplished through WAVE or through the verification hotline at 1-877-823-2378?

For Chapter 31 Vocational Rehabilitation, please contact your VR&E Counselor with all payment questions.

For STEM Scholarship Recipients, have you verified your enrollment for the previous month using email or the STEMText App?

For Chapter 33 Post 9/11 GI Bill®, have you verified your monthly enrollment? For terms starting after December 17, 2021, VA has implemented a new monthly enrollment verification for all CH33 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 complete the monthly verification.


-What happens after I submit an Enrollment Certification Request?

An Enrollment Certification Request form should be submitted before the start of each semester that you plan on using benefits. After you submit the form, it will be routed to your academic advisor for review and approval. Your advisor will approve that you are enrolled in the proper coursework. This is your way of alerting our office that you want to use VA benefits so we can certify your enrollment and you can receive VA monthly stipends. It is really important that you do this as soon as you are registered so you don’t experience payment delays. We ask that you have the form in at least four weeks before the start of the semester.

I am a new student. What do I need to do to establish my VA benefits at SSU?

In order to establish your VA benefits at SSU, you need to complete an Information Sheet and send it to the Veterans Coordinator. If you are using the Post 9/11 GI Bill®, we will need a copy of your Certificate of Eligibility and a copy of your DD214 in addition to the information sheet. The Veterans Coordinator can walk you through the required documentation you will need to provide for other benefits.

-If my GI Bill® exhausts during the semester, will the VA pay the entire semester?

It depends. On June 11, 2020, Federal Circuit Court overturned VA rules regarding end-of-term benefit extensions in Carr vs Wilkie. In accordance with the Carr decision, VA will begin paying more benefits because we will now extend end-of-term benefits beyond 48 months. This ruling only applies to cases which have not been finally decided by VA; therefore, it will only apply to cases currently on appeal with the Board of Veterans Appeals or still appealable to VA (those decided within one year of date of decision: June 11, 2020).

Prior to Carr, VA viewed the 48-month rule as a hard stop and would never extend end-of-term benefits beyond 48 months. The court ruled that VA’s interpretation is incorrect and instead, VA should apply the 48-month rule to limit the initial award which will determine when benefits are exhausted and the point at which we should then apply the end-of-term extension (i.e., an end-of-term extension should not be stopped at the 48th month).

Example: Student has used 26 months under CH 1606. He or she now applies for CH 33 benefits. Entitlement to CH 33 benefits is generally limited to 36 months of entitlement. However, application of the 48-month rule limits the award to 22 months of CH 33 benefits. Therefore:

26 months of CH 1606 benefits used

36 months of CH 33 benefits entitled

48-26 = 22 months of CH 33 will be awarded

If the student then uses 21 months of CH 33 benefits (leaving only one month of entitlement remaining), and then starts a 4-month standard semester program, VA will pay benefits for the entire 4 months extending benefits by 3 months beyond the student’s actual award. This student will ultimately receive a combined total of 51 months of VA educational assistance.

For quarter or semester based program, VA will extend benefits to the end of the term. This means if a student has at least one day of benefits to start the academic term but does not have enough days of benefits to pay for the entire term, VA will nonetheless pay benefits for the entire term. Benefits can also be extended under the same statute for non-quarter or semester based programs but the rules for calculating the length of the extension are slightly different. For these non-standard term program, benefits can only be extended to the end of the term if the student has enough benefits to make it to at least the halfway point in the period. However, end-of-term benefits can only be extended for a maximum of 12 weeks. If the student does not have enough benefits to make it to the halfway point, then benefits cannot be extended. Benefits will stop on the day the student exhaust his or her remaining entitlement.

If you are a dependent, there is no exceeding the 36th month of the Post 9/11 GI Bill®, and payments will stop mid semester if your eligibility is exhausted. Similarly, Chapter 35 Dependent Education Assistance students may not exceed the 45-month limit of their benefit, except under rare circumstances which must be approved by the VA. A dependent student may combine his or her Post 9/11 GI Bill® and their CH 35 benefit. This could yield a maximum of 81 months of combined eligibility (up to 36 from the GI Bill® and 45 from CH 35 DEA).

-What is the STEM Edith Nourse Rogers Scholarship?

Through the STEM Edith Nourse Rogers STEM Scholarship, Post-9/11 GI Bill® students who have exhausted or are about to exhaust their entitlement may be eligible for nine months (up to $30,000) of additional benefits. Review this approved degree list for a complete list of eligible STEM fields. Priority for the Rogers STEM Scholarship will be given to individuals who are entitled to 100% of Post-9/11 GI Bill® Benefits and who require the most credit hours.

You may be eligible if you are a Veteran or Fry Scholar currently enrolled in a STEM undergraduate degree program and:

Your current STEM undergraduate degree program requires at least 120 semester (or 180 quarter) credit hours for completion.

You have completed at least 60 semester (or 90 quarter) credit hours toward your degree.

You have or will soon (within 180 days of application) exhaust your Post-9/11 GI Bill® entitlement

Apply on Scholarships are awarded on a quarterly basis in January, March, July and October.

-Will my VA education benefits pay for every class that I want to take?

No. Only classes that will fulfill a requirement for your degree program, minor, dual degree, or dual major, can be reported to the VA for the purpose of determining your rate of pursuit.

Rounding Out will be phased out for terms beginning on or after August 1, 2021. Rounding out refers to when A VA student could round out a schedule with non-required courses to bring his/her course load up to a full-time schedule in his/her last term only. Previously this process allowed students to continue to receive benefits at the full-time rate in their last term of enrollment, even though fewer credits are required to complete the program.

-Will the GI Bill® pay for me to study abroad?

The VA will not pay for students to study abroad unless study abroad is explicitly required for the degree program (which is rare). SSU instructional costs may be covered depending on your VA education benefit. The VA does not cover fees associated with foreign study, unless it is mandatory for your degree program. The VA will not pay any costs related to travel or third party charges (for example: travel insurance, study abroad application fees, etc.).

-Can I use my GI Bill® to prepare for a required licensing or certification test?

Yes, the GI Bill® covers more than just tuition and fees. You can also use your entitlement to cover the cost of certain licensure and certification exams and national tests. VA produced this Test Proration Postcard that explains this process in detail.

-I am a non-resident student and want to attend SSU. Will the Post 9/11 GI Bill® cover all of my tuition?

No. The Post 9/11 GI Bill® will only pay the costs associated with in-state enrollment. Please see the Veterans Coordinator for more information and to provide documentation to ensure you are charged the correct tuition rates. You can also visit Admissions Waivers for a list of military residency exceptions that may apply to you.

- I received an email that an “Amendment” was made to my enrollment. What does that mean?

An amendment means that you changed the number of credits that you are enrolled in and that change was reported to the VA or your tuition and fees were reported.   It is a part of the process every semester.

-I recently graduated and received an email that my enrollment was “Terminated.” What does that mean?

When a student using VA education benefits graduates, we are required to report that to the VA as a Termination with Graduation as the reason. It is a way in which Congress and the VA track how benefits are being used to degree completion.

-I am using the Chapter 33 Post 9/11 GI Bill®, how do I verify my monthly enrollment?

You can verify enrollment via text or email. If you need to verify your enrollment and are looking for instructions on how to do it, check out this helpful infographic and How to Verify Enrollment video. If you indicate that your enrollment information has changed, VA will contact SSU to receive your updated enrollment information. Please work with the Veterans Coordinator to ensure they have accurate information on your enrollment and can update VA of any changes.

-Can I use my VA benefits with HOPE?

The HOPE Scholarship (including Zell Miller) does not negatively affect CH 30, CH 35, and CH 1606 VA educational benefits.  Use of HOPE and military Tuition Assistance (TA) or Post-9/11 GI Bill® (CH 33) can never result in a refund of either benefit.  See below for special information about how HOPE works with TA or CH 33.

HOPE and CH 33

For Post 9/11 benefits: HOPE, TA, or any other scholarship that specifically pays tuition will apply towards the tuition/fee charges prior to VA benefits being applied. The VA benefits will then pay any remaining balance for applicable tuition and fees based on the percentage on the Certificate of Eligibility.  Please be aware that neither HOPE nor Post 9/11 GI Bill® can be applied to housing or meal plan costs.

Fall Semester eligible tuition and fees $3700
HOPE Scholarship (applied first)        -$2540
Billed to the VA                                      $1160


HOPE, National Guard Service Cancellable Loan, or any other scholarship that specifically pays tuition will negate the need for TA. If you are HOPE eligible and wish to use TA, notify the Office of the Registrar to coordinate with Financial Aid to ensure HOPE is only applied for the classes in which TA is not being used.

Quick Links

SSU Consumer Information

U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs or 1-888-442-4551

Joint Service Transcript



Military Personnel Waiver

Recently Separated Waiver

GA National Guard/Reservists Waiver

Comparison Tool

Application for Graduation

Edith Nourse Rogers STEM Scholarship

The Warrior Alliance

Department of Labor

Employ Georgia