I think I can get my tuition paid by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). How do I go about this?
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your Certificate of Eligibility or any paperwork you have from the VA confirming your veterans benefits eligibility. We will then alert the VA of how many credits you are taking and add an anticipated award (if eligible). Please monitor your email for award updates.
Why are my spring benefits less than my fall benefits?
For Post-9/11 GI Bill® (Chapter 33) benefits, the 2020–2021 yearly cap is $25,162. If you used up the majority of your benefits in the fall, your spring amount may be smaller because you have less eligibility left.
What types of veterans education benefits are there?
Chapter 33: Most students at Berklee with veterans benefits receive Post-9/11 GI Bill® (Chapter 33) benefits. These students can receive up to $25,162 for the 2020–2021 academic year to cover tuition and mandatory fees, if a student is eligible and the anticipated award is posted to the student account before the billing deadline. Chapter 33 recipients also get a housing stipend sent directly to the student, which is not reflected in the student’s account.
Chapter 35: The VA asks Berklee to send the student’s credit load and then sends the student a monthly stipend for books and housing expenses. This money does not come to Berklee, and our only responsibility is to send the VA the student’s current credit load.
Chapter 31: This is also known as vocational rehab. These students work with a case manager at the VA. They typically pay the full amount of all tuition and mandatory fees. Student Financial Services posts an estimated aid award at the beginning of each term and then sends the VA an invoice. We currently have five vocational rehab students at Berklee.
Yellow Ribbon: Only Chapter 33 recipients with 100 percent eligibility can get Yellow Ribbon status, and only undergraduate Berklee campus students are eligible. Students can only get this if they have exhausted their yearly benefit (used up the full $25,162). Berklee allocates up to $2,500 annually to eligible Yellow Ribbon recipients. The VA matches our allocation, which brings the total annual amount up to $5,000. This is awarded in the spring semester of an academic year. We can award up to 35 students.
Can I get my late fee waived? The VA is taking a long time.
Yes. VA benefit recipients should never get a late fee. Any late fees that a VA benefit recipient receives are automatically waived due to the slow nature of the VA process.
The VA paid less than was originally on my account. Why?
Sometimes students have less eligibility for VA benefits than they originally expected. Berklee’s role is to post an anticipated VA award assuming your benefits are up to date. If your veterans benefits are used up, your family will get a letter from the VA, and the VA will generally send less than Berklee anticipated. It is the family’s responsibility to keep track of their benefits usage because Berklee is not made aware when a student’s benefits are about to run out.
I haven’t gotten my books and housing stipend yet, and the semester has already started. What’s the delay?
Have you been enrolled in at least 12 credits since the week before classes started? Berklee lets the VA know how many credits you are enrolled in right when the semester starts, and this affects the amount of your stipend. If you were not enrolled full-time, generally we wait until you complete your registration to let the VA know how many credits you are taking. Then you’ll get your stipend as usual.
Are my VA benefits less because I’m going to school out of state?
No, your eligibility for veterans benefits does not vary from school to school. However, tuition and fees vary greatly from school to school, which can affect how much you pay out of pocket each year.
Do I have to apply for Yellow Ribbon?
No. If you are receiving Chapter 33 benefits at 100 percent and use up your yearly cap, you are automatically considered for Yellow Ribbon. There is no application process.
Why did you tell the VA that my tuition and fees are $0?
Right before the first day of classes, we tell the VA how many credits you are enrolled in at the time, and then after the add/drop deadline, we go back and fix the credit amount (if necessary) and bill the VA for your tuition and fees (if you have Chapter 31 or 33 benefits).
Before the add/drop deadline, we enter tuition and fees as $0 so that the VA knows to send you the books and housing stipend, and that we will come back later to confirm tuition and fees.