Do I have to submit a Certification Request each Semester?
Yes. If you plan on using your VA educational benefit or Hazlewood Exemption, you must submit the semester request form on your MySam each semester. Once you have registered for the semester and your schedule is finalized, you should submit your request form using your MySam portal. If you do not have a link to submit your request, please contact our office at 936-294-1046.
Do I need a new COE (Certificate of Eligibility) each semester?
No. The first time you use your benefit here at SHSU, you will need to provide a COE dated within the last six months. This will remain in effect as long as you are continuously enrolled at SHSU. If you take a long semester (fall/spring) break, you will be required to update your COE.
What if I did not use my benefit or exemption for a long semester?
You will need to contact our office at 936-294-1046 to inform us that you plan on utilizing your benefit or exemption. We will generate links to your MySam account so you can provide the appropriate documents and forms to our office. You will be required to resubmit all the proper documents and forms again.
How long will it take to process my request?
Please allow a minimum of 20 business days for standard verification of benefits. Processing time may increase during periods of high volume. Continuously enrolled students should submit by the priority deadline to ensure that their schedule will be protected from non-payment drop. All requests are processed in the order that they are received.
How will I know if there is a problem or issue with my request?
We will notify you at your SHSU student email address.
Why am I certified for fewer credits than what I am enrolled in?
The VA will not pay for courses that are not part of your degree plan. If you wish to have the courses certified, your advisor must submit a Degree Plan Exception Form to the Registrar's Office. The form will need to be processed and noted in your Degree Works before we are able to certify the course.
Will the VA pay my tuition and fees directly to SHSU?
Chapter 33 (Post 9/11) – Yes. Our office will notify the Cashier's Office to place a “credit” on your account. This “credit” is the amount that we anticipate receiving from the VA. However, this amount could change for several reasons. If the amount received is lower than expected, you will be responsible for the balance. Also, if you have 90 days or less of entitlement remaining, a “credit” will NOT be placed on the student's account. The student is responsible for the payment of all tuition and fees.
Chapter 31 (Veteran Readiness & Employment) – Yes. Tuition and required academic fees. Your VRE counselor will need to issue an updated Purchase Order (PO) each semester with the correct semester dates. Our office will not be able to certify your request until we receive the new PO.
Chapter 30, 35, and 1606 – No. You are responsible for the payment of all tuition and fees.
What is the Hazlewood Exemption?
The purpose of the Hazlewood Exemption (Hazlewood Act) is to provide an education benefit to honorably discharged or separated Texas veterans and to eligible dependent children and spouses of Texas veterans. Eligible veterans receive up to 150 credit hours. Dependents (Legacy) share 150 hours with the veteran, however, the Legacy is restricted to receive only degree program hours. Important: Only one person can utilize a veteran's Hazlewood – Legacy at a time.
Does Hazlewood cover tuition and fees?
Hazlewood ONLY covers in-state tuition and most fees. It does not cover the student service fee or the athletic fee. It also does not cover meal plans, housing fees, books, late fees, health center charges, study abroad fees, or other incidental charges or fees.
Can I use the Hazlewood Exemption at the College of Osteopathic Medicine (COM)?
No. Courses for the Osteopathic Medicine program are not formula funded.
Do I receive a Book Stipend?
Chapter 33 (Post 9/11) recipients receive a yearly book and supplies stipend of up to $1000 which is paid proportionately based on enrollment.
What if I’m enrolled in only online courses?
Chapter 33 (Post 9/11) students who are registered solely for distance learning courses, may receive a monthly housing allowance equal to one-half the national average military Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH).
Chapter 31 (Veteran Readiness & Employment) should contact their counselor for more information regarding their BAH.
What if I need to repeat a course?
The Texas Legislature eliminated funding to higher education for courses that are attempted three or more times. An attempted course is defined as any course in which a grade is earned on the transcript, including repeated courses and courses dropped with a grade of “Q” or “W”. In order to compensate for this loss of state funding, students attempting a course for a third or more time will be charged a “3peat” fee in addition to the tuition charged for the course. Both Hazelwood and Chapter 33 will cover the cost of the tuition for repeat courses; however, they will not pay the penalty “3peat” fee.
Also, VA educational benefit recipients should keep in mind that the VA only covers courses required for their graduation. If repeating the course is not necessary for your degree, the VA will not cover the cost of the course.
What does the Veterans Cert hold on my account mean?
A hold is placed on your account to prevent registration changes after you have submitted your VA request form to our office. If you wish to make a schedule change, please contact our office at 936-294-1046.
What if I need to change my schedule?
If you are using a VA Educational Benefit, you must contact our office at 936-294-1046 to have your Veterans Cert hold removed. Changing your schedule after you have been certified could delay your benefit payments. It could also create an overpayment resulting in a debt to you with the VA or SHSU.
What if I want to use Tuition Assistance?
Tuition Assistance (TA) is a Department of Defense (DoD) program. The VA does not administer TA. Students will be prohibited from simultaneously receiving education benefits from the VA and TA benefits from the military.
Students using TA and Chapter 33 will be certified as any other Chapter 33 student, with the TA benefits deducted from the net tuition and fee charges submitted to the VA.
For students using TA and Chapter 30, the student will not receive Chapter 30 benefits for the courses for which TA is paid, but the student can receive Chapter 30 benefits for the courses for which TA isn’t paid.
What if I’m required to take a Remedial Course?
Remedial courses are those courses that may be taken by students whose placement exam scores place them in a remedial course. Veterans must provide a copy of the test scores to our office before we are able to certify a remedial course. Online and independent study remedial courses will NOT be covered by the VA.
Can I use my VA Educational Benefits for Summer Courses?
How do I get a new Certificate of Eligibility (COE)?
- For Post 9/11 Chapter 33:
Veterans and dependents can check www.va.gov.
- For Chapters 30 and 1606:
Veterans can check https://www.gibill.va.gov/wave/index.do
Can I use Hazlewood and Chapter 33 Benefits at the Same Time?
You cannot use Hazlewood and Chapter 33 together unless you have less than 100% coverage from Chapter 33.
Is my BAH affected if I’m full-time or part-time?
Students attending school less than full-time receive a pro-rated monthly housing allowance. Students attending school exactly ½ time or less do not receive a monthly housing allowance.
What is considered “Full Time”?
The VA full-time rate of pursuit is based on how many days in a specific session in which you are enrolled and how many credits you are taking in the session. Each five-week or seven-week session is reported separately to the VA. They evaluate each session independently.
The Undergraduate Rate of Pursuit is determined by the VA
- Chapter 33
- VA calculates the rate of pursuit by dividing the credit hours being pursued by the number of credit hours considered to be full-time
- (Full time should be 12 hours for Fall and Spring)
- The resulting percentage is the student’s rate of pursuit.
- Housing allowance is paid only if the rate of pursuit is 51% or higher.
- Chapters 30, 35, 1606
- 12 credits or more are full time
- 9-11 credits are ¾ time
- 6-8 credits are ½ time
- 4-5 credits are less than ½ time (<½-time)
- 1-3 credits are ¼ time or less (<¼-time)
- Chapter 31
- Consult with your Veteran Readiness & Employment Counselor
The Graduate Rate of pursuit is determined by the school. See the catalog for more information regarding course load.
- 9-12 credits are Full-time
- 6-8 credits are ½ time
- 3-5 credits are less than ½ time (<½-time)
- 1-3 credits are ¼ time or less (<¼-time)
- 7-week accelerated online sessions- 4+ hours is considered full-time
The Summer Rate of Pursuit
We are unable to guarantee you what the VA considers full-time for the Summer Undergraduate Rate of Pursuit, or if/how much BAH you will receive for Summer terms. The VA rules are NOT the same as SHSU course load rules for summer. Each summer session (Mini Session, 10 Week, Summer I, and Summer II) are reported separately to the VA. They evaluate each session independently.
You should contact the VA directly with questions concerning your BAH and what is considered full-time for a summer session. We can give you the best guesstimate of what full-time may be:
Summer Undergraduate student
Summer Graduate student
Summer I and Summer II
3 hours each term
Can I change my major?
Yes. However, if your major listed on your degree plan does not match your VA request form, this could delay the approval of your request. You will need to obtain the correct Change of Major form from the Registrar’s website and submit it to the Registrar’s Office with the appropriate signatures.
Can I “Q” drop a course?
Yes. However, for students using the Hazlewood exemption, this could affect your “SAP”. It could also affect VA students' “rate of pursuit” which will affect your BAH payment and could also result in a debt to the VA.
What is “SAP”?
Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) is the term used to denote a student’s successful completion of coursework toward a certificate or degree.
How does academic probation/suspension affect my benefits?
Students that have been placed on suspension are reported to the VA at the end of each term. The law requires that educational assistance benefits to Veterans and other eligible persons be discontinued when the student ceases to make satisfactory progress toward completion of his or her training objective. Benefits can be resumed if the student reenrolls in the same educational institution and in the same program. In other cases, benefits cannot be resumed unless VA finds that the cause of the unsatisfactory attendance, conduct, or progress has been removed and the program of education or training to be pursued by the student is suitable to his or her aptitudes, interests, and abilities.
‘‘GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government Web site at https://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill."