Veteran Resource Center FAQ

Do I have to submit a “Request Certification Form” in my MySam Account each semester?

Yes. If you plan on using your VA educational benefit or Hazlewood Exemption, you must submit the semester request form in your MySam each semester. If you do not have access to a link to submit your request form, please contact our office at 936-294-1046.

What is a VA Certificate of Eligibility (COE)?

A Certificate of Eligibility (COE) is a determination letter from the VA. This letter is generated and sent to the student after they have applied for their VA education benefit; the VA determines if they are entitled to their desired VA education benefit. Once received, the student will provide the Veterans Resource Center with their COE to be reviewed and processed.

Do I need a new COE (Certificate of Eligibility) each semester?

No, you only submit your COE to the MySam Portal for the first semester you initiate your benefit, unless you take a long semester break, which is a Fall or Spring term.

What if I did not use my military educational benefit during the Fall or Spring term (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?

All requests are processed in the order they are received. Please allow up to 20 business days for standard processing. To ensure your benefit will be processed by the first-class day, submit all needed paperwork into your MySam account by the priority deadline for each term.

How will I know if there is a problem or issue with my request?

Your assigned School Certifying Official/coordinator will reach out to you via email, text message, and/or phone call when there is an issue with your request.

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?

VA Benefits:

GI Bill® Type Pays Student Pays Tuition
CH30 (MGIB) Yes No
Ch 31 (VRE) Yes Yes
CH 33 (Post 9/11) Yes Yes
Ch 35 (DEA) Yes No
Ch 1606 (MGIB-SR) Yes No

Chapter 33 (Post 9/11 GI Bill®) - Yes, your Chapter 33 will pay the school directly for your standard tuition and fees based on the percentage you are entitled to. You will receive a books and supplies stipend from the VA and a monthly Basic Allowance for Housing (MHA).

Chapter 31-Veterans Readiness & Employment - Yes, your Chapter 31 VRE Counselor will issue a Purchase Order (PO) to SHSU to pay for your standard tuition and fees. If you are an undergraduate student, your VRE counselor should include a line item for “required books” on the Purchase Order sent for your tuition and fees; this will allow you to purchase your books directly from our campus bookstore, Barnes & Noble, or to utilize the Bearkat Bundle, if you wish. If you are a graduate student, your VRE counselor should issue a separate Purchase Order to Barnes & Noble so you can order your textbooks directly from them.

Chapter 30, 35, 1606 - No, the VA will send any payments related to your benefit directly to your registered bank account. You are responsible for the balance on your school account.

What is the Hazlewood Exemption?

Per the Texas Veterans Commision, "the Hazlewood Act is a State of Texas benefit that provides qualified Veterans, spouses, and dependent children with an education benefit of up to 150 hours of tuition exemption, including most fee charges, at public institutions of higher education in Texas. This does NOT include living expenses, books, or supply fees."

The Hazlewood Act waives up to 90% of standard tuition and fees. The Hazlewood Act does not waive the following: student service fee, intercollegiate athletic fee, housing charges, meal plan charges, book and supplies, late fees, heath center charges, payment plan charges, study abroad fees, and living expenses.

Will I receive a book stipend with my VA benefit?

Per the VA, "you may be eligible for up to $1,000 each academic year for books and supplies. VA will base your payment on how many courses you're enrolled in for the year and the percentage of benefits you're eligible for. They'll pay this money to you at the beginning of each term or enrollment period."" This payment will be delivered directly to your registered bank account.

What if I'm enrolled in only online courses?

Chapter 33 (Post 9/11) students who are registered solely for distance learning courses (Online Courses), may receive a monthly housing allowance equal to one-half the national average military Basic Monthly Allowance for Housing (MHA).

Chapter 31 (Veteran Readiness & Employment) should contact their counselor for more information regarding their MHA.

What Is Tuition Assistance?

Each branch of service handles Tuition Assistance differently. To find out how to get started, visit your Educational Services Officer (ESO) or Education Counselor within your branch of military service for guidance.

Can I use my Educational Benefits for Summer Courses?

Yes, both Hazlewood and VA benefits are available to be used in the summer.

How do I get a new Certificate of Eligibility (COE)?

For Post 9/11 Chapter 33: Check Post-9/11 GI Bill Statement of Benefits.

For Chapters 30 and 1606: Montgomery GI Bill Selected Reserve (MGIB-SR)

Ch 35: Apply for education benefits as an eligible dependent

Can I use Hazlewood and Chapter 33 Benefits at the Same Time?

VA Educational Benefit State Benefit Can I use Both?
CH 30 (MCGIB) Hazlewood Yes
Ch 31 (VRE) Hazlewood No
CH 33 (Post 9/11) Hazlewood No, unless VA is rated at less than 100%, Hazlewood can supplement
Ch 35 (DEA) Hazlewood Yes
Ch 1606 (MGIB-SR) Hazlewood Yes

Is my MHA 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" my VA education benefits?

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

Semester Hours

Mini Session

2 hours

10 Week

6 hours

Summer I

4 hours

Summer 2

4 hours

Summer Graduate student

Semester Hours

Mini Session

2 hours

10 Week

6 hours

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.

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 MHA 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 VA educational benefits?

Suspension are reported to the VA at the end of each term. All further action will be determined by VA. Call the VA education hotline: 1-888-442-4551

‘‘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"