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Military & Veteran Education Benefits

Students who are service members (Active Duty, National Guard, Reservist), veterans, or dependents may be eligible for education benefits through the VA or the State of Texas. These benefits may have different payment types and schedules, and cover different parts of your education — like paying for tuition, work study or tutoring. It’s important to explore the different types of benefits and to understand what you might qualify for. 

 

How to Utilize Education Benefits

Texas Hazlewood Exemption Act

Eligibility Criteria

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, at public institutions of higher education in Texas. This does NOT include fees, living expenses, books, or supply fees.

In order to receive Hazlewood benefits must meet all the eligibility requirements as drawn from the Hazlewood Act Statute and 40 Texas Administrative Code §461. More information about eligibility can be found on the Texas Veteran Commission website at https://www.tvc.texas.gov/education/hazlewood/#LTjZRggS

Required Documents for Veterans
Required Documents for Legacy (Child)
Required Documents for Spouse or Child (100% Disabled Veteran, KIA, MIA)
  • Hazlewood Application or Hazlewood Continued Enrollment Form
  • VA Rating Decision Letter
  • Veterans DD214
  • VA GI Bill benefits letter of exhaustion (ONLY if Veteran served after 9/11/2001)
  • Childs Birth or Adoption Certificate, or Marriage Certificate
  • Screen shot of students TVC Account
  • Draft Candidate Plan of Study (CPS)

Procedure:

  1. Collect all required documents (Listed above)
  2. Enroll in UHCL classes
  3. Complete a Hazlewood Application or Continued Enrollment form
  4. Submit an electronic request for certification
    • All required documents should be attached to the request

Texas Hazlewood ChecklistRequest Certification & Submit All Documents

Additional Information

  • Each semester you will be required to submit a new certification request along with a Continued Enrollment Form. Please remember that the Hazlewood Exemption will not be applied until Financial Aid runs SAP for the semester. 
  • You can use Chapter 33 Post 9/11 (when less than 100% GI Bill eligible) of Chapter 35 and Hazlewood Exemption Together (Stacking)

Montgomery GI Bill ® (Chapter 1606)

Eligibility Criteria

The Montgomery GI Bill ®  Selected Reserve (MGIB-SR) (Chapter 1606), is available to members of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard Reserves, as well as the National Guard.

To be eligible for the MGIB-SR you must meet the following criteria:

  • Have a six-year obligation to serve in the Selected Reserve or Guard signed after June 30, 1985. If you are an officer, you must have agreed to serve six years in addition to your original obligation
  • Complete your initial active duty for training (IADT)
  • Meet the requirement to receive a high school diploma or equivalency certificate before completing IADT
  • Remain in good standing while serving in an active Selected Reserve or Guard

Procedure

  1. Complete the Application for Education Benefits on the VA's GOV website. Within four to eight weeks you should receive a declaration of eligibility (COE) and a letter explaining your VA GI Bill ® benefits. 
  2. Enroll in UHCL classes
  3. Collect all required documents  (DD214, COE, Class Schedule, CPS)
  4. Submit an electronic request for certification.
    • All required documents should be attached to the request

Chapter 1606 Checklist  Request Certification & Submit All Documents*Remember that the funds are paid directly to the student, not the school.

Information on Self-Certification

As a recipient of Montgomery GI Bill ® (Chapter 1606) funding you are required to self-certify each month of the term after the initial certification is executed by the institution. You will not receive a payment until you have verified your attendance, starting on the last calendar day of the month.

You may self-certify online here or through the automated phone line at 1-877-823-2378. If you are experiencing difficulty accessing your W.A.V.E account, troubleshooting information is available here. Please note, the WAVE and IVR systems do not update instantly as verifications and other submissions are processed manually. As such, it may take two to three business days for updates to reflect on your account.

Additional Information

For more information, contact the Office of Military and Veteran at vso@uhcl.edu or visit GI Bill ® benefits.

Montgomery GI Bill ® (Chapter 30)

The Montgomery GI Bill ® Active Duty (MGIB-AD) is available to members of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard Reserves, as well as the National Guard.

Eligibility Requirements

Category I

All of these are true. You:

  • Have a high school diploma, GED, or 12 hours of college credit, and
  • Entered active duty for the first time after June 30, 1985, and
  • Had your military pay reduced by $100 a month for the first 12 months of service

And at least one of these is true. You served continuously (without a break) for:

  • 3 years, or
  • 2 years if that was your agreement when you enlisted, or
  • 4 years if you entered the Selected Reserve within a year of leaving active duty (called the 2 by 4 program)
Category II

All of these are true. You:

  • Have a high school diploma, GED, or 12 hours of college credit, and
  • Entered active duty before January 1, 1977 (or before January 2, 1978, under a delayed enlistment program contracted before January 1, 1977), and
  • Served at least 1 day between October 19, 1984, and June 30, 1985, and stayed on active duty through June 30, 1988 (or through June 30, 1987, if you entered the Selected Reserve within 1 year of leaving active duty and served 4 years), and
  • Had at least 1 day of entitlement left under the Vietnam Era GI Bill (Chapter 34) as of December 31, 1989
Category III

All of these are true. You:

  • Have a high school diploma, GED, or 12 hours of college credit, and
  • Don’t qualify for MGIB under categories I or II, and
  • Had your military pay reduced by $1,200 before separation

And one of these is true. You:

  • Were on active duty on September 30, 1990, and involuntarily separated (not by your choice) after February 2, 1991, or
  • Involuntarily separated on or after November 30, 1993, or
  • Chose to voluntarily separate under either the Voluntary Separation Incentive (VSI) program or the Special Separation Benefit (SSB) program
Category IV

Both of these are true. You:

  • Have a high school diploma, GED, or 12 hours of college credit, and
  • Had military pay reduced by $100 a month for 12 months or made a $1,200 lump-sum contribution (meaning you paid it all at once)

And one of these is true. You:

  • Were on active duty on October 9, 1996, had money left in a VEAP account on that date, and chose MGIB before October 9, 1997, or
  • Entered full-time National Guard duty under title 32, USC, between July 1, 1985, and November 28, 1989, and chose MGIB between October 9, 1996, and July 9, 1997

To learn more about the benefit you may be eligible for and how to receive these benefits, visit VA.gov.

Procedure

  1. Complete the Application for Education Benefits on the VA's GOV website. Within four to eight weeks you should receive a declaration of eligibility (COE) and a letter explaining your VA GI Bill ® benefits.
  2. Enroll in UHCL classes
  3. Collect all required documents (DD214, COE, Class Schedule, CPS)
  4. Submit an electronic request for certification.
    • All required documents should be attached to the request

Request Certification & Submit All DocumentsRemember that the funds are paid directly to the student, not the school.

Information on Self Certification

As a recipient of Montgomery GI Bill ® (Chapter 30) funding you are required to self-certify each month of the term after the initial certification is executed by the institution. You will not receive a payment until you have verified your attendance, starting on the last calendar day of the month.

You may self-certify online or through the automated phone line at 1-877-823-2378. If you are experiencing difficulty accessing your W.A.V.E account, view troubleshooting information here. Please note, the WAVE and IVR systems do not update instantly as verifications and other submissions are processed manually. As such, it may take two to three business days for updates to reflect on your account.

Post-9/11 GI Bill ® (Chapter 33)

Eligibility Criteria

The Post-9/11 GI Bill ® (Chapter 33) is for individuals with at least 90 days of aggregate service on or after September 11, 2001 or individuals discharged with a service-connected disability after 30 days. 

Veterans may also transfer their benefits under Post-9/11 (Chapter 33 Transfer of Benefits (TOB)) to their spouse or dependent.

This program will pay eligible individuals:

  • Tuition & fees directly to the school
  • A monthly housing allowance based on the Basic Allowance for Housing for an E-5 with dependents at the location of the school, and annual books & supplies stipend of $1,000 paid proportionately based on enrollment
  • A one-time rural benefit payment for eligible individuals payable only for training at an Institution of Higher Learning (IHL). If you are in the military, you will not receive the housing allowance or books & supplies stipend
  • This benefit provides up to 36 months of education benefits 
  • If your last discharge or release from active duty is on or after January 1, 2013, there is no time limitation to use your benefits. If your last discharge or release from active duty is before January 1, 2013, you have 15 years to use your benefits

View Post-9/11 GI Bill (Chapter 33) General InformationProcedure

  1. Complete VONAPP application (print out a copy for yourself) through eBenefits. Learn How to Apply here.Within four to eight weeks you should receive a declaration of eligibility (COE) and a letter explaining your VA GI Bill ® benefits.
  2. Enroll in UHCL classes
  3. Collect all required documents (DD214, COE, Class Schedule, CPS)
  4. Submit an electronic request for certification.
    • All required documents should be attached to the request
Chapter 33 Checklist (Veteran)Chapter 33 Checklist (Dependent)Request Certification & Submit All DocumentsSelf Certification
  • The VA has instituted a requirement to self-certify monthly for continued receipt of your benefit for any course beginning after August 1, 2021. The VA will be providing further guidance on this process directly to the service member as it becomes available. A monthly text reminder service will be provided by the VA for those who enroll. Information will be sent directly by the VA when this becomes available.
  • In order for Post-9/11 GI Bill® (chapter 33) beneficiaries to continue collecting a monthly housing allowance (BAH), they will need to verify their enrollment status monthly for enrollment periods beginning on or after August 1, 2021. There are two ways in which a student will be able to verify his/her monthly enrollment. Students may call the Education Call Center at 888-442-4551, or they may opt to receive monthly text messages asking them to confirm their status.  If a student replies "no" by phone or text, VA’s processing office will contact the school for additional information on the student’s enrollment. If a student fails to verify his/her enrollment for two consecutive months, the monthly stipend will be suspended.

Additional Information

For more information, contact the Office of Military and Veteran at vso@uhcl.edu or visit GI Bill ® benefits or visit VA.gov.

Survivors & Dependents Educational Assistance (DEA) (Chapter 35)

Eligibility Criteria

Survivors & Dependents Educational Assistance (DEA) (Chapter 35) is available to the child or spouse of a veteran:

  • Who died or is permanently disabled as the result of a service-connected disability
  • Who is missing in action or captured by hostile forces
  • Who is forcibly detained or interned in line of duty by a foreign government or power

Procedure

  1. Complete VONAPP application (print out a copy for yourself) through eBenefits. Learn How to Apply here.Within four to eight weeks you should receive a declaration of eligibility (COE) and a letter explaining your  benefits.
  2. Enroll in UHCL classes
  3. Collect all required documents (DD214, COE, Class Schedule, CPS)
  4. Submit an electronic request for certification.
    • All required documents should be attached to the request

Chapter 35 Dependent ChecklistRequest Certification & Submit All DocumentsThe COE must include the service member's file number (this means providing the SSN of the service member from whom you derived the right to this benefit).

Remember that the funds are paid directly to the student, not the school. Therefore, you will be responsible for your bill by the due date established by the Bursar’s office.

Typically, you would not receive your benefits until after classes have begun, which is after the bill is due. We encourage you to file a FAFSA to help meet the financial obligation until you receive and apply your benefits.

Fry Scholarship

Dependent children who are eligible for Chapter 35 may also be eligible for the Fry Scholarship. 

The Fry Scholarship allows those eligible to use their parent’s Post 9/11 GI Bill ®, if he/she was eligible for it and died in the line of duty. It pays for tuition, plus gives those eligible a monthly housing allowance and a book stipend up to $1,000 per year. Those who qualify for both the Fry Scholarship and Chapter 35 will be limited to a total of 48 months of combined benefits under the VA’s Rule of 48. Those eligible can use up to 36 months of the Fry Scholarship and then switch to Chapter 35 and use another 12 months.

View Fry Scholarship Program InformationSurviving spouses are not eligible for the Fry Scholarship, but may qualify for other scholarships, grants and loans. 

Veteran Readiness & Employment (Chapter 31)

Eligibility Criteria

Veteran Readiness & Employment (Chapter 31) is available if you served in the Armed Forces during WWII or thereafter and:

  • Suffered a service-connected disability in active service which entitles you to compensation which you have declined in lieu of retirement pay
  • Were discharged or released under dishonorable conditions
  • The VA determines a need for vocational rehabilitation

Procedure

  1. Complete VONAPP application (print out a copy for yourself) through eBenefits. Learn how to apply here.
  2. Schedule a meeting with your assigned Veteran Readiness & Employment counselor to determine benefit eligibility, and get your PO Number
  3. Enroll in classes
  4. Submit an electronic request for certification. 

If you are approved for benefits, your counselor will provide you a PO number. One for tuition and one for books. The tuition PO number must be submitted with your certification request. Your Book PO can be used in the UHCL Book store to purchase books after creating a Veterans Affairs Campus Bookstore account. You can also apply to your counselor for a computer, printer, etc.

Chapter 31 ChecklistRequest CertificationRequest a Veterans Affairs Campus Bookstore Account

Remember that the funds are paid directly to the school, not the student.

Additional Information

For more information, contact the Office of Military and Veteran at vso@uhcl.edu or visit GI Bill ® benefits or visit VA.gov.

Federal Tuition Assistance

Specialized tuition assistance is available for specific branches of the military. Be sure to start the process by meeting with you Education Services Officer

View Specialized Federal Tuition Assistance Plans

Additional Information

Links & Resources

Federal Tuition Assistance 

The Federal Tuition Assistance Program is available to active duty, National Guard and Reserve Component service members and can cover up to 100% of tuition expenses for semester hours. For more information, visit Military OneSource.

eBenefits

Visit the eBenefits portal to complete the VONAPP application or access information about your benefits.

GI Bill ® Comparison Tool & BAH Calculator

Use the GI Bill ® Comparison Tool to learn about education programs and compare benefits by school. This tool can also be used to calculate BAH benefits if eligible.

Benefits for National Guard & Reserves Members

Explore benefits available to National Guard and Reserves Members at VA.gov.

FAFSA

File the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at fafsa.gov. National Guard members utilizing a Tuition Waiver are required to complete a FAFSA each year. The waiver will have no value until a valid FAFSA is received.

Understanding Aid

Consumer Finance assists students in breaking down their financial aid offer in simple terms and provides them with money saving strategies. The site also goes into detail about education loans and projected salaries needed to repay loans.

Education Loans

While we will offer the maximum federal loan for which you qualify through filing the FAFSA, you should consider your educational costs and needs before accepting. For example, you may wish to borrow less than what is offered to you.

If you need additional funds to help fill the gap with additional funds to cover your educational costs, we have provided you the opportunity to explore the different types of education loans to see which option(s) may work best to fit your needs. Visit the Financial Aid section to learn more about loans available to you.

Obtaining Your COE

Copies of all correspondence sent by the VA are available in your documents section of e-benefits. This is where you will obtain your COE.

If you are unable to access e-benefits, you can request a copy of your COE by mail. Request a copy:

  • Online: https://ask.va.gov/
  • Via Phone: 888-442-4551
    • Hours: Monday - Friday 8 a.m - 7 p.m. EST (TTY: 711)
  • Via Phone Outside of the U.S: 1-919-781-5678 (this is not a toll free number)

Utilizing Summer Benefits

A student’s enrollment status is determined by the number of credit hours for which the student is enrolled at UHCL each semester.

Enrollment statuses are listed below:

  •  Full-Time Enrollment - 12 hours or more
  • Three-Quarter Time Enrollment - 9 hours to 11 hours
  • Half-Time Enrollment - 6 hours to 8 hours
  • Less Than Half-Time Enrollment - 5 hours or less

For the summer term, all hours are added together between sessions to arrive at the total number of hours for the summer.

When enrolled in a cooperative education course, students will be considered full time for purposes of enrollment verification. The above hours requirement may differ for financial aid purposes. Please review the section of the catalog on financial aid or contact the Office of Financial Aid.

Graduate Full-Time/Part-Time Status Course Load

A student’s enrollment status is determined by the number of credit hours for which the student is enrolled at UHCL each semester.

Enrollment statuses are listed below:

  • Full Time Enrollment - 9 hours or more
  • Three Quarter Time Enrollment - 7 hours to 8 hours
  • Half Time Enrollment - 5 hours to 6 hours
  • Less Than Half Time Enrollment - 4 hours or less

For the summer term, all hours are added together between sessions to arrive at the total number of hours for the summer.

When enrolled in a cooperative education course, students will be considered full-time for purposes of enrollment verification. The above hours requirement may differ for financial aid purposes. Please review the section of the catalog on financial aid or contact the Office of Financial Aid.

Veteran Readiness & Employment (Chapter 31)

In order to utilize your benefit for summer courses, you must:

  • Obtain approval from your Veteran Readiness & Employment counselor. Be sure to reach out to your counselor immediately.

Once your counselor approves your summer enrollment, they will notify the institution. You should immediately enroll in your courses, so that you classes can be certified. The sooner you complete these steps the more seamless your in pocket payments will be. 

If you also utilize federal/state aid from having filed the FAFSA, please note that summer term is part of the current academic year. There is no separate aid for summer. If you utilized all of your funding in Fall/Spring, there will be no additional loan or grant funds. The one exception to this is PELL grant funding. If you elect to take 8 or more credits in the summer, you may be eligible for an additional PELL payment.

Federal Tuition Assistance

You may utilize your benefit in summer with the authorization of your education officer in your unit. Follow the steps in the Tuition Assistance tab above to start the process.

If you also utilize federal/state aid from having filed the FAFSA, please note that summer term is part of the current academic year. There is no separate aid for summer. If you utilized all of your funding in Fall/Spring, there will be no additional loan or grant funds. The one exception to this is PELL grant funding. If you elect to take 8 or more credits in the summer, you may be eligible for an additional PELL payment.

VA Benefits Instruction Modes

Resident Courses

Courses scheduled for Face-to-face, Online, and  Hybrid  are the modalities authorized to be certified with the Department of Veterans Affairs.

  • Delivery occurs 100% face-to-face. In-person meetings occur at the "Days & Times" and in the "Room" provided on the class schedule. Some face-to-face offerings use Blackboard as a supplement for course content and submitting assignments.
  • Delivery occurs 100% online with no face-to-face meetings required. All instruction and course requirements are online. Some online courses may require students to attend face-to-face exams.
  • Hybrid >50% Online: Delivery is a combination of online and face-to-face with more than 50% of the instruction happening online, which may include either synchronous, asynchronous, or a combination of online experiences. In-person meetings occur at the "Days & Times" and in the "Room" provided on the class schedule.
  • Hybrid <50% Online: Delivery occurs face-to-face and online with less than 50% of the instruction happening online, which may include either synchronous, asynchronous, or a combination of online experiences. In-person meetings occur at the "Days & Times" and in the "Room" provided on the class schedule.

Schedule Changes

Per VA regulations, circumstances for changes in schedule must be collected and in some instances reported. These circumstances may allow you to retain funding you would otherwise not be entitled to receive or receive funding for repeated courses.

Please report any changes made to your schedule to the Office of Military and Veteran Services. It is important you provide as much detail as possible related to the change you are making.  All information is confidential and secure.

Change of Enrollment Form

Payment Plans

Military & Veteran Education Benefits do not always cover the entire cost of your education. Student Business Services offers payment plan options for those who would like to utilize this service to cover any outstanding balance.
 
Students who utilize a benefit where the funds are paid directly to the student should consider enrolling in a payment plan until they receive their first payment.
 

Monthly Housing Allowance

You may be eligible for a monthly housing rate. The Monthly Housing Allowance (MHA) is generally the same as the military Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) for an E-5 with dependents. This rate is variable and dependent on factors such as the location of your school, your rate of pursuit, and whether you enrolled in the program prior to 1/8/18.

To calculate your housing rate:
1. Visit the GI Bill Comparison Tool
2. Search for your school
3. Refine your search based on attendance, i.e., online classes only, and your benefit
4. View details for that school. You are able to adjust the refinements to see how changes can impact your MHA rate.

Campus Bookstore Benefits

To utilize VA benefits at the UHCL Campus Store in person or via the online store, UHCL students will first need to have a Veterans Affairs Campus Store Account created.

Request a Veterans Affairs Campus Bookstore Account

View Remaining VA Education Benefits

You can access your remaining entitlements by going to the VA eBenefits page and working through these steps:

  • Login to your existing account or register for an account
  • When a security warning pops up while navigating through the site, follow these steps:
  1. Choose I understand the risk
  2. Choose Add Exception
  3. Confirm security exemption
  • At the Create your DS logon today section, answer the questions, then begin Basic Registration Lev. 1
  • Once your registration has been completed, upgrade your account and go through Remote Proofing
  • When proofing has been completed, go to eBenefits and click Manage Benefits, then Education
  • At that point, Chapter 33 Post 9/11 recipients should be able to view and print your Post 9/11 GI Bill ® Enrollment Info, which will serve as your Certificate of Eligibility (COE)

Contact

  • Capt. Wendell M. Wilson Office of Military and Veteran Services

    Phone: 281-283-3071
    Fax: 281-226-7297
    Email: vso@uhcl.edu

    SSCB 3.201
    2700 Bay Area Blvd, Box 177
    Houston, TX 77058-1098

    Office hours
    Monday - Friday 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.