Choosing the Right GI Bill®
Our goal in the benefits area is to provide exemplary assistance and supportive services to veterans and military family members enrolled at MTSU. This area assists veterans and eligible dependents in requesting educational assistance from the Department of Veterans Affairs. Any further questions can be directed to Ray Howell or Shannon Brown.
Your first step is to determine the G.I. Bill® Benefit(s) that you qualify for and that are best suited for your needs. Start by completing the What Benefit is Best for Me? tutorial, then apply online for your GI Bill® benefits. If you don't have the capability to apply online, you can call 1-888-GI BILL-1 (1-888-442-4551) to have a form mailed to you.
Other import student veteran information includes:
- Certification Process
- Eligibility and
- U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Vocational Rehabilitation Program (Chapter 31)
- Dependents Educational Assistance Program (Chapter 35)
- To Apply for Benefits
- Payment Delays
- How to Prevent Overpayment and Penalties
- General Guidelines to Follow Once You Have Enrolled
- Military Tuition Assistance (Federal and State-- TN STRONG)
- Active Military Called to Service
How to Get Started With Your VA Benefits
- Returning MTSU student-veterans: Go online to MTSU's PipelineMT, then look for the "VETERAN" button on the left. Complete the Veterans Enrollment Certification, Benefits Deferment Form, and confirm your enrollment for the upcoming term on the Veteran tab after registering for courses (you will have to do this every semester).
- New freshmen and new transfer student-veterans: contact the Daniels Center to start the process for your GI Bill® benefits.
Eligibility for VA educational benefits may be extended to qualified veterans (eligible dependents), reservists/guardsmen, and spouses and children of 100% service-connected deceased or disabled veterans under certain programs listed below. For more information and questions concerning the GI Bill® go to www.vets.gov or call 1-888-442-4551.
Use of this Chapter began August 1, 2009. Only active duty service performed after September 10, 2001 may be considered for determining eligibility for this new benefit. To be eligible, a service member or veteran must have served at least 90 aggregate days on active duty. However, individuals honorably discharged for a service-connected disability who served 30 continuous days after September 10, 2001 may also establish eligibility. Click here for more information.
The Post - 9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Improvements Act of 2010 (Public Law 111-377) changes the amount of tuition and fee charges which should be reported to the VA by MTSU.
Eligible Chapter 33 Post 9/11 Service Members may transfer their unused GI Bill® benefits to their spouse and/or children. Here
is the website and the steps involved in transferring those benefits:
The service member will need to go through their command section and request the transfer of benefits to their spouse/children. Once approved, DOD will send the service member a Transfer of Educational Benefits (TEB) print-out showing the transfer was approved by DOD. MTSU's VA Office will need a copy of this TEB print out.
Once the TEB is obtained, the service member will need to go to the VA website at www.vets.gov and click on electronic forms. Look for VA FORM 22-1990e. Complete the form and submit it online. Once it's been submitted online, print out a copy of it.
The eligible dependent will need to bring a copy of the TEB print out and the completed VA FORM 22-1990e form to the Daniels Center. We will then request that the dependent complete the local MTSU forms in order to be certified for the GI Bill®
It normally takes the VA Regional Office 6 - 8 weeks to process this paperwork.
Enlistment after July 1, 1985 is required for this chapter. The service person must have participated in the pay reduction program. The monthly payment rate will vary with the length and type of service. Members are eligible for this benefit for up to 10 years from their date of separation from the military. Monthly WAVE verification is required to insure monthly benefit payments. Visit here for more information.
The Selected Reserve includes the Army Reserve, Navy Reserve, Air Force Reserve, Marine Corps Reserve and Coast Guard Reserve, and the Army National Guard and the Air National Guard. Eligibility for this program is determined by the Selected Reserve components. You may be entitled to receive up to 36 months of educational benefits. Your benefit entitlement ends 14 years from the date of your eligibility for the program, or on the day you leave the Selected Reserve. Visit here for more information.
This program was established as a Department of Defense education benefit program designed to provide educational assistance to members of the Reserve components called or ordered to active duty in response to a war or national emergency (contingency operation) as declared by the President or Congress. This program is for reservists who were activated for at least 90 consecutive days after September 11, 2001. Qualified reservists are eligible for increased benefits. Visit here for more information.
This program is administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Division at the Nashville Regional Office. Eligibility is determined on a case-by-case basis.
A spouse or child of a service-connected deceased or 100-percent-permanently disabled service-connected veteran may be eligible for VA educational assistance. The marital status of a dependent child is not a factor in determining eligibility. Benefits may be used until the dependent has reached the age of twenty-six or for eight years from the date that eligibility is determined, whichever is later. Visit here for more information.
- To apply for GI Bill® benefits for the first time at MTSU, contact the Daniels Center Monday thru Friday from 8:00 am - 4:30 pm.
- If you are currently receiving benefits or received them previously as an MTSU student, log into PipelineMT, select Veteran button on the left, click on Enrollment Certification link, and complete online form after being advised and registering for courses (you will need to do this every semester).
- If only using FTA, please initiate the benefits process every semester by contacting your unit's Administrator/Service Officer.
Though the Daniels Center tries very hard to expedite the benefit processing time, you should be prepared for payment delays. You should allow the VA Regional Office six to eight weeks to process any change in your claim; however, this processing time may vary according to the particular term you're attending. Also be aware that the amount of VA funding that you receive may not cover all tuition and related fees for the courses in which you enroll.
An overpayment is an incorrect benefit payment that is more than the amount to which
you are entitled. If you promptly notify the MTSU Veterans Affairs Office of changes
affecting your benefits (such as dropping a class or withdrawing from school), you
can prevent or reduce overpayments.
In addition, you should use reasonable judgment. Carefully read all letters from the VA about the monthly rate and effective dates of your benefits. If you think a VA payment is incorrect, contact the VA Regional Office at 1-888-442-4551.
- VA benefits are based on the number of certified credit hours a student is registered for and attending.
- In order to receive your full housing allowance, you must be attending fulltime and taking at least one on-campus course each term. WARNING to students participating in ACCELERATED CLASSES: once your accelerated class is complete, that class no longer counts in the number of hours you are currently attempting. This change could impact your rate of pursuit and ultimately your BAH. If the accelerated class is the only on-campus course you take, this too will effect BAH. (There are special conditions for Summer School and full housing allowance. Please see Daniels Center staff to discuss).
- VA will not pay for any courses for which you have previously been given credit through military service.
- You must submit the member 4 copy of your DD FORM 214 and your JST for evaluation to the MTSU Transition Manager by the end of the first semester of attending MTSU (Airforce service members/veterans will not have a JST. CCAF transcripts are to be sent to Admissions at time of application, as they are considered official transcripts). You will receive up to 8 credit hours of electives (PE and Military Science) for your DD FORM 214 plus any other credits that you may receive from your JST or CCAF Transcript. The Transition Manager can be reached at 316 KUC, 615.904.8146.
- VA will only pay benefits for one program at a time. If you are working toward two different degrees and/or programs at the same time, you must choose which one will be your primary program to be reported to the VA.
- Every semester, you must work with your academic advisor to ensure you are registered only for classes needed for your major and or minor. Your advisor will upload eligible classes into the system for the Daniels Center to review. You will have a registration hold on your account until you have done this.
- VA will only pay for courses required for your major or minor. Any changes to your major, minor, or class schedule must be reported to the MTSU Daniels Center and your advisor.
- You must notify the MTSU Daniels Center immediately of any changes in registration or class attendance which may affect your status as a full or part-time student.
- Dropping classes can result in a debt to the VA. (NOTE: the university collects these debts for the VA. Consequently, there is no payment plan. These debts will need to be repaid before the next semester).
- Additionally, certain courses (such as, ECE 4100, ENGL 1008, 1009, 1010, 1020, READ 1000, and MATH 990) award a grade of an "N" if a student hasn't earned the minimum grade required for the course. Since MTSU Academic Regulations consider a grade of "N" to be a non-punitive grade, and the Dept. of Veteran Affairs Rules & Regulations state that a student cannot be paid for a non-punitive grade including "W" & "WD", if you receive a non-punitive grade in a course, you could incur an overpayment in which you will have to repay the VA. (NOTE: the university collects these debts for the VA. Consequently, there is no payment plan. These debts will need to be repaid before the next semester). A non-punitive grade is any grade assigned which excludes the course from consideration in determining fulfillment of requirements toward graduation.
- Similarly, if you are administratively withdrawn or stop attending without officially withdrawing, the Daniels Center is required to report your last day of attendance to the VA. This could result in an overpayment in which you will have to repay the VA. (NOTE: the university collects these debts for the VA. Consequently, there is no payment plan. These debts will need to be repaid before the next semester).
- Completing a term with all Fs and/or non-punitive grades, could result in an overpayment in which you will have to repay the VA.(NOTE: the university collects these debts for the VA. Consequently, there is no payment plan. These debts will need to be repaid before the next semester).
- You cannot be certified to re-enroll in courses for which you have already earned a passing grade unless the MTSU catalog specifically states that a certain minimum grade is required.
- If you decide to withdraw from MTSU, please speak to your advisor and the Daniels Center first. Then you MUST GO ON PIPELINEMT AND DROP ALL CLASSES. You must also notify the Daniels Center of this withdrawal.
- If you are classified as a non-resident, you will be charged Out-Of-State tuition charges. The VA will not pay Out-Of-State tuition charges. Please contact the Transition Manager to see if you qualify for the In-State Tuition Rate (316 KUC, 615.904.8146).
- If you are classified as a non-resident and are charged out-of-state tuition charges you will not be able to include those charges on your Benefits Deferment.
- BE AWARE - Not all internships/practicums/independent study courses are approved for veterans' benefits. Please check with the Daniels Center prior to enrolling in these courses.
- While DD214 and JST/CCAF are required of all veterans using educational benefits, Veterans may also provide a copy of their DD214 to the MTSU Health Services Office to satisfy the MMR immunizations requirement to be eligible for full-time enrollment.
- CHANGES to ENROLLMENT/MITIGATING CIRCUMSTANCES: When the MTSU Daniels Center is informed of a change in the enrollment status, the change will be forwarded to the Dept. of Veterans Affairs and may result in reduced or terminated benefits as well as receipt of an overpayment notice. Repayment of benefits will be required, normally to the beginning of the term. However, if a mitigating circumstance prevented you from completing the course(s), it is possible that you may be paid through the last date of attendance in the course(s). Mitigating circumstances require the veteran’s personal statement/ documentation be submitted to the Dept. of Veteran Affairs. The Dept. of Veterans Affairs, not MTSU, makes the determination about acceptance of mitigating circumstances on an individual basis.
Federal Tuition Assistance Program:
The Department of Defense (DoD) has mandated a uniform Federal Tuition Assistance (FTA) fiscal policy across the services programs which include Army, Air Force, Marines and Navy. The FTA program pays for tuition only. The FTA will pay up to $250 per hour and up to 16 semester hour per fiscal year (the fiscal year ceiling is $4,500). Students may receive FTA payments for no more than a lifetime total of 130 undergraduate semester hours and 39 graduate semester hours.
FTA will be authorized IF:
- The college is regionally or nationally accredited AND is a participant in GoArmyEd (GAE).
- The funded course(s) meets a requirement listed in the service member's personalized degree plan provided by the school (this can include prerequisite courses).
- An undergraduate GPA of 2.0 for FTA-funded courses is maintained
- An graduate GPA of 3.0 for FTA-funded courses is maintained
- NOTE! FTA is NOT authorized simultaneously with Chapter 1606/MGIB-SR or Chapter 1607/REAP for the SAME course (Ref. DODI 1322.25).
To ensure all service members participating in off-duty, postsecondary education programs are provided quality education programs, the Department of Defense established the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between DOD and the colleges.
Guidelines for Army National Guard Students:
- Be Admitted to MTSU
- Establish a GoArmyEd Account
- See your academic advisor
- Ask your advisor to sign your degree plan. This can be any of the following: upper division form signed by advisor, advising worksheet signed by the advisor (on MTSU letterhead), Army form 104R, Planned Academic Program Worksheet (signed by advisor).* If a course is not specifically listed on the degree plan (elective), a memo on MTSU letterhead is needed stating the course will count toward the degree.
- Register for classes
- Follow the steps to upload documents in the GoArmyEd portal
- Check the GoArmyEd portal to ensure all courses are approved (with a green check mark). You will receive an email fro m GoArmyEd for each approved/denied course.
- Print authorization from GoArmyEd and take to the Business Office in the Student Services
and Admission Center (SSAC)
Need Additional Information:
- TN Army National Guard Education Office: http://www.tnmilitary.org/education---incentives.html
- Army: http://www.goarmyed.com/
- To access the Academic Worksheet 104-R, click here
- To access the Postsecondary Education Complaint System, visit here
- All other branches please contact your education representative in your unit
State Tuition Assistance Program
Tennessee National Guard STRONG Act Tuition Reimbursement Program:
The Tennessee STRONG program is a state tuition assistance program designed to assist our eligible national guardsmen to successfully attain a college degree. As a reimbursement program, payments will be made directly to MTSU on behalf of the member.
Who is eligible for STRONG?
Please review the table below to verify what benefits are of possible use for you while attending.
|Scenario:||FTA||TN STRONG||GI Bill® Ch. 1606||GI Bill® Chapter 33|
|Completed AIT/ Basic Training; less than one year since AIT graduation||Not eligible until one year after AIT graduation||Eligible until able to use FTA||Eligible to use (can only be combined with TN STRONG Act)||Not eligible due to time in service/status|
|New Service Member with Previous College Credits||Not eligible until one year after AIT graduation||Eligible until able to use FTA for remainder of credits for 1st degree||Eligible to use (can only be combined with TN STRONG Act)||Not eligible due to time in service/status|
|New Service Member with completion of Basic but in High School||Not eligible until one year after AIT graduation||Eligible until able to use FTA||Not eligible to use due to not graduating AIT||Not eligible due to time in service/status|
|Current Guard Member with no prior college and 1 year after AIT graduation||Eligible to use (with one year after AIT graduation)||Not eligible until all of FTA has been exhausted||Eligible to use (can only be combined with TN STRONG Act)||Not eligible due to time in service/status|
|Service Member eligible for Chapter 33 (Post 9/11)||Eligible to use with Chapter 33||Not eligible until all of FTA has been exhausted, cannot combine with Chapter 33||Eligible to use if chosen (Usage deducts from Chapter 33 months)||Eligible after meeting requirements|
|New member with Scholarships||Not eligible until one year after AIT graduation||Eligible until able to use FTA||Eligible to use along with TNSTRONG or separate||Not eligible due to time in service/status|
How Do You Apply to TN STRONG?
For further questions and information covering requirements and assistance for the TN STRONG Act: http://www.tn.gov/military/section/education-incentives
MTSU's STRONG ACT Contacts:
- CPT Trint Callison (ROTC )-- (615) 417-9811; firstname.lastname@example.org
- Becky Bussell (Bursar's Office) at (615) 898-5717; email@example.com
Pursuant to T.C.A. § 49‐7‐2301 and 49‐7‐2302, students called to active military or National Guard service during the semester are entitled to a 100% adjustment or credit of mandatory fees. Housing and meal ticket charges may be prorated based on usage.
Here are the cited statutes:
- 49‐7‐2301. Military reserve and national guard personnel. Military reserve and national guard personnel who are students attending a state college or university located in this state and whose active military service occurring after August 1, 1990, mandates that they be away from the college or university during a school term shall be entitled to a credit for tuition or a refund for each credit hour paid by or on behalf of the student for that school term. Credit shall be given only if the reserve or National Guard student did not receive a final grade in the class or course for which tuition credit is sought.
- 49‐7‐2302. Students at state college or university ‐‐ Absence for period in excess of thirty days because of active military service. Students who are absent from a state college or university during any school term or portion of a school term in excess of thirty (30) days due to active military service shall be entitled to receive a tuition credit in the form of credit hours for each credit hour paid by or on behalf of the student from the college or university previously attended or a refund for any payments made. Credit shall be given only if the reserve or National Guard student did not receive a final grade in the class or course for which tuition credit is sought.