Military and Veterans Services FAQs
Click a question below to view the answer.
How do I contact Veteran’s Affairs?
National Call Center: 1-888-442-4551
US Mail Address: Western Region- VA Processing Office, P.O. Box 8888, Muskogee, OK 74402-8888
Email: www.gibill.va.gov > “Ask a Question”
What is an SCO?
SCO stands for “School Certifying Official.” This is the person(s) at your school who has/have been approved by Veterans Affairs to certify your enrollment each semester. This person certifies that you are officially enrolled, how many hours you are taking, when your classes begin, when your classes end, the cost of your tuition and fees and all changes made to your enrollment. The following is a listing of the numbers for your Faulkner SCO:
Montgomery – (334) 386-7146, (800) 879-9816, ext. 7146
Birmingham – (205) 879-5588, (888) 816-2776
Huntsville – (256) 830-2626, (888) 816-2775
Mobile – (251) 380-9090, (888) 816 – 2777
How long does it usually take to get my benefits started?
First time applications can take 90 – 120 days to process. It does not always take this long, but students should apply as early as possible and should be prepared to cover expenses through alternate funds until VA Benefits begin. If your benefits are not approved until after your enrollment in classes has begun, VA may back-pay you to when your classes began.
Can my enrollment be certified by the school before I am enrolled?
No. You must complete registration for classes before you can be certified; this includes getting Advisor and Student Accounts Approvals.
Why do I have to have an advisor approve my courses?
Veterans Affairs will not pay for any course which does not apply to your degree, any course which you have already successfully completed, or courses you audit. Your advisor must evaluate any transfer credit you may have and will help you decide which classes are best for you to take.
The National Call Center said that I need the school to submit a 1999. What is that?
A 1999 is the form the school completes and submit electronically to inform the Veterans Affairs how many hours you are enrolled in, when your term begins and ends, and other applicable information. The 1999s are submitted through a website called VAONCE, which is available only to school certifying officials. If the VA says they do not have your 1999, call us to be sure we have submitted your enrollment.
You said you have submitted my enrollment but the National Call Center says they do not see it. Where is it?
It may take some time for enrollments to be far enough in processing to appear in the systems they use. How long depends on many factors including the time of year and the type of benefit you are using.
How will I know when my classes have been certified?
Your SCO updates VAOnce with your Faulkner and your personnel email address, you should get an automated email notifying you that an enrollment and any changes to your certification has been submitted. If you are not getting these email notifications, call us to be sure we have the correct email address in our records.
Why hasn’t the school submitted my enrollment?
There could be several different reasons why we have not submitted your enrollment yet. Have you completed all the paperwork necessary and turned it in to your School Certifying Official? Have you completed registration, including signing your payment agreement for the term? Did you tell us you were enrolled? Have you made changes to your class schedule which could have bumped your advisor or business office approval? It may also be that we have been busy and have not gotten to it yet, but you should call us if you think you have completed the registration process and if has been 10 business days since the term started. Technically we have 30 days after the term start date to certify students; however, our goal is to have students certified before the term starts. For students receiving Chapter 33 (Post 911) benefits we will do our best to certify you before the term starts; however, we will not add the tuition and fees to your certification until two to three weeks after the term starts. This will prompt the VA to pay your book stipend and monthly housing allowance, if applicable, in a timely manner; but, will prevent the school and possibly you have to return funds for tuition and fees to the VA if you drop courses or withdraw.
I just got an email notification that my enrollment has been changed or terminated. Can you tell me why?
Yes. If you did not add or drop courses, or withdraw, call us.
I need to buy my books but I am waiting on my VA money (Chapters 33 and 31).
DO NOT wait until VA money or other financial aid arrives to buy textbooks. This can hinder your academic progress. Textbooks are needed at the beginning of the term, but VA money, tuition assistance, grants and loans can take weeks to post to your account. Be prepared to buy your books at the beginning of each term. If you have a credit balance after your account is paid, consider saving any extra money to cover your expenses until your future educational assistance arrives. Think ahead and be prepared.
NOTE: If you receive VA Chapter 31 (Voc Rehab) and/or Title IV funds (financial aid) you may be able to receive a book voucher to purchase your books. For more information contact Student Accounts at (334) 386-7165, (800) 879-9816, ext. 7165, or email@example.com.
I need to pay rent but I am waiting on my VA money (Chapter 31 and 33 Only).
DO NOT depend on VA money or other financial aid arriving in time to pay expenses. Always have a back-up plan. Payments can be delayed for a number of different reasons. Be prepared to cover your expenses until Veterans Affairs can process your claim. Consider saving any extra money from each semester to cover your expenses until your future educational assistance arrives. Think ahead and be prepared. Remember, the VA pays the monthly housing allowance (MHA) in the rear, i.e. September MHA will be paid after the first of October. If you have changed banks since last receiving MHA and you did not notify the VA that is most likely the problem. If you want to know when your MHA will be paid you can contact the VA at (888) 442-4551.
Why do I have to verify my attendance each month? (Chapters 30, 1606, and 1607 Only)
Veterans Affairs requires students to verify that they are still enrolled at the end of each month before they will send out your next payment. This prevents students from receiving money which VA will have to recoup. If you receive money for classes in which you are no longer enrolled, the money will have to be returned. The VA will get their money back.
Who has to verify their attendance each month? How?
Students who are receiving money under chapters 1606, 1607, and 30 have to verify their attendance to Veterans Affairs at the end of each month. Students can verify their attendance by calling 1-877-823-2378 or by following the WAVE link on the GI Bill website, www.gibill.va.gov (look for the graduation hat). Students receiving benefits under Chapters 31, 33 and 35 do not have to verify their attendance to VA.
Why did I only receive partial payment?
If your term began in the middle of the month, VA will prorate your payment by the number of days you were enrolled. The same is true at the end of a term. If your term ends before the end of the month, VA will prorate your payment by the number of days you were in school. There are other reasons, such as running out of entitlement or VA not seeing all of the terms that have been submitted. If in doubt, call the National Call Center at 1-888-442-4551.
Why are my payments not the same each month?
If you are active duty, this may affect your payment. Your payment may also be fluctuating if you are enrolled in overlapping modules, because VA calculates your enrollment status on a day to day basis. This is particularly an issue during summer semesters and in programs such as the HRM program.
How many hours do I need to take to be considered full-time for VA purposes?
The number of hours needed to be considered full-time varies by program. You must take at least 12 hours in the traditional program to be full-time. Adult students in the evening program must take 6 hours each 8 weeks to remain full-time. Adults taking a mixture of daytime and night-time classes should contact your School Certifying Official to see what you need to take to be full-time. One year degree completion students are generally considered to be full-time; however, as mentioned before, programs with overlapping modules will cause enrollment status to fluctuate. Again, non-standard terms such as summer terms are different than the standard semester. Contact us if you need to know how many hours to take.
I am a graduate student. Do I still have to take 12 hours each semester?
Each Master’s level and Doctoral program has a set number of hours required to be considered full-time. Contact the financial aid office to determine how many hours you need to take to be full-time.
I am applying for the Post 9/11 GI Bill. It asks me to revoke one of my benefits. What should I do?
If you are qualified for more than one benefit, revoke the benefit that is least beneficial to you.
I am applying for the Post 9/11 GI Bill. It is asking for an effective date. Is that the date of the application?
It can be any date on or after August 1, 2009, when the Post 9/11 GI Bill began. If you want to be back-paid for terms already completed, you will need to put a date that is on or after the first day of those classes. VA will not back-pay for classes taken more than a year ago. If you want to be paid from today on, you can put today’s date. If you will not be starting until a future date, you can put a date closer to the start of your term.
I am a Post 9/11 GI Bill recipient. Why am I not getting a housing allowance?
Active Duty service members and their spouses, and students whose rate of pursuit (status) drops to 50% or below, are not eligible to receive a housing allowance.
How much should I get for my housing allowance?
Your housing allowance is set, by law, at the rate for an E-5 with dependents, at the zip code of the school that is certifying your enrollment. Find out the zip code for your school and then follow this link: http://www.defensetravel.dod.mil/perdiem/bah.html to see what your rate should be. Your housing allowance will be paid “in arrears,” which means that you will receive a housing payment near the beginning of the month for the previous month.
I am a Post 9/11 GI Bill recipient. Why am I not getting a book allowance?
There is also an annual cap on the book allowance. VA will only pay a book allowance for your first 24 hours taken each academic year. The Academic year, for VA purposes, begins August 1st of each year.
I am a Post 9/11 GI Bill recipient. What does my percentage mean?
The percentage is your rate of benefit. It applies to your tuition and fees, housing and book allowance. Multiply these three by your percentage to see what you should get.
I am supposed to be eligible for the Post 9/11 GI Bill at the 100% rate. Why was my tuition not covered?
There is an annual cap. The VA will pay 100% of your tuition and fees UP TO the cap. To see what the current cap is, follow this link: http://www.gibill.va.gov/resources/benefits-resources/rates-tables.html. If you are receiving Post 9/11 benefits at the 100% level Yellow Ribbon will kick in when you reach the annual cap.
I am eligible for the Post 9/11 GI Bill at the 100% level. Do I qualify for the Yellow Ribbon Program?
Yes, unless you are on active duty or the spouse of an active duty member.
My Recruiter told me that my college education would be paid for. What happened?
There are a variety of resources available to service members and veterans to help cover the cost of education, but you need to do some research to find out what is available to you. GI Bill benefits vary widely depending on your branch of service and length of active duty. Visit the GI Bill website at www.gibill.va.gov for more information. You may also have tuition assistance, ANGEAP, loan repayment, a kicker and other programs available. Ask your recruiter for more details or talk to your education service office.
What is Tuition Assistance?
Tuition Assistance is a Department of Defense Benefit. Currently a student can get up to $4500/year. The tuition assistance fiscal year restarts on October 1st of each year. Contact your Education Service Office to find out how you can use tuition assistance. IMPORTANT- Active Duty service members cannot use VA Benefits and tuition assistance for the same classes.
What is Top-Up?
Top-Up is a benefit available to Active Duty service members who are using Chapter 30 benefits. Students who wish to receive Top-Up must apply for VA Benefits, apply for tuition assistance and be approved, and send a copy of their approved tuition assistance form to your Regional Processing Office.
What is ANGEAP?
ANGEAP is an Army National Guard Education Assistance Program. Eligibility can be determined by completing an ANGEAP form available in your financial aid office. This form is not available on line.
I am interested in the ROTC program. Who do I need to contact?
In Montgomery, the Army ROTC program is run out of the AUM campus. Contact that school to get more information. The Air Force ROTC program is run out of the Alabama State campus. Contact that school to get more information. Faulkner has students in the ROTC programs. These students register for classes at Faulkner and their ROTC classes appear on their Faulkner transcript.
Why doesn’t Faulkner University accept the Alabama GI Dependents Scholarship Program?
Faulkner University would love to accept students using the Alabama GI Dependents Scholarship Program; however, the law, as it is currently written, excludes private schools from this program.
I am using benefits transferred to me by one of my parents or spouse. Why won’t VA allow them to ask about my payments?
Veterans Affairs is bound by the same FERPA laws that Faulkner is subject to. In order for someone else to speak to VA or your SCO regarding your personal information, you must sign a release form(VA Form 22-0830) saying that VA and your SCO has your permission to talk to them about your benefits. Contact your SCO for this form.