FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
1. Who do I see on campus about resources for students who are veterans?
Hunter College has several key people on campus to address the needs of veterans. The Veteran Services representative or Certifying Official is Alex Rosero, firstname.lastname@example.org. He is available to answer questions, provide information on GI Bill benefits, and assist with referrals to appropriate resources.
2. How do I know if I am eligible for U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) educational assistance?
You may be eligible for VA educational assistance if:
A) You are on, or were on active duty for at least two years, and received any honorably characterized discharge; B) You have a six-year obligation in the Selected Reserves, and remain in good standing with your reserve unit; or C) You are a spouse or child of a veteran who died or was totally disabled while in military service.
3. How do I start my VA educational assistance benefits at the college?
All students, regardless of what benefits they think they may be eligible for, should complete two forms: the Federal form Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) available online and an application for New York State Tuition Assistance Program or TAP. When filling out the FAFSA online, be sure to click on the New York State residents link to complete the TAP application online as well as the CUNY supplement.
New students at Hunter College who have not used any VA educational assistance programs should begin the process by applying for education benefits online using the VON-APP system.
Reservists who have not used any of their Montgomery GI Bill-Selected Reserve Educational Assistance (Chapter 1606) benefits will need the original DD Form 2384-1: Notice of Basic Eligibility from their Reserve Unit (PDF).
Dependents who have not received Dependents' Educational Assistance Benefits Chapter 35, will need to apply using VA Form 22-5490 or provide a previously issued Certificate of Eligibility. New Chapter 30 & 1606. Recipients will need to complete a VA Form 22-1990.
Transfer students who have received VA educational assistance benefits at other institutions of higher education only need to complete a VA 22-1995 Change in Place of Training Form, which can be obtained through the campus certifying official.
Continuing students can be certified for benefits as soon as they have pre-registered for the semester.
Disabled veterans are eligible for considerable financial help when they apply for Vocational Rehabilitation at the Department of Veterans Affairs. You must have a VA certified disability rating of at least 20 percent. You will receive authorization directly from the VA. You need to bring this authorization to the Hunter College Certifying Official, and s/he will notify the VA that you are enrolled and in attendance at the College.
Veteran's Educational application forms are available at all VA offices, active duty stations, American embassies and Hunter College’s Veterans’ Services. In New York City, the Department of Veteran Affairs is located at 245 W. Houston Street, New York, NY 10014. Completed forms are to be submitted to the Hunter College Certifying Official.
4. Do I have to reapply for benefits if I am transferring into CUNY?
Once you have applied and have received benefits at another institution, you need to complete a form to change your place of training.
5. Will the benefit check be sent to CUNY?
No, the educational benefit checks are sent directly to the veteran or dependent, except for Chapter 33 recipients, for whom tuition and fees payments are sent directly to Hunter, while BAH and book/supplies payments (if applicable) are sent to the veteran or dependent. Arrangements can be made for direct deposit, which can be requested when you apply for benefits. Direct deposit is available for all programs except for Chapter 35 educational assistance.
6. How long will it take to receive my benefits?
First-time applicants should expect to have to wait at least 6 to 8 weeks from the time the enrollment certification is sent before payment is received. Continuing students will be processed quicker provided there have not been any changes in program or address. Keep in mind that Chapter 35 and Chapter 1606 (MGIB- Selected Reserves) certifications are not processed until the first day of the enrollment period even though the certification may have been received by the VA Regional Office earlier.
7. Are VA educational benefits taxable?
No, veteran's benefits, paid under any law and administered by the VA should not be reported as income to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
8. I receive Chapter 30 or Chapter 1606 educational benefits and have to verify my enrollment each month. How do I do that?
Anyone receiving Chapter 30 benefits (MGIB- Active Duty) or Chapter 1606 benefits (MGIB- Selected Reserves) must verify their enrollment each month to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs in order to receive payment for that month. Your enrollment can be verified on the last calendar day of the month by using the Web Automated Verification of Enrollment (WAVE) system or by calling the toll free, Interactive Voice Response (IVR) telephone line, at 1-877-823-2378. Paper verification forms (VA Forms 22-8979) will no longer be issued for students receiving Chapter 30 benefits.
9. Do students receiving Chapter 35 educational assistance need to verify their enrollment each month?
No, dependents or spouses receiving educational assistance under Chapter 35 do not have to verify their enrollment to the VA each month.
11. How can I update my address or financial institution information for direct deposit?
If you are currently receiving benefits, or have received benefits in the last year, you can use the WAVE system to update your address or your financial institution information. Visit the G.I. Bill WAVE page, and follow the instructions to log-on to WAVE. Follow the links to change your address and your direct deposit information on the "Main Menu" page of WAVE.
12. What happens if I drop a course during the semester?
If you drop a course and the adjustment changes your training time you must notify Hunter’s Veterans’ Services coordinator so that this official can then inform the VA of a change in training time. This must be done even if you have already notified the VA on the WAVE system. A change in training time will affect your rate of payment, and failure to notify Hunter’s Veterans’ Services coordinator in a timely manner could result in an overpayment.
13. What happens if I am activated during the semester?
If you are activated during a semester, you have a number of options open to you depending upon the length of the deployment. You should first discuss this situation with your advisor and instructors to help you decide upon a course of action. The options available to you would range from special arrangements for make-up work, to an incomplete grade, to withdrawal from a course or semester. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs would pay you educational assistance benefits up to the date you withdraw or resign from a course or semester.
14. If I am a member of the New York State Air/Army National Guard or New York State Naval Militia and wish to participate in the Educational Incentive Plan that pays for my tuition at any CUNY college, do I apply at a college office?
No, you must apply through your unit for the New York State Educational Incentive Plan using DMNA Form 96-1. You can then obtain a Tuition Deferment, and must inform the bursar that the NYS Division of Military Naval Affairs will be making payments.
15. Are there any academic support services available to students who are veterans?
Some veterans are eligible for tutorial benefits. In order to be eligible for tutorial benefits, veterans must be receiving monthly veteran's benefits on at least a half-time basis. Such veteran students are entitled to 12 months of tutorial benefits to a maximum of $100.00 per month. See the veterans’ coordinator for additional information.
16. In addition to college work-study, are there any work-study programs designed to assist veterans?
Students may be eligible for veterans work-study benefits. In order to be eligible, students must be receiving full-time veterans benefits. Such students can work up to 750 hours per year at a rate of at least the federal minimum wage. Hunter’s Veterans’ Services representative may be able to arrange work-study if you are eligible.
17. Are all dependents of veterans eligible to receive educational benefits?
No, only dependents who are eligible for Chapter 35, Survivors' and Dependents' Educational Assistance Program or Chapter 33 tranferability of benefits may be considered for benefits. Chapter 35 provides educational assistance to the spouses and children of veterans who died while on active duty or were totally disabled due to their military experience. Eligibility questions can be directed to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
18. Are any services available to veterans with disabilities?
Vocational Rehabilitation services are available through the VA for veterans with disabilities. Vocational Rehabilitation Services are available to full- and part-time students who have at least a 20% disability rating from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. These services include payment for tuition, fees and a monthly stipend. In addition, reasonable accommodations and support services are available to veterans with disabilities through Hunter College’s Office of AccessABILITY, 212-772-4857, 1124 East Building.
19. Are any benefits or services available to the dependents of disabled veterans?
There are several federal and state programs available to dependents of disabled veterans. For more information contact Hunter Veterans’ Services.
20. Will my veterans’ education benefits be included in the calculation of my Pell Grant award?
No. If otherwise eligible, this will allow you to receive an award higher than you would receive if the benefits were included in the calculation.
21. Will my Chapter 30 Montgomery GI Bill benefits be included in estimated financial assistance when determining my eligibility for a subsidized William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan?
No. If otherwise ineligible, this will allow you to receive a Subsidized William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan.