Veteran Affairs Checklist
- Apply for admission at: www.southwest.tn.edu/ApplyOnline.htm
- Apply to Receive your VA benefit at: www.va.gov under Education Benefits
- If National Guard using Federal Tuition Assistance, go to www.goarmyed.com; for TN Strong go to https://www.tn.gov/military/programs-benefits/education-incentives.html
- Apply for Financial Aid Using the FAFSA at: https://fafsa.ed.gov
- Submit all documents required by Admission and Financial Aid in a timely manner
- 30 days after applying for benefits online, you should receive a Certificate of Eligibility (COE) in the mail. Bring it to the Southwest VA office, along with a copy of your or the veteran’s DD214.
- Complete a Veterans request for certification (blue form) and hold agreement. (Required every semester)
How To Receive Benefits
In order to receive VA Educational Assistance, eligible persons must be enrolled in a VA approved program leading to a specific degree or certificate. VA does not certify payment for non-degree seeking students unless in a transient status. Transient students must provide an authorization letter from the VA official at their primary institution. In addition, all previously earned credits, as appropriate, must be applied to the enrolled program. Only course(s) included in the requirements for the degree program being pursued will be certified for educational benefits.
Post 9/11 GI Bill – Chapter 33
- Housing and books payments are made directly to the student.
- VA benefit payments for tuition and fees are made directly to the school.
- Students are responsible for completing the online Certification Request form to the school certifying official before the first day of class.
Note: Chapter 33 recipients who have been rated at less than 100% eligibility or are taking course work that cannot be certified ARE responsible for the remaining percentage of tuition and fees and charges not covered by the VA by the fee payment deadline.
Vocational Rehabilition - Chapter 31
- Payments are made directly to the institution for tuition and fees.
Survivors & Dependents Educational Assistance (DEA) - Chapter 35
- Payments are made directly to the student.
All Other GI Bills
For all other MGIB - Chapter 30, MGIB-SR - Chapter 1606 and MGIB-REAP - Chapter 1607, TA
- Payment is made directly to the student for the number of days the student is certified for the month and NOT to the school.
The student is responsible for payments and the student may be dropped for non-payment.
It is the student's responsibility to self-verify at the end of each month to ensure timely payment.
Remedial and deficiency courses offered as independent study (online) cannot be approved and cannot be certified to VA.
For questions about your benefits, call the VA education Benefits line at: 1-888-GIBILL1 or 1-888-442-4551.