You must request certification for each semester you intend to use your benefit.
Veterans Benefits begins the certification process one to two months prior to the beginning of the semester to increase the likelihood that you will receive your benefits at the start of the semester.
To be certified for benefits you must:
- Have no active financial or enrollment holds on your account (viewable on the “My Academics” page of CalCentral).
- Submit an enrollment certification request (Note: You must have a CalNet ID to access the form that is emailed to VA students each semester.)
What to Expect After Certification
Chapter 33 (Post 9/11) Students
- An email from the VA to your UC Berkeley email address confirming your certification. This will indicate the number of units certified. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org if the units certified are not correct.
- If you are certified more than four weeks prior to the beginning of the semester, you should expect your initial Housing Allowance payment on the first day of the month after instruction begins. You should also expect your Book Stipend within two to three weeks of the beginning of the semester.
- If you are certified less than one month before the beginning of the semester, or after the semester begins, it usually takes four weeks to receive your initial Housing Allowance payment and Book Stipend.
- The VA to transmit your tuition and fee payments directly to UC Berkeley within four to six weeks.
- Students can check the status of their VA Tuition Payment by emailing email@example.com. UC Berkeley will credit your account with the tuition and fees payment within five to seven business days after you receive an email “Notification Letter” from the Financial Aid Office indicating that the funds have been received. An email from the VA to your UC Berkeley email address confirming your certification will indicate the number of units certified.
- Handle a Not Passed or Unsatisfactory Grade
The VA will not pay benefits for classes in which you receive a grade of NP (Not Passed) or U (Unsatisfactory).
Berkeley's Veterans Benefits must report these grades to the VA, which will recalculate your benefits as though you were never enrolled in those classes and bill you for any resulting overpayment.
- Chapter 33 (Post 9/11 GI Bill): If the reduction in units drops you below the full-time course load for the term, the VA will bill you for the difference in BAH between your earned units and those for which you were initially certified (for example, if you were certified for 12 units and received a NP in a 3 unit class, the VA will bill you for 25 percent of the BAH paid for the term).
- Chapters 30, 35, 1606, 1607: If the reduction drops you below the full-time course load for the term, the VA will bill you for the difference between the stipend for your earned units and those for which you were initially certified (for example, if you were certified for 12 units and received a NP in a 3 unit class, the VA will bill you for 25 percent of the stipend paid for the term).
- Chapter 31: Payments and any penalties are administered at the discretion of your case manager. If you receive NP/U grades, contact your case manager for information and guidance.
- Use VA Benefits for Summer Session
UC students may use federal VA benefits and/or the Cal Vet Fee Waiver for Summer Session. Visiting students may use VA benefits.
UC Berkeley Students
- Keep an eye out for correspondence from the Veteran Benefits Unit and request certification for Summer Session through courtesy request form.
- Notify Veterans Benefits of your wish to use veteran's benefits during Summer Session as soon as you have finalized your enrollment schedule.
- Provide a Parent Institution Letter if you are visiting from another institution.
- Summer Session fees for students visiting from institutions other than another UC campus are not subsidized by the state and therefore are not covered by the Cal Vet fee waiver program.
- If your enrollment changes, notify Veterans Benefits promptly.
- Regardless of the number of units in which you enroll, using Federal Veterans Educational Benefits during the summer term will reduce your remaining months of eligibility.
- Use VA Benefits for Study Abroad, Visitor and Exchange Programs
Your VA benefits and the Cal Vet Fee Waiver may be applied to UC-sponsored programs such as the Education Abroad Program (EAP) and the UC Berkeley Washington, DC, Program (UC-DC). The enrollment certification and fee waiver processes are the same as for the Berkeley campus. However, bear in mind that some program expenses may not be covered.
Please contact us for detailed information about specific programs.
- Update my Enrollment Certification
Your certification with the VA must be updated to reflect:
- Major program changes
- Added or dropped units enrolled
- Residency status changes
- Financial aid awards specifically for tuition and registration fees
Veterans Benefits will review your record and update your certification accordingly after the fourth, eighth, and twelfth weeks of instruction, and after grades are posted for the semester. You will receive an email from the VA one to three business days after your certification is updated.
- Withdraw or Reapply if I'm Called for Active Duty?
Contact us immediately and provide a copy of your orders. If you are a Reserve or National Guard member of the U.S. Armed Forces and are called to active duty for service other than your training commitment; of if you are on active duty while attending UC Berkeley and are deployed elsewhere, we will assist you to:
- Withdraw with a full refund of eligible tuition and fees paid out of pocket (funds paid by the VA need not be refunded)
- Obtain Incomplete grades that will not lapse to an F before you return to complete the work
- Apply for readmission without a fee
- Academic Progress Policy
Standards of academic progress for students receiving VA educational benefits are exactly the same as those for all UC Berkeley students pursuing the same course of study.
Please consult the Academic Policies published in the Berkeley Academic Guide, paying particular attention to policies regarding Degree Progress, Probation and Dismissal, Grades, Graduation, and Repetition of Courses.
In addition to the policies cited above, it’s important you consult those published for your specific college, school, program office or the Graduate Division. Regulations and procedures governing academic probation, dismissal, and eligibility to resume a course of study after dismissal vary by college, school, and graduate program. Please contact your college, school, program office or the Graduate Division should you have questions