We’re in the last days of summer, which means a new semester is coming up for folks using VA education benefits. And for some, it might be the first time attending school using the GI Bill. So here are a few tips that will help you spend more time thinking about homework and exams and less time thinking about paperwork:

  • Before you start class, make sure to certify your enrollment with the certifying official on campus. They’re usually found within financial aid, but they may be elsewhere. Double check to make sure your paperwork is in order.
  • If you’re using the Post-9/11 GI Bill, you may be eligible for a book stipend. To make sure your money stretches far, consider renting your textbooks from the campus bookstore or online retailers instead of buying them.
  • Make sure to notify your certifying official of any changes to your schedule once you certify. Any modifications can change your tuition or housing payments, so make sure you fill them in as soon as possible.
  • Ask around for a Veterans group on campus. Student Veteran groups have pushed for more resources and assistance at hundreds of campuses across the country. If there isn’t a group at your school, consider starting one.
  • Track news, announcements, helpful information on VA’s GI Bill page. You can also follow our GI Bill Facebook page and the Veterans Benefits Administration’s Twitter feed.
  • Remember to stop, take a breath, and enjoy your time in college.

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Published on Aug. 17, 2012

Estimated reading time is 1.3 min.

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  1. Danny September 2, 2012 at 12:08 pm

    It would be great to see tips for people who might have already used their GI Bill years ago, and what resources they have to help assist them financially or veteran friendly schools, based on residency, might give them bang for the buck in some states, without going to the “diploma mills”. I know people can take courses for free online, but that’s along the lines of taking a night course at a high school, because you want to learn how to roll sushi, or people who just want to start a business or franchise. With an aging population that still has to stay out in the workplace, whether by choice or not, need to be able to see what avenues they have available to them, and not just for veterans who are just transitioning now.

  2. Reggie Dunbar II August 21, 2012 at 11:03 am


    Reggie Dunbar II
    Viet Nam Era Veteran

  3. Reggie Dunbar II August 21, 2012 at 11:02 am

    There should be an organization on college campuses and online for vets that are attending school with the new VRAP.

    Issues such as housing, payments to schools, being an older student, employment, business development, etc can connect many who have been out of the education field for a while.

    Reggie Dunbar II
    VRAP Veteran

  4. Robert Collins August 18, 2012 at 6:36 pm

    I agree Corey. Overall, the GI Bill is incredible, but the changes they implemented in 2011 have made some a great system a difficult thing to manage sometimes, particularly with respect to housing. In between semesters (usually between second week in December to the first week of January), the GI Bill housing payment left me wondering how to pay the rent. Since three weeks isn’t enough time to find gainful employment, I think the bill should cover layovers of less than a full month, so that students aren’t evicted.

    • Blair Page September 2, 2012 at 8:44 pm

      Agreed! When our financial situation is secure my husband gets great grades when we know were going to face a delay or a break in between semesters he starts taking on extra hours at work which just so happens to fall RIGHT ON TOP OF FINALS!!!! so his grades drop last minute preventing him from getting the grades he needs to move to his next school. He is a hard worker and a good student and he doesn’t deserve the distress of the delay.

  5. vince donahue jr August 17, 2012 at 10:56 am

    This is Great! I will pass it along to all our student-veterans.

    Vince Donahue Jr.
    Veteran and Workforce Specialist
    Oakton Community College
    1600 East Golf Road
    Des Plaines, IL 60016

    • Corey Miller August 17, 2012 at 11:31 am

      the most common problem vets are having today is housing! Many cannot position themselves in a timely fashion thanks to the delays the VA has in processing payments. If advances we offered you would see alot more vets being sussesful with their studies.

    • Daniel Pick August 22, 2012 at 3:19 pm

      I’m a student vet and created a blog with a veteran classmate to highlight critical information and resources for transitioning vets. A lot of the material would be helpful for your student veterans.



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