The following is an explanation of the Certification Policies and Procedures for VA Educational Benefit students.
Name of Program
The Program of Education certified must be a program offered by your school and approved for VA benefits. Only courses that satisfy requirements outlined by your Degree Works academic plan can be certified for VA purposes. If a student takes a course that does not fulfill a program requirement, it cannot be certified for VA purposes. Excessive free electives, for example, cannot be certified.
Students pursuing a bachelor’s degree may not have to declare a major to be admitted to the university. However, all UM-Dearborn students are required to declare a major when they reach 60 credit hours. Students transferring 62 credit hours or more are not required to declare a major before admission but must do so during their first term at UM-Dearborn. Students cannot be certified beyond his or her sophomore year unless a major is declared. If you choose to be an undeclared student only “General Education” courses can be certified prior to the declaration of a major.
Change of Program
Students must notify the UM-Dearborn Veteran Certifying Official of any changes made to their major or your program of study. A change of program consists of a change in the educational, professional, or vocational objective for which the veteran or eligible person entered training, and a change in the type of courses or the number of credit hours required to attain the new objective. This includes any change in an eligible persons program or objective which will lengthen the training time. A material loss of credit is generally considered to be the loss of more than 12 credit hours. Changing a major requires the veteran to fill out a Request for Change of Program or Place of Training Form (221995 or 225495 for Chapter 35 dependents). Chapter 31 students must contact their case manager for all changes.
Changes in Enrollment/Changes in Credit Hours
Students must report all adds, drops, or changes to their academic course load. If you change your enrollment in any way during a term, you must complete the Veterans Affairs Certification Request Form.
Student Verification of Enrollment
Chapter 30, and 1606 students must verify their enrollment monthly by Web Automated Verification of Enrollment (WAVE) or by Interactive Voice Response (IVR). IVR allows students to “phone in” (877-823-2378) their monthly verifications. Payments will not be sent until this is done.
The preferred method is WAVE, which includes features, not in IVR. WAVE allows students to verify their enrollment on the Internet. Students must be currently enrolled in an approved educational program and must have current benefit verification. The monthly verification of enrollment procedure has not been adopted
for Chapters 33 or 35 students.
The Department of Veteran Affairs will not pay for audited courses because the class is not computed into the grade point average. An official audit, or visitor status, allows a student to attend a course but not elect it for credit. The VI notation appears on the transcript. Regular tuition fees are assessed.
If a student completes a term and receives a non-punitive grade(s) in one or more courses, the student may be charged with an overpayment by VA.
A non-punitive grade is a grade that does not count as earned credit. It excludes the course from any consideration in determining progress toward fulfillment of graduation requirements. Non-punitive grades include but are not limited to NC, F, and W.
A punitive grade is a grade that is used in determining the student’s progress toward completion of graduation requirements and is a factor in computing the student’s grade-point average. Punitive grades include but are not limited to A, B, C, D, and E.
Courses that are failed or for which the grade does not meet minimum requirements for graduation may be certified for VA purposes if they are repeated.
Courses that are successfully completed may not be certified for VA purposes if they are repeated.
Additive Credit Courses
With the exception of remedial courses (MATH 080, MATH 090 and COMP 099), the Department of Veteran Affairs will not pay for courses offered as additive credit. Additive credit is given for certain courses which may or may not be required of a student, but are not counted toward graduation. These courses include but are not limited to some EDF Physical Education Courses (Tai Chi, Ice Skating, Yoga) and some co-operative education courses (ECE/IMSE/ME 299, 399, and 499). If in doubt about a course for certification purposes, please contact the UM-Dearborn Certifying Official.
Change of Address and/or Direct Deposit
Students are responsible for keeping their address updated with the VA. Chapter 30 and 1606 students can use the WAVE system to update address and financial institution information. Links to do so are on the “Main Menu” available after you log onto WAVE.
If a student wants to start or change a direct deposit, have the account information handy. The following information is needed to set up direct deposit and can be found on checks and bank statements:
- Account number
- 9 digit bank routing number
- Type of account (checking or savings)
If a student has direct deposit the student still needs to keep his or her address current because all other correspondences including award letters are mailed to the student's address.
Students can call 1-877-838-2778 to begin and change direct deposit. If assistance is necessary, please visit the Office of Veterans Affairs and they will guide you through the process
Changes in Benefits
If you are switching from one benefit program to another (e.g., going from Ch. 30 to Ch. 33), you must notify the UM-Dearborn Certifying Official immediately of your plans. Before making the switch, contact the Office of Veterans Affairs to ensure you are aware of your options before you do.
Concurrent Enrollment/Guest Student
A student may take courses at more than one school that apply to his or her degree program. The school that will grant the degree is the student’s “primary” school. All other schools are “secondary” schools. VA may pay benefits for courses taken at secondary schools as long as they will transfer back to the primary school and apply toward the student’s degree program.
To gain VA certification for courses taken at secondary schools, a student must seek approval to elect courses at other colleges and universities (including other campuses of the University of Michigan) by completing the University of Michigan-Dearborn Request to Elect Off-Campus Courses. You must follow the procedures for processing this form through your academic school or college. If the Off-Campus Request is approved, please submit a copy to the VA Certifying Official.
Upon receipt of an approved Request to Elect Off-Campus Courses formand an approval letter will then be sent to the VA Certifying Official (or hand carried by the student) at the secondary school requesting that they certify the student for the course(s) listed in the letter.
Once the course or semester is over, the student must arrange to have a transcript from the secondary school sent to the appropriate office here at UM-Dearborn. This MUST BE DONE AFTER EACH SEMESTER that a student is enrolled at the secondary school. The VA Certifying Official may also require that you sign a release for the transcript as a part of the process. When a compliance survey is conducted, our records will be reviewed to verify that the course was applied toward the student’s degree program.
Tuition Assistance (TA)
If a student is receiving Tuition Assistance (TA), the UM-Dearborn Certifying Official cannot certify your enrollment to VA. However, the Montgomery GI Bill - Active Duty education program permits VA to pay a Tuition Assistance Top-Up benefit if the student qualifies. The amount of the benefit could be equal to the difference between the total cost of a college course and the amount of Tuition Assistance that is paid by the military for the course. Forms for the purpose of applying for and using this benefit must be handled directly by the Regional Processing Center in St. Louis, MO. See the GI Bill website for Tuition Assistance Top-up details.