Certification Process

1. Select your benefits each semester.

The sooner you complete this step, the sooner you can be certified.

Only select the benefits you are using this term, not everything you are eligible for. Below you’ll find step-by-step instructions and explanations of the GI Bill® codes.

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How to select your benefits

After you have enrolled in your courses each semester (or “term”), please use Student Center to confirm which benefits you want to use for that semester. If you can’t remember which benefits you’ve used before, you can view previous terms.

1.  Log-in to Student Center via my.wisc.edu.

2.  Select the Veteran Benefits tile (the tiles are in a different order for each person).

3.  Select the term.

 

4.  Select the federal and/or Wisconsin benefits you want to use for this term, and select the “Confirm selected benefits” button.

5.  Verify those benefits are displayed.

Federal Benefit Codes
Active Duty 3rd Party You are a servicemember on orders to complete a degree (this is rare).
Federal GI Bill Exhausted You have run out of federal benefits.
Federal GI Bill Not Using You don’t want to be certified this term.
GI Bill Chapter 1606 Montgomery GI Bill – Selected Reserve
GI Bill Chapter 30 Montgomery GI Bill – Active Duty
GI Bill Chapter 31 Vocational Rehabilitation
GI Bill Chapter 35 Dependents Educational Assistance (DEA)
GI Bill Chpt 33 Post 9/11 100% You are using Post 9/11 to cover your full tuition.
GI Bill Chpt 33 Post 9/11 Part You are using 40%-90% of the Post 9/11 OR you will exhaust the benefit before the end of the term.
GI Bill Tuition Assistance You are a servicemember using Federal Tuition Assistance.
State Benefit Codes
GI Bill National Guard You are in the Wisconsin National Guard and using the tuition reimbursement grant.
GI Bill Vet Ed Reimbursement for those who have exhausted Post 9/11 and Wisconsin GI Bill (this is rare).
State GI Bill Exhausted You have run out of state benefits.
Wisconsin GI Bill 100% The Wisconsin GI Bill is covering your full tuition.
Wisconsin GI Bill Not Using You don’t want to use your Wisconsin GI Bill this term.
Wisconsin GI Bill Partial You are using the Wisconsin GI Bill in combination with partial Post 9/11 OR you are about to exhaust the benefit, and it won’t cover your full tuition.

Federal Benefits

Using state benefits? We cover those a bit farther down the page.

Roles

Student

Your responsibilities:

  • Applying for your benefits
  • Selecting your benefits each semester
  • Enrolling in courses required for your degree

University Veteran Services

Our responsibilities:

  • Advising on the proper use of benefits
  • Certifying your enrollment in compliance with VA policy

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

Their responsibilities:

  • Determining your eligibility for benefits
  • Processing your certification
  • Issuing payment to you, the school, or both

2. We verify your courses meet degree requirements.

There are strict rules on what we can certify. If we come across courses that don’t meet degree requirements, we’ll send you an email. Sometimes, an email from an advisor will give us justification to certify the course. We’re not trained advisors, so there are some things we’re just not aware of.

If you are in courses we can’t certify and are considered less than full-time in the eyes of the VA (Example: Undergraduate student taking 12 credits but can only be certified for 8), you will see a reduced amount of your benefits.

We can answer specific questions and help you figure out ways to receive your full benefit. Feel free to contact us.

The Academic Navigator in MyUW is where you will find your declared programs, assigned advisors, and search for courses.

Undergraduate students can use the Degree Audit Report System (DARS) to verify if courses meet requirements and view degree progress. Information and training materials for DARS can be found here.

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Undeclared Undergraduates

We can only certify freshmen and sophomores who are undeclared. Undeclared students can only be certified for general education courses (note the language requirement is not a gen ed). Because of these restrictions, we recommend that you declare your major as soon as you meet requirements.

VA policy:

Students pursuing a bachelor’s degree may not have to declare a major before their junior year at some schools. The student cannot be certified beyond his or her sophomore year unless a major is declared. Only “General Education” courses can be certified prior to the declaration of a major.

Declared Undergraduates, Graduate, Professional

We can certify you for all courses that meet degree requirements, including general education and electives. A course is fine as long as it meets requirements of any major, certificate, or degree.

VA policy:

Only courses that satisfy requirements outlined by the curriculum guide or graduation evaluation form 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.

 

Non-Matriculated Students (i.e. University Special or Non-Degree Seeking)

We can only certify you for two terms as a non-degree seeking student if you are pending admission to UW-Madison. (example: taking prerequisites for a graduate program after you have already completed an undergraduate degree).

VA policy:

VA educational benefits cannot be paid to non-matriculated college or university students unless they are pending admission to your school. In that case they can be certified for two quarters or semesters. The student can be certified beyond this two-term limit only if the student is admitted to your school as a degree- seeking student, irrespective of the number of credits taken.

Repeated Courses

If you fail a class, we can certify it again. Classes that are successfully completed may not be certified again if repeated unless a higher grade is required.

Examples from VA policy:

Example 1: If a Nursing program requires a “B” or better in Biology, then that class may be repeated if a “B” or better was not earned.

Example 2: If a course is required for graduation, a student may repeat the course and be certified for it until it is successfully completed.

Example 3: If a student chooses to repeat a course that was successfully completed, just to improve their GPA, that course cannot be certified to VA.

 

Rounding Our Your Last Term

During your last term, you can “round out” your schedule with non-required courses to bring yourself to a full-time status. This can only be done once per program, so we can’t certify you for non-required courses after that term if you don’t graduate as expected.

VA guidance:

In rounding out a full-time schedule, VA students may use any credit hour unit subject, including a subject that has previously been successfully completed (received a passing grade).

3. We certify you to the VA.

We report your credit hours and term dates to the VA. If you’re using a benefit that pays tuition, we also report the covered cost of tuition you were billed. We update this certification if you withdraw or your course load changes.

You’ll see three green check marks in your Student Center once we’ve certified you.

The VA should send you an automated email and mailed letter.

The email should go to your @wisc.edu email and look something like this:

An Enrollment certification for the period beginning on 09/06/2017 and ending on 12/21/2017 for Credit Hours: 7, Distance Hours: 3 has been submitted to the VA. This was submitted by a certifying official from the UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN-MADISON on 8/16/2017. Your claim will be processed in the order it was received. Please do not respond to this message.

If you see an update to your student center but did not receive correspondence from the VA, feel free to ask us for your certificate ID number and the enrollment information we sent.

4. The VA sends money.

The VA usually takes 2-3 weeks to process a certification, but the timeline may be longer. We don’t receive updates from the VA once we’ve sent your certification, so it’s best to contact them directly for a status update.

If you’re unsure what your stipend amounts will be, the GI Bill Comparison Tool® will show you current rates for the benefit you’re using.

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Post 9/11 GI Bill (Chapter 33) & Vocational Rehabilitation (Chapter 31)

Tuition will be paid directly to the school. The book stipend will be paid directly to you, ideally early in the semester.

The housing stipend will be paid directly to you on the first day of the following month (example: September’s payment should arrive on October 1st). You only receive the stipend during the months you are taking classes, and the payment will be prorated for partial months (most commonly May, December, and January).  If there is a delay in the VA processing your certification, you will receive back-pay to the beginning of the term.

Dependents Educational Assistance (DEA or Chapter 35)

Your stipend will be paid directly to you on the first day of the following month (example: September’s payment should arrive on October 1st). You only receive the stipend during the months you are taking classes, and the payment will be prorated for partial months (most commonly May, December, and January).  If there is a delay in the VA processing your certification, you will receive back-pay to the beginning of the term.

Montgomery GI Bill - Selected Reserve (Chapter 1606) & Montgomery GI Bill - Active Duty (Chapter 30)

Before you can receive your monthly stipend, you must verify your enrollment in WAVE. This should be done at the end of each month. The certification we send usually counts as the first verification, so don’t be alarmed if you receive a “your enrollment has already been verified” message.

Your stipend will be paid directly to you on the first day of the following month (example: September’s payment should arrive on October 1st). You only receive the stipend during the months you are taking classes, and the payment will be prorated for partial months (most commonly May, December, and January).  If there is a delay in the VA processing your certification, you will receive back-pay to the beginning of the term.

State Benefits

Federal certifications will happen first. The course requirements enforced by the federal VA are not relevant for state benefits.

2. We verify your eligibility.

Here are the things we verify (you can find more information on the benefit here):

We have the necessary documents on file.

You are a Wisconsin Resident for tuition purposes.

You have not exceeded the 128 credit/8 semester rule.

You have met the 2.0 cumulative GPA requirement.

If you’re the child of a veteran, you’re not over the age of 26.

If we run into any issues, we’ll send you an email.


3. The Wisconsin GI Bill is applied to your tuition account.

If you’re using partial Post 9/11, we apply the Wisconsin GI Bill after the school has received the federal VA’s tuition payment. If the Wisconsin GI Bill is your only tuition benefit, it will be applied at the beginning of the term.

2. You submit us a National Guard Grant Application.

You can submit the application in person or via email. You must submit a new application EVERY semester, and we have to receive it within 90 days of the last day of finals.


3. After grades post at the end of the term, we verify your eligibility & complete your application.

Here are the things we verify:

The number of credits you successfully completed that term.

You met the 2.0 term GPA requirement.

How much of your tuition was covered by other benefits (i.e. Post 9/11, TA or ROTC scholarship).

If we run into any issues, we’ll send you an email.


4. The Department of Military Affairs (DMA) mails you a check.

You should receive the check within 30 days of the DMA receiving your application. Questions can be directed to the grant specialist.