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VA Certification Process for UMSL StudentsIn order to use your VA benefits at UMSL, please submit the following forms to the UMSL Veterans Center:
- Certificate of Eligibility (COE) – submit prior to your first semester at UMSL
- Enrollment Data Form (EDF) – submit prior to each semester that you plan to use benefits
- TRANSFER STUDENTS ONLY - Fill our VA Form 22-1995, “Request for Change of Program or Place of Training,” which is available online through www.ebenefits.va.gov or visit the Veterans Center to fill out a paper copy.
Enrollment Data Form
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the UMSL Enrollment Data Form (EDF)?
An Enrollment Data Form (EDF) lets the VA Certifying Official know that you wish to recieve G.I. Bill benefits and you would like to be certified with the VA for a specific term. GI Bill recipients can stop and start receiving their benefits for up to 15 years (based on the last date of separation for you or your sponsor). Therefore, we require documentation of your request in order to process your VA certifications.
When should I turn in my EDF?
An EDF must be completed each semester you plan to receive VA Benefits and each time you change your schedule within the same term. Your academic advisor must sign the form and return it to the UMSL Veterans Center (211 Clark Hall) via campus mail or email at VeteransOffice@umsl.edu.
We highly recommended that you submit your EDF at least one month in advance of the semester to ensure the VA pays your benefits in a timely manner. We suggest scheduling an appointment with your advisor in advance of the registration period and bringing a copy of the EDF to fill out while you are with your advisor. Copies of the EDF are always available online and in the Veterans Center.
Why does my academic advisor need to sign off on my EDF?
The VA stipulates that students can only be certified for courses that count towards your overall degree program requirements. This includes any degree program at any level (i.e. bachelor's, master's, doctorate, etc.) as long as it's officially declared by the student (including minors and certificate programs).
Do I need to complete a new EDF every semester?
YES. You must submit an EDF for each semester that you wish to receive GI Bill benefits. The VA Certifying Official will NOT submit your VA certification without it.
If I change my schedule, do I need to fill out another EDF?
DEPENDS. If you add a course (or courses) to your schedule that were not listed on your original EDF, you will need to submit a new form. If you drop a course (but do not add any additional classes), you do NOT need to fill out a new EDF. However, you still may need to coordinate with your academic advisor to drop the course.
Why is there a VA hold on my student account?
After your classes are certified with the VA, the school certifying official places a hold on your account to prevent you from making changes to your schedule that could result in a debt to the VA or UMSL. If you are considering dropping one or more courses, please contact our office to discuss the financial implications BEFORE making the drop.
Will the VA hold prevent me from registering in future semesters or graduating?
NO. The hold is put on your account only after the current term has been certified with the VA. It will not affect registration for future semesters or your ability to graduate from UMSL.
I was told that I need to be a full-time student to maximize my VA benefits. What does UMSL consider as full-time?
To be full-time, you must be enrolled in at least 12 credit hours for undergraduate students and 9 credit hours for graduate students. Summer full-time status depends on the number of weeks the courses are in session. Contact our office for assistance with your summer schedule. If you are a full-time student using Post 9/11 GI Bill, your housing stipend will be paid at the E5 with dependants rate (currently $1,395/month) while you are attending classes.
Can full-time at UMSL be different than full-time for the VA?
YES! In order to receive your stipend at the full-time rate, you must be enrolled in all 12 or more credit hours (or 9 credit hours for graduate students) in the same term (excluding summer). For example, if you are taking 3 credit hours during the Winter Intersession (first 2 weeks of January), UMSL counts these credit hours towards your overall enrollment for the entire spring semester. However, the VA treats these terms separately and requires the student to enroll in 3 credit hours during Winter Intersession & 12 credit hours (at a minimum) for the regular spring semester in order to maintain full-time status.
I'm graduating next semester and don't have enough classes to be full-time. What should I do?
It's a little known fact that the VA will allow you to "round out" your schedule with non-required classes outside of your degree program in order to bring your course load up to a full-time schedule during your last term only. This can only be done once per program.
If I'm using Post 9/11 GI Bill, will online classes affect my monthly housing stipend?
YES. If you are enrolled in ALL online courses, the VA will only pay BAH at half the national average (currently $714.50/month) for online-only students. Students must take 1 class on campus in order to recieve the full housing stipend.
If I'm using Post 9/11 GI Bill and I drop a class, will I need to pay the VA back and how much?
This depends on a few factors and the true cost can be difficult to determine because the VA prorates tuition for the number of days you actually attended the course. If your enrollment status changes, you most likely will recieve a debt for tuition, housing, and the book stipend associated with those credit hours. However, if you have mitigating circumstances, the VA may not issue a debt for the whole amount. Please contact us at 314-516-5705 to discuss your specific circumstances.