VA Benefits at Saint Leo
Learn more about using your VA Education Benefits at Saint Leo in our helpful reference guide.Download PDF
Military & Veteran Aid
Saint Leo University is committed to making education affordable for all active military and veterans.
Our dedicated staff members are designated by the VA as certifying officials for the University. Using the latest technology provided by the VA, we process claims electronically to the VA Regional Processing Center in Decatur, Ga. for payment of benefits. In addition to serving veterans with benefit inquiries, we also provide assistance for any student in the U.S. military whose Saint Leo University enrollment is impacted by military activation.
We encourage active military and veterans attending Saint Leo University to contact us by phone or email with any questions pertaining to the processing of VA educational benefits or military activation assistance while at Saint Leo University.
Educational Benefit Programs
Chapter 33: Post- 9/11 G.I. Bill
The Post-9/11 GI Bill is a new education benefit program for individuals who served on active duty for at least 90 days of aggregate service on or after September 11, 2001 or were discharged with a service-related disability after 30 continuous days. Under the new chapter, effective August 1, 2009, eligible participants (veterans, service members and dependents) pursuing a VA approved training program may receive the following benefits at a percentage based on the length of active duty service:
- Cost of tuition and fees, not to exceed the most expensive in-state undergraduate tuition at a public institution of higher education (paid directly to the school).
- Monthly housing allowance equal to the basic allowance for housing payable to a military E-5 with dependents, in the same zip code as the primary school (paid directly to the service member or veteran).
- Yearly books and supplies stipend of up to $1,000 per year (paid directly to the service member or veteran).
Specific questions about eligibility for VA benefits should be addressed to the VA. For additional information, see www.gibill.va.gov.
Note: If an individual's tuition and fees exceed the highest public in-state undergraduate tuition or fees, additional funding may be available for eligible students through a provision of the Post-9/11 GI Bill called the Yellow Ribbon Program.
Yellow Ribbon Program
The Post- 9/11 GI Bill pays up to the highest public in-state undergraduate tuition and fees. To assist students whose tuition and fees exceed that amount because they are enrolled as non-residents and/or in graduate programs, the Post-9/11 GI Bill has an additional provision called the Yellow Ribbon Program. Under this voluntary program, institutions can enter into an agreement with the VA to help fund the additional expenses for eligible students. The VA will match each additional dollar funded by the institution, and the combined amounts may not exceed the full cost of the institution's charged tuition and fees for the VA approved programs.
Saint Leo University has elected to participate in the Yellow Ribbon Program for the 2011-2012 academic year. Per VA requirements, eligible individuals must be 100% eligible for the Post- 9/11 GI Bill to apply for this funding and will receive funding on a first-come-first-served basis.
Chapter 30: Montgomery G.I. Bill
The G.I. Bill may be the most common VA education program. There are four eligibility categories, with the most common being those individuals who 1) entered active duty on or after July 1, 1985 and 2) contributed $100.00 a month for 12 months and have an honorable discharge.
Chapter 35: Survivors and Dependents Educational Assistance Program
The program is for: 1) Dependents or spouses of veterans who have died or are totally and permanently disabled as the result of a service connected disability or died while evaluated as having a total and permanent disability, or 2) Dependents or spouse of a person who is listed as a POW or MIA.
Chapter 1606: Montgomery G.I. Bill- Selected Reserve
This program is for active members of components of the Selected Reserve and National Guard. Eligible participants require: 1) Enlistment or reenlistment in the selected reserve with an obligation to serve for a period of not less than 6 years following enlistment on or after July 1, 1985, 2) Completion of secondary school diploma requirements, or 3) Completion of IDAT (initial date active training).
Chapter 1607: Reserve Educational Assistance Program
REAP was established as a part of the Ronald W. Reagan National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2005. It is a new Department of Defense education benefit program designed to provide educational assistance to members of the Reserve components called or ordered to active duty in response to a war or national emergency (contingency operation) as declared by the President or Congress. This new program makes certain reservists who were activated for at least 90 days after September 11, 2001, either eligible for education benefits or eligible for increased benefits.
Chapter 31: Vocational Rehabilitation
To qualify for this benefit the service member must have a service-connected disability. For more information regarding this benefit and the application process, contact the Department of Veteran Affairs at 800.827.1000 or visit www.va.gov.
Kickers & Additional Contributions
A kicker is part of an enlistment contract, often referred to as the Army College Fund. The kicker is a fixed dollar amount that will be disbursed in even installments over the course of the entitlement period for Chapter 30 and 1606 recipients. Service members also have the opportunity to pay additional contribution amounts that are generally matched 9 to 1 and added to the monthly benefit in even disbursements. The VA should automatically pay the higher benefit rate as an addition to the normal entitlement amount paid each month to the veteran. If not, the veteran should contact the VA Regional Office processing their claim.
Educational Related Programs
This is a work program available to any educational benefit recipient who is attending college or university at three-quarter time (16 week term = 9 credits) or more. Students may obtain employment at the VA Medical Facility, VA Regional Office or at other approved state employment facilities. Students are paid at federal or state minimum wage, whichever is higher, and these payments are non-taxable. Interested individuals should contact Veteran Benefits & Certifications in the University Registrar's Office or the Decatur, Ga. Office at 800.827.1000 and request the work-study desk.
Veterans Upward Bound
The Veterans Upward Bound Program provides instruction and advising to veterans beginning or returning to college or pursuing a GED. The program provides services to all low-income or first generation college-bound veterans. The program offers day and evening classes and operates on an open entry system. To qualify, a veteran must have served more than 180 consecutive days on active duty with at least a portion of this service falling after January 31, 1955. Discharge status can be anything but dishonorable in order to participate. Courses offered include English/Reading, Writing/Literature, Math, Basic Computers, Spanish, and Science.
Tuition Assistance is a Department of Defense program. The program is not administered or monitored by the VA. Tuition Assistance rules vary by branch of service and even vary between different units within the same branch of service depending on whether the unit is active, reserve or National Guard. Questions regarding Tuition Assistance, as well as the obtaining of application forms, should be directed to the veteran student's unit Education Service Officer.
Saint Leo University does not determine a veteran's eligibility for benefits. We will assist in the completion of applications and communication of veteran student enrollment to the VA for the purposes of certification and receipt of benefits. For more information regarding individual eligibility for these and other educational benefits, please contact the Department of Veteran Affairs Regional Processing Center at 1.800.827.1000 or visit the website at www.gibill.va.gov.
The Montgomery GI Bill cannot be used in conjunction with Tuition Assistance. This rule applies to all active duty members of the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force and Coast Guards.
In order to start using your VA benefits, you will need to complete Saint Leo University's online application. The VA will not release your benefits unless you are in a degree-seeking program. Therefore, it is extremely important that you follow the admissions procedure.
Please follow these steps when applying for your VA benefits:
- Contact the VA at 888.442.4551 to find out if you are eligible for benefits
- If you are eligible for benefits, go to www.gibill.va.gov. Click on Apply for Benefits and download the paperwork that applies to you. The application process can take 6-10 weeks. When it has been completed, the VA will mail out a Certificate of Eligibility letter.
- Once you have completed the necessary forms, mail the
Southern VA Regional Office
PO Box 100022
Decatur, GA 30031-7022
- Fax copies of the forms to Saint Leo University at 352.588.4793.
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs regulations require that all persons using any type of veteran educational assistance programs make satisfactory academic progress toward achievement of their educational objective (degree plan) as defined in the Saint Leo University catalog. A student who fails to meet the minimum standards will be placed on probation or disqualification. If satisfactory academic progress has not been demonstrated, veteran educational benefits will be terminated until such progress can be demonstrated. Benefits may be resumed when the veteran student raises his/her cumulative grade point average (GPA) to the required minimum standards or demonstrates the ability to meet these standards.
Changes in Student Status
It is the veteran student's responsibility to notify Saint Leo University regarding any change in enrollment, address, degree plan, enrollment at another institution, or any other change that may impact his/her veteran educational benefits. Failure to report such changes can result in an overpayment requiring debt collection action from the VA.
Credit for Prior Training/Training
Veteran students are required to request and have evaluated all prior college and university credit received prior to, during and after military service. This is to ensure that the VA does not pay for coursework twice and that students receive the most from their benefits.
Need some help? E-mail or call one of the following Center for Online Learning VA representatives.
Marlene Tillman, email@example.com, (813) 226-4908
Kerry Carter, firstname.lastname@example.org, (813) 226-4907
Hilary Bisaillon, email@example.com, (813) 226-4860
If you have questions concerning your eligibility for Veteran's Education Benefits, you may also call the Veteran's Administration Regional office at 888.442.4551.