Taro by Dave Miyamoto

 



U.S. Dept of Veterans Affairs

888-442-4551

GI Bill® website

GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government Web site at http://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill.

 

VA Staff

Kelli Nakama

Certifying Official
Veterans Affairs
Office of the Registrar
QLC, Room 010
808-956-8010
uhmva@hawaii.edu

 

Additional Resources

Direct Deposit: 877-838-2778

Monthly Verification of Attendance: 877-823-2378

WAVE

 

Things to Know

Here are some important things you need to know in order to receive your benefits and to keep on track while using your benefits.


FERPA (The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act)

Students may allow the School Certifying Official to release VA certification information to a third party (i.e., another person, such as a spouse or parent) by submitting an official request at the Office of the Registrar. Visit Policies for additional information about FERPA.

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Declaring or Changing your Major

You may only request certification for courses that are applicable toward your current degree program. Please notify the Office of the Registrar of any changes in major after you submit a declaration of major form at the appropriate Student Academic Services Office.

Multiple Undergraduate majors/degrees have been approved for VA education benefits. Please notify the Office of the Registrar if you are declared as a multiple-major student. Both majors must be approved and reflected in STAR before course requirements can be certified.

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Certification of a Minor

Some departments offer a minor, which is a set of courses in an area other than the major that relate to an approved baccalaureate degree. You may request certification of courses that are required to complete a minor (typically 15 upper division credits) while pursuing your degree requirements. The VA will only pay for minor requirements as part of an approved major. Prerequisite courses for minor requirements will not be certified.

To obtain minor approval:

  1. Contact the department offering the minor.
  2. Verify the minor requirements with the department advisor.
  3. Provide the Office of the Registrar with a current document from the department indicating the minor requirements.
  4. You must still list the courses on your Request for VA Enrollment Certification form if you are registered for them.

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Rounding Out

You can round out a schedule with non-required courses to bring your course load up to a full-time schedule in your final graduating semester only. This allows you to continue to receive benefits at the full-time rate in your last semester, even though fewer credits are required to complete your degree program.

Important things to know when rounding out a full-time schedule:

  • You must be enrolled in at least one required course. If you DROP the required course(s), then all other non-required courses will be terminated for VA benefits. The VA will not allow you to round out without being enrolled in at least one required course.
  • You can only round out once. If you do not graduate after the rounding out semester/term, you cannot round out again in a future semester/term.
  • ALL courses MUST have the same start & end dates.
  • Fall/Spring: You must enroll in courses offered at UH Mānoa either in the day term or Extension term, or in a combination of both, as long as the courses have the same start & end dates.
  • Summer: You must enroll in courses offered at UH Mānoa and can only round out in the last summer session term that you enroll in. Example: If you enroll in both Summer Session I and Summer Session II, the VA will only apply rounding out to the Summer Session II term. Please be aware that summer session courses may have non-standard start & end dates.
  • If you are a graduate student, you must enroll in at least one course numbered 600 and above in order for your VA enrollment to be determined by the graduate full-time definition. If you do not, your VA enrollment will be determined by the undergraduate full-time definition.

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Enrollment Status & Full-Time Definition

Undergraduate Students (Fall & Spring only)
Enrollment Status
Credits
Full-time
12 or more
Half-time
6 to 11
Less than half-time
1 to 5

UH Mānoa determines your enrollment status for the Fall and Spring semesters only. The Department of Veteran Affairs determines your enrollment status for the summer terms. If you have questions about being considered full-time during the summer, contact the VA Education Call Center at 1-888-442-4551 with the following information:

  • Your chapter of benefits (e.g., CH 33 Post-9/11, CH 30, CH 1606, CH 35 DEA)
  • Start & end dates of the courses you plan to enroll in during the summer
  • Number of credits for each course

Law Students
Enrollment Status
Credits
Full-time
12 or more
Half-time
6 to 11
Less than half-time
1 to 5

Law students enrolled in one credit of LSJD 500 are considered to be full-time.

During summer terms, 6 credits taken in a 6-week term is considered to be full-time. If you enroll in courses with non-standard start & end dates, we recommend that you speak with a VA Certifying Official at the Office of the Registrar.

Graduate Students & Post-Baccalaureate Students
The Graduate Division determines Classified Graduate student & Post-Baccalaureate Unclassified student enrollment status. Visit Course Loads & Full-Time Definition for enrollment information.

If you are a Classified Graduate student or Post-Baccalaureate student, you must enroll in at least one course numbered 600 and above in order for your VA enrollment to be determined by the graduate full-time definition. If you do not, your VA enrollment will be determined by the undergraduate full-time definition.

During summer terms, 4 credits taken in a 6-week term is considered to be full-time. If you enroll in courses with non-standard start & end dates, we recommend that you speak with a VA Certifying Official at the Office of the Registrar.

Graduate assistants (GAs) who are enrolled for 6 credits and receive a tuition waiver are considered to be full-time for VA enrollment. If you are a GA, notify the Office of the Registrar of your tuition waiver each semester.

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Changes to Your Enrollment (Add/Drop)

You must notify the Office of the Registrar immediately when you officially add or drop a course used for certification by completing a VA Add/Drop Form. Failure to do so may result in an overpayment charge and cause a delay in future benefit payments.

Any changes to your enrollment may impact the benefits you are receiving. With this in mind, carefully consider the implications of decreasing your credit load. You are responsible for meeting all of the university’s registration, payment and refund deadlines as published on the Academic Calendar. The Office of the Registrar can help you determine if and how the change may impact your benefits for the semester.

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Withdrawing from Courses (W grades)

You must notify the Office of the Registrar immediately when you officially withdraw from a course used for certification by completing a VA Add/Drop Form. You are responsible for meeting all of the university’s withdrawal deadlines as published on the Academic Calendar. UH Mānoa will report the withdrawal to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, including the dates of withdrawal.

If you withdraw from a course or completely withdraw from UH Mānoa, the VA will reduce your benefits retroactively to the beginning of the semester unless there are extenuating or mitigating circumstances. The VA may automatically grant a 6-credit hour exclusion the first time you receive a W grade that results in a debt while using VA benefits. This one-time exclusion can be granted for a withdrawal up to 6 credits and through the last day of attendance.

Examples of the 6-credit hour exclusion:

  • If a student withdraws from 3 credits, the exclusion will be granted for 3 credits and the student’s one-time exclusion is used.
  • If a student withdraws from 12 credits, the exclusion will be granted for 6 credits and the one-time exclusion is used. The student must provide mitigating circumstances to the VA for the other 6 credits.
  • If a student withdraws from a course with a course fee (e.g., laboratory fee, studio art course fee, natural science course fee), the exclusion will be granted and the student’s one-time exclusion is used even if the student remains enrolled full-time.

You may contact the VA Education Call Center at 1-888-442-4551 to find out whether or not the 6-credit exclusion has already been applied to your benefits.

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Military Activation & Withdrawals

If a complete withdrawal or leave of absence is necessary due to military activation, submit a copy of your orders to your College/School Student Academic Services office. You will be advised as to your options concerning your enrollment at UH Mānoa.

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Repeating Courses

Courses that are failed or for which the grade does not meet minimum requirements for graduation may be certified if they are repeated. If you are required to repeat a course for your degree program you must obtain approval from your academic advisor. The VA will not pay for a course that has already been successfully completed with a passing grade. This also applies to courses that you receive in transfer from another institution.

If you are a CH 31 Vocational Rehabilitation student, you must obtain approval from your case manager in order to repeat a course, even if you did not meet the minimum grade requirement.

Examples:

  • If your program requires a “B” or better in a course, then the course may be repeated if a “B” or better was not earned.
  • If a course is required for graduation, a student may repeat the course and be certified for it until it is successfully completed.
  • If a student chooses to repeat a course that was successfully completed, just to improve their GPA, that course cannot be certified to VA.

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ROTC Programs

A student in a Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) program is commissioned as an officer upon receiving a degree. Students in a ROTC program can be certified for courses that are required for the ROTC program. Before ROTC courses can be certified, students must sign a VA MSL/AS Course Memo available at the Office of the Registrar.

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Study Abroad, Visitor and Exchange Programs

Study Abroad & Outreach Exchange Programs: If you are participating in Study Abroad or will enroll in Outreach Extension courses while on exchange, the VA will pay for tuition & VA-approved fees assessed by UH Mānoa during your time abroad.

  • The VA will not cover fees associated with foreign study (e.g., costs related to travel, program expenses, host school fees).
  • If study abroad is required or mandatory for your degree program, the VA may cover the fee to study abroad only (not comprehensive fees).

The classes you are taking abroad must apply towards your UH Mānoa degree program and must be transferred to UH Mānoa as degree requirements upon completion. If you are a CH 33 Post-9/11 student, your monthly housing allowance (MHA) will be calculated based on the zip code of the campus where you physically attend the majority of classes, rather than on the zip code for UH Mānoa.

Exchange Programs Inbound: If you are attending UH Mānoa on an approved exchange program, your home school must provide the Office of the Registrar with a VA parent letter. A VA parent letter confirms that the classes you are taking at UH Mānoa are applicable towards your degree program at your home school. Please ask the VA Certifying Official at your home school to send the VA parent letter by email to uhmva@hawaii.edu. We cannot certify the classes you are taking at UH Mānoa without this letter.

Exchange Programs Outbound: If you will be attending another institution through an approved exchange program, the School Certifying Official at UH Mānoa can send a VA parent letter to the school you plan to attend in order to receive certification for classes while you are on exchange. Please speak with a School Certifying Official at the Office of the Registrar for more information.

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Incomplete (I) Grades

UH Mānoa will report "I" grades to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. If you receive an "I" grade for a course, the VA allows you one calendar year immediately following the end of the term during which it was assigned to make it up. Please notify the Office of the Registrar once a final grade has been assigned by your instructor. If the "I" grade has not been replaced after one year, the VA may retroactively terminate the benefits you received for that course, unless you submit evidence of acceptable mitigating circumstances.

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No-Credit (NC) Grades

Credit/No-Credit (CR/NC) grading option: UH Mānoa will report "NC" grades to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, including incomplete or "I" grades that revert to "NC". The VA will recalculate your benefits as though you were never enrolled in the course. Unless you have completed additional credits of required full-time coursework that semester or can demonstrate acceptable mitigating circumstances, you will need to repay the benefits you received for that course.

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Other Resources

Please be aware of all the resources available to you on campus. For example, the Office of Veteran Student Services (OVSS) provides student veterans and military connected students with access to resources, social and academic support, information on VA health and education benefits, and mentors student veterans as they transition from military to university life. The OVSS also provides services through the VA’s Veteran Success on Campus (VSOC) program and the Veterans Integration to Academic Leadership (VITAL) program. The KOKUA Program provides disability access services for students with permanent documented disabilities.

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