Frequently Asked Questions
Q. How long does it take to receive GI Bill payments if I’m a returning student?
A. As long as you have completed your VA Enrollment Certification Request at least 3 weeks prior to the beginning of the new semester, your benefits should continue without interruption or delay. Please keep in mind that your housing allowance payment is sent at the end of the month and may be prorated based on the number of days enrolled.
Q. How long does it take to receive GI Bill payments if I’m a new student?
A. The VA requires 6-8 weeks to approve a new application for GI Bill Benefits. Once the application is approved, the VA will send to the student a letter called the “Certificate of Eligibility”. As long as the College VA office has a copy of this letter at the time of student registration and a completed VA Enrollment Certification Request Form, tuition will be deferred (within benefit level limits) and the monthly housing payment can be expected with minimal delay. To speed up the process, new students should apply for their VA Educational Benefit approval as early as possible.
Q. Why was my monthly housing allowance payment less than I was expecting?
A. The most common reason your payment may be less than your full monthly entitlement is that checks are prorated based on the number of days in the month for which you are enrolled.
For example: If the Fall semester ends on December 15th, you can expect your December payment to be half of the full monthly rate because you are enrolled for only ½ of the month.
There are a number of other possible reasons for a reduced payment amount. Because the monthly payment is issued by the VA and not by the school, we ask that you contact the VA directly at 888.GIBILL1 for the answer specific to your situation.
Q. How many hours must I take during the Summer to receive my full housing allowance?
A. You must be enrolled at least ½ time to receive any housing allowance and full-time to receive the full housing amount.
Full time is as follows:
Maymester: 3 hours
Summer 1 or 2: 3 hours
May or Summer Evening: 4 hours
Q. I heard some people receive advanced GI Bill pay before the semester begins. Is this true?
A. Some schools do process advance pay. Advanced pay is not available at the College of Charleston.
Q. Does College of Charleston waive fees or tuition for veteran students until they receive their benefits?
A. Yes. A credit will be placed on the account of Post 9/11 eligible students while we await the tuition check only if a Certificate of Eligibility is on file and a VA Enrollment Certification Request is completed immediately after registration.
Q. Does the College of Charleston participate in the Yellow Ribbon Program?
A. No. Institutional funds are awarded based solely on student need or merit. Veteran students’ eligibility for these funds is not affected by their GI Bill eligibility, nor will their federal financial aid be negatively impacted by their receipt of VA funds.
Q. How may I ask questions directly to the VA?
A. The VA may be contacted by phone at 888.GIBILL1 or online at www.gibill.va.gov.