American University under advisement from the VA, certifies VA Education benefits in two phases.
The first phase occurs usually around 30 days before the start of classes. We will send a notification to the VA letting them know the timeframe you are registered for courses and the credit hours you are taking but we will not report your tuition and fees. This initial certification is a notification to the VA that you are enrolled to give them ample time to begin processing your Housing Allowance (BAH) and book stipend if you are eligible to receive this. This has been nicknamed the “zero-cert.”
The second phase occurs after add/drop when we will again review your schedule and send a 2nd certification with your tuition and fees amounts as well as any needed credit hours adjustments to the VA.
This process allows you the time you need to finalize your schedule and prevents debts being created on accounts due to schedule changes while processing your housing allowance as quickly as possible.
Important Information Concerning the Verification Process:
Students who are entitled to educational assistance under Chapter 31, Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment, or Chapter 33, Post-9/11 GI Bill Benefits must submit the following:
- Certificate of eligibility or a Statement of Benefits from the VA website-eBenefits
- Approved VAF 28-1905 form (Chapter 31 only)
- Request for Certification via AU’s website (This must be completed each semester or term)
If these steps have been taken, AU will not impose any penalty including finance charges and will not deny access to classes, libraries or other institutional facilities while waiting for educational benefits to be processed by the VA and sent to AU. Students will not be required to borrow additional funds in the interim of a delayed disbursement of VA funding from Ch. 31 or 33.
Any balance due after the start of classes that is not covered by Ch. 31 or Ch. 33 VA funding will be subject to monthly finance charges of .05% of the balance due and an account balance stop.