Inside this Month's Issue:
- Section 1 - Announcements:Submitting a Health Insurance Waiver, Completing a Yellow Ribbon Application, completing a Request for Certification, and more!
- Section 2 – Let’s Knowledge Article of the Month:Knowledge Article of the Month
- Section 3 – Calendar & Congratulations to our Graduates: Check out these upcoming events!
- Section 4 - AU Veterans Spotlight: Meet our monthly spotlight, the VA Work Study Team!
Make sure to read News You Can Use Volumes 1 through 16 for other important announcements!
- Remember to waive your health insurance fee (if Spring 2023 is your first semester or you are now full-time)!
If you are already covered under a health insurance plan and are attending American University as a full-time student, you can login to the Academic Health Plans student portal to waive American University’s mandatory health insurance fee. The deadline to submit a waiver for the Spring 2023 semester is January 31, 2023. Visit here to obtain proof of insurance under Tricare in order to submit a Health Insurance Waiver. If you are receiving Chapter 33 – Post 9/11 GI Bill® Benefits, you can also request to use your education benefits to cover the cost of the health insurance fee. Please note, this amount will be deducted from your GI Bill®/Yellow Ribbon cap. Please email email@example.com to include your health insurance charge in the tuition and fees amount requested from the VA.
- Request for Certification Email Reminder
Did you recently register for classes? Did you receive an email reminder requesting that you submit a Request for Certification to firstname.lastname@example.org? This is a new feature that our office enacted as of November 2021. How does it work? Well, it is simple! Each semester and/or term that you are using VA education benefits, you are required to submit a Request for Certification to our office. The email is just a way to make sure that you don’t forget this crucial step so that you can receive your VA education benefit payment(s) in a timely manner.
- Are you seeing an amount due on your student account? Don’t Panic! If you submitted your Request for Certification for Chapter 33 (Post-9/11) or Chapter 31 (VR&E) benefits, your VA education benefits are pending approval and will be dispersed in a timely manner. Please be advised that certifications will not be processed until after the add/drop deadline. This is to account for any changes in enrollment that could impact your VA benefits eligibility. It also means that you should expect to receive your first payment around the 6th and 8th week of the semester. The VA payment will either be sent to you directly or to your student account, depending on VA education benefit type. For more information on VA education benefits, check out these helpful FAQs about different types of Veterans education benefits.
In-person office hours are back!To schedule an in-person, telephone or virtual appointment with the Veterans Services team, you can visit our You Can Book Me calendar.
Do you need access to the Veterans Lounge?The Veterans’ Lounge is located next to AU Central – Veteran Services office in 201 Asbury building. The Veterans’ Lounge is designated for all military-affiliated students. For access, please email email@example.com from your AU email. Access to the Veterans’ lounge is typically granted in 2-3 business days.
The monthly enrollment verification requirement is here!
The Department of Veterans Affairs is implementing a monthly enrollment verification requirement for Post 9/11 GI Bill® recipients. Effective December 17, 2021, students receiving these benefits must verify their enrollment at the end of each month. Those who fail to verify their enrollment for two consecutive months will have their Monthly Housing Allowance and kicker payments put on hold. If you want to learn more, you can read the Veterans Affairs’ blog post about these changes. Still not sure how monthly enrollment verification works? If you have not received an opt-in text message from the VA to verify your enrollment at the end of each month, please contact the GI Bill ® hotline at: 888-442-4551 to verify that your cell phone information is on file and to opt-in to the text message monthly verification option before this requirement goes into effect at the end of January 2022. Those who fail to verify their enrollment for two consecutive months will have their Monthly Housing Allowance and kicker payments put on hold. If you want to learn more, you can read the Veterans Affairs’ blog post about these changes or you can read News You Can Use Volume 6!
What Steps Do I Need to Take In Order to Use My VA Education Benefits at American University?
- To utilize your VA Education Benefits at American University, it is essential that you have applied for and obtained your Certificate of Eligibility (COE) and/or VAF 28-1905 form from VA.gov. The VAF 28-1905 form is exclusively granted to Chapter 31 Veteran's Readiness and Employment beneficiaries. Both the COE and VAF 28-1905 serve as a summary of your VA education benefit entitlements.
- Upon obtaining your COE/VAF 28-1905, it is necessary to submit a copy to firstname.lastname@example.org. This requirement only needs to be fulfilled once during your enrollment at American University, unless there is a change in your benefit eligibility or you transition from an undergraduate to a graduate program.
- Upon receipt of your COE or VAF 28-1905, you will be provided with instructions on how to complete the Request for Certification (RFC) form. If you are unable to access the RFC form, it is likely that we have not yet received your COE or VAF 28-1905. The RFC form can be accessed at the provided link.
- If you have any more questions, feel free to contact email@example.com or set up an appointment via our You Can Book Me calendar!
How do I know if I submitted my Request for Certification?
There are two methods by which you can confirm the submission of your Request for Certification:
Option 1: Via American University's online portal, myau.american.edu.
Option 2: Utilizing the VA's "Check Your GI Bill® Benefits" tool.
Am I eligible for a book stipend and how does that pay out?
Post-9/11 GI Bill (Chapter 33):
You may be entitled to receive up to $1,000 per academic year for books and supplies, based on the number of courses you are enrolled in and the percentage of benefits you are eligible for. These funds will be disbursed to you at the commencement of each term. Find out more about the book stipend here!
How does Monthly Housing Allowance work?
- What is Monthly Housing Allowance (MHA)?
The Monthly Housing Allowance is determined based on the Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) for an E-5 with dependents and adjusted annually to reflect changes in housing costs across the country. It is calculated using the zip code of the campus or physical location where the student is attending classes, rather than the student's current place of residence.
- Determining Monthly Housing Allowance (MHA) Rates:
To determine the Monthly Housing Allowance (MHA) for American University, use the GI Bill Comparison tool on the Veterans Affairs website (https://www.va.gov/gi-bill-comparison-tool), as the MHA is based on the zip code of the school or physical location where the student is attending classes. The MHA rates are not the same as Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) rates, so the BAH Calculator should not be used to determine MHA rates. The American University Veterans Office does not determine MHA/BAH rates.
To be eligible for the full MHA rate under Chapter 33 Post-911, students must be enrolled full-time, which is defined as 12 credit hours per semester for undergraduate students, 9 credit hours per semester for graduate students in the fall and spring, 4 credit hours per semester for graduate students in the summer, and 6 credit hours for term-based programs. Students who are enrolled more than half-time but less than full-time will receive a prorated amount. Online students have a separate monthly housing allowance.
For a more detailed description of Monthly Housing allowance, please visit here.
Are There Any Important Dates I should know (Main Campus Calendar)?:
Martin Luther King Jr. Day - Offices closed: January 16th
Classes start: January 17th
Health insurance waiver due for Spring 2023 (If spring 2023 is your first semestser or you weren't enrolled full-time in Fall 2022): January 31st
Last day to add/drop courses: January 31st
Spring withdrawal period begins: February 1st
Yellow Ribbon Program: Annual applications must be submitted by July 31st
Monthly verification of enrollment: Final day of each month. Find out more about this requirement here!
January and February 2023 Calendar
Don’t miss these important deadlines and upcoming events!
January 2, 2023: SOC, SPA, CAS, and OGPS Online Programs; Spring A classes begin
January 8, 2023: SOC, SPA, CAS, and OGPS Online Programs; Last day to add a Spring A course; Last day to drop a Spring A course for a 100% refund and without a “W” recorded
January 9, 2023: SIS Online Programs; Spring classes begin
January 16, 2023: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day; no classes and university offices closed. The Veterans Services office will also be closed this day!
January 17, 2023: Spring classes begin!
January 17, 2023: Four-Term Online Programs; Last day to add a course; Last day to drop a course for a 100% refund and without a W recorded; Deadline to apply to graduate
January 17, 2023 - January 20, 2023: Winter Welcome
January 22, 2023: SIS Online Programs; Last day to add a spring course; Last day to drop a spring course for a 100% refund and without a “W” recorded
January 25, 2023: Join us as we celebrate and honor our veteran and military-affiliated community at American University during our annual Veterans & Military-Affiliated Appreciation Game.American University Men’s Basketball vs. Army West Point.
January 31, 2023: Last day to add a spring course, internship, Independent Reading or Research, or Community Service-Learning project; Last day to drop a Spring course for a 100% refund and without a “W” recorded; Spring Health Insurance Waiver due
February 7,2023: Last day to withdraw from a spring course for a 50% refund
February 14, 2023: Last day to withdraw from a spring course for a 25% refund (no refunds after this date)
AU Veteran Spotlight
Meet the VA Work Study Team
Alicia Marsh (right): Alicia has been on staff at American University since 2012. She currently helps military-connected students use the VA Education benefits they’ve earned towards a degree at AU. Alicia previously served as Assistant Director of AU Central assisting students with questions concerning financial aid, student accounts and registration.
Dymeah Casey (middle): Dymeah has been a part of American University's community since January of 2020. They first came to American University to complete their undergraduate degree in International Studies while also working in the Veterans Services Office as a work-study student. They also served for 9 years in the Army National Guard and was honorably released from service in February of 2020.
Steven Betsch (left): Steven served for 5 years in the Navy Submarine Force. He served on board USS Helena & USS Indiana, where he is a plank owner. He is currently finishing his bachelor's degree in Political Science at AU and just started his Masters in Public Administration.