Inside this Month’s Issue:
- Section 1 - Announcements: Account Balances, scheduling appointments, new enrollment verification standards and more!
- Section 2 - Let’s Talk About Registration Readiness: Q&A with your Veterans Services Team
- Section 3 - Calendar & Veterans Day Spotlight: Check out these upcoming events and our spotlight honoring the service of our student Veterans!
Make sure to read News You Can Use Volumes 1 through 4 for other important announcements!
Have you received a “STOP” on your Eagle Service student account?
Please be advised that the Veterans Services Team is working to lift financial restrictions on student accounts that are pending receipt of VA benefit payments which will pay your account in full. We understand the complexity of this concern, as many students are preparing to register for the Spring 2022 semester or Term 1 2022. Scroll down to the article below “Let’s Talk About Registration Readiness” for more information!
Students who are serving on active duty, joining the Armed Forces, or authorized to wear military uniforms may wear formal dress uniforms in lieu of rental regalia. Since tickets will not be distributed to students who do not purchase regalia and their cap and gown, you must complete the Armed Forces Form to notify the commencement team in order to qualify for commencement ceremony tickets and a parking pass.
Note* Veterans Cord Distribution: This year, American University Veterans Services will resume distribution of the “red, white, and blue” Veterans cord for commencement. If you are in the process of joining the Armed Forces, are a current Service Member, or a Veteran, you are eligible to receive and wear a Veterans cord for commencement! Distribution will start on November 2, 2021.
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.
The monthly enrollment verification requirement is almost 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. This will go into affect at American University for students in the Spring 2022 semester and Term 1 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.
Let’s Talk About Registration Readiness: Q&A with Ben Schreiner and the American University Veterans Services Team
- What is registration readiness?
Registration readiness is ensuring that a student is in good standing both academically and financially so that they can register for courses on their assigned registration date. For students using VA education benefits, this means submitting your Certificate of Eligibility, Request for Certification form and Yellow Ribbon application (if applicable) at the beginning of the preceding academic semester or term, so that VA education payments are dispersed in a timely manner. For any amount due that is not covered by VA education payments, it is important to pay this amount or form an alternative plan to pay the balance, i.e. financial aid and/or a university payment plan.
- I was charged for health insurance but didn’t know about the waiver process. Why wasn’t I notified?
It is not part of the American University Veterans Services office protocol to identify and notify students who do not elect to waive their health insurance. However, our office does send out an email reminder at the beginning of the Academic Year in addition to posting reminders in both the Announcements section of our newsletter and on our social media pages. You will also receive multiple emails from our AU Central team regarding waiving health insurance at the start of each academic year.
- I just registered for classes. What else do I need to do if I am using VA benefits?
For new students, there are two steps you need to take. The first is to submit your Certificate of Eligibility (COE) to our office by sending it to firstname.lastname@example.org. Once we verify your eligibility, we will give you access to the Request for Certification form. While you only need to submit your COE once, you do need to submit a new RFC for each new semester or term for which you are enrolled. For existing students, you just need to submit your RFC. Please be advised that we only need one RFC per semester/term. If you make a change to your schedule, do not submit a new RFC. Instead, send an email to email@example.com noting the schedule changes. If you are eligible for AU’s Yellow Ribbon Program, a one-time application is required within the GI Bill year you would like to use Yellow Ribbon.
- I registered for 12 credits. Is that enough to qualify for VA benefits? Is there a credit limit?
Yes. For undergraduate students, 12 credit hours is considered full-time status. For graduate students, 9 credit hours is considered full-time status (4 credit hours in the summer). For our Law students, 12 credit hours is considered full-time (6 credit hours in the summer) and our Term students must be enrolled 6 credit hours per term. While there is not a set credit limit, there is a cap to the amount of VA benefit payments that a student is eligible for depending on their benefit program (Chapter 33, Chapter 31, etc.) as well as a Yellow Ribbon cap. Please refer to our knowledge base to find more information concerning payment of VA benefits.
- Is there anything else I need to do to receive the yellow ribbon program funding?
Yes. To apply for Yellow Ribbon Program funding, you must submit the Yellow Ribbon Questionnaire by the end of the GI Bill year in which you would like to use funding. You will then receive a letter via email from the Veterans Services team confirming your approval as a Yellow Ribbon program participant.
- I keep getting emails about my balance that is due. Should I be worried?
Yes and no. There is a difference between a “Stop” and a “True Stop” concerning financial restrictions on student accounts. A “Stop” can be removed once our office confirms that your VA benefit payment will cover the cost of your Tuition and Fees that are overdue. A “True Stop” cannot be lifted by our office, since we would anticipate that VA benefit payments will not cover the remaining balance on your account. Additionally, our office tracks and works to remove “Stops” at least 48 hours prior to registration for student accounts that are anticipating payment from the VA.
Don’t miss these important deadlines and upcoming events!
November 1, 2021: Spring priority registration for undergraduate students begin!
November 7,14, 21, and 28 2021 (8:00 PM EST): Open discussion for student members of the American University Military Connected Club. This is a weekly event! To request membership to the American University Military Connected Club, visit the Office of Campus Life’s “Engage” platform. You can also follow the Military Connect Club on Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn.
November 10, 2021: American University Veterans Day Observance; 10:00AM – 11:00AM; Mary Graydon Center, First Floor, Room 128. RSVP here!
November 21, 2021: American University Military Connected Club Bi-Partisan Bowling Event; 12:30PM – 4:30PM at Lucky Strikes Bethesda.
November 24-28, 2021: Thanksgiving holiday. No classes will be held. American University Veterans Services Office will be open on Wednesday November 24, 2021. Our office will be closed on Thursday and Friday. We will resume regular office hours on November 29, 2021.
American University Student Veterans Spotlight in Honor of Veterans Day
Our Student Veterans Spotlight looks a little different this month as this Veterans Day I would like to say a special thank you to all military Veterans in our AU community. We honor your service and dedication to your country and community. It is an absolute honor and privilege to be able to help you use the education benefits you have earned through your service to pursue your degree at American University.
-Alicia Marsh, Associate Director, Veterans Services
Which Armed Forces branches at represented at American University?
Below is the breakdown of Student Veterans that are currently using GI Bill® benefits at American University. While these numbers are a snapshot of students using VA Education Benefits, it does not capture the total number of Student Veterans and Faculty and Staff members who also served in the United States Armed Forces and are our part of our AU community.
United States Army: approximately 54
United States Air Force: approximately 32
United States Navy: approximately 38
United States Marine Corps: approximately 35
United States Coast Guard: approximately 3
Special Thanks on Behalf of the AU Military Connected Club!
A special thanks to Student Veterans of American Development Manager Calvin Jensen for conducting an informative LinkedIn learning session last month! Calvin’s tips, tricks, and best practices provided helpful insight on how to build a professional network and increase desirability when applying for jobs.
In case you missed this session, here is a link to watch the recorded Zoom session.