Inside this Month’s Issue:
- Section 1 - Announcements: Important commencement information, Request for Certification email reminders, new enrollment verification standards and more!
- Section 2 – Monthly Enrollment Verification: Step-by-Step Guide
- Section 3 - Calendar & Congratulations to our Graduates: Check out these upcoming events and message to the Student Veterans and military affiliated students graduating this December!
Make sure to read News You Can Use Volumes 1 through 5 for other important announcements!
- 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 effect 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.
- Commencement: 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” Veteran’s 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! You can pick up your Veteran cord at AU Central in the Asbury Building, Monday – Friday, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm and Wednesdays 10:00 am – 5:00 pm.
- 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.
- 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.
Monthly Enrollment Verification
Introduction to the Monthly Enrollment Verification Requirement
- What is monthly enrollment verification?
Monthly enrollment verification is a new requirement for Post-9/11 GI Bill® (Chapter 33) students, who must confirm each month that they are still enrolled in the same courses or training that their school certified to VA. It's not about confirming that you're in class; instead, it's about seeing if your certified enrollment has changed. For terms beginning on or after December 17, 2021, students at Institutions of Higher Learning (IHL) who receive MHA and/or kicker payments will be impacted. Additional groups of Post-9/11 GI Bill® students will be included in later phases. 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.
- What happens if I don’t verify my enrollment?
If you don't provide enrollment verification for two months in a row, your MHA/kicker payments will be put on hold until you do. If your term begins on August 1, 2022, and you do not verify your enrollment for August and September, your payments for October 2022 will be put on hold.
- Will this new requirement delay my payments?
No, verifying your enrollment in a timely manner will help ensure that your payments are not delayed.
- What if I’m a part-time student?
Students using the Post-9/11 GI Bill® who attend at less than a 50% rate of pursuit are not eligible for MHA payments and will not be affected until later unless they obtain kicker payments.
- What if I’m on active duty?
Active duty students on the Post-9/11 GI Bill® are not eligible for MHA payments, thus they will not be affected until later.
- What happens if I report a change to my enrollment?
If you indicate that your enrollment information has changed, VA will contact your school to obtain the current information. Please communicate with your school's certifying official to ensure they have proper enrollment information and can inform VA of any changes. Notifying VA of changes to your enrollment as soon as possible can help you prevent an overpayment, while it will not remove the potential of a debt entirely.
A Step-by-Step Guide on Submitting your Monthly Enrollment Verification to Veterans Affairs
- How do I verify my enrollment? You can verify your enrollment via text message or by calling the Education Call Center (ECC). VA strongly recommends verifying enrollment via text. It will be easier and faster than calling the ECC.
- How does the text option work?
- If you need to verify enrollment and the VA has a current U.S. mobile number on file for your GI Bill® benefits, you will receive the following text message: “Post 9/11 GI Bill® housing and kicker payments now require monthly enrollment verification. Would you like to submit yours via text? Please reply yes or no.” Reply “Yes” to opt into text verification.
- If you choose to opt out, you will need to call the Education Call Center every month to verify enrollment or to change your text message preferences. You can opt into verification by text message at any time by calling the Education Call Center at 1-888-442-4551.
- If you opt in, you will receive the following text at the end of each month: “Did you remain enrolled in your courses in the – month and year – as certified? Please reply “yes” or “no”. If you have dropped all your courses, you must reply “no”.
Note: You may verify your enrollment at any time, but after 6 days, the text message conversation will close. your file will be marked as “unresponsive”, and you may receive an inquiry from VA. You will no longer be able to use the text link to verify your enrollment for the month via text and will need to call the Education Call Center to verify enrollment over the phone.
- For more information, visit the Monthly Enrollment Verification Frequently Asked Questions page.
Don’t miss these important deadlines and upcoming events!
December 10, 2021: Fall classes end.
December 11-12, 2021: University Fall Study Days
December 13-18, 2021: Final examinations week!
December 19, 2021: Fall Commencement Ceremony for August and December graduates
December 24, 2021: Temporary special COVID-19 laws expired as of this date. This means that online classes that were converted to residential courses for VA benefit purposes will no longer be paid at the residential rate. This change will also impact Monthly Housing Allowance payment amounts.
December 24, 2021 – January 2, 2022: Winter break! No classes will be held, and University offices will be closed. The Veterans Services office will resume regular office hours on January 3, 2022. Happy New Year!
Congratulations to our Fall 2021 Graduates!
This month’s Veterans spotlight recognizes our Fall 2021 graduates! It has been an honor and a privilege to serve you during your time at American University. We commend your hard work and diligence to reach your educational goals. We wish you the greatest of luck in your post-graduation endeavors. Congratulations!
-The Veterans Services Team