FAQ About the Post-9/11 GI Bill and Related Benefits

Does Empire State College offer courses that qualify for the Monthly Housing Allowance?

Courses at Empire State College are eligible for the Monthly Housing Allowance (MHA). The MHA allocation is equal to half the national average allowed for the Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) for an E-5 with dependents. The full-time rate for an individual eligible at the 100 percent eligibility tier would be $54.50.

If interested in obtaining BAH, it is necessary to cross-register at another institution that is eligible for BAH. Please go to our Cross-Registration page for further information.

How long does it take for students to receive VA funding after their Empire State College enrollment is certified?

It normally takes 10-12 weeks after our certifying official verifies enrollment electronically with the VA, before the payment is received. Students may apply online for a tuition deferral (Veteran Request for Deferral of Payment (PDF  66kB)) to avoid being de-registered while waiting for funding.

Note: You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to download and view the file. If Acrobat Reader is not installed on your computer, you can download it from the Adobe site. If you are still unable to view the file, please contact us at military.programs@esc.edu or call 800 847-3000.

Will the Post-9/11 (Chapter 33) VA Benefits be mailed to the student or the school?

The tuition and fees payments will be sent via electronic payment directly to the school.The basic allowance for housing (BAH) and the books and supplies payments will be sent directly to the student.

Do VA benefits cover registration fees?

It is our understanding that most Chapters, including Chapter 33 will cover all mandatory fees required for the enrollment to be processed.

Tuition
undergraduate degrees
graduate M.A. and MAT degrees 
graduate MBA degrees

Waived fees include:

  • Orientation Fee
  • Portfolio Fee
  • Individual Evaluation Fee
  • College Fee
  • Student Activity Fee
  • Health and Wellness Fee
Rate of Pursuit (Chapter 33)(Non-Standard terms)

Always certify actual credit for all enrollment periods. If you certify a nonstandard length term, the VA will convert the credit you certify to credit equivalents as follows:

  • Calculate number of weeks by counting the number of days in the enrollment period (first day through the last day) and dividing by 7. Disregard a remainder of 3 days or less and consider a remainder of 4 days or more a full week.
  • In a standard quarter or semester for Chapter 33 students the rate of pursuit is determined by dividing the credit hours pursued by the full-time equivalent (normally 12). For instance, 7 credit hours divided by 12 would be 58%. Chapter 33 students' rate of pursuit must be more than 50% to receive the monthly housing allowance.
  • For non-standard terms, the equivalent credit hours will be determined prior to computing rate of pursuit. For instance, 4 credit hours in a 4 week term would be the equivalent of 12 hours or 100% rate of pursuit.
If I withdraw from my course(s), will it affect my BAH/MHA stipend?

Yes, once you officially withdraw from course(s) at ESC ( student needs to complete a withdrawal form and submit to the office of the registrar). Your enrollment certification with the VA will be updated to reflect the reduced credits.

You would loose the BAH/MHA for the remainder of the term since you would no longer meet both criteria to qualify (enrolled at least 1/2 time and in at least one in residence study). The date the BAHMHA ends will depend on the withdrawal date.

How do I transfer my benefits to my spouse and/or dependents?

For the first time in history, service members enrolled in the Post-9/11 GI Bill program will be able to transfer unused educational benefits to their spouses or children starting Aug. 1, 2009. There are certain eligibility requirements for transfer, and can be viewed on the US Department of Veteran Affairs website.

What is the Yellow Ribbon Program?
The Yellow Ribbon Program offers schools, whose tuition and fees are above the maximum in-state rate, the opportunity to provide tuition discounts for the balance of tuition and fees due above the maximum rate. The VA will match the discounts provided by the schools. Note: Only veterans who are 100% eligible for chapter 33 benefits are eligible to enroll in Yellow Ribbon Schools. 100% benefits are awarded to “individuals who served an aggregate period of active duty after 9/10/01 of at least 36 months, or at least 30 continuous days and were discharged due to service-connected disability”. (VA Pamphlet, 22-09-1, Oct 2008).
Does Empire State College participate in the Yellow Ribbon Program?
Empire State College’s tuition and fees are below the maximum in-state rate so we do not need to participate in the Yellow Ribbon Program. In addition, we have several years of experience working with military, veterans and family members and are sensitive to the needs of this student population. We are sincere in our efforts to provide the best services possible so that military students, veterans and family members have a very positive experience and receive a high quality education from the State University of New York.
Does the State of New York have funding programs available for veterans living in New York?

Veterans in New York who attend college full time or part time are entitled to a New York State Veterans Tuition Award (NYSVTA). The award pays 98 percent of their tuition in New York state to a State University of New York (SUNY) undergraduate or graduate college. For more information and to apply for funding go to www.hesc.com.

Can I apply for the New York State Veterans Tuition Award if I am using Post 9-11 GI Bill funds?

Yes. You can receive the NYSVTA if there is a balance due for tuition after your Post-9/11 VA benefits have been awarded. For more information, contact Michael LaBrecque at Michael.LaBrecque@esc.edu, or 800-847-3000, ext. 2343.