If you are a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces, on active military duty, or a dependent of a veteran, you may be eligible for certain categories of financial aid assistance.
How to Apply
Apply for financial aid by filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Complete instructions for filling out the application are included online.
FAFSA Definition of a Veteran
According to FAFSA instructions, you are a veteran for financial aid purposes if you
- Are currently serving or have engaged in active duty in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, or Coast Guard,
- Are a National Guard or Reserve enlistee who was called to federal active duty for purposes other than training,
- Were a cadet or midshipman at one of the service academies, and
- Were released from service under a condition other than dishonorable, or
- Are not a veteran now but will be one by June 30, 2013.
If you meet any of the requirements above, you do not need to provide your parents’ information when completing the FAFSA, as you will be considered independent. Please read and follow the instructions carefully for FAFSA, Section 2 – Student Dependency Status.
FAFSA Reporting of Previous Year Income and Veterans Benefits
Read and follow the FAFSA instructions for each question. The way in which you report income and benefits on your FAFSA may differ from the way in which you report income and benefits to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Veterans benefits of any kind are not taxable and do not need to be reported to the IRS. See the table below for some helpful guidelines:
|Type of Benefits||Report to IRS||Report on FAFSA|
|Noneducation benefits; e.g. Disability, Death Pension, DIC, VA Educational Work Study||No||Yes, report amount as untaxed income on FAFSA Question 47h|
|Housing, food, and other living allowances paid to members of the military (such as BAS, BAQ, BAH), including cash payments and cash value of benefits||No||Yes, report amount as untaxed income on FAFSA Question 47g|
|Monthly amount and number of months of veterans education benefits that you expect to receive during academic year||No||No longer on FAFSA|
Veterans' Education Benefits
The Financial Aid and Scholarship Office coordinates student resources, including education and vocational rehabilitation benefits received through the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (USDVA) and the California Department of Veterans Affairs. Federal regulations require monitoring of all financial aid awards in conjunction with veterans' benefits to avoid financial aid overawards.
Documentation is required to verify your benefits. Please complete and submit a Veterans Educational Benefits Certification form to the Financial Aid and Scholarship Office. Along with this form, attach a copy of your most recent award letter from USDVA.
Veterans' Payment Data Information Is Easy to Access: Use Web Automated Verification of Enrollment (WAVE) System
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) provides a convenient online way for a student who is receiving some veterans' education benefits to confirm the amount of those benefits for financial aid and other purposes.
Students who receive Post-9/11 GI Bill (Chapter 33), Montgomery GI Bill- Active Duty (Chapter 30), Montgomery GI Bill- Selected Reserve (Chapter 1606) and Reserve Educational Assistance Program (REAP or Chapter 1607) may access their VA payment information using VA's GI Bill Web site. Note that payment information is not displayed until after the VA processes a veteran's claim for these veterans' education benefits.
Students who receive the above veterans education benefits can access their payment information via the WAVE system. There are registration instructions on the login page for someone who has not previously accessed the system.
- Students log in with their name, claim number (which is generally their Social Security number), and the same password that they use when they certify their monthly enrollment. Although REAP recipients do not verify their monthly attendance they can still access their payment information.
- After logging in, click the "Benefits Status Information" link. Under the section "Your School Attendance" you will be able to see the dates of the enrollment period(s) and the monthly rate payable during the enrollment period(s).
- You may print this information for financial aid and other purposes. Attach this information to the Veterans Educational Benefits Certification.
Additional Information Is Available
Consult these sources to determine what education benefits you may be eligible to receive and how to activate your benefits. Some of the benefits for which you may be eligible:
- The Post-9/11 GI Bill
- Montgomery GI Bill – Active Duty, Chapter 30
- Montgomery GI Bill – Selective Reserve, Chapter 1606
- Reserve Education Assistance Program (REAP), Chapter 1607
- Vocational Rehabilitation, Chapter 31