Application and Enrollment Checklist

Veterans Education Benefits

All forms can be completed on the VA's GI Bill website using the Veterans Online Application. A copy of each form you use should be printed out and given to the school Certifying Official.

To determine your eligibility for VA benefits, please get in touch with the VA at 1.888.442.4551. Additionally, we recommend visiting the VA's GI Bill website to compare benefit options across different chapters. Considering all options before deciding which benefit to apply for is essential. If you qualify for both the post-9/11 GI Bill (Chapter 33) and another chapter benefit, understand the implications of using one or the other. Your school's Certifying Official can provide you with basic benefit information, but you should make the final decision.

Apply for Veterans Education Benefits

When applying for VA benefits, make sure to use the form that is right for you.

Veteran Who Did Not Use Benefits Previously: Use VA Form 22-1990.

Dependent Who Did Not Use Benefits Previously: Use VA Form 22-5490.

  • Apply using the veteran’s file number, not your Social Security Number.

Dependent Who Received Transferred Benefits: Use VA Form 22-1990E.

  • Provide a copy of transferability paperwork from the DoD website.

Child Applying for Fry Scholarship: Use VA Form 22-5490.

If you have previously used benefits at another school or in another training program, please use the following forms.

Completing the Application Process

Once you know what form you're using, follow the steps below.

  • Complete the admission application process at the school you are attending.
  • Students shall be directed to receive approval from their ESO, military counselor, or service prior to enrollment.
  • Once you have completed the application process and registered for classes, you must inform the school's Certifying Official (SCO). The SCO cannot certify your enrollment to the VA until you have been accepted to the school and registered for classes. It is important to note that you may only register for courses that apply to your degree/certificate/diploma program.
  • Obtain official transcripts from previous schools and military service for credit evaluation by your academic advisor.
  • Apply for financial aid using the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Veterans’ education benefits are no longer considered when figuring out financial aid, so all veterans and dependents must apply for financial assistance.
  • It is essential to provide a copy of your approved Federal Tuition Assistance (TA) document to the school's Bursar office as soon as you receive it if you are applying. If you are an active-duty student receiving TA, you must send an authorized copy of your TA document to the Buffalo Regional Processing Office immediately upon receipt.
  • If you receive funds from the National Guard Education Assistance Program, you must inform your school's Bursar office every term/semester upon receiving an award letter.
  • If you receive funds from ROTC, notify your school's Financial Aid office.
  • It's essential to inform your school's Certifying Official of any changes to your enrollment status as soon as possible. These changes must be reported to the VA by the SCO.
  • Once you receive a Certificate of Eligibility (COE) or a Benefits Award Letter from the VA, it is essential to immediately provide a copy of it to the school's Certifying Official. You don't need the COE to register for classes, but the Certifying Official needs a copy as soon as you receive it. They don't require the COE to certify your enrollment, but having a copy of it will help them in the process.
  • After receiving your benefits award letter, verify your enrollment monthly on the Web Automated Verification of Enrollment (WAVE) on the last day of each month. This requirement does not apply to Chapters 33 and 35.
  • Contact the VA for payment inquiries at 1.888.442.4551 or through the GI Bill website's "Ask A Question" feature.
  • Remember to keep your address and direct deposit info current with the VA by updating it on WAVE or calling 1.877.838.2778.

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