Education Benefits for Veterans and Service Members at Tunxis
GI Bill® Education Benefits:
The GI Bill® provides cash assistance to eligible students in eligible programs. (At Tunxis, all degree and most certificate programs are approved for the GI Bill®.) The GI Bill® is administered by the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The Tunxis Financial Aid Office helps eligible students apply for these benefits and reports student enrollment status to the VA.
Complete information about the GI Bill® is at www.gibill.va.gov.
Students should apply for admission to a Tunxis program and apply for GI Bill® benefits as early as possible before their first semester.
The major categories of students eligible for GI Bill® benefits under different chapters of the law are as follows:
- Veterans of active duty (Chapter 30 and Chapter 33, the Post-9/11)
- Disabled veterans’ vocational rehabilitation (Chapter 31)
- National Guard members and reservists (Chapter 1606)
- Guard members and reservists mobilized after 9/11
- Survivors and dependents of disabled veterans (Chapter 35)
Students can apply for GI Bill® benefits at www.vabenefits.vba.va.gov
(Tunxis can also provide hard-copy application forms.) Whether you apply online or on paper, please provide our office a copy of your application so that we can follow up by reporting your enrollment status to the VA.
Important considerations for GI Bill® benefits:
The Post-9/11 GI Bill® (Chapter 33) pays tuition and fees to the college, and book and housing allowances directly to the student. To receive the housing allowance, you must take at least seven credit hours, and you cannot take all your courses online. Benefits are reduced for those with less than 36 months of active duty.
The other GI Bill® programs (except Chapter 31) don’t pay the college for tuition, fees, or other expenses on the student’s behalf. (See “Connecticut Tuition Waivers” below.) They pay monthly cash assistance to the student during the school year. You can check current rates at www.gibill.va.gov
The VA determines monthly benefit rates according to the enrollment reported by Tunxis. The GI Bill® allows us to report only those courses that are required for the student’s degree (or certificate), and the prerequisite courses a student needs. Therefore it’s important to know and follow the requirements of your Tunxis program.
Once the VA processes your enrollment, it will send you a statement of benefits for the semester. It will also show you how to verify your continued enrollment each month by phone
(877 823-2378) or at https://www.gibill.va.gov/wave/index.do. You must verify your enrollment each month to receive benefits. (Monthly verification isn’t required for the Post-9/11 GI Bill®.)
If you drop a course during the semester, please email me explaining the reason for the drop, so that I can inform the VA. This may prevent your being charged by the VA with an overpayment.
Once you begin a Tunxis program as a GI Bill® student, we will look for your enrollment each semester and will report your eligible courses to the VA. If you take time off and return to Tunxis, please call or email me so that we can resume reporting your enrollment.
The Veterans’ Oasis:
Located just inside Founders’ Hall, the 700-square-foot Oasis—short for Operation Academic Support for Incoming Service members—is a space for veterans and service members studying at Tunxis to meet, study, socialize or just take a break between classes in a comfortable setting. Included are social rooms, a study, and computer area with Internet access. Feel free to enjoy the Oasis whenever you are on campus. For more info., please contact Karen DeBari, Tunxis Veterans’ Mentor.
Connecticut Tuition Waivers:
This state benefit waives general fund in-state tuition for qualified veterans of active duty and for qualified National Guard members. It doesn’t cover student fees or summer session tuition. (Reservists and Guard members should see if they can obtain tuition assistance through their units for fees and summer classes.)
Veterans need to have served at least ninety days of active duty during a wartime period defined by state law, and to have been separated under honorable conditions. The current qualified period began August 2, 1990, and is open-ended (subject to legislative action).
To apply, veterans should provide a copy of “member copy 4” of the DD 214 to Financial Aid. (This is the full-page copy that shows character of service.) For the first semester of enrollment, Financial Aid will give the eligible veteran a voucher to present to the cashier at registration. The veteran’s student account will then be coded so that in future semesters eligible tuition will be waived automatically. Eligibility for the veterans’ waiver is permanent.
National Guard members apply through their Guard units for each semester’s waiver, and should apply early. For eligible members, the Guard generally sends a waiver authorization directly to Tunxis.
The same benefit is available at the Connecticut State University campuses and UConn. Check at each campus to see which courses are covered by the waiver.
As the Tunxis veterans’ advisor, I am responsible for helping you take advantage of the benefits you have earned by serving our country. Please feel free to come to me with any concerns you have as you work toward completing your Tunxis program.
For more information, contact Helen Lozada at 860.773.1516.