Here at Smith, most veterans in the MBA program – whether it be Part Time or Full Time – are using the Post 9/11 GI Bill. The Post 9/11 GI Bill covers the in-state rate for tuition as well as the mandatory fees.
Most, if not all, students in the MBA Program are charged the flat rate of $1425 per credit, which is what I report to the VA. If a Post 9/11 student is charged based on the $1425 per credit rate and 100% eligible then they should not have to worry about making any payments out-of-pocket. The only thing that someone in this circumstance would have to pay for is a campus parking permit if they get one. If a veteran happens to be 90%, 80%, etc. then they would be responsible for the difference in tuition. I report the tuition and fees to the VA, and they send it directly to our Bursar’s Office on campus.
The housing stipend at the moment for Full Time students who are 100% eligible under the Post 9/11 GI Bill is $2193 per month.
The important thing to know is that if you’re taking 8 credits for 48 units, you are considered a full-time student in the eyes of the VA (regardless of whether you’re in Smith’s Part Time or Full Time MBA program). In other words, it doesn’t matter if you’re in the Full Time MBA program taking courses during the week or the Part Time MBA program which meets on Saturdays.
The stipend is based on days within your certification(s). So the days in between your semester terms (Term A and B) you will not receive a housing stipend. You also get a book stipend up to $1000 for each academic school year. Essentially, whatever you don’t receive for the Fall semester book stipend you’ll have left over to use for the Winter/Spring/Summer. The housing and book stipends get sent directly to the student usually via direct deposit to their bank account.
In order to be certified to the VA you need to submit the Enrollment Certification Request (ECR) form. This form needs to be submitted for every semester/term you wish to receive benefits. The form can be found in my office or online here. This form can be submitted via email, in person, snail mail, or by fax. You need to be registered for courses before submitting the form. I highly recommend submitting the form as soon as you are registered. Do not hesitate because we do certify the forms in the order in which they were received.
Though it’s not mandatory, we do highly recommend submitting the Certificate of Eligibility (CoE) along with your ECR because if we have it on file we can pre-credit your account for the tuition and fees. You don’t need to submit a new CoE every semester, like you do an ECR form. If you submit the CoE with the full 36 months on it we’ll know your pre-crediting is good for at least 4 years from the date on the CoE.
A simple step-by-step process for coming to the Smith School of Business and using VA Benefits is below:
1) Apply for your VA Benefits online at www.gibill.va.gov
2) Apply to the university for your Part Time or Full Time MBA program of choice.
3) Once accepted, register for courses.
4) Once registered submit the ECR form and CoE.
The VA is the only one that can tell you what benefits you may or may not be eligible for. They can be reached at 1-888-GIBILL1. I recommend calling as close to 8am as possible. Their office gets very busy later in the day, as well as in the beginning of the month.
If you have any questions for me, I can be reached at 301-314-8239 or email@example.com.
Michael Vivian is the School Certifying Official here at the University of Maryland, College Park. He was born and raised in Gaithersburg, MD, attended Our Lady of Good Counsel High School, and graduated in 2008. He attended Montgomery College – Rockville and graduated in 2010 with his A.A. in General Studies. Michael graduated from University of Maryland in College Park with his BA in Communications in 2012. He started working for the university with a student position in the Office of the Registrar at the Student Services Counter. He has been in his current position since July 2012. He is not a veteran, but loves being able to help veterans in any way that he can.