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FAQs

How do I apply for veterans benefits?

You have two options:

You can make an application for education benefits online through VONAPP, the VA’s electronic application web site, or complete a paper application, FORM VA-1990. For more information, go to the GI Bill Website.

You will need to apply to Bergen Community College and pre-register for your classes before the school can certify your enrollment. Start by applying to BCC via the Online Application. You should also apply for Financial Aid through the FAFSA . Once you are registered for classes, stop by the Registrar’s Office to see the Veterans Certifying Official.


I am currently on active duty. Can I use the new Post 9/11 GI Bill?

Yes, you can use the Post 9/11 GI Bill on Active Duty provided you have completed at least 90 days of service (excluding basic entry level and skill training).

Your tuition will be paid based on how long you have served. However, the tuition payment cannot exceed the amount not paid by military tuition assistance (TA) and/or the total amount of tuition and fees.

You will not receive a housing allowance or the book and supplies stipend while on Active Duty.


I am not sure which option is best for me. Who can I talk to?

The VA has provided a variety of resources for students to make the best decision about their options. Remember, the new GI Bill is not for everyone, and for some students the current GI Bill may provide them with more benefits.September 11, 2001 will determine your eligibility. Additionally, you should consider whether or not you plan on taking credits that total more than 1/2 time, and if you plan on taking Distance Education courses. Being enrolled at or less than half time, and taking all online courses, or 1/2 time (or less) “in residence” courses (can be combined with online courses) will make you ineligible for the housing stipend.

You should also consider whether or not you would like to exhaust your current GI Bill benefits (for those who have started to use benefits, especially under Chapter 30; the VEAP/REAP benefit is a different scenario), or if you want to switch to the new GI Bill immediately. For those who have started using their Chapter 30 benefits, you are only entitled to the remaining months of your benefit (ie. you have used 24 months of 36 months total eligibility, you can only use the new GI Bill for 12 months). You can, however, choose to exhaust your benefits under your current Chapter 30 benefit, and extend benefits for up to 12 additional months once you switch to the new GI Bill (and your Chapter 30 benefits are exhausted).

After reading the information provided on the GI Bill website, should you have more questions about your options, please contact the GI Bill Hotline at 1-888-GI-BILL-1 You should read the information posted on the GI Bill website to first determine the percentage of the benefit you are eligible for. Not everyone is eligible for 100% of the benefits, and your Active Duty time on and after


I did not contribute $1,200 to the GI Bill. Can I still get the Post 9/11 GI Bill?

Yes, if you have met the service requirements for the Post 9/11 GI Bill you would be eligible for the new GI Bill, even though you did not contribute $1200 to the GI Bill.


I did pay into the $1,200 buy-in for the Montgomery GI Bill. Will I get any of this money back?

Any individual who paid the $1,200 buy-in for the MGIB and elects to use the Post 9/11 GI Bill will be refunded a proportional amount if, and after, all entitled benefits under the Post 9/11 GI Bill are used.

Individuals who do not use all their entitlement under the Post 9/11 GI Bill will not receive a refund of contributions paid to the MGIB.


I have a service-connected disability. Should I use the Post 9/11 GI Bill or Vocational Rehabilitation?

If you are eligible for both the Post 9/11 GI Bill and Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (Chapter 31), you should speak with your Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor to determine which benefit is most beneficial to your situation.


I receive a national guard tuition waiver. Will I receive a refund of the money given to BCC for my tuition?

No. If you use a National Guard Tuition Waiver we can only certify the fees you would normally be responsible for that are not covered by the waiver.

These fees will be paid to BCC by the VA. If you are not eligible for 100% of the new GI Bill you will be responsible for paying the portion of your fees not covered by the new bill. Your tuition is not reported to the VA (it is waived and reported as $0.00) and hence Bergen Community College will not receive any tuition money.


What does the Post 9/11 GI Bill cover? Do I need to make payments for my tuition at BCC?

The Post 9/11 GI Bill includes payment for your tuition and fees directly to BCC, a monthly housing stipend and an annual book/supplies stipend (both stipends paid directly to you). In order to determine how much of these benefits you are eligible for, you will want to find out what percentage of eligibility you have (for example: an individual with at least 36 months of active duty after 9/11/01 will be eligible for 100%, an individual with 90 days to 6 months of active duty would be eligible for 40% of the benefit).

Finally, the selection of online/distance education courses can effect your eligibility for the Housing Allowance, specifically. You should determine whether or not online courses are right for you. In order to receive the Housing Allowance, you must be enrolled at a “rate of pursuit” of 51% or more, and in at least 1 “in residence” (in classroom) course.

If you are eligible for 100% of the benefit, and a full-time student, for example, 100% of your tuition and fees will be paid to Bergen Community College. Additionally, you will receive 100% of the monthly Housing Allowance (as of April 2009, $1,980.00 per month) and 100% of the $1,000 annual book stipend (paid per credit, per term, up to $1,000 annually).

What if I’ve used VA benefits at another schools?

You’ll need to fill out the form VA-1995 – Change of Place of Training or Programs

or VA-5495 if you are Chapter 35, a survivor or dependent of a veteran.


When can I apply for the Post 9/11 GI Bill?

You are able to apply for the new GI Bill as of May 1, 2009.

The VA is accepting Paper (postal mail), fax and VONAPP (online) applications for this benefit.

It is recommended that you apply online.


When does the Post 9/11 GI Bill become effective?

As this can save 2-3 weeks of application processing time and allows you to have a confirmation of your application submission. The Post 9/11 GI Bill went into effect as of August 1, 2009.

Students registered for the Fall term who have opted for their benefit to begin on (or before) the Fall term start date will receive their full benefit.

You can select the date that you would like to start receiving this benefit (as long as it is after August 1).


Will I receive a retroactive payment under the post 9/11 GI Bill for classes I am taking before August 1, 2009?

No.

The post 9/11 GI Bill only covers classes taken on or after August 1, 2009.