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Post-9/11 Program Information & Instructions
The Post-9/11 GI Bill (Chapter 33) is a benefit that was put into effect to be used beginning on August 1, 2009, with training dates that began on or after that date. For determining eligibility for this benefit, active duty service must have been performed after September 10, 2001. To be eligible, a service member or veteran must have served at least 90 aggregate days on active duty. Individuals who were honorably discharged for a service-connected disability who served 30 continuous days after September 10, 2001, may also be able to establish eligibility.
Please note that if you choose to enroll in the Post-9/11 program instead of a different chapter program from the VA, this is a choice that CANNOT be reversed. We encourage you to contact the Veterans Administration Offices and/or visit the GI Bill website to know the difference in programs and what might work best for you.
The program's maximum basic benefit will:
- Cover the cost of tuition and fees, not to exceed the most expensive in-state undergraduate tuition at a public institution of higher learning in the state you are attending school (for public institutions).
- The maximum amount the VA will cover under the Post-9/11 Program for private universities, such as Finlandia, will be capped at $20,235.02 annually.
- Provide a monthly housing allowance equal to the basic allowance for housing payable to an E-5 with dependents, in the same zip code as the school.
- Housing allowance will be prorated to the student's rate of pursuit, rounded to the nearest tenth. Example: A student training at a rate of pursuit of 75% would receive 80% of the BAH (Basic Housing Allowance) rate. Another example, a student enrolled at 10 credits at a school where 12 credits is considered full-time will be at .83, which will also be figured at 80%.
- For a student enrolled solely in distance learning, they will be considered for monthly housing at one-half the nathional average for BAH for an E5 with dependents.
- Provide a yearly books and supplies stipend of up to $1,000 per year.
What these benefits translate to for a student at Finlandia University:
- Finlandia University's tuition and fees will surpass the $20,235.02 cap set for private universities. As a result, we have signed up for the Yellow Ribbon Program.
- A student that is certified as 100% eligible for the Post-9/11 Program would receive, at full-time enrollment status, up to $18077.50 towards tuition and fees. We are working under/with the Yellow Ribbon Program to help students who are 100% eligible under the Post-9/11 Program to have their tuition and fees met for the Fall and Spring semesters.
- The Yellow Ribbon program extends the opportunity for institutions to participate in this program to make additional funds available for your education program without an additional charge to your GI Bill entitlement. Clicking here will give you information on if you are eligible for the Yellow Ribbon Program. We encourage you to contact our office with any questions regarding the Yellow Ribbon Program.
- Post-9/11 recipients who are NOT eligible for the Yellow Ribbon Program will receive an adjusted amount of funding that is figured by the VA in accordance with the new regulations and the private university funding cap.
- Students that are needing additional funding to help cover the remainder of the tuition amount that may not be covered by the VA are encouraged to apply for Federal Student Aid by filing a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) form. This can be done at www.fafsa.gov. You may also contact the Office of Financial Aid at Finlandia for assistance with this process. This form may make you eligible for federal grants (Pell, SEOG) and/or federal student loans (Subsidized and/or Unsubsidized).
- The monthly basic housing allowance for a person that is certified at 100% will figured as an E5 with dependents from the DoD.
- Housing allowance will be prorated to the student's rate of pursuit, rounded to the nearest tenth. Example: A student training at a rate of pursuit of 75% would receive 80% of the BAH (Basic Housing Allowance) rate.
- The Post-9/11 Program will figure their amount of coverage by doing the following: "The actual net cost for in-state tuition and fees assessed by the institution for the program of education after the application of any waiver of, or reduction in, tuition and fees; and any scholarship, or other Federal, State, institutional, or employer-based aid or assistance (excluding loans and Title IV funds) that is provided directly to the institution and specifically designated for the sole purpose of defreaying tuition and fees." (GI Bill Website)
- While books are not covered by the tuition and fee money, Veterans can talk with the Office of Student Accounts about setting up a charge account with the school for their books until the funding is received. If your book charges go beyond the amount paid to you by the VA, you can speak with the Office of Student Accounts about payment plan options or apply for Federal Student Aid to help cover this.
- Should a student have an outstanding debt with the VA, this could unknowingly have an effect on the amount of funding received by the student and/or institution. If you have an outstanding debt with the Department of Veterans Affairs, it is our recommendation that you contact them to find out how this may play out in relation to your enrollment certification being processed at Finlandia.
Process of Applying and Certifying & Your Responsibilities:
- Veterans can apply for benefits online at the Veterans Affairs VONAPP website by clicking here. If you would prefer to do the paper form, you can contact our office to have a paper 22-1990 Application for Benefits form sent to you. You will also need to have a copy of your DD-214 form ready to be submitted at this time.
- This application process can take anywhere from 8-12 weeks to complete. We encourage you to apply for this as early as possible to prevent too lengthy of a delay.
- Once the Veterans Affairs Office has processed your application, they will send you a letter in the mail notifying you of your eligibility level. Included in this letter is a section called the "Certificate of Eligibility". You will want to present this letter to the Office of Financial Aid at Finlandia University as soon as you receive it.
- This certificate will tell you the level of Post-9/11 benefit eligibility you are able to receive. Once we receive a copy of this form, along with your signed Veterans Education Benefit Guidelines and Request for Certification Form, we will certify your enrollment online through the VA-Once program. Once they have processed the information, 3-10 weeks after this time, we will receive a payment for the amount of tuition and fees they have agreed to pay. For example, a 70% eligibility level would receive a prorated amount towards the tuition and fees being charged for the semester. Sometime after this point, you will begin receiving your monthly housing allowance payments from the VA.
- Due to the length of time that can occur from the point of application to the point of receiving benefits for your charges and you to receive your monthly housing allowance, Finlandia University is willing to work with veterans regarding a balance that may not be paid at the beginning of the semester. This is something that can be discussed with each person as they come through the Admissions process at the University.
- Please remember that if your status changes at any point during the semester, you will need to notify the Registrar's Office and specify with that you are a Veteran receiving VA Education Benefits who has changed their status. A change in status may affect the amount of aid the VA chooses to pay and any extra money that is paid by the VA for a status change that is not corrected in their system prior to the start of the semester may require money to be paid back to them. If funds were already disbursed for the veteran or if the semester has already begun, it could mean that funds will be owed BY THE STUDENT back to the VA.
- Please be aware that end-of-semester grades are evaluated by the Registrar's Office for the Department of Veterans Affairs. If benefits were received and punitive (F) grades were assigned, this will be reported to the VA and they will determine whether or not money will need to be paid back to them by the student.
Filing for Federal Student Aid:
We encourage all Veterans to apply for Federal Student Aid to assist with your education costs. This can be done online by filing a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) form at www.fafsa.gov. You may also stop by or contact the Office of Financial Aid for assistance with this process.
We hope this information has been helpful to you and encourage you to contact our office with any questions. For additional information regarding the Post-9/11 Program, we encourage you to visit the website. The Veterans Administration Regional Office in St. Louis can be reached by phone at 1-888-442-4551.