Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How do I apply for the Post 9/11 GI Bill?

    If you have never applied before:

    • Go to: www.gibill.va.gov
    • Click on "Apply for Benefits"
    • Read the instructions carefully
    • Click on "I am a new VONAPP user"
    • Follow instructions

    You will receive in the mail a Certificate of Eligibility (COE). This process may take a couple of weeks. You MUST supply a copy of the certificate to your certifying official. (Patrick Massaro, (315) 267-3398, massarps@potsdam.edu)

    Dependents: if a family member has been approved and already transferred benefits to you under Chapter 33 (Post 9/11 GI Bill), you will follow the same instructions above, using YOUR social security number. For more information on the transfer of benefit process, go online

    * If you have used your benefits at another school:


    You Must fill out VA Form 22-1995 (Change of Place of Training/Program)
    • Go to: www.gibill.va.gov
    • Click on box "Apply for Benefits"
    • Click on "I am a new VONAPP user" or returning VONAPP user
    • You Must supply a copy of the certificate to your certifying official.

 

  1. Once I supply my Certificate of Eligibility to the certifying official what happens?

    The certifying official will provide you with a Veterans Certification Request Form. This form must be filled out and returned to the certifying official prior to every semester.  Your benefits WILL NOT be certified unless this form is completed. To gain access to this form, please go online.

 

  1. What are my responsibilities while utilizing VA benefits?

    You must notify your certifying official if you:
    • make any changes to your name, address, or phone number
    • make any changes to your schedule, drop/add a class, change from on campus to online, or withdraw from school
    • change your degree plan/program 
    • are notified by the VA about a change in your benefits, exhaust your benefits, or receive a DEBT letter from the VA

  1. What are the rules and restrictions associated with the BAH (housing allowance)?

    The VA requirements to receive the housing allowance are:
    • You must take at least 7 credit hours as an undergraduate or 6 credit hours at the graduate level to receive BAH. Students taking fewer credits will not be eligible for the monthly housing allowance. Students taking fewer credits will not be eligible for the monthly housing allowance.
    • You must take at least 12 credit hours as an undergraduate or 9 credit hours at the graduate level in order to receive the full amount of BAH available to you. 
    • You must take at least one (1) class in a traditional classroom setting to receive the full benefit.
    • If you take all online classes you will receive 50% of the national average BAH ($714), depending on your rate of pursuit and your benefit percentage.
    • Students on active duty do not receive a BAH as a part of their educational benefit.

  1. What are the rules and restrictions associated with the book stipend?

    The VA requirements to receive the book stipend are:
    • You can receive up to $1,000 or 24 credit hours worth of funding for books.
    • The VA book stipend is paid on a per credit hour basis and is subject to benefit tier percentages. For example: 100% = $1,000, 90% = $900, 80% = $800, etc)
    • The book stipend is paid directly to the student.
  1. Drop/Withdrawal Questions

    Drop a class:
    If you drop a class AFTER the drop/add period (One week after the start of school), VA will ONLY pay a percentage based on the last date of attendance. However, the school still charges the full amount of tuition.

    * VA may pay the full amount if there are mitigating circumstances*

    Mitigating circumstances: Students in auto accident, hospilalization, death in family, serious illness, change in employment, etc.

    If you drop a class at the Registrars office due to mitigating circumstances, you MUST notify the schools certifying official so that it can be reported to the VA. When mitigating circumstances are reported, the VA will contact the student. The student MUST submit evidence of the mitigating circumstances to the VA.

    Withdrawal and refunding the VA:

    The student is responsible for paying back a debt to the VA if:
    • The student withdrew after the first day of the term
    • The student dropped a class before or during the term
    If you withdraw from school or drop a class after the drop/add period, the school will determine your incurred charges and charge your student account appropriately.
    • If there is a credit, it will be refunded to the student because the VA will request the funds from the student.
    • The credit might not be the same amount the VA is requesting from the student depending on the charges incurred at the school.

    *The VA might also request back all BAH and Book stipends*

  2. Do you accept military credits? If so, how do I get them evaluated?

    Yes, SUNY Potsdam does accept military credits that have been evaluated by the American Council of Education (ACE.

    In order to have your military service evaluated by SUNY Potsdam, you must request a copy of your Joint Service Transcript (JST) be sent to our admissions office.  You can request a copy of your JST by going online.

    Once your transcipt is received, our transfer credit coordinators will evaluate it and all applicable credit will be applied toward your degree plan.