FAQs About Veterans Services
- If this is the first time you are using Veterans benefits at Harper College, follow the steps on the checklist.
- If you have previously used Veterans benefits at Harper College, follow the steps on the checklist.
- Review information about tuition and fees.
- Once your certification is sent out to the VA for processing, a confirmation will be sent to your Harper email.
- It can take the VA’s St. Louis Regional Office up to 30 days to process the current certification information. Processing length may vary during peak times.
- If your application and/or certification claim has been denied, the VA has determined you are not eligible for benefits or they are missing information that you must provide to them. If denied, you will be responsible for any balance accrued with Harper College. You may also be responsible for the out-of-district fees if you were granted an in-district waiver. To discuss why your application and/or certification has been denied, please contact the VA Educational Hotline at 888.442.4551.
- Yes, you may submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to determine if you are eligible to receive federal or state aid. Harper College also offers scholarship opportunities.
- If you choose to receive grant, scholarship or loan funds, it will not negatively impact your Veterans benefits.
- You may be eligible to transfer your entitlement to an eligible dependent such as a spouse or child. Please refer to the Transfer of Entitlement webpage to see if you meet the requirements to transfer your entitlement.
- You must make Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) in order to continue to receive Veterans benefits. Satisfactory Academic Progress is defined as maintaining a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher, completing at least 67% of all credit hours attempted and completing your program of study within the maximum timeframe of 150 percent of the hours required as defined in the published length of the program of study. See Harper College's Satisfactory Academic Progress policy for more information.
- If you are on Satisfactory Academic Progress suspension and would like to receive your federal Veterans benefits such as Post 9/11 (CH 33), Montgomery GI Bill® (CH 30), etc., you are required to submit a SAP appeal.
- If you are ONLY attempting to utilize the Illinois Veterans Grant (IVG), the Illinois National Guard (ING) Grant, or the MIA/POW Scholarship, you only need to be earning a cumulative 2.0 GPA. As long as you are maintaining a 2.0 or higher, you will not need to file an appeal for the purposes of receiving one of the three benefits listed above.
be required to submit a SAP appeal to be certified for
- The VA, in conjunction with the Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC), requires Harper College to meet specific processing timelines. Due to these timelines, all requests for Veterans educational benefits must be submitted no later than the last day of the requested term. Any request that is submitted after the last day of the term must come with a letter detailing extenuating circumstances which prevented you from completing the necessary paperwork within the allotted semester timeframe. All decisions made on late processing appeals are final.
- The VEC is a form found on the Veterans Services webpage of the Harper College website which notifies the SCO that you would like to utilize Veterans benefits for the semester or have made changes to your enrollment (added or dropped courses).
- Any student attempting to utilize Veterans benefits at Harper MUST have a VEC on file. Without this document, the SCO will not know that you want to use your Veterans benefits and your enrollment will not be certified.
- If you qualify for the Post 9/11 GI Bill® (CH 33) and indicate you would like to utilize this benefit while at Harper, the VA will process your BAH and Book Stipend once your enrollment has been certified by the SCO. The VA will send checks for the BAH and Book Stipend directly to you, not to Harper.
- You are paid on the first of the month for the month prior. Direct deposit can be set up with the VA at the time of applying for benefits.
- BAH rates are set at the E-5 plus dependents level of the ZIP code of the school you are attending.
- You are authorized up to $1,000 per year in a book stipend. The VA will pay $41.67 per credit hour you are registered. These funds are also direct deposited into your account.
- At 100 percent eligibility, you must be in school full-time and have at least one class that is not blended or online to receive the full BAH.
- If you are less than 100% eligible, then you will receive that percentage of the BAH.
- Federal benefits such as the various GI Bills® will only pay for classes within a degree or certificate program approved by the Illinois State Approving Agency.
- Remedial courses (i.e. below 100-level), if required, are paid for by Veterans benefits but the course(s) cannot be classified as online, blended, or a hybrid.
- IVG / ING / MIAPOW Scholarship will cover credit AND Continuing Education (non-credit) courses.
you are responsible for Continuing Education fees.
- If you are utilizing Post 9/11 GI Bill® (CH 33), Illinois Veterans Grant, Illinois National Guard Grant, Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (CH 31), Military Tuition Assistance or MIA/POW Scholarship, a payment plan is NOT required.
- If there is a remaining balance after your Veterans benefits are awarded, you will be responsible for covering those expenses. Students not using one of the aforementioned benefits, will be responsible for committing to a payment method at the time of registration.
- Access payment information.
- If your benefits do not cover your tuition and fees in full, you will owe the remaining balance to Harper. Payment plans are available each semester. Payment can be made online, over the phone, or in person at the Business Office in Building A, Room 214. If you have questions regarding an outstanding balance, please reach out to the Business Office at 847.925.6880.
There are a number of reasons why you may still have a balance after utilizing your tuition-specific benefits:
- If using the Post 9/11 GI Bill®: Your entitlement may have ended mid-semester, you may have picked a start date after the beginning of your classes, or we have not submitted tuition and fee charges due to your classes not beginning until later in the semester. Harper is required to submit tuition and fee charges once a course refund date as passed, the VA will send us funding once classes have started. Please follow up with the One Stop in Building A, Room 250 or at 847.925.6710 to check on the status of your account.
- If using a state benefit (IVG, ING, or MIA/POW Scholarship), only mandatory fees are eligible for funding. Mandatory fees are fees that are charged to all This excludes course supply fees, background check fees, distance learning fees, etc.
- If using Tuition Assistance, your branch of service determines the amount paid to Harper and we are not able to apply funds beyond what is approved by your branch.
- All Veterans utilizing Chapters 30 and 1606 must verify their attendance monthly, on or after the last day of each month. They may do this by phone: 877.823.2378 or through W.A.V.E. (Web Automated Verification of Enrollment) at www.gbill.va.gov.
- If you must withdraw for a military obligation, please submit a copy of the orders to the One Stop.
- If you choose to withdraw from or stop attending a class, an adjustment will be filed with the VA and you may owe money back to the VA.
- This may also affect the number of eligibility units and/or months of entitlement you have remaining.
- Debt letters can be sent for overpayments of tuition, fees, housing allowances, and/or book stipends. Please bring the letter to Business Office in Building A, Room 214 for review.
- If the VA has sent a notice of overpayment indicating you have been overpaid, you will need to return the funds to the VA and/or contact them to work out payment arrangements. If the debt goes unpaid it may affect your future tuition, fee, housing allowance, and/or book stipend payments. To discuss overpayments, please contact the VA Debt Management Center at 800.827.0648.
- Refunds can be sent for many reasons. If you paid for your tuition or set up a payment plan before your benefits were posted, the excess funds will be sent to you. If you received Title IV financial aid (i.e. Pell Grant or student loans) and tuition-specific educational benefits, the excess funds will be sent to you. Please contact Business Office at 847.925.6880 to determine why you received a refund.
GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government Web site at http://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill.