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Frequently Asked Questions

 

 

WHERE IS THE CENTER FOR VETERANS SERVICES LOCATED?

The Middlesex County College Center for Veterans Services is located in Edison Hall, Room 104.

HOW DO I DETERMINE IF I AM ELIGIBLE FOR VA ENTITLEMENTS?

Middlesex County College cannot make a determination on entitlement eligibility. GI Bill programs change frequently, so it’s important to go directly to VA for questions about the programs. The toll-free VA GI Bill telephone number is: 1-888-442-4551 (hit "1" for touchtone and then "0" to reach a counselor). You can also access the GI Bill website to read about VA benefits and education programs: www.gibill.va.gov

HOW DO I APPLY FOR VETERANS ENTITLEMENTS?

You have two options: You can complete an application for education entitlements online through VONAPP, VA’s electronic application website, or complete a paper application, VA Form 22-1990 ("Application for Education Benefits"). For more information, go to http://www.gibill.va.gov/GI_Bill_Info/How_to_Apply.htm

You will need to apply to Middlesex County College and register for your classes before the Center for Veterans Services can certify your enrollment. You should begin by applying to MCC via the online application, which can be found at www.middlesexcc.edu. You should also apply for Financial Aid through the FAFSA website at www.fafsa.ed.gov.

Once you are registered for classes, contact the Center for Veterans Services staff and they will help you continue this process.  

WHAT IF I'VE USED VA BENEFITS AT ANOTHER SCHOOL?

You’ll need to fill out VA Form 22-1995 (“Request for Change of Program or Place of Training”) or VA Form 22-5495 ("Dependent's Request for Change of Program or Place of Training"), if you are a dependent or a survivor 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 as this can save 2-3 weeks of application processing time and allows you to have a confirmation of your application submission.  

WHEN DOES THE POST 9/11 GI Bill BECOME EFFECTIVE?

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). 

WHAT DOES THE POST 9/11 GI Bill COVER?  DO I NEED TO MAKE PAYMENTS FOR MY TUITION TO MCC?

The Post 9/11 GI Bill includes payment for your tuition and fees directly to MCC, 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 Middlesex.  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).  

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 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 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.  

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.  

I RECEIVED MY CERTIFICATE OF ELIGIBILITY AFTER THE TERM BEGAN AND MY COURSES WERE CERTIFIED LATER.  WILL I RECEIVE "BACK PAY" FOR THE MONTHS IN BETWEEN THE START OF THE SEMESTER AND WHEN THE VA KNEW I WAS ATTENDING COURSES?

Yes.  As is always the case, the VA will provide you "back pay" for time you have been enrolled, even if your course certification takes place after the term commences. 

I RECEIVE A NATIONAL GUARD TUITION WAIVER.  WILL I RECEIVE A REFUND OF THE MONEY GIVEN TO MCC 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 MCC 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 Middlesex will not receive any tuition money.  

I AM NOT SURE WHICH OPTION IS BEST FOR ME.  WHO CAN I TALK TO?

The Center for Veterans Services-located in Edison Hall, Room 104 should be your first stop for direction. In addition to the center, the VA has provided a variety of resources for students to make the best decision about their options.  Remember, the Post 9/11 GI Bill is not for everyone, and for some students the Montgomery GI Bill may provide them with more benefits. You should read the information posted on the GI Bill website at http://www.gibill.va.gov 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 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