US Veterans Affairs benefits

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs will pay an eligible student education benefits for the pursuit of an approved program of education or training. An approved program is a course of study or a program of training which has been determined by the Department of Veteran Affairs as meeting the legal requirements for payment of educational assistance benefits to veterans and other eligible persons.

Students may receive benefits from only one Veterans Affairs (VA) educational chapter at a time, although they may have eligibility under more than one chapter. Each VA education program has distinct eligibility requirements under specific chapters of Title 38, U.S. Code (USC).

Types of benefits

For more information, log into the GI Bill website or refer to the brochures linked below.

  • Post 9/11 GI Bill Chapter 33The Post 9/11 GI Bill is an education benefit program for individuals who served on active duty on or after September 11, 2001. 
  • Montgomery GI Bill Chapter 30 (PDF, 5.59MB)Individuals who entered active duty after July 1984, and participated in the pay reduction program and served honourably for two years or more are eligible.
  • GI Bill for Dependents Chapter 35 (PDF, 503KB)A child or spouse of a service-connected deceased or 100 per cent disabled veteran may be eligible for veteran educational benefits. 
  • Montgomery GI Bill for Reservists Chapter 1606 (PDF, 359KB)An individual who enlisted, re-enlisted, or extended an enlistment in the Selected Reserve or National Guard for a period of 6 years after July 1, 1985, and has completed the initial active duty training is eligible for veteran benefits.
  • Montgomery GI Bill for Reservists Chapter 1607 (PDF, 1.8MB)REAP is a new benefit providing educational assistance to members of the reserve components - Selected Reserve (Sel Res) and Individual Ready Reserve (IRR) - who are called or ordered to active service in response to a war or national emergency, as declared by the President or Congress.

How to apply

There are a number of ways students can apply for Veteran's Affairs Benefits. Information can be found on the Department's website.

If you receive Veterans educational assistance, you are required by law (38 U.S.C., 1775 and 1776) to provide official transcripts of prior education, training and experience at the time you enrol.

An evaluation of your prior education and training will be undertaken to determine if any units you completed at other institutions or awarded to you as a result of your military service can be applied to your proposed degree program and therefore decrease your course duration.

Eligibility

The U.S.Department of Veterans Affairs is the only organisation authorised to determine your eligibility. If you have specific questions regarding your eligibility they should be directed to the Buffalo VA Regional Office (foreign students may dial 1 to be placed at the head of the queue).

The ANU programs currently certified as eligible by the Department of Veterans Affairs are:

  • Doctor of Philosophy - National Security College
  • Master of Arts (Arab & Islamic Studies)
  • Master of Archaeological Science
  • Master of Asia-Pacific Studies
  • Master of Diplomacy/Master of International Affairs
  • Master of History
  • Master of International Relations
  • Master of Management
  • Master of Middle Eastern and Central Asian Studies
  • Master of Photonics
  • Master of Project Management
  • Master of Strategic Studies
  • Bachelor of International Security Studies
  • Bachelor of Science
  • Bachelor of Visual Arts

When you apply you will need to determine if your program of education is approved for Veteran Affairs benefits. If the program of education you intend to pursue has not yet been approved for Veteran Affairs benefits, you should contact the Academic Standards and Quality Office for advice. Please note that some programs provided by ANU will not be approved by the Department of Veterans Affairs. For example, a Graduate Certificate program is not the equivalent of a standard US college degree and is therefore not an eligible program.

Student responsibilities

Students receiving a US Veterans Affairs benefit must be aware of the following responsibilities.

Change of enrolment status

It is your responsibility to notify the VA Certifying Official if you reduce your hours of enrolment by withdrawing from a unit, terminating your enrolment, or making any other changes that would affect your payment status. If you withdraw or drop a unit, you may have to repay all or part of the benefits you received for the unit(s).

A withdrawal from the University or a course drop may result in retroactive loss of benefits. The reduction in training time reverts back to the beginning date of enrolment for that semester unless VA finds mitigating circumstances in the case of withdrawals and drops. VA benefit recipients who drop or withdraw will be responsible for providing any documentation of mitigating circumstances to the VA. Failure to notify your VA Certifying Official of changes in enrolment may result in an overpayment of benefits. The Department of Veterans Affairs determines and collects overpayments from you.

Change of address

It is the responsibility of the student to update any change of address through ISIS, you are also required to mail a change of address form (PDF 1,218KB) to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Incomplete grades

A not available, deferred or supplementary assessment(s) grade for both undergraduate and graduate students must be converted to a permanent grade within one year from the date it is assigned or benefits for that course will be terminated which may result in an overpayment liability. Graduate research courses are excluded from this provision.

Repeating a subject

The Department of Veterans Affairs will not pay you to repeat a course(s) for which you have received a passing grade (P or higher), whether the course was taken at the Australian National University or at another institution of higher learning. It is your responsibility to notify your VA Certifying Official if you are repeating a course under approved circumstances. If proper notification is not provided, an overpayment may occur and you will be held liable for repayment.

Non-required subjects

VA education benefits may not be paid for subjects not required to meet minimum graduation requirements (even if your instructor advises it would be beneficial for you to take the class).

ANU responsibilities

The University is required to meet the following responsibilities:

  • keep VA informed of the enrolment status of veterans and other eligible persons by reporting tuition, fees, enrolment dates, term dates etc.
  • report all enrolments and changes within 30 days, report one term at a time
  • monitor the subjects pursued by a student to certify to VA only those subjects that apply to the student's program
  • monitor student's grades to ensure (s)he is making satisfactory progress; report unsatisfactory progress
  • monitor student's conduct and report when student is suspended or dismissed for unsatisfactory conduct
  • keep up-to-date on current VA rules and benefits
  • maintaining records of VA students and make these records available for inspection when requested by VA
  • report Graduation & course completion to VA.