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VA Benefit Overview

Students in approved programs at Northwestern University may use any VA educational benefit toward the cost of their program. Students should check with their respective program to verify its eligibility to participate in VA program benefits.

VA Educational Benefits include, but are not limited to:

  • The Post 9-11 GI Bill®/Yellow Ribbon Program (Chapter 33)
  • The Montgomery GI Bill-Active Duty (Chapter 30)
  • The Montgomery GI Bill-Reserves (Chapter 1606)
  • Reserve Educational Assistance Program (REAP) (Chapter 1607)
  • Vocational Rehabilitation (Chapter 31)

VA Educational Benefits do not include the Illinois Veteran Grant or Tuition Assistance issued through the Department of Defense.

To determine which VA educational benefit is best for you and to determine your eligibility for educational programs through the US Department of Veterans Affairs, Veterans and active duty military members should contact the GI Bill hotline at 1-888-GIBILL1 (1-888-442-4551) to speak with a VA counselor and visit the VA website.

Students must complete the 22-1990 form (application for VA educational benefits) or the 22-1995 form (request for change of program or place of training for VA educational benefits) through VA listing Northwestern University as their place of study.

Once a student has submitted the appropriate application through VA and has received his/her certificate of eligibility (COE), he/she should submit a copy of the COE to the program Registrar and their financial aid office so his/her enrollment may be verified with VA.

Students are responsible for completing any necessary steps as directed by VA to ensure that Northwestern receives the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill tuition payment and the VA’s portion of the Yellow Ribbon payment. Please refer to the Certificate of Eligibility or call 1-888-GIBILL1 (442-4551) to verify that you have completed all necessary steps with the VA.

VA Pending Payments

In accordance with the Veterans Benefits and Transition Act of 2018 - Title 38 US Code 3679 subsection (e), Northwestern employs the following provisions for any students using U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Post 9/11 G.I. Bill (Ch. 33) or Vocational Rehabilitation & Employment (Ch. 31) benefits, while payment to the institution is pending from the VA. The University will not:

  • Prevent the student’s enrollment due to a pending VA payment;
  • Assess a late penalty fee to the student due to a pending VA payment;
  • Require the student to secure alternative or additional funding in place of the VA payment;
  • Deny the student access to any resources (access to classes, libraries, or other institutional facilities) available to other students who have satisfied their tuition and fee bills to the institution.

 However, to qualify for this provision, such students may be required to:

  • Produce the VA Certificate of Eligibility (COE) by the first day of class;
  • Provide a written request to be certified;
  • Provide additional information needed to properly certify the enrollment as described in other institutional policies

Post 9-11 GI Bill VA Benefits-Tuition and Mandatory Fees

For all students who are eligible for the post 9-11 GI Bill® VA Benefits on or after August 1, 2018, the maximum Post 9-11 GI Bill benefit amount awarded (tuition and fees) is based on:

  • An annual maximum of $25,162.14 per student for tuition and fees in the 2020-21 academic year (August 1, 2020-July 31, 2021). The annual maximum amount for the 2019-20 academic year is $24,476.79.
  • The student’s percentage of eligibility as reported on the Certificate of Eligibility as issued by VA
  • The student's receipt of non-federal financial aid (see below)
  • The student's enrollment/courseload (full vs. part-time)
  • Whether the student is taking courses on campus or online

Once certification has been submitted to VA by Northwestern's certifying official, payment will be issued after U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs processes the student's enrollment certification. Processing times will vary. For information on when payments will be issued, Veterans must contact the GI Bill hotline at 888-GIBILL1 (1-888-442-4551).

  • Living expense stipends will be issued directly to the Veteran by the VA on a monthly basis. Living stipends are not available for students on active duty or students who are enrolled less than half-time.
  • Book and supply stipends will be issued directly to the student by the VA each academic term (semester, trimester, quarter, etc).
  • Tuition and fees payments will be issued directly to Northwestern by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and will be credited to the student account. The amount of tuition and fees that will be paid is determined by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and may not cover the full cost of tuition and fees.
    • Northwestern will place an "anticipated credit" on your student account for the portion of the tuition and fees benefit that is expected from the VA until tuition and fee payments are received. This means that students will not be required to front the money expected from the VA and will not be issued late fees on their student account for the amount expected by VA.
    • The anticipated credit is an estimate of what the will send toward a student's tuition and fees based on the Certificate of Eligibility and enrollment for the academic term. If the actual payment received by VA is less than what was estimated for the anticipated credit, the student will be responsible for paying the difference out of pocket or through pursuing other financing options.
    • Yellow Ribbon payments from U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (if the student is eligible) will be issued directly to Northwestern through the student account.
    • The Yellow Ribbon match provided by Northwestern (if the student is eligible) will be credited to the student account at the same time the VA Yellow Ribbon payment is credited.

VA Educational Benefits and Financial Aid

Veterans may apply for financial aid in addition to their VA benefits. Receipt of federal aid will not reduce a Veteran's eligibility for VA educational benefits.

Federal (Title IV) aid includes:

  • Federal Direct (Stafford) Loan
  • Federal Graduate PLUS Loan
  • Federal Pell Grant
  • Federal SMART Grant
  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)

VA benefits will not reduce a student's eligibility for federal aid though it is recommended that Veterans take into account the amount of funding they receive from the VA when accepting or declining their federal loan assistance. Veterans may contact an advisor in the Office of Financial Aid if they need assistance in determining the amount of loan funding they should accept or decline.

Non-Federal (Title IV) Aid

Non-federal assistance may or may not impact VA benefits. Please be sure to reach out to the appropriate financial aid contact to determine the impact of any other tuition benefit, outside scholarship or state grant you may be receiving.

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 www.benefits.va.gov/gibill