BU will not be administering new Veteran Affairs funding applications after the September 2022 intake.
BU students who are currently receiving VA funding and new applicants for the September 2022 intake will continue to receive administration of their funding for the full duration of their current course.
Covid-19 information affecting Education Benefits for students
As you may be aware, special Covid-19 rules impacting your Post-9/11 GI Bill® benefits have been extended to June 01, 2022. Among other things, these rules mean that if you pursue resident (physically in person) courses converted to online solely due to Covid-19 at a rate of pursuit more than 50%, you will continue to receive the Monthly Housing Allowance (MHA) rate for resident training.
To help you better understand these rules and find answers to many of your questions, please see the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) recently updated Student Covid-19 FAQs. If you have specific questions around enrolment or classes, please reach out to me or call VA’s GI Bill hotline at 888-442-4551.
Veterans Affairs (VA) Educational Funding is a benefit paid to former US service personnel to fund their education or the education of a close family member.
As a US Veteran, you can use your Chapter 33 (post-9/11 GI Bill) and Chapter 35 benefits to fund your studies at BU.
BU has been approved to process VA benefits with the US Department of Veterans Affairs. However, we are unable to process the Yellow Ribbon Benefits Program.
Important: Please read carefully all the information below before you start the VA application process.
- Distance or online learning are not eligible for VA funding at foreign schools outside of the US. Please see above for Covid-19 exemptions until June 2022.
- Programmes which require completion of practical training are not approved for the use of VA education benefits.
- VA education benefits cannot be used for participation in student exchange arrangements.
- VA education benefits cannot be used for participation in study abroad arrangements.
Who is eligible for VA Educational Funding?
To apply for VA benefits, you must be one of the following:
- US Veteran
- US Veteran’s dependent
- The surviving spouse, child or parent of a deceased veteran
- Uniformed service member
- Present or former reservist or National Guard member.
Please contact the US Department of Veterans Affairs directly to find out if you are eligible. We are unable to assess your eligibility for this benefit.
BU courses approved by the US Department of Veterans Affairs
In order to receive funding for overseas study, the course you are applying for needs to be approved by the US Department of Veterans Affairs.
BU already has several courses that have been approved by the department. They are:
- BA (Hons) Film Production & Cinematography
- BSc (Hons) Forensic Investigation
- BSc (Hons) Forensic Science
- BSc (Hons) Games Design
- MA 3D Computer Animation
- MA Multimedia Journalism
- MA Producing Film & Television
- MA Social Work
- MBA Master of Business Administration
- MSc Bioarchaeology
- MSc Clinical and Developmental Neuropsychology
- MSc Cyber Security & Human Factors
- MSc Innovation Management & Entrepreneurship
- MSc Maritime Archaeology
- MSc Marketing Management
What to do if the course you want to study is not listed above
If the course you want to study is not one of those listed above, you must:
- Apply for your BU course
- Once you have your unconditional offer from BU, contact the Federal Aid Administrator at BU to provide your:
- full name and family name
- Social Security Number (SSN)
- date of birth
- Chapter of Benefits
- full US address
- BU student reference number (starting with 5)
- We will then contact the Department of Veterans Affairs to register your course for approval. The approval process can take several weeks, so it is important that you contact us as soon as you receive your unconditional offer letter to get the process started. To be eligible, a course must be on-campus only: distance learning, online or independent study courses at foreign schools are NOT eligible for this funding. Please see above for Covid-19 exemptions until June 2022.
How to apply for VA benefits
Before you can begin the application process
- you must confirm your own eligibility for VA funding
- your course must be approved by VA (see list above).
You then need to follow these steps:
- Review the VA Get started decision making tools page
- Submit your application online via the US Department of Veterans Affairs or request a paper form by calling 1-888-442-4551. If you are approved, VA will send you a Certificate of Eligibility Letter.
- If you intend to pay for your tuition fees with VA funding, you MUST email [email protected] with all of the following:
- scanned copy of your Certificate of Eligibility Letter
- official proof of how much of your VA funding you have used to date: a screenshot from the VA website showing your individual entitlement is sufficient
- confirm any previous period when you have received VA funding
- your full name (first, middle and last name)
- your Social Security Number (SSN)
- your date of birth
- your Chapter of Benefits
- your full US address
- your BU student reference number (starting with 5)
- If the above information is considered enough evidence of sponsorship, we will be able to certify your enrolment at BU with the US Department of Veterans Affairs. Without this, your benefits will not be released.
- Please note:
- It’s very important that you contact us as soon as your Certificate of Eligibility letter is sent out, as the US Department of Veterans Affairs will not inform BU that you have applied for your VA benefits.
- We are unable to certify any student enrolment earlier than 120 days before the course start date
- We are responsible for promptly informing VA of any change in a student enrolment due to unsatisfactory academic progress, conduct or attendance.
How and when will you receive your funds?
Your tuition fee payments will be made directly to BU by the US Department of Veterans Affairs after BU has submitted your termly enrolment certificate.
The US Department of Veterans Affairs can only pay your maintenance benefits into your US bank account. It will be your responsibility to transfer them to your UK bank account so that you can access them.
- Institutions located outside the United States must report tuition to VA in the currency used when tuition is charged to students. Once tuition is reported to VA, VA will convert the tuition amount into US$ using the Federal Reserve foreign exchange conversion rate effective on July 1 prior to the beginning of the start date of the enrolment period.
Example: For a student’s enrolment period of January 15, 2021-May 25, 2021, the exchange rate from July 1, 2020 will be used to convert the local currency into United States dollars.
- After VA issues payments to the school based on their exchange rate and all applicable benefit payment limitations, the remaining amount due to the school is the responsibility of the student. If an overpayment results from the payment issued by VA, the school must refund the excess amount to the student.
- The US Department of Veterans Affairs does not provide a timeframe of when students will receive their funding once the enrolment certificate has been submitted. Due to data protection laws, VA will never share your funding details with BU. We will not, therefore, be able to assist if you have specific queries about your funding. If you have any questions about the payment of your benefits, you must contact the US Department of Veterans Affairs directly.
- Because we cannot guarantee that your tuition fees will be paid in part or in whole by the US Department of Veterans Affairs, you must have sufficient funds to cover any shortfall between the funding you receive and the tuition fees you are expected to pay.
- You will also need to have sufficient funds to cover the cost of your tuition fees and living expenses in the UK to apply for a Student visa with the UKVI. Your VA funding will not be accepted as proof that you can financially support yourself during your time in the UK.