GI Bill Quick Tips

GI Bill

Use the following quick tips to help you navigate registration, maintain your enrollment status, and choose courses that bring you closer to your academic goals. learn how to avoid common GI Bill pitfalls so you can make the most of your educational benefits.

GI Bill is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

Register on Time and Submit Certification Paperwork

By registering on your assigned date and time, you increase your chances of getting the classes you need.

Submit certification paperwork to the Veterans Office as soon as you enroll into classes. Military-affiliated students utilizing VA Educational Benefits besides Ch 33 (Post 9/11) and CH 31 (VR&E) will need to pay for their classes before certification can take place.

Determine Your Enrollment Status

Your educational benefits are based on a combination of the number of units taken within a semester, as well as the start/end date of each class. Please use the following chart to determine your enrollment status.

Term Full Time 3/4 Time 1/2 Time
Fall and Spring 12+ units 9 to 11.5 units 6 to 8.5 units
Summer (8-week) 6+ units 4 to 5.5 units 3 to 3.5 units
Summer (6-week) 4+ units 3 to 3.5 units 2 to 2.5 units
Summer (4-week) 3+ units 2 to 3.5 units N/A

Know Your Responsibility

Veteran students assume full liability for any overpayment of veteran's benefits. You will need to report to the Veterans Service Office after registering for, or dropping / withdrawing from a class.

To prevent the possibility of receiving an erroneous DVA educational benefits check, promptly report any changes made to your enrollment to the Veterans Service Office. Any withdrawal or failure to attend class may result in an adjustment to your award, which may result in debt to the US government, including interest.

When Taking Classes at Another Institution

While receiving VA educational benefits, you may be concurrently enrolled at more than one school during the same semester. Whichever school you are pursuing a degree from will be considered the Parent School. You must pick up a Veterans Affairs Parent School Letter from the VA Certifying Official, or an authorization letter from the advisor at your Parent School. This form states that the courses taken at the Supplemental School will be credited toward the current major you are pursuing. You will be responsible for informing the Supplemental School's Veterans' Office where your Parent School is located. The Supplemental School will complete the certification for the benefits form (VA form 22-1999) and send it to the Parent School.

Use Direct Deposit

Direct deposit of VA educational benefits payment is now available for Chapter 13, 30, 33, 35, VRAP recipients. This program speeds up education and work study payments. It also decreases the chance of missing, lost, or stolen checks. Eligible students may request direct deposit through the VA by calling the VA at: 1-800-827-1000. You will need to provide your VA file number, bank routing number, and checking/savings account number.

Receive Tutoring Assistance

You may qualify to receive assistance from the VA for individual tutoring. To qualify, you must be enrolled in 1/2 time or more and exhibit a need for tutoring assistance in a subject which you are currently drawing VA educational benefits for. If eligible for tutoring benefits, you may receive up to $1,200 maximum. For further information and to apply for tutoring assistance, contact your Certifying Official.

Free tutoring is available in the Learning Resource Center (LRC) and Veterans Success Center (VSC).

Estimate Your Monthly Housing Allowance

Use the following tool to estimate your BAH rates to offset the cost of housing.

GI Bill® Comparison Tool

In order to be eligible for the full MHA for San Diego, you need to be a full time student, and at least one of our classes needs to meet the in-person requirement for the VA. Note: Any class listed in our Class Search as "On Campus" or "Partially Online" will meet that requirement.

In order to be eligible for any MHA, students need to have a Rate of Pursuit greater than 50%. Note: That means a minimum of 7 units for the Fall and Spring Semester, and 4 units for the Summer Semester.

Monthly Enrollment Verification

Enrollment verification is a requirement for Post 9/11 GI Bill students to verify that they have remained enrolled in the same courses or training each month. Students who receive MHA/kicker payments will have their payments withheld if they fail to verify or report that they are no longer enrolled in their courses or training. To streamline the process, the VA is providing the options to verify enrollment easily and securely via text message, email, and online at

If you need to verify your enrollment and are looking for instructions on how to do it, check out the How to Verify Enrollment for Post-9/11 GI Bill Students video

Maximizing Your CH 31 (VR&E) Benefits

Did you know that your CH 31 Benefits covers your books, fees, and parking pass? Make sure that the Veterans Office has an updated Purchase Order Number (PO#) for you on file so that you can pick up your books at the Bookstore or your parking pass at Student Accounting.

Receive Advanced Payment

Returning students who have been out of school for over 30 days and new students may choose to receive Advanced Payment. This must be done no later than 30 days prior to the beginning of the semester. Check with your Certifying Official for requirements, and dates in which to apply for Advance Pay.

When Taking Short-Term Classes

When registering for classes, be sure to keep in mind short-term classes may affect your BAH. When looking for classes on the online class schedule look at the start and end dates. For more information on short-term classes please contact your Certifying Official.

When Taking Online Classes

If you are only enrolled in online classes, you will only be eligible for 50% of the national average of the Monthly Housing Allowance.

In order to be eligible for any MHA, students need to have a Rate of Pursuit greater than 50%. Note: That means a minimum of 7 units for the Fall and Spring Semester, and 4 units for the Summer Semester.

Take Classes That Apply to Your Major

VA will only authorize payment for the minimum required classes that are part of your major. So if you already completed the course once, VA will not authorize payment for that class. Please refer to your educational plan when registering for classes and contact a counselor if you have questions regarding your ed plan.

Maintain Your Contact Information

Ensure your contact information is always updated with the college Veterans Affairs Office. View and update your information through your student portal.