How do I apply for the GI Bill?

The first step is to complete the application VA Form 22-1990 or VA Form 22-5490. This form is available online or through your VA counselor. Once completed, submit this form to the VA regional office via fax, mail or electronically. Some supporting forms may be required to complete the application. (e.g. DD-214, N.O.B.E., proof of $600 kicker). Once you have submitted your application, you will receive correspondence from the VA about your approval or rejection as well as entitlement details. When applying for your GI Bill benefits online, please use this as the school mailing address.

What do I need to do to get my benefits started?

Students need to contact the Nicholls State University Office of Veterans Services in person or telephone to request processing of enrollment certifications. By contacting the VA Counselor each semester, students will provide our office with current information regarding addresses, degree objectives, etc.

I just transferred from another school. What do I need to do to get my benefits?

You will need to complete a request for certification as well as a VA-22-1995 or VA-22-5495 depending on your VA chapter type. Also, a recent award letter would be helpful, but is not required. This form can be found here or at the VA Counselor’s office.

What do I do after I apply for the GI Bill?

Please bring a copy of the application (VA Form 22-1990 or VA Form 22-5490) or letter of acceptance to the VA counselor for file purposes. Once you have your finalized class schedule, fill out a request for certification and return it to the VA counselor. However, please make sure you are aware of the “You Register, You Owe” policy.

Is there a form that I need to fill out each semester?

Yes. Each semester you will need to complete and sign a request for certification form and return it to the VA counselor’s office. This form is used to submit a VA-22-1999 form to the VA. It also gives the VA counselor permission to discuss and release your information to your academic advisor and/or fee collection when needed.

Do I need to call the VA each month?

If you are a veteran receiving chapter 30, 1606 or 1607 benefits, please call 1-877-823-2378 or go online to here verify your attendance each month. This verification can be completed as early as the last calendar day of each month.

What happens when I withdraw from a course(s) or resign?

The VA will reduce the student’s rate of pay if this withdrawal changes the student’s enrollment status. If the withdrawal occurs during the drop/add period, as defined by the VA, an adjustment is made on the rate of pay. If the withdrawal occurs after the drop/add period, the reduction may create an overpayment, unless there are mitigating circumstances.

When will I get paid?

Normally, your payments will come at the beginning of the month; however, in some cases, this may be delayed due to processing. Also, if you are applying for the first time, it can take a few weeks for the VA to process your application. You will receive payments for the full semester; however, those payments may be delayed. If you have questions regarding the amount or time of payments, please call the toll free number at 1-888-442-4551.

How much will I get paid?

This differs depending on what chapter of VA benefits you are receiving and how many hours you are taking. The GI bill will pay different rates for full time, ¾ time, ½ time or less than ½ time. Also, these rates get adjusted from time to time. The updated rates are available online here.

What is considered full time, ¾ time, ½ time or ¼ time?

Full Time = 12+ hours
¾ Time = 9-11 hours
½ Time = 6-8 hours
Less than ½ time = 4-5 hours
Less than ¼ time = 1-3 hours

Can I get my payments accelerated?

At this time Nicholls State University has not adopted the accelerated payment option.

What courses will the VA pay for?

The VA will NOT pay for courses that are not required in the student’s degree plan. If students wish to take courses that are not required, we will certify only the required courses. It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that the courses apply toward their degrees.

Does the VA pay for repeated courses?

The VA will pay for repeated courses as long as they are required and the grades previously earned do not meet degree requirements. Enrolling again in a course from which a student withdrew is not considered a repeated course.

Does the VA pay for remedial courses?

The VA will pay for a remedial course if the student has a deficiency in the subject. The VA will not pay for refresher courses.

What do I do if I change my major?

Please contact the VA Counselor, as this may cause your enrollment certification to change. You need to complete a VA 22-1995 (for veterans) or a VA 22-5495 (for dependents) with the VA counselor.

Can I have a double major or a minor?

No. The VA will only pay for one major and does not pay for a minor. If you wish to do this, you will be responsible for the classes.

Can I change my major in the middle of the semester?

If you change your major in the middle of the semester, your classes will need to be re-approved. If not approved, any money you have received from the beginning of the semester, including book stipend and tuition and fees for Chapter 33 Post 9/11, will have to be returned to the VA. If you must change your major, please try to change it at the very end of the semester or before the beginning of the next semester. When you change your major, you need to complete a VA 22-1995 (for veterans) or a VA 22-5495 (for dependents) and give it to the VA counselor.

I am taking a class for another major or for fun. Will the GI Bill pay for it?

No. The VA will only pay for classes that count towards your degree. If a class is not on your degree plan, it will not be certified. Prerequisites and developmental courses will be accepted.

I don’t have enough classes required for my major to make me full time. What do I do?

The VA will only pay for courses that count towards your degree plan. Just because you have 12 hours does not mean that those 12 hours will all be certified. If 9 hours count towards your degree, 9 hours will be certified. Only during your last semester the VA will pay for extra courses as long as one class counts toward your degree plan.

What will happen if I drop a class?

If you drop a class, please contact the VA counselor. This will need to be reported to the Department Veterans Affairs, and they will contact you concerning the change. However, it will only be reported if your status changes. Also, if you are receiving Chapter 33 Post 9/11, it will be reported to the VA.

Does the GI Bill make a payment for my tuition and fees?

Only for those receiving Chapter 33 Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits. Those who receive any other benefits, no. You are expected to make payments before the fee deadline or pay late fees. Please remember the “You Register, You Owe” policy.

Financial aid is asking for proof that I received the GI Bill. What do I do?

Call 1-888-GIBILL1 (1-888-442-4551). They will be able to send the required form to you. The VA counselor does not write these letters.

I’m in the National Guard. How do I get my tuition exemption?

Tuition exemption is NOT a GI bill program. This is a state program for the Louisiana National Guard. To use this benefit you must contact your unit and notify them to send the proper paperwork to the Nicholls Fee Collections Office. The VA counselor does NOT handle this program. You can call Sgt. Carter at 225-255-8304 to have your information sent to the Nicholls Fee Collections Office.

I’m the dependent of a veteran. What do I need to do to get tuition exemption?

This is NOT a GI bill benefit. Instead, this is a Louisiana Department of Veteran Affairs program that entitles some dependents of disabled or deceased veterans to receive tuition and fee exemption. For more information on this program, contact the Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs or your local VA representative in your community to apply for the State Tuition Exemption fee certificate. Once you receive it, please provide a copy of it to the school VA certifying official. The Nicholls Fee Collections Office needs the original certificate in order to process the exemption after registering your classes, but before the fee deadline. This certificate does NOT cover all tuition and fees. For information regarding what is covered, please contact Melissa Rivere in Fee Collections.