GI Bill® FAQ

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) makes all determinations for which an individual qualifies. To determine what chapter you qualify for you must apply for educational benefits with the VA.

Your enrollment can be verified starting on the last calendar day of the month by using the Web Automated Verification of Enrollment (WAVE) or by calling the toll-free Interactive Voice Response (IVR) telephone line at (877) 823-2378. If you are receiving benefits under DEA (Chapter 35) or VEAP (CHAPTER 32) you do NOT need to verify your attendance in this manner.

You may contact the VA through its website or by calling toll-free (888) GIBILL-1.

If you have misplaced or lost your original DD214 or would like to obtain or amend a copy of your military service record you may request another copy from the National Archive and Records Administration .

16-week day session: 12 credit hours per semester

8-week undergraduate session: 6 credit hours per session

8-week graduate session: 3 credit hours per session

The DOD provides the VA with kicker-eligibility information. Because this information can be delayed students with kickers can send the VA a copy of their kicker contract with their application for benefits to help speed the payment of this additional benefit. Kicker contracts should not be submitted to school-certifying officials.

Columbia College does not participate in the Advance Payment program.

The Department of Veterans Affairs will only pay benefits for enrollments that are required for you to make progress toward your educational goal. Prior to certification the Certifying Official will verify that your courses apply towards your degree program. Courses that are not required in your major program cannot be certified.

Eligible main campus (Day and Evening) students have the opportunity to apply for available VA work-study positions. Applications for student employment are available online.

Nationwide campus students should contact their local campus to check the availability of the Work-Study Allowance Program.

If you fail a class the VA does not automatically require repayment.

  • The VA requires that you maintain academic progress.
  • If you fail a class the VA will pay for you to repeat the class one time.
  • If you fail a class due to lack of attendance your last date of attendance will be reported to the VA.
  • The VA will not pay benefits for a class you did not attend.

Yes. Columbia College does allow students using VA education benefits to defer tuition payment until the end of the term. Students should contact their local campus for additional information.

If you drop a course prior to the start of the session the funds are returned to the VA. 

If you drop a course after the session has started the funds are returned to you. The VA will recoup the funds directly from you.

The regulations of the Post-9/11 Veterans Education Assistance Improvement Act of 2010 require the school to certify only the net cost when reporting tuition and fees for Chapter 33. Net cost is defined by the VA as the remaining tuition balance after the application of any waiver of or reduction in tuition and fees; any scholarship; or other federal state institutional or employer-based aid or assistance (excluding loans and Title IV aid) that is provided directly to the institution and specifically designated for the sole purpose of defraying tuition and fees.

Students should contact a Veterans Certifying Official at (573) 875-7252, or (800) 231-2391, ext. 7252, or e-mail

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