First Time Using Post 9/11 GI Bill...Having Problems
September 19, 2016 7:19 PM   Subscribe

Does anyone know or have experience using the GI Bill? Especially regarding payment obligations to the university? Do I ever have to pay up front?

Just shipped my son off to CSUEB in the Bay Area and my wife and I are getting conflicting info from the school and campus VA office regarding payment, deferment, or generally how this usually goes down.

The school is demanding payment, and the VA office isn't answering any questions definitively. We're very worried that our freshman son may have a bad experience. That may sound "precious", but he's a very serious math/science guy and not the one to go to the VA office to demand answers. (They won't answer us because we're not the student.)

Please let us know about your experiences and if we should pony up now an expect compensation later.

Many thanks in advance!
posted by snsranch to Education (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Yes, message me your specifics if you need details. I handled this professionally. Generally, the VA office gives a deferment letter that you take to the bursar.
posted by corb at 7:22 PM on September 19, 2016 [4 favorites]

corb is probably your gal for this, but in my experience, the student shouldn't have to pay out-of-pocket for federal GI bill tuition that he's entitled to.

"Shouldn't" because the communication from the registar to the VA to accounting is not great at every school, and the VA needs to confirm that the student is registered in appropriate courses before providing documentation back to the school that tuition will be covered.

"that he's entitled to" because it seems possible that your son qualifies for less than 100% of the maximum Federal benefit, especially if he's a freshman. But, I did just take a peek at your question history and....

My info is based on a particular soldier I know who did his 36 months of active duty and then took advantage of GI bill money for college. I'm guessing though this that is a case of you transferring your GI bill benefits to your son. I admit that I have zero idea how that affects anything (in a reasonable world, it wouldn't, but this is the VA).

Anyways, I encourage you to push your son to take a more active role in this. Regardless of how he has access to GI bill funds, it is his benefit and he needs to have agency in how that gets managed, especially if the VA won't talk to you.
posted by sparklemotion at 7:46 PM on September 19, 2016 [4 favorites]

Oh, also: is your son the veteran, or is he using one of your benefits?
posted by corb at 10:12 PM on September 19, 2016

Most registrar's offices have someone assigned to handle these matters. Ask about their process and what documentation they need. Do not pay. You can ask about process just don't get all student-specific.
posted by childofTethys at 5:11 AM on September 20, 2016 [1 favorite]

Hey, thanks folks! This is turning out to be less of a crisis than I thought. This is one of those things that is best taken care of face to face and my kid is now visiting the VA office, housing etc. and is getting it squared away. His mom and I were a little stressed and worried for him, but he's nailing it.

Thanks again!!!
posted by snsranch at 4:49 PM on September 20, 2016 [2 favorites]

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