Basic Information & FAQs

VETERANS BENEFITS AND TRANSITION ACT OF 2018

In accordance with Title 38 US Code 3679 subsection (e), Columbia University adopts the following additional provisions for any students using U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Post 9/11 G.I. Bill (Ch. 33) or Veterans Readiness and Employment (Ch.31) benefits, while payment to the institution is pending from the VA. Columbia will not:

 

  • Prevent nor delay the student's enrollment;
  • Assess a late penalty fee to the student;
  • Require the student to secure alternative or additional funding;
  • Deny the student access to any resources available to other students who have satisfied their tuition and fee bills to the institution, including but not limited to access to classes, libraries, or other institutional facilities.

However, to qualify for this provision, such students may be required to:

  • Produce the Certificate of Eligibility by the first day of class;
  • Provide written request to be certified;
  • Provide additional information needed to properly certify the enrollment as described in other institutional policies.

UPDATE YOUR DIRECT DEPOSIT / ADDRESS INFO WITH THE VA

Call the VA direct deposit center at 1-877-838-2778 to begin and change direct deposit information.

 

VETERAN READINESS AND EMPLOYMENT (VRE) CHAPTER 31 BENEFITS

If you have a service-connected disability that limits your ability to work or prevents you from working, Veteran Readiness and Employment (formerly called Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment) can help. This program—also known as Chapter 31 or VR&E—helps you explore employment options and address training needs. In some cases, your family members may also qualify for certain benefits.

If I’m a Veteran, am I eligible for Veteran Readiness and Employment?

You may be eligible for VR&E benefits and services if you’re a Veteran, and you meet all of the requirements listed below.

All of these must be true. You:

  • Didn’t receive a dishonorable discharge, and
  • Have a service-connected disability rating of at least 10% from VA, and
  • Apply for VR&E services

 

ACTIVE DUTY EDUCATION BENEFITS

Generally, active duty service members are eligible for Ch. 33 benefits if they have completed 90 days of aggregate service. Most active duty service members are also eligible for up to 100% Armed Forces Tuition Assistance for courses taken during off-duty hours. For more information, please visit Military.com’s useful summary page.

 

Department of Defense (DOD) recently changed its policy and now allows a reservist to receive both Tuition Assistance and Chapter 1606 benefits at the same time for the same course if enrolled half-time or more.

 

Effective August 1,2022 Actice Duty servicemembers eligible for the yellow ribbon program.

 

COLUMBIA'S VA CERTIFYING OFFICIAL

Columbia's VA Certifying Officials are  Anne Marie Kromidas and Marion Concilio, who can be reached at (212) 854-3161 or [email protected].

 

To provide your documentation to Columbia's VA Certifying Officer, submit your Certificate of Eligibility via email to [email protected].  However, you may also mail, hand deliver, or fax your certificate of eligibility to the following contact information:

For Morningside Campus schools:
In person: 206 Kent Hall
By mail: Attn: VA Certifying Official, 206 Kent Hall, MC 9203, 1140 Amsterdam Ave., New York, NY 10027
Via fax: Attn: VA Certifying Official, 212-854-2818

For School of General Studies:

Contact: Tessie Scroggins and Christopher Connelly
In person: 408 Lewisohn Hall

By mail: Attn: VA Certifying Official, 408 Lewisohn Hall, MC 4101, New York, NY 10027

Via fax: Attn: VA Certifying Official, 212-854-6316

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Are there any financial benefits offered by New York State?

New York's Veterans Tuition Award offers a small contribution towards Columbia tuition to eligible veterans attending a degree-granting program in New York State.

New York's Recruitment Incentive and Retention Program offers a tuition benefit for eligible members of the New York National Guard.

 

I am eligible for a federal Pell Grant. How does this affect my VA benefits?

Pell Grants are not affected by the Post-9/11 VA benefit eligibility. If you are a Pell Grant recipient, the Post-9/11 VA benefits you receive will not count against your aid eligibility. In general, students will be able to keep their Pell grants even if they are receiving Post-9/11 benefits. For further questions, you should check with your school's financial aid office or the office of Student Financial Planning.

 

How do I find out which VA benefits I am eligible for?

Please consult the GI Bill ® website of the VA and apply using the VA’s online website Vet.gov

 

Are there benefits for dependents of Vietnam veterans?

There are two federal programs that may be available for dependents of Vietnam veterans: VEAP and the Survivors and Dependents benefits.  You can learn more about both benefits the VA Educational Benefits website.

 

Do I need enrollment certification from Columbia to get my certificate of eligibility from the VA?

You will not need an enrollment certification from Columbia in order to get your certificate of eligibility, but you will need to have your enrollment certified in order to have your payments processed. To request a certificate of eligibility, visit www.gibill.va.gov.

 

Do I need to give my VA certificate of eligibility to anyone other than Columbia’s VA Certifying Official?

No.

 

How will the tuition payments work? Will I need to pay anything upfront? What happens if the VA payments don't come through?

For the Post-9/11 GI Bill ®, the Department of Veterans Affairs will process payments directly to Columbia University. You will need to ensure that all documentation is in place so that Columbia receives payments on your behalf. In the event you learn that you are not entitled to VA payments, you will be responsible for paying any outstanding charges to the University.

For all other VA educational benefits programs, you will receive funds directly from the VA and will be responsible for submitting all payments you owe to Columbia University.

As with other scholarships, you should anticipate the amount you will receive from the VA and pay only the remaining balance on your student account.  You should not pay upfront the amount that you expect to receive from the VA. We will ensure that you are not assessed a late fee for this outstanding balance while VA payment is pending.