Frequently Asked Questions


Can I receive college credit for my military training? Any military training you received that may qualify for college credit is evaluated by the FSU Office of Admissions. While credits earned for military-related training do not factor into the admissions process, the academic dean for the program you major in may accept some or all of that credit and apply it toward your degree requirements. Provide the Admissions office with your official military transcripts, which may be ordered through this website, along with a copy of your DD214 (military discharge document).

 

How do I get a copy of my DD214? Request a copy through this website and note that the Member 4 copy, which shows the character of your discharge, is preferred for most educational purposes. After obtaining your DD214, be sure to keep this document in a safe place. Also note that it is not advisable to register for your DD214 through a county courthouse since doing so makes the process a public record, which could then lead to identity theft.

 

What is the process for veterans applying for admission to FSU? The admission process is the same for veterans as it is for every other student and it’s best to review the admission requirements before applying. Admission applications for all types of FSU applicants (freshman, transfer, graduate, etc.) are here, and applications may be completed and submitted online.

 

Is there a discounted tuition rate for veterans? Federal and state laws extend the in-state tuition rate to honorably discharged veterans, veteran dependents, and members of the National Guard and Reserve, regardless of their state of residency, provided they are living in Florida while they attend FSU (By state law, veteran dependents only qualify for in-state tuition during the time they are using VA educational benefits).  Also, veterans enrolled in FSU distance learning degree programs but not living in Florida may qualify for the federal Yellow Ribbon program, which reduces the tuition to the in-state rate. The Florida State University Student Veterans Center can assist these in securing the educational benefits they qualify for through the federal departments of Veterans Affairs and Defense.

 

Veterans Affairs (VA) educational benefits are divided into different “chapters.” How do I know which chapter I qualify for? An outline of the different VA educational-benefit chapters may be found toward the bottom of this VA web page. Note, however, that the exact VA education benefit(s) you qualify for – and you may qualify for more than one, and will need to decide which one it would be best for you to accept – can only be determined by the VA. However, the FSU Student Veterans Center can provide assistance (contact information is at the bottom of this web page).

 

What documents do I need to submit to the FSU Student Veterans Center to receive my VA educational benefits? Refer to the instructions for the educational benefits chapter you intend to use. Chapter 33 (Post 9/11 G.I. Bill) is the benefit most student-veterans qualify for and detailed Chapter 33 information is here. Contact the FSU Student Veterans Center with any questions.

 

How many months of VA educational benefits (or entitlement) do I have left? You can access your remaining entitlements by going to the VA eBenefits page and working through these steps:

  • Login to your existing account or register for an account (be sure to write down your username and password)
  • When a security warning pops up while navigating through the site, follow these steps:
    • Choose “I understand the risk”
    • Choose “Add Exception”
    • Confirm security exemption
  • At the “Create your DS logon today” section, answer the questions, then begin “Basic Registration Lev. 1”
  • Once your registration has been completed, upgrade your account and go through Remote Proofing
  • When proofing has been completed, go to eBenefits and click Manage Benefits, then Education
  • At that point, Chapter 33 Post 9/11 recipients should be able to view and print your Post 9/11 GI Bill Enrollment Info, which will serve as your Certificate of Eligibility (COE).
    Should you have trouble completing steps 5-6, try logging out and logging back in.

 

Do I need to reapply for my VA educational benefits every semester? After your initial registration for educational benefits has been completed, you will only need to resubmit an FSU Request for Benefits form each semester. However, Chapter 33 (Post 9/11 G.I. Bill) recipients will also need to submit, each semester, an updated Certificate of Eligibility (COE) or a screenshot of the eBenefits webpage that shows remaining entitlements.

 

How can I determine what classes I should take? The FSU Bulletin/Catalog outlines the Departments & Programs (majors) and their respective course requirements.

Important things to know when selecting your courses:

  • The Bulletin/Catalog that corresponds to the academic year of your FSU enrollment lists the courses you must complete to fulfill the requirements of your major.
  • The courses you select must align directly with those outlined for your major in the Bulletin/Catalog.
  • VA educational benefits will only cover (pay for) courses required for your major; so, for example, if you major in accounting and take a music class, the VA will not pay for the music class since it is not required for graduation in the accounting program, unless there are general electives or other classifications (3000/4000 level coursework, for instance) that you need to satisfy the university’s graduation requirements.
  • Additional information on degree programs and their requirements is in the Academic Program Guide.
  • To resolve any questions or issues, refer to your academic advisor and/or the dean’s office for your academic program.

 

Will VA educational benefits cover the cost of remedial or deficiency courses? Most VA educational benefit programs (or “chapters”) cover the cost of remedial or deficiency courses, but only if a placement test indicates that you need to take that type of course, or if the course is required as a prerequisite for another course in your major.

 

What happens if I change my schedule after I submit my FSU Request for Benefits form? Notify the Student Veterans Center right away via email so your new schedule can be reviewed to (1) make sure the replacement course(s) are applicable to your major (VA educational benefits only cover courses that fulfill the degree requirements for your major), and (2) avoid any overpayment situations.

 

What is the deadline for submitting my FSU Request for Benefits form? You have up to one year after the start of a semester to submit your form. However, if you wish to receive federal and state educational benefits, or have the VA pay for your tuition (the latter applies only to those who qualify for Chapter 33 and Chapter 31 educational benefits), the sooner you submit your form the better. Remember that veterans receive priority registration during FSU course-registration periods, so you should be able to arrange and finalize your schedule well in advance.

 

When do I start to receive my VA educational benefits? The VA will process your benefits as quickly as possible but this can take several weeks from the first time you apply. Once you are in the VA system, though – and if you submit your FSU Request for Benefits form before the start of each semester – your benefits should be provided to you continuously (with any monthly stipends paid at the end of each month during a semester).

 

I qualify for Chapter 33 benefits. When can I expect to receive my textbook stipend and housing allowance? The textbook stipend is paid as soon as your claim is processed so you should not wait for the stipend to arrive before ordering your textbooks. The Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH), meanwhile, and all other monthly stipends are paid at the end of each month during a semester. Keep in mind that partial months are paid at a prorated rate. For example, if a fall semester begins on August 26, your BAH payment will only be for the four days between August 26 and August 30 (provided your BAH certification was submitted in advance of August 26).

 

What is a deferment? A deferment or Third Party Contract (TPC) is a method of extending the tuition payment deadline. The deferment temporarily lifts the tuition liability, which means that for a short period of time, your FSU account will not have a “hold” placed on it for unpaid tuition. If you receive a deferment and for some reason the anticipated funds do not arrive, it is your responsibility to pay your account balances in full. Remember, all tuition that remains unpaid after the tuition payment deadline will incur a $100 late fee since a deferment is not a payment (in fact, it shows on your statement as a “billing”). Be sure to check your account statement often to avoid any unexpected pitfalls that may arise around deferments.

 

If I need to submit a deferment, how and when do I do that? All Chapter 33 (Post 9/11 GI Bill) recipients must submit a deferment; for all other “chapters” (VA educational benefit programs), a deferment is optional. If you have financial aid that covers your tuition you do not need a deferment. Deferments are available online once your course registration has been completed and the tuition rate has been established. The deadline for deferment submissions each semester is the fifth day of classes (the exact dates are published in the Academic Calendar of the Registration Guide). For additional information, please contact the Student Veterans Center.

 

How many credit hours do I need to take to be classified as a fulltime student? FSU requires students to take a minimum of 12 credit hours a semester to be classified as fulltime. However, you should also check the credit-hour requirements to be classified as fulltime by the VA educational benefits program through which you receive your benefits, as well as for any financial aid purposes. Graduate students should also note that their full-time status might vary based on any assistantships.

 

What level of VA educational benefits am I entitled to if I’m not classified as a fulltime student? The VA calculates your benefit amount based on this “rate of pursuit” formula:

Chapter 33 (Post 9/11 G.I. Bill) All other VA educational benefits (or Chapters)
11 credit hours = 90% of all educational benefits 12 credit hours or more = Fulltime
10 credit hours = 80% 9 to 11 credit hours = Three-quarter time
9 credit hours = 80% 6 to 8 credit hours = Half-time
8 credit hours = 70% 4 and 5 credit hours = Less than half, more than one quarter
7 credit hours = 60% 1 to 3 credit hours = Quarter-time

 

How are VA educational benefits calculated during Summer semesters at FSU? During the summer, Florida State offers split sessions (Summer sessions A, B, C, D, E, F), which are referred to as “accelerated sessions” by the federal Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The VA will therefore accelerate the pay status in proportion to the length of a split session. Consequently, fulltime course loads will be different for students enrolled in the split sessions.

Credit Hours Summer Session by Number of Weeks (corresponding FSU term)
13
(A)
12*
(A)
11 10 9 8
(D/F)
7 6
(B/C)
10
9 12.5
8 11.1 12 13.1
7 9.7 10.5 11.5 12.6
6 8.3 9 9.8 10.8 12
5 6.9 7.5 8.2 9 10 13.5 12.9
4 5.5 6 6.5 7.2 8 11.2 10.3 12
3 4.2 4.5 4.9 5.4 6 9 7.7 9
2 2.8 3 3.3 3.6 4 6.7 5.1 6
1 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.8 2 4.5 2.6 3

*Based on VA calculations, Summer Session A can be either 12 or 13 weeks.

Undergraduate students who want to maintain fulltime status during the Summer semester have the following options:

Option 1 Option 2 Option 3 Option 4
Session A
9 credit hours for
13 weeks
OR
8 credit hours for
12 weeks
Session B
4 credit hours
PLUS
Session C
4 credit hours
Session A
3 credit hours for
13 weeks
PLUS
Session B
3 credit hours
PLUS
Session C
3 credit hours
Session A
2 credit hours for
12 weeks
PLUS
Session B
3 credit hours
PLUS
Session C
3 credit hours

 

Does not being classified as a fulltime student affect other VA educational benefits? If you a recipient of Chapter 33 (Post 9/11 G.I. Bill) educational benefits, you must be registered for course credits that constitute at least 51% of fulltime status (for undergraduates, this is a minimum of 6.12 credit hours) to receive the Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH). Credit-hour totals that are based on multiple or overlapping sessions (like during the Summer semester) must be approved by the FSU Student Veterans Center to ensure they meet Chapter 33 BAH requirements. Also, in order to avoid a drastic reduction in BAH, at least one credit hour each semester must physically take place on campus. Recipients of non-Chapter 33 educational benefits who take less than half the fulltime credit hours will have their tuition and fees only paid for by the VA (up to the monthly cap based on the rate of pursuit) either through a single payment for the semester or by providing a portion of the tuition and fees each month.

 

Do I have to maintain a certain GPA to keep my VA educational benefits? All students utilizing VA educational benefits must maintain certain standards of progress as detailed in the FSU Bulletin/Catalog. Students who are placed on academic probation are provided with VA educational benefits for up to two consecutive semesters. However, if the student’s cumulative grade point average does not meet FSU’s published standards of progress after the second consecutive semester of academic probation, VA educational benefits will be terminated. Students who are reinstated to FSU after dismissal for unsatisfactory progress and plan to use VA educational benefits must meet with a Benefits Certifying Officer at the FSU Student Veterans Center after their reinstatement.

 

If I fail a class, will I have to pay anything back to the VA? No, you do not have to pay the VA back if you do not pass a course. You may repeat a course if it is required for your degree program and the VA will pay for it a second time. However, if you drop or withdraw from a class after the deadline for doing so, you will have to pay the VA back if you received money for that course.

 

How do I drop or withdraw from a class, and will doing so affect my VA educational benefits? If you need to drop or withdraw from a course, consult the FSU Registration Guide for step-by-step instructions, as well as the last date you are able to withdraw. Note that there are two types of grades you can get from dropping a course – punitive and non-punitive. If you drop a class, withdraw from all classes, or are dropped by the instructor before the deadline date, you are assigned a non-punitive grade, which will not affect your GPA and that the VA treats as having a neutral affect on your transcript. If dropping a class changes your attendance status (for example, if you are then classified as a non-fulltime student), the VA will require repayment of any money you received for attendance in that class unless you have mitigating circumstances. If you feel you have a valid reason for dropping the class or withdrawing from a class, you can write to the VA and ask that you be allowed to maintain your prevailing rate of pay, up to the last date of attendance in the course(s).

 

What types of “mitigating circumstances” are acceptable to the VA for dropping a class or withdrawing from FSU? Mitigating circumstances include (1) personal illness or injury, (2) the death, illness or serious injury of a family member, (3) relocation due to employment, (4) work-schedule conflict, or (5) hardships. If you claim a mitigating circumstance for dropping a class or withdrawing from FSU, the VA will require in-depth statements and supporting documents before approving payment. If you have other reasons for dropping or withdrawing, you may also provide those in writing to the VA.

 

What is a punitive grade and will getting one affect my VA educational benefits? If you drop a course, withdraw from all courses, or are dropped by an instructor after the last date to withdraw, you may be assigned a punitive grade. This grade will be figured into your grade point average as an “F” and the VA will only allow payment at the prevailing rate up to the last date of your attendance as reported by the instructor. After that date, the VA will begin a new rate of pay. With the implications that come from dropping a course, whether you receive a non-punitive grade or a punitive one (the latter affects your GPA), you should make every effort to avoid doing so.

 

What if I’m called to active duty? Florida State recognizes and appreciates the important contributions made by active duty, Reserve, and National Guard members. In order to accommodate these students and their dependents, University Policy provides direction to faculty and staff on offering these students the following options to accommodate unexpected training/drill, deployment, or change-of-station orders:

  1. For any training/drill, deployment, or change-of-station orders: Students will attempt to make arrangements with instructors to maintain and/or make up classwork as needed and to assign grades as appropriate (including incompletes, to be made up later). Registration for those courses, in which instructors accommodate the absence will remain intact and tuition and mandatory fees will be assessed in full for those courses. Service members should provide instructors with maximum advance notice of absences, providing copies of training/drill, deployment, and/or change-of-station directives from the Military, Reserve, or National Guard.
  2. Instructors must accommodate absences of up to two weeks in duration (or equivalent in Summer) in accordance with paragraph one.
  3. When unable to make satisfactory arrangements with all instructors: Courses will be dropped and the tuition and mandatory fees for those courses will be rescinded.
  4. When unable to make arrangements with any instructors for unexpected orders requiring longer than a two-week absence: The student’s entire registration for that semester will be withdrawn or cancelled and 100% of the tuition and mandatory fees will be rescinded.