Office of Veterans and Military Affairs

Frequently Asked Questions

Based on information provided by the CUNY Office of Veterans Affairs.

Who do I see on my campus about resources for students who are veterans?

The Coordinator of Veterans and Military Affairs, who is located in Shuster Hall, Room 201A.  The Coordinator is available Monday, Wednesday, Thursday from 9 a.m.- 5 p.m., Tuesday from 9 a.m.-6:30 p.m., and on Friday from 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. To speak to the coordinaotr, call 718-960-7188.

In addition, to Ms. Thompson, Lehman College has two VA Certifying Officials who are responsible for certifying veterans enrollment.  They are Enrico DiNatale of the Registrar's Office, which is locaed in Shuster Hall, Room #114, (718) 960-8610 and Barbara Thompson, Coordianator of Veterans and Military Affairs in Shuster Hal, Room #201A , (718) 960-7188.

How do I know if I am eligible for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs educational assistance?

You may be eligible for VA educational assistance if you meet the following criteria:

  • You are on, or were on active duty for at least two years, and received any honorably characterized discharge;
  • You have a six-year obligation in the Selected Reserves, and remain in good standing with your reserve unit; or
  • You are a spouse or child of a veteran who died or was disabled while in military service.

How do I apply for VA educational assistance benefits?

All students, regardless of what benefits they believe they may be eligible for should complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (F.A.F.S.A.), which is available online.  If you do not have access to a computer, you may complete your application online in the Financial Aid Computer Lab in Shuster Hall, Room 131A. The lab is open Monday, Tuesdays, and Thursdays from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Wednesdays from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. (when classes are in session, open till 6 p.m.).

  • New Students: Students new to CUNY who have not used any U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs educational assistance benefits can receive information about applying for benefits by contacting the Coordinator of Veterans and Military Affairs, located in Shuster Hall, Room 201A, 718-960-7188. The Office of Veterans and Military Affairs is open Monday, Wednesday, Thursday from 9 a.m.- 5 p.m., Tuesday from 9 a.m.-6:30 p.m., and on Friday from 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
  • Transfer Students: Transfer students who have received U.S Department of Veterans Affairs educational assistance benefits at non-CUNY institutions of higher education should apply in person to the Coordinator of Veterans and Military Affairs in Shuster Hall, Room 201A, 718-960-7188.  Transfer students, generally, only need to complete a VA 22-1995 Change in Place of Training Form, which is available on the G.I. Bill website.
  • Continuing Students: Continuing students can be certified for benefits as soon as they have registered for the semester.
  • Disabled Students: Disabled Students are eligible for additional financial help when they apply for Vocational Rehabilitation from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Disabled students must have a VA-certified disability rating of at least 20 percent. Disabled students will receive authorization directly from the VA. This authorization needs to be brought to Lehman’s Bursar’s Office, which is located in Shuster Hall, Room 031 who will then notify the VA when the student is enrolled and in attendance at the college.

Do I have to reapply for benefits if I am transferring into CUNY?

No, you do not have to reapply.  Once you have applied and have received benefits at another institution, you need only complete VA 22-1995 Change in Place of Training Form, which is available on the G.I. Bill website.  This can also be done by contacting the Coordinator of Veterans and Military Affairs in Shuster Hall, Room 201A, 718- 960-7188.

Will the benefit check be sent to CUNY?

Educational benefit checks are sent directly to the veteran or dependent, but arrangements can be made for direct deposit, which can be requested when you apply for benefits. Direct deposit is available for all programs except for Chapter 35 [Survivors' and Dependents' Educational Assistance Program (D.E.A.)] educational assistance.

How long will it take to receive my benefits?

First-time applicants should expect to wait at least 6 to 8 weeks from the time the enrollment certification is sent before payment is received.  Continuing students will be processed quicker provided there have not been any changes in program or address.  Keep in mind that Chapter 35 and Chapter 1606 (Montgomery G.I. Bill - Selected Reserves) certifications are not processed until the first day of the enrollment period even though the certification may have been received by the VA Regional Office earlier.

Are VA educational benefits taxable?

No, veteran's benefits, paid under any law and administered by the VA should not be reported as income to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

I receive Chapter 30 or Chapter 1606 educational benefits and have to verify my enrollment each month.  How do I do that?

Anyone receiving Chapter 30 benefits (Montgomery G.I. Bill - Active Duty) or Chapter 1606 benefits (Montgomery G.I. Bill - Selected Reserves) must verify their enrollment each month to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs in order to receive payment for that month.  Your enrollment can be verified on the last calendar day of the month by using the Web Automated Verification of Enrollment (WAVE) system or by calling the toll free, Interactive Voice Response (IVR) telephone line, at 1-877-823-2378.  Paper verification forms (VA Forms 22-8979) will no longer be issued for students receiving Chapter 30 benefits.

Do students receiving Chapter 35 educational assistance need to verify their enrollment each month?

No, dependents or spouses receiving educational assistance under Chapter 35 (Survivors' and Dependents' Educational Assistance Program) do not have to verify their enrollment to the VA each month.

Can I arrange for direct deposit at any time?

Yes, Chapter 30 (Montgomery G.I. Bill - Active Duty) and Chapter 1606 (Montgomery GI Bill - Selected Reserves) recipients may request the direct deposit option by completing VA Form 22-0296, authorizing direct deposit of your payments.

How can I update my address or financial institution information for direct deposit?

If you are currently receiving benefits, or have received benefits in the last year, you can use the WAVE system to update your address or your financial institution information.  Visit the G.I. Bill WAVE page, and follow the instructions to log-on to WAVE.  Follow the links to change your address and your direct deposit information on the "Main Menu" page of WAVE.

What happens if I drop a course during the semester?

If you drop a course and the adjustment changes your training time you must notify Lehman’s certifying officers Enrico DiNatale, Roger Ramdham, and Suilan Berges of the Office of the Registrar.  They are located in Shuster Hall, Room #114, 718-960-8610/8724/1125.  You should also tell the Coordinator of Veterans and Military Affairs, who is located in Shuster Hall, Room 201A, 718-960-7188.  This must be done even if you have already notified the VA on the W.A.V.E. system. A change in training time may affect your rate of payment, and failure to notify Lehman’s veterans affairs representative in a timely manner could result in an overpayment.  At the end of every drop and withdrawal period, the Registrar’s Office runs a report to identify those who withdrew from class and notifies the VA headquarters accordingly.  Students who withdrew unofficially and receive a WU grade are identified at the end of the semester, after grades are assigned.

What happens if I am activated during the semester?

If you are activated during a semester, you have a number of options open to you depending upon the length of the deployment.  You should first discuss this situation with the Coordinator of Veterans and Military Affairs, your advisor, and instructors to help you decide upon a course of action.  The options available to you would range from special arrangements for make-up work, to an incomplete grade, to withdrawal from a course or semester.  The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs would pay you educational assistance benefits up to the date you withdraw or resign from a course or semester.

  • Mobilization/Activation/Deployment: CUNY supports students who are called away to duty during their college career.  Deployed students are given as wide a latitude as possible to enable them to seamlessly resume their studies as soon as they are able to do so.  Deployed students should first notify the Coordinator of Veterans and Military Affairs, in Shuster Hall, Room 201A, 718-960-7188.  Additionally, Lehman’s certifying officers Enrico DiNatale, Roger Ramdham, and Suilan Berges, who are in the Office of the Registrar, located in Shuster Hall, Room 114, 718-960-8610/8724/1125, should be informed of all military-related interruptions of attendance.
  • Grades: A student who is called to active duty in the armed forces of the United States after having attended regularly for thirteen or more weeks or having completed 85% of the term's work through acceleration may be given full credit for each course in which he or she has a grade of C or better.  The student must follow Lehman College’s policy on incompletes, and sign an incomplete contract with the instructor. The normal regulations apply, and grades will be recorded as failures if courses are not completed.
  • Refunds: Students called to active duty or drafted who do not meet attendance requirements sufficient to earn a grade are entitled to a 100% refund of tuition and fees, except application fees.  For those students who enlist in the military, the amount of the refund depends upon whether the withdrawal is before the 5th week of classes.  Students withdrawing prior to the beginning of the 5th week (3rd week in the Summer Session/Winter Session) are entitled to 100% refund of tuition and all fees except application fees.  Students withdrawing after the 5th week (or the 3rd week for Summer Session/Winter Session) are entitled to a 50% refund of tuition and fees.  No refund will be made to a student who has been assigned an earned grade, regardless of whether the grade is pass or fail.  In order to be processed, any refund request must be documented by submitting a copy of induction or military orders to the Registrar.
  • Re-Enrollment of Veterans: Veterans who are returning students are given preference in the following ways:
    • Readmission in a probationary or non-degree status will be granted to the veteran who is a former student with an unsatisfactory academic record.
    • Upon their return from active duty, veterans may register even after normal registration periods end, without late fees or other penalties.
    • Veterans who are matriculating students may apply to earn up to 18 credits for United States Armed Forces Institute courses in which they have passed final exams, and for other military education and training.
  • Veterans returning too late to register may audit classes without charge.

    Late Admissions: Veterans with no previous college experience are permitted to file applications up to the end of registration, and are allowed to begin classes pending completion of their application and provision of supporting documents.

    Readmission Fee: Upon return from military service, a student will not be charged a readmission fee to register at the same college.

If I am a member of the New York State Air/Army National Guard or New York State Naval Militia and wish to participate in the Educational Incentive Plan that pays for my tuition at any CUNY college, do I apply at a college office?

No, you must apply through your unit for the New York State Educational Incentive Plan using DMNA Form 96-1.  You can then obtain a Tuition Deferment, and must inform the bursar that the NYS Department of Military and Naval Affairs will be making payments.

Is it possible to attain college credit for military service?

Lehman College follows the principle established by the Board of Higher Education of granting general credit for military experience up to a maximum of 8 credits for one year or more of active military service or 4 credits for four to six months of active service.  Veterans who wish to apply for credit for military service should file an Application for Credit for Military Service form in the Office of the Registrar, Shuster Hall, Room 114, 718-960-8611, which makes the final decision regarding the granting of credit for military experience.  The form is also available from the Coordinator of Veterans and Military Affairs in Shuster Hall, Room 201A.  Credit for military service does not apply to academic credit for coursework completed at another institution or while in the military.  Veterans who are matriculating students may also earn credits for selected military education and training, in which they have passed final exams, pursuant to the rules governing the evaluation of transfer credits as presented in the Undergraduate Bulletin.

Are there any academic support services available to students who are veterans?

Some veterans are eligible for tutorial benefits.  In order to be eligible for tutorial benefits, veterans must be receiving monthly veteran's benefits on at least a half-time basis.  Such veteran students are entitled to 12 months of tutorial benefits to a maximum of $100 per month.  Contact Lehman’s Coordinator of Veterans and Military Affairs in Shuster Hall, Room 201A, for additional information.  Veterans receiving Rehabilitation Benefits may also be eligible for tutoring services through the VA.   For additional information, consult with the Coordinator of Veterans and Military Affairs in Shuster Hall, Room 201A, 718-960-7188.

In addition to college work-study, are there any work-study programs designed to assist veterans?

Students may be eligible for VA Work-Study Allowance program.  In order to be eligible, students must be a full-time or 3/4 time student in a college degree program or a vocational or professional program.  This program is only available to those who are training under Chapter 33, Chapter 30, Chapter 35, Chapter 31, Chapter 1606 and REAP.  Such students can work up to 750 hours per year at a rate of at least the federal minimum wage.  The Coordinator of Veterans and Military Affairs will arrange your work-study if you are eligible.

Questions about eligibility for Federal Work-Study should be directed to the Work-Study Coordinator in Shuster Hall, Room 127, 718-960-8545.  Lehman’s Coordinator of Veterans and Military Affairs in Shuster Hall, Room 2301A can also assist you.

Are all dependents of veterans eligible to receive educational benefits?

No, only dependents who are eligible for Chapter 35, Survivors' and Dependents' Educational Assistance Program may be considered for benefits.  Chapter 35 provides educational assistance to the spouses and children of veterans who died while on active duty or were totally disabled due to their military experience.  Eligibility questions should be directed to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Are any services available to veterans with disabilities?

Vocational Rehabilitation services are available through the VA for veterans with disabilities.  Vocational Rehabilitation Services are available to full- and part-time students who have at least a 20% disability rating from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.  These services include payment for tuition, fees and a monthly stipend.  In addition, classroom accommodations and support services are available to veterans with disabilities through Lehman’s Office of Student Disability Services, located in Shuster Hall, Room 238, 718-960-8441.

Are any benefits or services available to the dependents of disabled veterans?

There are several federal and state programs available to dependents of disabled veterans.  For more information contact Lehman’s Coordinator of Veterans and Military Affairs, in Shuster Hall, Room 201A, 718-960-7188.

What are the New York State Veterans Tuition Awards?

The Veterans Tuition Awards (VTA) are awards for full time and part-time study for eligible veterans matriculated at an undergraduate or graduate degree-granting institution or in an approved training program in New York State.  Students must apply for payment each year, even if they were previously approved for a Veterans Tuition Award (VTA).

Full -Time Study

For full-time study, a recipient shall receive an award of up to the full cost of undergraduate tuition for NY State residents at the State University of New York, or actual tuition charged, whichever is less.  Full-time study is defined as twelve or more credits per semester (or the equivalent) at a degree-granting institution, or twenty-four or more hours per week in a vocational training program.

Awards are available for up to eight semesters (four years) of undergraduate study.

Awards can be made available for up to the equivalent of ten semesters (five years) of full-time study for enrollment in an approved five-year undergraduate program, which normally requires five academic years of full-time study.

Awards are available for up to the equivalent of six semesters (three years) of graduate study.

Awards are available for up to a maximum of four semesters (two years) of study in an approved vocational training program.

Part-Time Study

For part-time study, awards will be prorated by credit hour.
Part-time study is defined as at least three but fewer than twelve credits per semester (or the equivalent) at a degree granting institution, or six to twenty-three hours per week in a vocational training program.

Awards are available up to the equivalent of eight semesters (four years) of full-time undergraduate study in a four year program.

Awards can be made available for up to the equivalent of ten semesters (five years) of full-time study for enrollment in an approved five-year undergraduate program which normally requires five academic years of full-time study.

Awards are available for up to the equivalent of six semesters (three years) of part-time graduate study.

Awards are available for up to a maximum of eight semesters (four years) of part-time study in an approved vocational training program.

Approved programs are defined as undergraduate degree, graduate degree, diploma, and certificate programs at degree-granting institutions, or noncredit vocational training programs of at least 320 clock hours specifically approved by the New York State Division of Veteran's Affairs' Bureau of Veterans Education.

Complete information on the NY State Veterans Tuition Awards can be found on the CUNY Veterans Affairs website.

How do I know if I am eligible to receive a New York State Veterans Tuition Award?

Eligible students have been a NY State resident for at least one year and were discharged under honorable conditions from the U.S. Armed forces and who are:

  • Vietnam Veterans who served in Indochina between February 28, 1961 and May 7, 1975.
  • Persian Gulf Veterans who served in the Persian Gulf between
    August 2, 1990 and September 10, 2001.
  • Persian Gulf Veterans who served in the Persian Gulf on or after September 11, 2001.
  • Afghanistan Veterans who served in Afghanistan during hostilities on or after September 11, 2001.
  • Veterans of the armed forces of the U.S. who served in hostilities that occurred after February 28, 1961, as evidenced by receipt of an Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Navy Expeditionary Medal or a Marine Corps Expeditionary Medal.
  • Were discharged from the U.S. Armed Forces under honorable conditions.

These students must also:

  • Establish eligibility by applying to HESC (New York State Higher Education Services Corporation)
  • Be New York State residents.
  • Be U.S. Citizens or eligible noncitizens.
  • Be matriculated full or part- time at an undergraduate or graduate degree-granting institution in New York State or in an approved vocational training program in New York State.
  • Have applied for the Tuition Assistance Program for full-time undergraduate or graduate study.

Eligible students can establish their eligibility by completing the New York State Veterans Tuition Award Supplement, which can be accessed online at the HESC website.  A link to the Supplement is also available on the website of CUNY’s Veterans Affairs office.  Be sure to print the Web Supplement Confirmation, sign and return it along with the required documentation according to the instructions.  Questions regarding eligibility for the New York State Veterans Tuition Award or how to document service should be directed to the HESC Scholarship Unit at 1-888-697-4372.

Are tuition benefits available to NY State National Guard Members and/or Children of Deceased or Disabled Veterans?

For details of tuition benefits available for N.Y. State National Guard members and/or children of deceased or disabled veterans refer to the “Financing Your Education” section of the website of CUNY’s Veterans Affairs office.

Last modified: Apr 1, 2014

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