Frequently Asked Questions

GI Bill®

How veteran education benefits work with colleges and universities

Every veteran needs to know how veteran education benefits work. Applying for the benefit is easy, but knowing the consequences is critical. If you think you need to drop a class or are in jeopardy of failing a class, you should carefully review the questions and answers below. If you have further questions, contact Jessica Vokits. She can help you figure out how outcomes will affect your educational benefits. If you would prefer to contact the GI Bill® hotline, call (888) 442-4551 to speak with a customer service representative. 

What if I receive a failing grade?

If you fail a class, you receive what is called a "punitive grade" for that class. A punitive grade is a grade that doesn’t count as earned credit, but is used in determining a student’s progress toward graduation requirements. This means that the grade you receive counts in your overall degree progress, albeit negatively. Since this grade counts toward your graduation progress, you are not required to repay any GI Bill® money you received for that class. You may take the class again in an attempt to receive credit toward graduation or raise your grade, and you may receive GI Bill® payment for the retaking of the class.

What if I withdraw or drop a class?

  • The student can withdraw from a class before the beginning of the semester and during the drop period without penalty. 
  • If the withdrawal creates a change in full time and/or tuition/fees, they will receive a debt letter from the VA. 
  • If dropping or withdrawing from a class changes you full time status, your housing stipend will be affected (reduced).
  • If they drop during the drop/add period, WMU will have already submitted their hours and tuition/fees to the VA.

Since the withdrawal is during the drop/add period, WMU will have set the money aside to return to the VA.  However, the VA will send the student the debt letter.  The student needs to send a copy of that letter to Jessica Vokits.  Since the letter is made out to the student, we will refund the student the money to return to the VA.  We can't return the money unless the letter is made out to WMU.

"X" and "E" GRADES

If the student receives a grade of an "E" and completes the semester including taking the final, the "E" does not need to be reported to the VA and the student will not have to repay the VA.  The VA will pay for them to take the class again. If the student receives an "X" or "E" and does not attend the class to the end of the semester, they will have to repay the VA from their last date of attendance.  The professors have to put in a last date of attendance when they report an "E" or "X" grade.  The system will not take the grade without a last date of attendance.  The last date of attendance provided by the professor is the date I report to the VA. An "X" grade means the student just stopped attending at some point during the semester.  Sometimes, the professors will give an "E" grade even though it should be an "X" and provide the student’s last date of attendance.  Either way, WMU will report that grade with the last date attendance provided by the professor.

How could you become indebted to the VA for educational benefits?

  1. The VA pays for a class and you withdraw after the add/drop period. You will be required to pay for the class from the last day of attendance. If this withdrawal brings you below 12 credit hours, your housing stipend will also be reduced from the last day of attendance.
  2. The VA paid you, or gave you something you weren't entitled to. This creates an overpayment, even if it is their mistake.

Can I transfer benefits to my dependents?

If you were a member of the Armed Forces on Aug. 1, 2009, and eligible for the Post-9/11 GI Bill®, the Department of Defense may offer you the opportunity to transfer benefits to your spouse or dependent children. Commissioned officers of the Public Health Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are eligible for the transferability option effective Aug. 1, 2011.

While in the Armed Forces, servicemembers can transfer their Post-9/11 educational benefits to any dependent listed in DEERS. Once the transfer has been initiated, the servicemember incurs a 4 year service commitment that runs concurrently with their current commitment/contract. Because of this requirement servicemembers who have left the service cannot transfer their educational benefits to their dependents. After leaving the Armed Forces, servicemembers can modify the number of months transferred, provide a future effective date for use of Transfer of Education, or revoke entitlement transferred by submitting a written request to VA. For more information on transferring Post-9/11            GI Bill® benefits, please refer to this VA Factsheet.

Are veteran education benefits taxable?

Veteran education benefits are not taxable. Any veterans’ benefits paid under any law administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs should not be reported as income to the Internal Revenue Service. You will not receive a W-2 from the VA. 


Am I eligible to waive the GMAT exam?

Are you interested in receiving your Master of Business Administration degree? Applicants to MBA studies in the Haworth College of Business are required to supply GMAT scores as part of their application package. Under certain circumstances, an applicant may petition to waive the GMAT requirement. One of these circumstances is if you have at least seven years of extensive management experience, entrepreneurial experience or military service. Please note that waivers are never guaranteed and the application process is extensive.

Visit the petition to waive the GMAT requirement for further information. 


What is the difference between full-time and part-time status?

Know the credit hour requirements and how they affect your stipends. Talk to us before dropping a class.

Fall and spring

Undergraduate students

  • Full-time—twelve or more credit hours
  • Three-quarter time—nine to eleven credit hours
  • Half-time—six to eight credit hours
  • Less than half-time—one to five credit hours

Graduate students

  • Full-time—six or more credit hours
  • Three-quarter time—five credit hours
  • Half-time—three or four credit hours
  • Less than half-time—one or two credit hours 

Summer I and summer II

Undergraduate students

  • Full-time—six or more credit hours
  • Three-quarter time—five credit hours
  • Half-time—three or four credit hours
  • Less than half-time—one or two credit hours

Graduate students

  • Full-time—three or more credit hours
  • Half-time—two credit hours
  • Less than half-time—one credit hour