These guidelines apply to students whose service in the uniformed services (military) has necessitated their sudden withdrawal or prolonged absence from their enrollment at Virginia Commonwealth University and provides for the required re-enrollment of such students. Students are offered the following enrollment secession options:
- Drop all courses before the end of the add/drop period and receive a full reduction of tuition and fee charges. Students residing in university housing and participating in a dining plan will be released from their housing and dining service contracts and will receive a prorated refund of these charges. Students will be asked to sign the drop request form with the director of military student services indicating that they are not receiving a financial aid refund. If the reduction of charges results in an overpayment on the account after any financial aid or third party awards have been reduced, the student will be issued a refund.
This option might best meet the needs of students who are called to active duty service during the first week of school and did not receive a financial aid refund check or direct deposit.
- Receive a grade of Incomplete (IM – incomplete military) in one or all courses. Students residing in university housing will be released from their housing and dining service contracts and will receive a prorated refund of these charges. Students who chose to take a grade of IM will not have tuition and fees reduced for these courses because, upon receipt of an approved change of grade, credits will still be earned for the semester. Students will have 12 months from the date that they return from active service to complete the course work and earn a course grade. If a student received financial aid, the amount recovered to the financial aid accounts will follow the Federal Financial Aid Refund Policy.
This option might best meet the needs of students who have essentially completed all course work in a class for the semester, but have yet to turn in a final project, an exam or other materials. It should be agreed upon between the instructor and the student that the remaining course work can reasonably be completed during the 12-month period.
- Accept administrative withdrawal (WM – withdrawn military) from all courses as of the effective date of the orders to active duty. If this option is elected, a full refund of all tuition, fees and prorated room and dining charges will be made. If a student received financial aid, the amount recovered to the financial aid accounts will follow the Federal Financial Aid Refund Policy. If the reductions of charges results in an overpayment on the account after any financial aid or third party awards have been reduced, the student will be issued a refund.
This option might best meet the needs of students who are called to national service in the middle of a semester and have not completed 75 percent of their class requirements. This option also might best meet the needs of students who are leaving the university during the first week of class and received a financial aid refund check or direct deposit as a result of their financial aid.
- Students who have completed 75 percent of the course requirements at the time of military activation and, notwithstanding certain exceptions noted below, who meet requirements as determined and agreed upon by the faculty instructor and the student may receive full course credit.
Students may receive full course credit if 75 percent of course requirements have been completed, under certain circumstances. The instructor is responsible for determining what percentage of course requirements have been completed based on factors to include but not limited to contact time, examinations, projects, work experience and clinical experience. The awarding of full credit cannot be made where the incomplete requirements are essential components of the course or program required by law or regulatory bodies, required for competency in the work place, or required to complete licensure examinations.
Leaving the university
To initiate this process, the student must provide the Office of Military Student Services with a copy of his or her active duty orders in addition to a printed copy of his or her course registration for that semester and indicate Option 1, 2, 3 or 4 for each course. If Option 4 is selected, the student must provide documentation from the instructor. The director of military student services will forward all documentation to the university registrar to take the appropriate enrollment action, post the appropriate grades and send a copy of the orders and a copy of the student course request statement to the director of financial aid and the director of student accounting.
Returning to the university
Students who withdrew from the university as a result of military deployment, mobilizations or duty changes are entitled to return without having to requalify for admission so long as the student (a) returns after a cumulative absence of no more than five years and (b) notifies the appropriate admissions office of the intent to return to the university not later than three years after the completion of military service obligation. The student may return to the university in the same program of study. With the consultation of an adviser, a comparable program of study may be chosen for discontinued programs.
VA benefit grievance procedure
The Virginia State Approving Agency, is the approving authority of education and training programs for Virginia. Their office investigates complaints of GI Bill beneficiaries. While most complaints should initially follow school grievance policy, if the situation cannot be resolved at the school, the beneficiary should contact the SAA.
Delayed payments for Chapter 31, 33 or Frye Scholarship students
Chapter 31, 33 or Frye recipients whose tuition and fees payments are delayed will not be denied access to classes, libraries or other institutional facilities or be required to borrow additional funds to cover tuition and fees if these are being covered by the Department of Veterans Affairs.
In the event that a Chapter 31, 33 or Frye recipient is assessed a late fee due to a delayed payment coming from the VA, VCU will waive the late fee if the student submitted the required benefit request forms to the Military Student Services Office in a timely manner; the student paid all noncovered charges by specified payment deadlines; and the delayed Post 9/11 or Frye payment covers the student’s outstanding balance. The late fee will be waived once the Post 9/11 payment is received by VCU.
Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act of 2014 and John M McHugh Tuition Fairness Act of 2021
The following individuals shall be charged the net in-state rate, or otherwise considered a resident, for tuition purposes:
- A veteran using educational assistance under either Chapter 30 (Montgomery G.I. Bill* – Active Duty Program) or Chapter 33 (Post-9/11 G.I. Bill), of Title 38, United States Code, who lives in the commonwealth of Virginia while attending a school located in Virginia (regardless of their formal state of residence)
- Anyone using transferred Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits who lives in the state where the IHL is located, and the transferor is a member of the uniformed service serving on active duty
- A spouse or child using benefits under the Marine Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry Scholarship (38 U.S.C. § 3311(b)(9) who lives in the commonwealth of Virginia while attending a school located in Virginia (regardless of their formal state of residence)
- A spouse or child using benefits under Survivors’ and Dependents’ Education Assistance (Chapter 35) living in the commonwealth of Virginia while attending a school located in Virginia (regardless of their formal state of residence)
- An individual using educational assistance under Chapter 31, Veteran Readiness and Employment who lives in the commonwealth of Virginia while attending a school located in Virginia (regardless of their formal state of residence) effective for courses, semesters or terms beginning after March 1, 2019
- Anyone described above who remains continuously enrolled (other than during regularly scheduled breaks between courses, semesters or terms) at the same institution.
Therefore, the described person must be enrolled in the institution and use educational benefits under chapters 30, 31, 33 or 35 of Title 38, United States Code.
G.I. Bill is a registered trademark of the U.S Department of Veterans Affairs. More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government website.