The University of Massachusetts Amherst strives to support veterans, active-duty members of the U.S. Military, and their family members through federal Veteran’s Affairs (VA) Educational Benefit Programs that provide them resources for their academic success. Eligibility criteria and benefits vary. You may contact the VA Office at 888-442-4551 to discuss your eligibility.
To Receive Your Educational VA Benefits
- You must be a degree-seeking student (matriculated into an approved degree or approved certificate program) in order to receive these benefits.
- Apply for your Veterans Education Benefits at www.vets.gov
- Once the VA has processed and approved your application, you will receive a Certificate of Eligibility from their office. You can also submit a screen shot of your educational benefits page from eBenefits or vet.gov account.
- Submit a copy of your Certificate of Eligibility to: Lynn Gates, Veterans Benefits Certification Manager, 23 Dickinson Hall, 155 Hicks Way, Amherst, MA 01003. Scan to email@example.com or fax to (413) 577-2471 Attn: Lynn Gates.
- The Certificate of Eligibility will allow us to verify your enrollment to the VA. Mandatory Tuition and Fees will be reported after the add drop period.
Post 9/11 GI Bill ®(Chapter 33) Many of the veterans studying at UMass Amherst are using the benefits of the Post 9/11 (Chapter 33). Depending on your length of service this benefit pays anywhere from 40% - 100% of the In-State mandatory tuition and fees directly to the University. You are responsible for any remaining non-mandatory tuition and fees, such as Housing, Meal Plans, Child Care, Mass Pirg and the OIT Residential Services Fee. For non-declared majors: You have two semesters to use your benefit without declaring a major. Once you declare a major or should you change your major, notify the Certification Manager, Lynn Gates at firstname.lastname@example.org. The Post-9/11 GI Bill® is for those who served at least 30 consecutive days on active duty after September 10, 2001
Yellow Ribbon Program
UMass Amherst is a participant in the Yellow Ribbon Program. This program is a subset of the Post 9/11 benefit. Students must be 100% eligible for Post 9/11 and be an out-of-state resident. The VA and UMass will split the mandatory cost of your out-of-state mandatory tuition and fees. To participate, complete the Yellow Ribbon Application form and fax it to the number provided on the application. Yellow Ribbon may be transferred along with Post 9/11 benefit to a dependent or spouse. The Post-9/11 GI Bill ® Yellow Ribbon program is for qualified Post-911 applicants.
Summer and Winter Sessions
Notify the Certification Manager, Lynn Gates at email@example.com if you are enrolled in classes and do not want to use your benefits, otherwise you will be certified automatically.
Veterans Education Benefits Policy
Students must be making Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) towards degree or program. SAP is defined as:
- Maintaining a minimum Grade Point Average of 2.0.
- Maintaining necessary credit hours to graduate with 10 semesters.
Classes must apply to degree or certificate program. Excessive electives can't be certified to VA for payment. Audited classes can't be certified to the VA for payment. Failing grades, both punitive and non-punitive, must be reported to the VA. Education benefits can be terminated for the following reasons:
- Unsatisfactory progress.
- Unsatisfactory conduct.
- Unsatisfactory attendance; for online classes, discontinuation of logging in is considered non-attendance.
A student can repeat a class only if they fail it or their program requires a minimum grade for that specific class that was not met.
National Guard Waivers
The National Guard Waiver is available Fall, Spring, Summer and Winter semesters. A student must be an active member of the Massachusetts National Guard in good standing and has not exceeded 130 semester credit hours. It will not cover student health insurance or materials fees. To qualify:
- Must be a member in good standing of the National Guard.
- Must be accepted for admission on a full time or part-time basis in an undergraduate, graduate degree-granting or certificate program.
- Must submit a copy of your approval form from your military unit to the Veteran's Education Benefits Office.
- Certificate must reflect the exact number of credits for the semester.
- Must apply before the beginning of classes.
- Military Tuition Assistance is a benefit paid to eligible members of the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, and Coast Guard. Each service has its own criteria for eligibility, obligated service, application process’ and restrictions. Required: copy of the Tuition Assistance Authorization form for the course, signed by an authorized military official.
You may be eligible for these other educational benefits
- The Montgomery GI Bill ®– Active Duty (Chapter 30) - for those who enlisted after 7/1/1985(Chapter 1606 and 1607) - part of the GI Bill effective 7/1/1985
- The Montgomery GI Bill® – Selective Reserve (Chapter 1606)
- The Vocational Rehabilitation Program (Chapter 31) for disabled veterans approved by the Veteran’s Affairs for study at UMass Amherst
- The Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance Program (Chapter 35) - for the spouse and children of deceased or disabled veterans
‘‘GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government Web site at https://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill."