University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Prospective Student Checklist

  Veteran Education Benefits

  • Post 9/11 GI Bill® (Ch. 33)
  • Montgomery GI Bill® active (Ch. 30) and reserve (Ch. 1606)
  • Survivors' and Dependents' Educational Assistance (Ch. 35)
  • Vocational Rehabilitation (Ch. 31)

If you need to apply for any of the above benefits: Please visit 


- Once you apply for education benefits, the VA will send a certificate of eligibility (COE) in the mail within 1-2 weeks. 

- The Veterans Benefits Office needs a copy of your COE in order to process your benefits.

- To expedite the process, a screenshot of your approved education benefits from the website will suffice.

- If you have questions or concerns about your eligibility please call the GI Bill® benefits information line at 1-888-442-4551 for assistance.

- You should also connect with the UMass GI Bill® education benefits coordinator at 413-545-5792.  

Lynn Gates, Certifying Official
Veteran Benefits Certification Manager
Room 23 Dickinson Hall (email)
413-545-5792 (telephone)

  Enrollment Fee Deferral

Once you are notified that you have been admitted, contact the Student Veteran Resource Center at to defer the $500 enrollment fee to your bill.

 Paying Your Bill

1. Always verify the status of your bill in SPIRE.
UMass Amherst uses a paperless billing system - bills will not be mailed to your residence. Instead, bills for the semester will post to the “Finances” section of your SPIRE account. Bills will be due before the start of each semester. For more information about billing, please visit the Bursar's Office.

2. Submit your Certificate of Eligibility from E-Benefits (application instructions above) to Lynn Gates, Veteran Benefits Certification Manager.  Send your COE either via email to or fax to 413-577-2471, Attn: Lynn Gates.
Please note: Pending awards are placed in Bursar accounts (not Financial Aid) for the amount the VA will pay.

3. Complete your FAFSA here:

4. If you already have health insurance, you may waive your UMass Health Insurance charge.
Log into SPIRE, then go to Main Menu. Select Finances and then select Health Insurance Waiver. You will need to put in your insurance policy information.

5. You can set up a payment plan with the Bursars' Office for non-mandatory fees or charges VA will not cover.

6. Check the Bursar's Veteran Educational Benefits web page for additional information

Questions?  Please call 413-545-5792 or email

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) Waiver: If someone is assisting you pay for your education, they must have a FERPA  PIN number to access your account. For more information on the FERPA waiver, visit the Office of the Bursar.

Excess Express: If you want to receive excess funds via direct deposit, make sure you sign up for Excess Express.


Please note: ‘‘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"