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Veterans Benefits Frequently Asked Questions

Am I eligible for VA Educational Benefits?

Only the VA can determine your eligibility for benefits. Review the program details at www.gibill.va.gov and apply online, or call a VA counselor at 1-888-GI-BILL-1 (1-888-442-4551).

Does the VA pay my full tuition?

All depends on your Chapter and eligibility. Certain GI Bill chapters make tuition payments directly to the university, while others make the payments directly to you on a monthly basis. You are responsible for paying for all tuition and fees not covered by VA.  Financial balances result in holds that prevent registration.  Please check with the VA Certifying Official if there is a balance on your account that is unexpected. 

Schools must report the actual net cost of tuition and fees after the application of any waiver of, or reduction in tuition and fees, any scholarship, or other Federal, State, institutional or employer-based aid or assistance (excluding Title IV Aid) that is provided directly to the institution and specifically designated for the sole purpose of defraying tuition and fees. The key in determining the actual net cost for tuition and fees is excluding aid that is designated for the sole purpose of tuition and fees.

Does University of Detroit Mercy participate in the Yellow Ribbon Program?

Yes, UDM participates in the Yellow Ribbon GI Education Enhancement Program (Yellow Ribbon Program). This program allows institutions of higher learning to voluntarily enter into an agreement with VA to fund tuition expenses that exceed the highest public in-state undergraduate tuition rate.  The tuition and fee cap for 2013-14 for private institutions is $19,198.31. Yellow Ribbon Program funds may apply to tuition and fee costs exceeding the cap at private institutions.  The institution can contribute up to 50% of those expenses and VA will match the same amount as the institution.  For the 2013-14 academic year the number of Yellow Ribbon recipients at UDM is unlimited for undergraduate degrees and unlimited for master degrees excluding the School of Dentistry which doesn't participate for master degrees.  The School of Dentistry will award two DDS students up to $10,000 in Yellow Ribbon each year.  The School of Law is not participating in Yellow Ribbon Program during the 2013-14 academic year.

Am I eligible to receive regular financial aid while receiving VA benefits?

You may be eligible for additional financial aid - please contact Caren Bendes (bendescm@udmercy.edu or 313-993-3350) in the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships for more information.  Each student at UDM is assigned a Financial Aid Counselor to assist you if you intend to use financial aid while enrolled at UDM.

How long will it take to receive my Veteran benefits?

Your enrollment certification will be processed by the VA Certifying Official. New claims typically take 6-8 weeks for the VA to process - sometimes longer depending on current processing volume. Certifications are processed through the VA Regional Processing Office in St. Louis, MO. Note: The VA is generally overwhelmed with claims at the beginning of each semester. Always allow the VA 3-4 weeks to process any change in your claim. Once your initial claim is processed, you will receive your payments monthly, as applicable.

What should I do if I don't get a payment?

While attending school you must verify your attendance each month by using the WAVE system (Chapter 30, 1606 or 1607).  You won't be paid for a month until the month is over and you verify that you were still in attendance for that month. 

If you are receiving benefits under the Post-9/11 GI Bill-Chapter 33, you do not have to verify your attendance each month.

If you do not receive a payment, please contact VA to confirm that a payment has been issued. You can contact VA at 1-888-442-4551

What changes should I report to the VA Certifying Official at University of Detroit Mercy?

To avoid delays or overpayment of VA education benefits, each VA benefit recipient is responsible for reporting any changes in status to the VA Certifying Official, including:  Change of Address, Change of Major, Change in Enrollment Status (e.g. drop from full to part-time, or withdrawal from a course) or a Complete Withdrawal from School

You may contact the University of Detroit Mercy VA Certifying Official at 313-993-3313 or praetdm@udmercy.edu.

Can I take courses at another institution and receive my benefits and meet my degree requirements?

Yes, You must notify the VA Certifying Official at the school where you are receiving your degree that you want to take classes at another institution, known as the Secondary School.  The institution where you are receiving your degree is the Parent School.  Once you have permission from your college office at UDM to take classes at another school and you register at the other school, you must provide the Parent School a copy of your schedule from the Secondary School.  The courses must be transferable and satisfy the requirements for the degree you are pursuing at the Parent School.  The Parent School will send a letter to the Secondary School stating the classes you are registered for will transfer and satisfy the requirements for the degree you are pursuing.  The Secondary School will not be paid by VA until the process takes place.

If you are concurrently enrolled at both institutions during the same semester, both institutions will submit a certification to VA for the courses being taken at that institution.  You must request certification at the Secondary School by contacting their VA Certifying Official.

The University of Detroit Mercy will waive the graduation requirement that the last 30 credits for active-duty servicemembers must be earned at the
University of Detroit Mercy, if all other requirements have been satisfied. Reservists and National Guardsmen on active-duty are covered in the same
manner.

Is there a restriction on what courses I can take while I receive VA tuition benefits?

VA will only pay for courses that are part of your degree requirements.  See your Degree Evaluation in your TitanConnect account. If you have questions about your Degree Evaluation, see your academic advisor or speak with a member of the Transfer Credit/Degree Audit Team in the Office of the Registrar at 313-993-1940.

What should I do if I am notified that I am getting deployed?

You should notify the VA Certifying Official and provide a copy of your orders.  Depending on the timing within the semester you may be withdrawn without penalty or may be eligible for incomplete grades.  This is something that is reviewed by your College/School Dean's office and the VA Certifying Official to see what would be in your best interest.

Can I use my VA educational benefits for a graduate degree?

If you have not exhausted your benefits, they may be used towards a graduate degree.

I am using Chapter 31 Vocational Rehabilitation benefits.  How do I obtain a book and supplies voucher?

Thomas Jones in the Student Accounting Office can assist you with a book and supplies voucher in order to purchase the items approved from your Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor (VRC) on your approved VA Form 28-1905. He can be reached at jonestc@udmercy.edu or 313-993-1417.

Will I automatically receive benefits next semester?

Yes, as long as you remain eligible and wish to continue using your benefits. This certification is then sent to the St. Louis Regional Processing Office.

PLEASE NOTE: Your UDM e-mail address is the official method of communication. It is important you watch your email for important communications, regarding the use of your VA Education Benefits.

Does University of Detroit Mercy have a Student Veterans Organization?

Yes, the university has a Student Veteran Organization called UDMVSO.  The chapter is recognized by the Student Veterans of America (SVA).  The president for the 2013-14 academic year is Michael McCain and he can be reached at mccainmj1@udmercy.edu. The faculty advisor for the UDMVSO is veteran Dr. Mark Benvenuto, Professor of Chemistry.  The UDMVSO meets once per month during the fall and winter semesters.  There is also a listserve for UDMVSO members.  Please contact Diane Praet, UDM VA Certifying Official if you want to be included in the listserve membership.

Where can I get assistance at UDM?

Tutoring - University Academic Services - 3rd Floor in the Library  UAS offers free tutoring in most freshman and some upper-division courses.  UDM also offers study groups conducted by tutors who sit in on specific sections of targeted courses throughout the term and run weekly study sessions primarily in the areas of math, science and statistics.

Disability Services - Emilie Wetherington, University Academic Services - 3rd Floor in the Library - 313-578-0310  Disability support services are available to all currently enrolled students at UDM who have a documented disability that limits them in one or more major life activities.  Individuals eligible for services include, but are not limited to the following types of disabilities: mobility, orthopedic, hearing, visual, learning, and attentional.

Academic Advising - At UDM each student is assigned an individual academic advisor within your college/school or department.  The name of your academic advisor is displayed on your TitanConnect account.  In most degree programs you need to meet with your academic advisor before you can register for the next semester.  The advisor will release your advising pin allowing you to use the online registration system.

Personal Counseling Services - Personal Counseling Office is a no-cost counseling office that provides an appropriate and safe place for individual, group and family counseling for UDM students.  Personal Counseling is within the Wellness Center located in the West Quad Residence Hall or call 313-993-1185.

University of Detroit Mercy School of Law has pioneered Project SALUTE, the Veterans Law Clinic and the Veterans Appellate Clinic to address the compelling legal needs of veterans.  These programs focus on Veterans Federal Disability and Pension Benefit matters through education, law student representation and volunteer attorney referral. Contact: veteranslawclinic@udmercy.edu or 1-888-836-5294.

Transfer Credit - Admission requires official university transcripts sent from any other institution you've attended directly to UDM, this includes your ACE Military Evaluation. In addition to this, please submit your DD214 form which may qualify you for additional elective credit. If you've already been admitted, please send your DD214 to:

Transfer Credit Team
University of Detroit Mercy
Office of the Registrar
4001 West McNichols Rd.
Detroit, MI 48221-3038
 
Have more questions?

If you have additional questions, many can be answered at the Federal VA Frequently Asked Questions site. Or feel free to contact the UDM VA Certifying Official at 313-993-3313 or praetdm@udmercy.edu