Veterans Affairs Guidelines

Initial check for First Time Applicants

Generally, the VA Certifying Official cannot certify a new student at UNF until they have registered for classes. New Chapter 35 students cannot be certified until a maximum of 30 days prior to the first day of class. The Department of Veterans Affairs requires a minimum six to eight weeks to process an award and begin payment.
The monthly amount of your VA educational award may be prorated if necessary. For example, if the first term of your enrollment begins on the 15th of the month, the VA will divide your monthly rate by 30 (the number of days in a standard month). This will provide your daily rate. Your daily rate is then multiplied by the number of days you are attending class that month. This is the amount of your check for the first month of attendance.
Payment is made at the end of each month. For example, you will be paid in February for attendance during January, in March for attendance in February, in April for attendance in March and so on.
Because there can be a delay of as much as four months in receiving payment, students have the opportunity to use a 60-day deferment once each academic year. You may request a tuition deferment from the VA Certifying Official in the Military and Veterans Resource Center. This must be done by the last day of Drop/Add, which is the fifth day of classes. Deferment deadlines are posted on the Cashier’s Office website. This is a privilege extended by the VA Certifying Official and the university. If you do not pay tuition in a timely fashion, this privilege will not be extended for following semesters.


Annual Certification Cycle

If this is the first semester that you are receiving benefits at the University of North Florida, or if you are returning after a break of more than two semesters, you must notify the UNF VA Certifying Official of your intent to seek VA Education Benefits. You may do so by completing the UNF Request for Veteran Benefits.

After your initial semester of certification, the UNF VA Certifying Official will automatically certify your enrollment for courses listed on your Degree Evaluation, up to your hours of eligibility or delimiting date.

If you do not want to be certified for a given semester or course, it is your responsibility to “Opt Out” and notify the UNF VA Certifying Official by the last day of Add/Drop, which is the fifth day of classes, for the term in question. You may notify the UNF VA Certifying Official by emailing from your UNF email address or by visiting the Military and Veterans Resource Center to complete a VA Form 2141-38 with the VA Coordinator. Your “Opt Out” request must include your name, N number, and the specific courses and/or term for which you are opting out.


Utilization of VA Educational Benefits will generate a continuing stream of school and VA correspondence either by conventional mail or email. All correspondence is important and should be read carefully upon receipt. Any misunderstandings or discrepancies should be brought to the attention of the UNF VA Certifying Official immediately for clarification or correction when appropriate. We urge you to create and maintain a file for all VA and school correspondence. It is also recommended you keep a photocopy of each check received.

The documents you will receive include a Certificate of Eligibility, an award letter and changes in student status from the VA Certifying Official.

Enrollment certifications contain information about the classes you are taking. They are sent to the VA periodically. After processed, the VA Regional Processing Office will send you a letter verifying your enrollment. Look over this letter carefully. Verify personal data such as address, date of birth, social security number and name. Pay particular attention to the dates and hours reported. If any information is incorrect, please notify the UNF VA Certifying Official immediately.


Notices of Change in Student Status are usually sent to the Department of Veterans Affairs after an initial enrollment certification has been sent. These forms reflect a change in hours either as a result of dropping a class, being dropped from a class by the instructor, withdrawing from courses, or the beginning of a new semester. You should carefully review this form to verify name, social security number, and hours reported. If the information appears incorrect, please contact the VA Certifying Official so the information can be explained or corrected.

Hour Requirements

It is important for anyone receiving VA Education Benefits to be aware of hour requirements for each pay status, graduate or undergraduate. Each type of certification is described below.

Credit Hours  

Training Time  

Amount of Pay  

12 or more

Full Time

Maximum Allowance

9 - 11

¾ Time

75% of Maximum Allowance

6 - 8

½ Time

50% of Maximum Allowance

5 or less

Below ½ Time

Tuition and Fees**

** For training below 1⁄2 time, the Department of Veterans Affairs will pay for tuition and fees only. This is not per month it is total. In some cases, they may send a lump sum payment or they will send a portion of your tuition and fees for each month. This chart is not reflective of Chapter 33 benefit pay. View Education Benefit Payment Rates on the Department of Veterans Affairs website. View Chapter 33 Rates.

A Special Note Concerning Split Sessions for Degree-Seeking Students

UNF offers split sessions referred to as “accelerated sessions” by the Department of Veterans Affairs (i.e. First Half of term or Summer Sessions B, C, 8 week term, and 10 week term). This means the Department of Veterans Affairs will accelerate pay status in proportion to the rate of the split sessions. A full-time course load will be different for students enrolled in the split sessions. For this reason, you should check with a VA Certifying Official to be sure of the actual rate of acceleration.

The following is an example of the hours necessary to be considered a full-time undergraduate student during the summer semesters:

Option 1  

Option 2  

Option 3  

C (13 week)-9 hours

A (1st 6 week)-4 hours

A (1st 6 week)-3 hours


B (2nd 6 week)-4 hours

B (2nd 6 week)-3 hours



C (13 week)-3 hours

The following is an example of the hours necessary to be considered a full-time graduate student during the fall semester:



Option 1  

Option 2  

1 (16 week)-9 hours

1H (8 weeks)-4 hours


2H (8 weeks)-4 hours

The number of hours needed to be full-time for the school and financial aid purposes may differ from the VA hour requirement as well. Be sure to check with the financial aid office and the registrar’s office on the credit-hour requirements for full-time. Graduate student’s full time status may vary according to their assistantships.