FAQ About the Post-9/11 GI Bill® and Related Benefits

Does Empire State University offer courses that qualify for the Monthly Housing Allowance?

Courses at Empire State University are eligible for the Monthly Housing Allowance (MHA). The MHA allocation is equal to half the national average allowed for the Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) for an E-5 with dependents. 

If interested in obtaining BAH, it is necessary to cross-register at another institution that is eligible for BAH. Please go to our Cross-Registration page for further information.

How long does it take for students to receive VA funding after their Empire State University enrollment is certified?

It normally takes 10-12 weeks after our certifying official verifies enrollment electronically with the VA, before the payment is received. Students using veteran educational benefits must complete our online military information form each term, prior to the term’s payment due date: My Military Information Form. Completing this form authorizes Empire State University to provide required information and to certify your enrollment at SUNY Empire for the specified semester to the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA).


Will the Post-9/11 (Chapter 33) VA Benefits be mailed to the student or the school?

The tuition and fees payments will be sent via electronic payment directly to the school.  The basic allowance for housing (BAH) and the books and supplies payments will be sent directly to the student.

Do VA benefits cover registration fees?

It is our understanding that most Chapters, including Chapter 33 will cover all mandatory fees required for the enrollment to be processed.

undergraduate degrees
graduate M.A. and MAT degrees 
graduate MBA degrees

Waived fees include:

  • Orientation Fee
  • Portfolio Fee
  • Individual Evaluation Fee
  • College Fee
  • Student Activity Fee
  • Health and Wellness Fee
Rate of Pursuit (Chapter 33)(Non-Standard terms)
  • Calculate number of weeks by counting the number of days in the enrollment period (first day through the last day) and dividing by 7. Disregard a remainder of 3 days or less and consider a remainder of 4 days or more a full week.
  • In a standard quarter or semester for Chapter 33 students the rate of pursuit is determined by dividing the credit hours pursued by the full-time equivalent (normally 12). For instance, 7 credit hours divided by 12 would be 58%. Chapter 33 students' rate of pursuit must be more than 50% to receive the monthly housing allowance.
  • For non-standard terms, the equivalent credit hours will be determined prior to computing rate of pursuit. For instance, 4 credit hours in a 4 week term would be the equivalent of 12 hours or 100% rate of pursuit.
If I withdraw from my course(s), will it affect my BAH/MHA stipend?

Yes, once you officially withdraw from course(s) at SUNY Empire ( student needs to complete a withdrawal form and submit to the office of the registrar). Your enrollment certification with the VA will be updated to reflect the reduced credits.

You would lose the BAH/MHA for the remainder of the term since you would no longer meet both criteria to qualify (enrolled at more than 1/2 time and in at least one in residence study). The date the BAH/MHA ends will depend on the withdrawal date.

Section 1010. Verification of enrollment to receive Post-9/11 Educational Assistance benefits Creates a dual certification for the receipt of Post-9/11 GI Bill® benefits. The school will certify the student’s enrollment after the add-drop date, and then each month thereafter, the student would be required to electronically verify with VA their continued enrollment in that school. If a student fails to certify for two consecutive months, VA will withhold monthly housing allowance payments until the student certifies. Effective: August 1, 2021.

Section 1019. Overpayments to eligible persons or Veterans This section adds a requirement that schools and training programs be financially responsible, instead of the student, for benefits paid directly to an educational institution pursuant to the Post-9/11 GI Bill® for tuition and fees or the Yellow Ribbon program, and advance payments of initial educational assistance, without consideration of whether the overpayment was the result of the willful or negligent failure of the school. Effective: January 5, 2021.

 If a student withdrawals or is administratively withdrawn by the university, the university has to pay the tuition back to the VA and bill the student.  

How do I transfer my benefits to my spouse and/or dependents?

For the first time in history, service members enrolled in the Post-9/11 GI Bill® program will be able to transfer unused educational benefits to their spouses or children starting Aug. 1, 2009. There are certain eligibility requirements for transfer, and can be viewed on the US Department of Veteran Affairs website.

What is the Yellow Ribbon Program?
The Yellow Ribbon Program offers schools, whose tuition and fees are above the maximum in-state rate, the opportunity to provide tuition discounts for the balance of tuition and fees due above the maximum rate. The VA will match the discounts provided by the schools. Note: Only veterans who are 100% eligible for chapter 33 benefits are eligible to enroll in Yellow Ribbon Schools. 100% benefits are awarded to “individuals who served an aggregate period of active duty after 9/10/01 of at least 36 months, or at least 30 continuous days and were discharged due to service-connected disability”. (VA Pamphlet, 22-09-1, Oct 2008).
Does Empire State University participate in the Yellow Ribbon Program?

Empire State University’s tuition and fees are below the maximum in-state rate so we do not need to participate in the Yellow Ribbon Program. In addition, we have several years of experience working with military, veterans and family members and are sensitive to the needs of this student population. We are sincere in our efforts to provide the best services possible so that military students, veterans and family members have a very positive experience and receive a high quality education from the State University of New York.

Does the State of New York have funding programs available for veterans living in New York?

Veterans in New York who attend college full time or part time are entitled to a New York State Veterans Tuition Award (NYSVTA). The award pays 98 percent of their tuition in New York State to a State University of New York (SUNY) undergraduate or graduate college/university. For more information and to apply for funding go to www.hesc.ny.gov.

Can I apply for the New York State Veterans Tuition Award if I am using Post 9-11 GI Bill® funds?

Yes. If you are eligible, the NYSVTA would cover any balance due for tuition after your Post-9/11 VA benefits have been awarded. For more information, contact Michael LaBrecque at Michael.LaBrecque@sunyempire.edu, or 800-847-3000, ext. 2343.


We’re here to help.

SUNY Empire’s Veteran and Military Education staff is ready to work with you to make earning your degree possible and affordable.