Veteran's Benefit Information

Procedures for Obtaining Veteran Benefits

There are a number of different GI Bill/VA educational programs available to eligible veterans. To determine which program you are eligible for, you should first visit the VA website www.gibill.va.gov. After you have determined which program you are eligible for, one of the first steps in beginning your educational experience should be to apply to the VA for award of those benefits.

After the VA has determined your eligibility for benefits, they will issue a certificate of Eligibility (COE) to you.

Steps in the Application Process for Thomas Edison State College

  1. Apply for admission to the College via our website military.tesc.edu
  2. Have official transcripts sent directly to the Registrar's Office, Thomas Edison State College, 101 W. State St., Trenton, NJ 08608. These transcripts should include your military transcript as well as any other college coursework you may have completed previously.
  3. Scan and email your VA Certificate of Eligibility (COE) to the College at coe@tesc.edu, along with the Thomas Edison State College Veteran Benefits Information Sheet (VBIS) found at our veteran webpage. Your COE must be received by the College thirty days prior to the start of your first term of classes.
  4. Approximately four to six weeks after your application and transcripts have been received by the College, you will receive an official academic evaluation/degree plan. This will list all of the course requirements for your degree, as well as any transfer credits you may have been awarded.
  5. If you wish, you can then speak with an Academic Advisor to discuss your degree plan in further detail. You may schedule an advisement appointment by emailing [email protected], or by calling (888) 442-8372.
  6. Courses begin the first of each month and last for twelve weeks. Registration for courses may be accomplished online by using your myEdison student services account.
  7. In order for the VA to pay for your courses, you must have your Academic Advisor approve your course selections.
  8. After registration, the College will certify your attendance for the VA; this will initiate the VA's payment process for your courses.

If You Have Previously Used Your VA Benefits at Another School

You must complete a "Request for Change of Place of Training", VA Form 22-1995. You may mail this form to the VA at:

Buffalo Regional VA Office
P.O. Box 4616
Buffalo, NY 14240-4616
Attn: Education Unit

Financial Aid

Veteran students must complete the Thomas Edison State College "Application for Financial Aid" and the "Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)" found on our Financial Aid page.

Eligibility for BAH (Post 9/11 Chapter 33 Benefits Only)

Veterans eligible for Chapter 33 benefits are entitled to a housing allowance; payment of this allowance is made by the VA to the student after your enrollment has been certified by the College each term.

Determination of Amount of Monthly Entitlement

Some VA educational programs pay the student, instead of the College. Accordingly, students using those programs must pay tuition and fees for all courses at the time of registration. They will then receive their monetary entitlement from the VA after the College has certified their enrollment for that term.

The VA uses the following formula to calculate the amount of monetary entitlement for courses taken during a standard semester, defined by the VA as 15-18 weeks in length:

3 credits per semester is less than half-time
6 credits per semester is half-time
7 credits per semester is more than half-time
12 credits per semester is full-time

Semesters at Thomas Edison State College run 12 weeks: shorter than that of a traditional school. Therefore, the following formula can be used to determine the entitlement eligibility for courses taken at TESC:

18 x the number of credits taken, divided by the length of the semester, measured in weeks.

Example:
You have registered for three, 3-credit courses, for a total of 9 credits online, which run for 12 weeks.

18 X 9 (credits) = 162. Divide 162 by 12 (weeks), equals 13.5 (credit hours).

Using the above example, the VA would consider 9 credit hours at TESC to be equivalent to 13.5 credits, or full-time attendance for that semester.

Adding or Dropping Courses While Receiving VA Benefits

If you drop or withdraw from courses, you must notify the VA and formally withdraw from the course by submitting a withdrawal form to the College. The VA will not pay for courses that a student has withdrawn from.

Taking Courses at Another College While Attending Thomas Edison State College

Veteran students may attend courses at another school while completing their degree at Thomas Edison State College. The VA will only pay for those courses if they fit into the student's academic degree plan at Thomas Edison. Students who wish to attend another college must:

  1. Meet with the veteran services officer at the other college
  2. Contact their academic advisor at Thomas Edison to make sure the course(s) taken at the other college may be used to fulfill their degree requirements
  3. Complete a parent letter request and submit it to [email protected].

Vocational Rehabilitation or Disabled Veterans (Chapter 31)

After the College receives your VA Form 28-1905, you must register by phone at (609) 633-9242 or fax (609) 292-1657 as online registration is NOT available for students using these benefits. Book funds must be coordinated through your counselor at the VA.

Academic Progress

The VA requires that students maintain satisfactory progress in their studies in order to maintain eligibility for tuition payments. Accordingly, a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.0 (grade of C) must be maintained throughout the course of study. Additionally, students must complete two thirds of all courses attempted. Failure to do so may result in termination of eligibility for benefits.

There are also a maximum number of credits that students may attempt toward degree completion. Associate degree students may attempt a maximum of 90 credits and baccalaureate degree students may attempt a maximum of 180 credits. The VA will not fund courses beyond these limits.

Students who do not maintain satisfactory academic progress will be placed on probation for the next semester. Benefits will be processed for that probationary semester and the student will be provided with an opportunity to regain satisfactory academic progress.

Appeals

Students who do not maintain satisfactory academic progress will be denied additional benefits. If there are mitigating circumstances preventing the student from maintaining satisfactory academic progress, the student may appeal by explaining the circumstances to the Appeals Committee within 30 days of notification of unsatisfactory academic progress. Appeals must be in writing and submitted to:

Financial Aid & Veteran Affairs Appeals Committee
Thomas Edison State College
101 W. State St.
Trenton, NJ 08608

Questions may be directed to [email protected] or (609) 446-1804.