February 25, 2013

What Happens if I Drop or Fail a Class?


You’re a student veteran, you’re collecting GI Bill educational benefits from the VA, and everything is finally working smoothly.  Then you find yourself in a particularly difficult class and start worrying about your grade.  If you’re like most other veterans, you’ll probably also start worrying about a new problem: what will happen to your VA benefits if you fail a class?  What if you drop it instead?

First of all, don’t worry, and don’t give up.  Be proactive, take a deep breath, and focus on your class, first.  Talk to your instructor and your academic advisor, and try to identify your stumbling block.  If you need tutoring, counseling, a stress-break (exercise is a great way to clear your brain!), or academic accommodations to get you through, visit the appropriate offices on your campus for some additional support.  You’ve pushed through difficult stuff before, and you can get through this, with the right tools.

Next, you’ll need to discuss your options with your academic advisor and your school certifying official, and perhaps your financial aid counselor.  You may have several options available to you, depending on your situation, and each option may - or may not - have significant academic or penalties attached, which you will have to consider carefully before deciding what to do.
There are two factors that will weigh heavily on your decision, so let’s look at these first: 
  • What is your current academic standing?  If you’ve been doing fairly well so far and you're in good academic standing, then one or two bad grades aren’t going to be the end of your college career.  You might even be able to replace a bad grade with a better one later on, and salvage your GPA.  On the other hand, if you haven’t been doing well for the past few terms and you are already on academic probation, one more bad grade might get you kicked out, and you wouldn’t want to risk that.  If you’re on academic probation, you need to have a long talk with your academic advisor about your options.  Make an appointment today. 
  • If you drop a class, will you still be a full-time student?  If you are taking a particularly full load, dropping the class might give you more time to focus on your remaining classes, securing better grades overall.  If you drop a class, you may have to pay back Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits, but that may be better than risking a bad grade.  If you aren’t using the Post-9/11 GI Bill and will still be full-time, you might not have to repay anything.  On the other hand, if dropping the class will put you below full-time status, you may have to pay back a LOT of VA money.  Talk this over with your School Certifying Official before you decide to drop. 
Below are some common scenarios, with typical outcomes.  Remember that your situation may be different, so be sure to discuss it with the appropriate people on your campus.

Option 1: Stay in the Class
This is usually the best option for most students, unless you’re already on academic probation and can’t risk another failing grade.   With a little tutoring and some extra study time, you may end up passing the class after all!  If you don’t pass, you can probably repeat it, and it is usually easier the second time around. 

Effect on VA benefits: usually nothing.  If you stay in the class all the way to the end, you don’t have to pay money back, whether you pass or fail.  The main thing is that you tried.  Your school may require some additional documentation for your VA records to prove that you stayed in your class to the end, so be sure to check with your School Certifying Official after your grade is posted.  There’s a catch, though: if you barely passed the class and find the next class even harder, you can’t use VA benefits to repeat the class you passed, unless your college requires you to repeat it.  Also, if you end up repeating the class more than twice, you may have to pay back benefits for the first or second (or more) unsuccessful attempts. 

Effect on GPA: potentially significant.  Your current-term GPA is determined by calculating a numeric value for your letter grade, multiplied by the number of units (credits) for your class to get your grade points for the class.  Add up the total grade points for all your classes in the term and divide by the total units you attempted in that term to get the Grade Point Average (GPA) for the term.  Your cumulative GPA is calculated the same way, but with your total points divided by your total units.  An “F” grade is assigned a value of zero, which is an instant GPA killer, especially if you haven’t taken many classes yet.  It can take a long time and a lot of hard work to drag that GPA back up again.  On the other hand, if your college has a “grade forgiveness policy” that will let you repeat the class and remove the former grade from your GPA calculations, you might be able to repair the damage fairly easily.  Just be sure to discuss this with your academic advisor.  

Option 2: Drop the class 
If you are concerned about the damage that a bad grade can do to your GPA, or if your class is consuming so much of your time that you can’t focus on your other classes and are at risk of failing them all, then dropping a class may be your best option, if there’s still time to drop.  There’s almost always a deadline, so you’ll need to check your academic calendar.  Some colleges have different deadlines for dropping without a grade on the transcript, dropping with a “W” grade (or something similar), or dropping with a Withdraw-Failing grade.  You’ll need to ask your academic advisor or your registrar’s office about the differences if you aren’t sure. 

Effect on VA benefits: potentially significant.  If your drop will take you down to part-time status, you will have to pay back some of your monthly housing allowance, either back to the day you stopped attending class, or all the way back to the beginning of the term, depending on your circumstances.  If you will still be a full-time student after the drop and are using any other benefit besides the Post-9/11 GI Bill, the drop will probably not affect your benefits at all.  On the other hand, if you are using the Post-9/11 GI Bill, you will have to pay back a portion of the tuition and fees that the VA paid on your behalf for the class that you drop.  Depending on your situation, this could potentially add up to thousands of dollars, especially if the monthly housing allowance is reduced.  Be sure to discuss this with your School Certifying Official.  If you decide to take the drop and get charged for the overpayment, you can always make repayment arrangements with the VA, and set up a payment plan. 

Effect on GPA: usually nothing.  Most colleges do not have an academic penalty for dropping a class, but you should check with your college to make sure.  

Option 3: Stop going to class 
This is probably the worst thing you could do.  The VA considers “not attending” the same as if you had formally dropped, so you’ll still have to pay back some of your benefits.  In addition, if you don’t go to class, you’ll probably end up failing, so your GPA will suffer as well. 

Effect on VA benefits: potentially significant
Effect on GPA: potentially significant 

Option 4: Incomplete grade
If you are struggling in class because of an extenuating circumstance – such as an undiagnosed learning disability, military orders that caused you to miss several classes, an extended illness or hospitalization, a family emergency, etc. – you may be able to request an “incomplete” grade from your instructor, which will grant you some extra time to finish the course, and take the pressure off.  If your professor agrees, you will need to work out the details with him/her about what exactly you will need to do to complete the class, and how long you will have to do so.  If you complete the course requirements on time, your incomplete grade will change to the grade you’ve earned.  If you fail to complete the course before the deadline, you may be automatically assigned a failing grade, a withdraw grade, or the grade you had in the class at the time your instructor extended the deadline, depending on your college’s policies.

Effect on VA benefits: usually nothing.  If you complete the course and earn a grade, your benefits will remain unaffected.  If you don’t complete the course and earn a letter grade (or a “punitive” withdraw grade), your benefits are still unaffected.  If you don’t complete the course and your incomplete converts to a “non-punitive” withdraw, then you will have to pay back benefits as though you had fomally dropped the course.  The catch: depending on how your college converts incomplete grades, your School Certifying Official may have to report the incomplete grade to the VA as a “drop” initially, and then re-certify it when you complete the course.  So you may end up temporarily owing money to the VA while you are finishing the class. 

Effect on GPA: it depends on your final grade, but you will have more time to complete the work, and hopefully you’ll earn a better grade than if you tried to tough it out.  If you have the option to take an incomplete grade, this may be the best option.  Just make sure that you dedicate the necessary time to complete the course requirements and get it turned in.  Some people procrastinate and miss the deadline, so don’t let that happen to you. 

One more thing to consider: if you are receiving scholarships or financial aid, you may be subject to additional restrictions on course load and GPA.  Be sure to talk to your financial aid counselor if you are in this situation.

The bottom line is that every student’s situation is different, and you need to weigh and discuss your options with the experts on your campus.  It’s far better to know all your alternatives and make an informed decision, than to simply “let things happen.”  You may find that there are additional resources on your campus that can help you if you choose to stick with it.  Good luck!

107 comments:

  1. "If you drop a class, you may have to pay back Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits, but that may be better than risking a bad grade."
    Yeah, Ok. That's solid advice from someone who's obviously financially stable.

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    1. You took that very personally.. the author simply gives the options, their alternatives, as well as a few possible repercussions. Grow up.

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    2. oh really? that doesnt sound like much of an option. that sounds like a makeshift solution to a problem. we didnt serve to be penalized for a mistake. "mistake". but your obviously a valedictorian eh?

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    3. If you realize your class is hard..then get out as soon as possible..most if not all schools have deadlines to when you drop they give you all or part of the money back..hold on to the money just in case the VA does have you pay back the money..that way you don't have a high amount to pay back..its being really overthought..

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    4. AnonymousMay 17, 2015

      Jonathan...it's "you're", not "your". Stay in school.

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    5. AnonymousJuly 27, 2015

      Do we have to PAY BACK EVERYTHING? or just Paying Back for only one subject/class? im confuse

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    6. If you drop a class, your are subject to a debt up to and including the full tuition and fees for that class, plus the difference in BAH between your original course load and your new load after the drop. In many instances, the amount you actually have to repay will be less than the full amount, but that is the worst of it. Please discuss your specific situation with your school certifying official.

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    7. What happens if I am taking 2 online, 1 physical class getting 75% of the BAH, but I drop the Physical class midway through making me 50% (6 Credits) part time. I read that being 50% of less makes you not eligible for BAH. Will i get nothing next month or will I get half of the BAH since the semester already started?

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    8. That depends on whether or not you have mitigating circumstances for your dropped class, and/or whether or not the VA processes the adjustment with mitigating circumstances. If it's processed with mitigating circumstances, then you will receive BAH for the portion of the semester that you attended. Otherwise, you won't get any BAH for the entire term. Please discuss your situation with your school certifying official if you have additional questions.

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    9. So is it better to just stomach the bad grade rather than drop a class and pay the VA back? Is there anyone here that had to pay the VA back? Do they at least work with you and do they give you a decent amount of time to pay them back? Can they split the cost into bills?

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    10. Matt, last I had to pay things back, I was told as long as I'm paying them back something every month, it was no problem. There was no time limit to pay it back. I think it would just get in the way the next time I needed classes. But I always get different answers, so call up the VA folks and ask them about that.

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    11. I'm currently a full time student (Aug 17-Dec 8), however, I've withdrew from one class, and switched to an online class from a lecture course (same class). I picked up another course during a shorter session with the semester in order to maintain my full-time status. Unfortunately, I received two letters, one stating I was awarded full benefits for the courses (6 credit hours) that began on Oct 13th, and a second letter stating I owe a debt from the VA stating that my status was submitted as part time (6 credit hours) for the classes that started on Aug 17th. I emailed my school's certifying officer, in which he confirmed he submitted two different certifications (6 credit hours each) because the three classes I obtained started at a later time within the fall semester (Oct 13-Dec 8). Someone please help me understand why there were two different certifications for the same semester, even after full status is still active. Thank you in advance.

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    12. Hi Lauren,

      The VA considers all the classes that start in the same calendar week to be in the same "term," while classes that start in a different calendar week are in a different "term," regardless of what your school calls them.

      So, if you were in 2 classes that ran Aug-Dec and 1 class that ran Oct-Dec, then your school submitted it correctly with 2 classes in one term and 1 class in another term.

      When the VA calculates payment, they will consider each term independently, and also the overlapping period when two or more terms overlap the same dates. In the case of an overlap, the VA will add the enrollment of both terms for the overlap period only.

      So, if you were in 6 units for the full term and another 6 units for the 2nd half-term, then the VA will count that as 1/2 time for the first half and full time for the second half (because of the overlap).

      If you were enrolled originally in 12 units for the full term, and then switched it to 6+6, then you may owe a debt to the VA for BAH received during the first half.

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    13. Chryssa, quick question. What if I show up for every class but don't do any of the course work? Can the VA make me pay anything back?

      Anyone else who wants to jump in here feel free.

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    14. Hi Anonymous,

      The VA isn't checking to see if you're doing your homework, and if you manage to pass your classes, then you've completed your obligation for the course. However, you will run into problems if your grades are not high enough for you to meet your school's Standards of Academic Progress (SAP) policy.

      VA pays benefits for students who are "pursuing an approved educational program," with "pursue" being the active verb there. They don't pay benefits for students to just sit in classes and do nothing. Therefore, VA rules require that students must successfully complete courses that count towards degree/certificate requirements, and that students must meet the SAP policy as defined by the institution and approved by your State Approving Agency for VA benefits.

      If a VA beneficiary fails to meet the SAP policy, the school is required to report that to the VA, and the VA may require you to repay some or all of your benefits. In addition, you may become ineligible for future education benefits, even if you change schools.

      So, the bottom line: make your efforts count. If you're going to go to college, then do the work and do your best to be academically successful. Your hard work will pay off over time! If you are too busy, aren't interested, aren't able, or don't want to do the work, then perhaps college isn't the best choice for you right now.

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    15. One more thing to note: if you fail all of your classes in a given term, your school certifying official (as well as your financial aid officer, if you're getting financial aid) is required to find out whether or not you actually attended your classes, and report it if you stopped attending at some point. So you do need to go to class, and while you're there, you may as well learn something.

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    16. the BAH should go through no matter what. Full time or not. Sometimes people need the bah, but can't do a full course load. So, what do they do? take a full course load, and then wind up failing one or two. But that's how the system is set up. I like the old system better. I was getting 1900.00 a month on the montgomery gi bill, and used Fasfa, for three years, then got another year of post 9/11.

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    17. get under privilege scholarship and the state will pay you $3000 a month

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  2. Or you could switch colleges, they don't transfer failed classes. Then the veteran wouldn't have to pay back anything or take the hit gpa wise. Paying back VA benefits can be financially devastating, especially to veterans who are finding it hard to transition into the civilian workforce. I'm speaking from personal experience, are you a veteran?

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    1. But you can't just go to school for the payment benefits. You should be applying yourself and learning and taking the courses seriously, not just gaining another paycheck. I'm a full time employee, and a full time student. It's hard, but if you're going to go to school for free, you should do whatever you can to pass.

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    2. We'd almost be better off a one lump sum, and do what you want with it, instead of all this big brother stuff telling us what to do with the benefits. They act like they are paying for your school out of their pockets personally.

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  3. Basically, you've set up a false dichotomy, when in fact a third option exists.

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  4. Thank you so much for this article! I was on the edge of just stop going to class. I know I will fail a course, but I will keep going until the end to avoid having to pay the VA back.

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  5. AnonymousJune 05, 2013

    I'm taking 14 credits and one of my classes i'm failing, and It's defenitly something that scares me, because I have/am exhausting ever option for extra credit, but my professor wont budge. I'm just concerned about being completely cut off.

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    1. This is how socialism work.... give us something, tell us how to use it, scare the hell out of you, overwhelm you with worry, then fail.

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    2. you are forgiven to drop 6 credits one time

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    3. you are forgiven to drop 6 credits one time

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    4. so you are saying all 7 billion people can become a doctor easy.

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  6. I ran into some PTSD complications in my third semester and stopped going to class. I am on academic probation at that particular school. How do I go to another school and generate my benefits back up? I have a doctors letter excusing my absence. Any takers?

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  7. Unfortunately, PTSD and even basic transition-related challenges usually start to show up in the second or third semester of school, so you're definitely not alone in your experience.

    The good news is you may still be able to recover your grades and benefits and stay in school, if that is what you'd like to do. You'll need to talk to your academic advisor to create a plan to improve your academic standing and get you off of probation. As long as you're still able to take classes, you can probably still get benefits. Talk to your school certifying official to find out the details.

    If you can't or would prefer not to continue at your current school, then you will need to find another school to attend, and complete the admissions/application process there. Selective schools may not even consider an applicant with a bad transcript, but you should discuss your situation with an admissions counselor to find out what your options are. You may be able to write a letter of explanation to accompany your application packet.

    There are all kinds of schools out there, so you might need to find one that is a better fit for you. For example, some schools might have a huge veteran population and plenty of peer support, but less administrative support from staff who are overwhelmed with students. Or a school might have only a few veterans on campus, but each one gets individualized attention from a caring staff. Some veterans find that online classes are the perfect answer to environmental PTSD triggers, like a stressful commute or a crowded lecture hall, while others find that online classes are harder and make their symptoms worse. You'll need to figure out what your strengths, triggers, and challenges are, and what kind of resources might help you. Try to describe what the "perfect" school would be like for you, and then go and find a school that fits that description. They're out there.

    Whether you stay at your current school or find a new one, you will need to seek treatment for your PTSD and try to work out some of the complications before you try to re-enroll, or your situation will not improve. Your local VA vet center will have tools to help you cope with your symptoms and can refer you to appropriate facilities for treatment.

    Once you're on campus again, you should visit the department on campus that coordinates services for students with disabilities. Since PTSD is a qualified disability, you could qualify for academic accommodations that will help level the field and eliminate some of the complications you have experienced.

    As far as your VA benefits go, if you've been academically dismissed, you may be asked to demonstrate to the VA that you've resolved whatever challenges you had before they will approve you for benefits again. The VA will contact you if they need information or documentation from you. Be sure to follow through on anything that is required.

    If you are only on probation and are able to stay at your current school, you will be able to continue your benefits as before. If you switch to a new school but were not dismissed, you'll just need to switch your benefits to the new school once you've been accepted there. Your school certifying official can help you with the necessary paperwork.

    Good luck on your journey, and don't give up!

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    1. amazing advice. thank you for that reply, as it is exactly what I needed to clarify the multitude of responses from various departments and two different colleges. comforting.

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    2. AnonymousMay 14, 2014

      Thanks. Great considerations for my daughter. I will pass it on to her.

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    3. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    4. I'm currently a full time student (Aug 17-Dec 8), however, I've withdrew from one class (picked up another), and switched to an online class from a lecture course (same class) in order to maintain my full-time status. Unfortunately, I received two letters, one stating I was awarded full benefits for the courses (6 credit hours) that began on Oct 13th, and a second letter stating I owe a debt from the VA stating that my status was submitted as part time (6 credit hours) for the classes that started on Aug 17th. I emailed my school's certifying officer, in which he confirmed he submitted two different certifications (6 credit hours each) because the three classes I obtained started at a later time within the fall semester (Oct 13-Dec 8). Someone please help me understand why there were two different certifications for the same semester, even after full status is still active. Thank you in advance.

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    5. Hi Lauren,

      If a course begins or ends in a different week from another course, then the VA considers that class to be in a different "term" even if it coincides or overlaps another course. The reason for this is because the VA calculates your monthly allowance pay based on your full-time or part-time attendance for any given week in the term.

      So, despite the fact that your school considers all of your classes to be in the same term (Fall), the VA considers those to be separate terms (Aug-Dec and Oct-Dec).

      It is very important to note that the VA calculates full-time or part-time attendance based on the length of the certification term, not the school's definition of the term. The full term (Aug-Dec) is a standard semester, and you need to be enrolled in a minimum of 12 semester credits (undergraduate) to receive a full-time monthly allowance payment for the entire semester. The short term (Oct-Dec) is a "non-standard" term, and the VA has a formula for calculating full-time vs. part-time in a nonstandard term. If the two terms overlap, then the VA will add your rate-of-pursuit from the two terms together, but just for the portion of the term that overlaps.

      If you drop a class in one term and add it to the other term, that will usually result in a change of benefits. Your monthly allowance payment will be adjusted if you go below full-time for any portion of the semester. In addition, you may have an adjustment in tuition benefits if you're using the Post-9/11 GI Bill.

      So, while you've gotta do what you've gotta do, it's better to avoid making changes to your schedule if you can help it, because that can result in a lot of messy payments going back and forth between the VA, you, and your school. Also, if you do need to make a change, it's always a good idea to check in with your school certifying official BEFORE you make any changes, just so you will know how it will impact your payments. You may decide to do something differently if you have the info up-front.

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    6. it is ok to fail. can I have your job

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  8. I guess a veterans GPA doesn't really matter...

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  9. What if you decided to switch career paths? Does attending at that point really matter because if your going for something different it wont help you.

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  10. So if my failing grade puts my GPA below 2.0 I'm ok as long as I push threw?

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  11. The VA is not as concerned about GPA as they are about "Satisfactory Academic Progress." In other words, they want to make sure you are on track to graduate, so that you end up with a degree to show for all your hard work, not to mention those taxpayer dollars that they have to account for. Whether you graduate at the top of the class or the bottom of the class isn't as important to the VA as the fact that you graduated. Of course, your GPA may make a difference to YOU, which is why I wrote this article, to help you weigh your academic vs. financial options.

    If your grade puts your GPA below a 2.0, you're probably fine for now, but it really depends on how your school defines "Satisfactory Academic Progress." Generally speaking, as long as it's just a one-time thing and you're able to pull your grades back up and stay on track, you'll be fine.

    At most colleges and universities, a 2.0 grade will put you on academic probation, which will allow you to continue at that school but places you on "alert" status that you are at risk of failing. You may be required to meet with your academic advisor, the tutoring center, or some other office on campus as a term of your probation. You may also have restrictions placed on you regarding which classes you may take, and how many credits total you may enroll in. The terms of probation are designed to help students realistically recover their grades and get off of probation, so you should view it as an opportunity to get some extra help. When you are placed on academic probation, your schools is obligated to report your probationary status to the VA, which will then contact you about additional resources available through the VA to help you in school.

    If you continue on academic probation for a couple of terms without improving your grades, you will probably be academically dismissed from the institution, which will be reported to the VA and you'll have a nasty mark on your transcript. Depending on the circumstances, you may be required to repay a portion of the funds you received while you were on probation or during the term leading up to your dismissal, so you shouldn't treat this lightly. You will also need to complete some additional steps before you will be allowed to collect benefits again at a different school.

    Even if your school allows you to stay on, you won't be able to collect any more VA benefits after two terms on academic probation, without meeting with your school certifying official and creating an educational plan to get back on track. And, once that plan has been filed with the VA, you must stick to the plan or you won't be allowed to collect any additional funds, and you may have to repay funds already received.

    So, to make a long answer short, you need to discuss your situation with both your academic advisor and your school certifying official, so that you know exactly what academic and financial consequences are at risk.

    If you are thinking about switching career paths, you still should complete the term in progress with the best grades you can muster, because those grades will follow you for the rest of your life. You never know when you might want to go back to school, or when an employer may want to review your transcript. Besides, if you stop going, the VA will want their money back. So you may as well put some effort into it and finish out the term on a high note.

    Good luck, and keep charging!

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    Replies
    1. if you are a veteran reply and I will give you more info than our c. jones

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  12. What happens if I was taking 9 credits and I end up getting a NB (NO BASIS) grade instead of an incomplete or an F in one class? Will I have to pay back benefits and how long do I have to pay back those benefits? Will it affect the up and coming Spring semester payments?

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  13. The VA does not care if you graduate. They care about making sure money is used for school. They also put a ton of stipulations on your money, making it next to impossible for a lot of former vets to fully exhaust their benefits. Often times you find out about these cases and it takes 3 months or longer for your paperwork to move through the VA. I would rather my children get student loans and scholarships than follow in my footsteps. The relatively small reward for enduring the stress of multiple combat tours and military life in general is not worth it. Most times, it is not even enough money to cover the tuition for a 4 year degree. "Congrats on your 7 years of service and multiple combat tours! You've earned a free trip to the community college of your choice!" Gee... Thanks.

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    1. I managed to get my Bachelors in 2 years, a Masters in 1 to exhaust my 3 years of post 9/11 benefits. I am also a single mom and work full time so I know it can be done.

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    2. I remember someone did the same thing, got hired by the VA only ...was not qualified for civilian job.

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  14. Even if it takes time, it is improving the grade which is good... MGT 311 Final Exam

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  15. What happens if I fail my class a second time, but I did not use my benefits the first time, do I still have to owe the VA money?

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    1. Figuring out if you have to repay benefits for a failed repeated class is very tricky, as it depends on how the cumulative GPA is calculated for both classes and whether one or the other class is "forgiven" in the calculations. You may have to repay money for the 2nd class, even though you did not use benefits the first time - best to discuss your specific situation with your school certifying official.

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  16. Does anyone know what happens if you are put on Academic Probation during a Spring Semester, but manage to bring your GPA up to a 2.062 at the end of it, so you intend to retake classes, but they are not offered the following semester so you the following Fall Semester you have to take all new classes and are getting an A in one, a C- in another but are miserably failing the third? What happens to my VA benefits if I drop down into Academic Probation again for a second time but it's not twice in a row... but can totally bring my grade back up the following Spring Semester when I can retake those other classes? I'm trying to bring up my overall GPA but it's constantly at the threshold, which stresses me out.

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    1. Congratulations on your hard work! I know that "probation" threshold is stressful. It's OK though - the 2-term limit on benefits is for consecutive terms on academic probation. If you recover your GPA and get back to good academic standing, then have a bad term and go back on probation in the future, you will still get at least 2 more terms for the VA, as long as your school allows you to stay on. Don't stress it too much, and be sure to ask your school certifying official if you have any more questions. It sounds like you're on the right track - good luck! You can do it!

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    2. Hello Chryssa:
      Thank you so much for your informative article and thoughtful responses to so many questions. Unfortunately, I am in the same situation as the previous person, who posted on 11/25/2014. I have just been placed on academic probation and in danger of completely flunking out if I don't get it together.

      Please tell us what happens to veterans, who flunk out of college? Are we required to pay back all benefits or a partial amount? If I funk out, could I then apply for Individual Unemployability with my 70% disability rating?

      I am so disappointed in my lackluster performance in school. When I started VA Voc Rehab they required that I transfer into a state college and attend school throut the year, including Summer semesters.

      As a part-time student my GPA was 3.02 at a private college. However, once I transferred and went full-time seven semesters straight, my GPA has dropped to
      1.74 placing me in danger of permanent suspension.

      At this point, I dont know how to proceed short of taking the simplest classes possible to rebuild my GPA. I wish that I had known more about Voc Rehab policies because it seems to me that it's ridiculous to require a person with PTSD to be full-time students, three semesters a year.

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    3. Dear Anonymous,

      Don't despair, and don't give up! You still have options. Last spring, I wrote a follow-up post to this one, which you should read before you go any further, here: http://troops2college.blogspot.com/2014/05/dealing-with-academic-difficulties-due.html

      Most importantly: no, you won't have to pay everything back. When schools report that a student has been academically dismissed, the VA may charge the student for benefits received during the term leading up to the dismissal, and/or for classes that the student stopped attending, and/or for any payments that the student got unfairly. But that's usually about the worst of it.

      Your VocRehab counselor may have recommended or encouraged you to attend a particular college, but the VA doesn't require students to do so. You have the right to choose which school you want to attend, from among a long list of VA-approved institutions (including private schools). The VA also does not require you to be a full-time student, but your benefits are usually pro-rated if you attend only part-time (although I've heard of exceptions under VocRehab where students can still get full-time benefits for part-time enrollment). So, it sounds like there was a miscommunication between you and your case manager, or a mistake was made. You should not have had to change schools or go full time if that was not your choice; I would suggest that you follow up with the VR&E office at your nearest regional VA facility for further assistance with your specific situation. If push comes to shove, you can also contact an advocate via service organizations such as the American Legion or IAVA, and you can also contact your Senator's office.

      In the meantime, since it sounds like your academic success is important to you, I strongly recommend that you make an appointment immediately with an academic advisor at your college, to see what you can do to repair the damage. He or she will probably help you create a recovery plan (sometimes called an "academic contract") that specifies which classes you need to take, and which term you need to take them in, and other resources that you may be required to access (such as a tutor, disability coordinator, etc.). If you have a plan on file and are keeping to the plan, you might be able to avoid dismissal, even if it takes a while to fix your GPA. (1.74 isn't that bad - you can still fix it!)

      If you do end up getting dismissed (or decide to withdraw on your own), it's not the end of the world. If you want to stay enrolled, you can always find another college to attend. If you want to take a break, you can do that too. Talk to your school certifying official about what happens to your benefits, as they can give you more specific information.

      Lastly (and most importantly), seek help. Contact your local VA Vet Center or ask your college advisor or veteran services coordinator for some referrals and resources that can help you.

      Good luck, and keep charging!

      Delete
    4. Dear readers, I've added a new article that specifically discusses grades, academic probation, and academic dismissal, and some suggestions to help student veterans improve GPA and restore academic standing.

      You can read the article here: http://troops2college.blogspot.com/2015/04/understanding-grades-and-academic.html

      Delete
    5. An army recruiter is better qualified on 9/11 GI bill info...do you agree.

      Delete
  17. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  18. What happens if I end up dropping a course during the first week of classes? I'm still maintaining full time status however only taking 15 credits as opposed to 18? Am I penalized for that? And what if I decide to transfer schools next semester? Maybe go to a trade school instead? Im just having a hard time adjusting and before I even attempt to manage 18 credits I decided to lighten up my course load a little? Would I have to pay the va anything back?

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    1. im in the same boat, im asking my va rep at school if and how much ill owe, im taking 3 classes and working part time and that's 11 now 7 if I drop my 4 credit bio course 2 for class and 2 for lab. its community college and my last semester before I transfer so my gpa is important.

      my plan, ask VA rep at school tomorrow, drop class, re-take during summer. pay back any amount probably a few hundred for BAH and tuition, or maybe none at all?!

      this class is nuts I only need science credits to graduate and its taught like im a biology major.....I wanna be a cop lol.

      Delete
  19. You've received benefits so far this semester? I thinking of withdrawing for this semester all together and focus on brushing up so i dont look completely lost like i do now, and come back next semester ready and where i should be, would i have to pay the va anything back? or am i penelized for anything? since i haven't received anything from the va, but im sure the paperwork necessary has started?

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  20. Maria & Paul, sorry about the delay getting back to you. Hopefully, you already contacted your school certifying official to get the answers to your questions! For everyone else reading the comments, here's a basic answer, although you'll need to contact your school for specific information.

    If you reduce credits/units during a term but are still a full-time student for that term, you may need to repay some or all of the tuition/fees associated with the course that you dropped, but your BAH will not be affected (since you're still full time), and you never have to repay the book stipend (since it's assumed that you already bought the books and can't return them).

    The amount of tuition/fees that you may have to repay depends on several factors: (1) how much the school charges for each class/credit/unit, or if it's a flat rate for full-time students, (2) the date you last attended (or participated in) the class, and (3) whether or not you had extenuating (VA calls them "mitigating") circumstances that forced you to drop the class.

    This answer is going to get long, so please look for a separate (soon-to-come) blog post on the topic. In the meantime, please ask your school certifying official about your specific situation, as they can discuss real dollars with you.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Chyrssa,

    If I am enrolled at a Tech school under the 9/11 GI Bill, and deem it is maybe not for me, and in my first semester,..can I drop out and attend another school using my 9/11 GI BILL,..at that school?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Bellboy67,

      Thanks for the question! Yes, students often change schools and degree programs before they find the best fit, and that's not a problem for your VA benefits. You can change schools whenever you want, and use your GI Bill at the new school, as long as that school (and your chosen degree program) are approved by the VA.

      To change schools, you'll need to fill out VA form 22-1995, which you can do online through VONAPP, or you can fill out a paper copy and give it to your new school's certifying official. The form itself does not have to go to the VA, and your certifying official can just indicate electronically that they've received it when they certify your classes. If fact, many certifying officials prefer to do it this way, because it's faster and ensures that you'll get your payments on time.

      Bottom line: you can change schools whenever you want, and you just need to contact the VA certifying official at the new school to find out what to do next.

      Good luck on your journey!

      Delete
  22. what will happen if i drop from a tech school and do not go back to school??

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    Replies
    1. i have the same question!!

      Delete
    2. Anonymous & Sha'ahn,

      If you decide not to go back to school, nothing happens, as far as the VA is concerned. Your VA benefits are paid out one term at a time, so after you complete a term, you can decide if you want to continue or not. Your GI Bill benefits are still valid until you use them up or reach your delimiting date, so you can decide to go back to school (or not) anytime in the future, up to 15 years after your ETS. For more information about taking a break from classes, please see this article: http://troops2college.blogspot.com/2014/01/taking-break-from-classes.html

      Academically speaking, you may or may not have a grade on your transcript after the drop, depending on the date you drop your classes and your school's drop policies. Some schools will not issue a transcript at all if you drop all your classes before the "census date," meaning the date before your classes are recorded on your transcript. If you drop after that date, or if your school has a different policy, you may receive a transcript with a "W" grade or something similar, to indicate that you dropped the classes. Usually, there is no GPA assigned to a "W" grade, and it is considered "non-punitive," meaning that it doesn't hurt you academically.

      However, if you were failing (or not attending) your classes when you dropped, you may be issued a failing grade, which will follow you, and may have some negative repercussions on your academic and career path. I suggest that you check your school's policies on dropping classes, if you aren't sure how your grade will be recorded.

      If you drop classes, you may also have to repay some or all of your VA benefits, which is already discussed in this article at length.

      Bottom line: it's okay if you decide to drop and not go back to school for a while. You've got plenty of time to decide what to do with your benefits, and you definitely don't need to feel pressured into continuing school right now if that's not what you want to do. You may change your mind later about your school or degree program, or go somewhere else and do something totally different, and that's fine too.

      Whatever you decide to do, good luck!

      Delete
  23. Excellent website you have here, so much cool information!..
    agl

    ReplyDelete
  24. AnonymousJune 07, 2015

    All, I got myself in a pickle. I wanted to get ahead of the curve by taking a summer course online. I am currently in the class and I am passing the course. However, it looks like I reached my max potential for this course. I decided to take this class as an elective to make up some ground in my studies. I thought a technical course would be a good change of pace for me. Well I soon found out that the online course was to fast for me. The summer online course was a condensed 6 weeks course. I can not keep up with the course. That is the reason I came to this site to find out options. I think I messed up my chances of graduating because I decided to take an aggressive online course to catch up. Now, I am looking for options. What should I do? Drop or ask the professor for Incomplete. I know that If I stay the course I will fail. The reason I say I will fail is because I don't have enough time to learn a new technical skill in less then 3 weeks and apply them to a graduate level course work. I admit it. I am overwhelmed. Does anyone have any suggestion for me? -LD

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous, you should probably check in with your school certifying official and/or academic advisor, but here's one possibility: see if you can switch your course to pass/no credit. If you think you'll still manage to pull off a passing grade, the pass/no credit option will allow you to get credit for the class but won't hurt your GPA. However, if you don't pass the class, you'll end up with a "no credit" grade, which means you may have to repay the benefits you received for the class. It's risky, but it may be an option if you think you can manage a pass.

      Your instructor probably won't give you an Incomplete option unless you have extenuating circumstances, but you can always ask.....

      Otherwise, your options really depend on how much you might have to repay if you drop vs. the academic penalty of a bad grade. Your school certifying official can estimate how much you may have to repay (are you still within the refund period?), while your academic advisor can discuss the academic impact.

      Good luck!


      For everyone else reading this, here's a tip you can learn from Anonymous: short sessions = more work, more time, and more skills needed! If the session is 1/2 as long, then it's the equivalent of double the number of study hours needed to be successful. If the session is 1/3 as long, then it's triple the hours. Plus, in a condensed term, you have less time for the material to "sink in," so you need really good active-to-long-term memory conversion skills to be successful in a short session. If you have challenges focusing on new material and committing it to memory, avoid short sessions and stick with the long ones, where you'll have more time to let your brain soak it up.

      Delete
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  26. What if I'm dismissed from the school. I passed all my classes but my GPA wasn't high enough. Can I use my benefits for a different school?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jonathan, yes, you can use your benefits at a different school, as long as that school accepts you. However, the VA may request additional information from you before they will pay benefits; for instance, if you were struggling academically because you were also dealing with transitional issues, PTSD, family problems, etc., the VA may want to know if those have been resolved before you attempt to go back to school. If the VA contacts you for additional information, be sure to respond. If they don't, then don't worry about it.

      Delete
  27. AnonymousJuly 01, 2015

    It's my first time dropping a class while having the Gi bill benefits. I dropped on the last day of class because i failed and could not have tolerated the grade on my gpa. So will i have to repay the VA back? Or if i would have stayed and accepted the F would i still have to pay them back anyway?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Anonymous,

      If this is the first time you dropped a class, and you attended all the way to the end, you probably won't have to pay anything back. The VA allows a "6-credit-hour exclusion" that they automatically apply the first time you drop a class or classes, up to 6 credit hours. The exclusion assumes you had a good reason for dropping the class, so they don't charge you for the portion of the term you attended prior to the drop. They still charge you for the portion of the term remaining after the drop, but if you stayed in the class for the full term, there won't be much of a charge, if anything.

      The 6-credit-hour exclusion is a one-time thing, though. From here on out, you'll have to repay benefits for dropped classes unless you have mitigating circumstances, even if you change schools. Always check with your school certifying official before dropping classes to find out what the penalties may be, so that you can make a fully-informed decision.

      Good luck!

      Delete
  28. I have a question: If in case you have to pay back Post 911 GI Bill for whatever reasons (withdrawn, dropped, terminated, etc.), do you have to pay the BAH too or just the tuition that VA directly sent to your school? Please someone who knows about this help me out. Thanks a lot in advance :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It depends. If your enrollment-status change reduced the amount of BAH that you were entitled to, and if you already received the BAH payment for that period, then yes, you'll have to pay back the excess.

      It's really tricky, though, to determine whether or not your enrollment change resulted in a change in your BAH entitlement, and by how much.

      If you're still a full-time student after the change, then your BAH will not be affected. However, if you drop from full-time to part-time, or reduce your part-time enrollment, or drop all your classes, then your BAH will be affected. The "how much" is determined by the date that you last attended your class(es), and whether or not you have mitigating circumstances, and your % of enrollment before and after the drop.

      Since your BAH is always paid in arrears, the VA might adjust it (if they find out in time) before they issue a payment, avoiding the BAH overpayment altogether.

      The best thing to do is to talk to your school certifying official, who can help you with your particular situation. The VA should also send you a letter in the mail to inform you about the change in enrollment status and resulting overpayment(s), but those letters are sometimes confusing. If you take the letter to your school certifying official, they can help interpret the letter.

      Delete
  29. Thanks a lot Chryssa :). So pretty much Post 911 GI Bill BAH is only affected on being either full or part time student in a term. I've always thought that failing the same class on second try will only result in paying back the tuition, not the BAH.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, your BAH payment varies according to your full time / part time status. And, you brought up an important point - if you fail a class for the second time (or get an unsatisfactory grade), the VA will treat one of the failed classes as though you had dropped it. If that puts you below full-time, you'll have to repay BAH.

      Thanks for the question!

      Delete
  30. So if you drop a class after the first month and go from 13hrs to 11hrs, do you pay back the Housing allowance from the first month? Or is it only the Allowance after that month that needs to be paid back if they over pay you accidentally? Sorry, I'm just making sure I'm understanding this correctly.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    2. Hi Sarah,

      That's a tricky question. According to the rules, the VA is supposed to charge the debt back to the beginning of the semester, unless you have "mitigating circumstances" (unavoidable issues like illness or injury, financial hardship, duty obligations, etc.) that led to the drop. With mitigating circumstances, the VA will only charge your BAH for the portion of the term that you didn't attend, and not the whole term.

      However, the VA's payment processing system has, until very recently, been unable to process these situations, and correctly bill students for debts. So up until now, the VA has given everyone the benefit and charged debts to students as if everyone had mitigating circumstances. In other words, until now, students have never had to pay back BAH for the part of the term prior to the drop.

      The most recent technology upgrade at the VA closed this loophole, which has been going on ever since the Post-9/11 GI Bill was rolled out back in 2009. The VA is now in full compliance with the law, and starting Fall 2015 semester, has already begun charging the debts the "correct" way according to the law, which unfortunately means students will have to pay back the debt to the beginning of the term and won't benefit from that loophole anymore.

      Here's what this means for you: if you have a substantial reason why you need to drop a class, be sure to give your documentation to your school certifying official, so that they can report your mitigating circumstances for you. If you don't give them that documentation, then the VA will contact you directly to ask you to submit any mitigating documentation that you may have. It's very important that you return that documentation to the VA as requested, to have your debt adjusted.

      If you don't have any special circumstances, or don't submit the documentation, then you will have to pay back the difference in housing from the first month.

      Please keep in mind that this is the most recent information that I've received from the VA, and they are still rolling it out across their system. This is in flux right now, and may still change. If you drop a class this term and aren't asked for mitigating circumstances or charged for the whole term, then lucky you. But the VA will catch up with everyone by next term, and you will be subject to the mitigating circumstances rule in the future if not this term.

      Delete
  31. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  32. Ok so here is my situation:
    I am attending an online program but through a real university. In order to recieve full rate benefits, I have utilized the parent school letter process for 7 semesters. But, my main program only allows for me to transfer a max of 12 credits during the time I am in pursuit of a bachelors at that school. To prevent myself from hitting that mark, I have had to drop/fail 6 out of 7 of the secondary institution courses, only submitting 1 A that I received. I have a 4.0 at my main school, and 9 credits left to exhaust for semesters where I need my full rate benefits. But I still have 5 semesters to go to finish my bachelors (and 9 credits only covers 3 semesters). Thus, I need to continue dropping or failing the secondary institution classes at least 2 more times. What, if anything, can this snowball into? Currently using post 9/11, about to transfer to VocRehab. I am overwhelmed with fear that I am creating a major problem in the event there is an audit or something. Please help me understand.

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    Replies
    1. Wow, you've gotten yourself into a complicated situation, haven't you? Let me see if I understand what you're saying:
      1. You are currently taking classes at your primary school and also at a secondary school at the same time, to maximize your benefits (sounds like you're taking online classes plus one in-person for full BAH)
      2. Your primary school is authorizing all of your secondary classes, but since you can only transfer 12 credits total, you are failing them on purpose so that you can continue taking the classes at your secondary school
      3. You still have 5 semesters left to go at your primary school, but you can only transfer 9 additional credits (1 class each semester for 3 semesters) before you reach your transfer cap
      4. You want to know what will happen if you continue to intentionally fail your secondary school classes, and what happens to the ones you already failed.
      Did I summarize that accurately? Assuming I did, I'll take a stab at some answers, but you really need to discuss your situation with your school certifying official.
      1. If you continue to fail classes at the secondary school, they may eventually stop letting you attend. You'll need to find out what the Standards of Academic Progress policy is at that school. If they block you, you'll have to find another school to take your in-person class.
      2. If you continue to fail classes, you may be subject to academic dismissal from that institution. Maybe not, since you're only a guest student there, but you should find out what the worst-case scenario is. If they report an academic dismissal to the VA, you may be ineligible for all future education benefits until the VA determines that you're "suitable" to go back to school.
      3. Your transcripts, including the failing grades, still go back to the parent school. Depending on your school's policies, your parent school may stop approving your co-curricular enrollment, or may suspend you for failure to meet academic progress standards.
      4. If it appears that the courses you are taking at your secondary school no longer meet graduation requirements, your school certifying official may refuse to issue a parent letter, which will cut you off from those benefits.
      5. If you fail the same class at either school twice or more times, that school will have to report the failure to the VA, and you will have to pay it back, along with the BAH, as though you never attended the class at all.
      6. Once you switch to Voc Rehab, all the rules of the game change. Your voc rehab counselor will approve or disapprove every class you take, at both schools, if you continue doing that. If they think you're cheating the system, game over. The good news is you probably won't have to do this anymore after you switch, because you can take all online classes under Voc Rehab and get the full housing allowance. The in-person rule only applies to the Post-9/11 GI Bill.

      These are all possible worst-case scenarios. Maybe none of these will happen. Maybe you can keep taking the classes (and fail a couple more times), and everything would be fine. But I don't know the rules at your institutions, and that's what you have to find out. The VA does not punish students for F grades (unless you fail it again, as I just mentioned above), so you could, in theory, keep doing what you're doing, as long as it doesn't get you into academic difficulty.

      Please discuss your situation with your school certifying official. We've seen it all, and we really do want to help students maximize their benefit AND be academically successful. While you're talking to your school certifying official, be sure to discuss what will change after you switch to Voc Rehab. I think you'll feel much more confident and less worried after you have that conversation.

      Delete
  33. I am currently attending a technical school with a weird program that I am not too fond of. The way the program works is you attend 9 months of schooling, then once your 9 months is complete, with passing grades, you go on to a 12 week internship. You are not considered a graduate of this school until your 12 week internship is complete. I am only a few weeks away from said internship; I have exceptional grades, etc. However, I have no interest in this field and I would rather begin a new program at a different school. Would it be possible for me to finish up my last few weeks of school and then begin classes at a new school rather than doing the internship?

    ReplyDelete
  34. I forgot to mention that I am using the Post 9/11 benefits. Would I lose or owe any money if I decided to start a new school instead of doing the internship?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Anonymous,

      Sure, you can switch schools and programs anytime. People's plans change, and the VA doesn't hold it against you if you decide to discontinue your current program and start something new somewhere else.

      But, here's some tough-love advice: any credential (even in a field you don't like or don't end up working in) is still better than no credential at all. If you've already finished 9 months of school with good grades, and all you have left is a 3 month internship, why not just stick it out and finish the program? You may decide you like it after all, and you'll at least have a piece of paper to show for the 9 months you've already invested. If you just walk away, all that time and money will be wasted.

      But, if you really don't want to do the program anymore, and you're confident that you'll be able to start and finish something else, go right ahead. You won't have to repay any benefits for courses you successfully completed, even if it didn't lead to graduation. Maybe you'll find a new program that you can transfer some of your already-completed courses into, which will be a better fit and make you happier in the long run.

      Good luck!

      Delete
    2. Thanks for the great advice Chrissa! Much appreciated :)

      -Miranda

      Delete
  35. Hi
    My question is I was a full time student receiving BAH payment for my classes. I received a grade of FN in one of my classes and a grade of D in the other. My father in law has terminal illness and I've had to increase my workload to help financially as well as traveling to take care of him in addition to taking care of my children. Before I knew it the semester was over and I just never found the time to commit to my classes due to my family obligations. Does the 6 hour exclusion apply if I never formally dropped from the class?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Talk to your school certifying official, as it depends on how they reported your classes and your specific circumstances. If the classes were reported as non-punitive and you've never invoked the 6-hour exclusion before, then yes, it would apply here.

      Delete
    2. Thanks!

      Delete
  36. Hello. I signed up for two classes this last Summer but found that the classes had a massive workload and were accelerated. I dropped the class well within the drop period, however, the VA still paid me my BAH. I am towards the end of my Fall semester and have received the book stipend, partial BAH for August, full BAH for September, but no BAH for October (the deposit should have hit by now). I understand that I may owe the VA for the Summer 2015 semester I dropped, but will the VA take what I owe out of future BAH and Book Stipend payments until the debt is paid off? Thank you for your time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Kenneth,

      It's hard for me to give you a clear answer because you are describing enrollment and payments for two different terms (summer and fall), but it's not exactly clear which payments you received for which term.

      Based on the information you provided, it sounds like the payments you received were for Fall semester. October's BAH payment wasn't due to clear your account until November 2 (and you posted this on 10/30), so you may have received your October BAH payment after you posted. You didn't describe any payments for June or July, so it doesn't sound like you received BAH for the summer term. You didn't say whether or not the VA paid tuition/fees or books for that term, so I don't know if you owe any debts for summer or not.

      I would recommend that you contact your school certifying official to inquire about your summer enrollment, certification, drop, and any possible debts. They can give you a better answer based on your specific situation.

      Generally speaking, the VA may withhold debts from future payments, as long as those terms have already been certified and processed, but they often don't. You should have received a letter in the mail from the VA to explain your debt, and if any future withholding will be made.

      If you have questions about your payments or withholding, call the VA Call Center at 888-442-4551 (888-GI-Bill-1).

      Delete
  37. My husband was taking class and doing very well! And all of a sudden the school dropped his course load and said it was because his hs transcript was not valid? (He graduated top of his class, I know because we graduated together) It seems the VA mad a payment to the school and then once he was re-enrolled after a third person confirmed this information he was allowed to go back to class. THEN he was dropped again because it was deemed invalid again! A FOURTH person is said to be in works of validating his information, but I want to know once he's re-enrolled for a 3rd time will this affect our BAH payment for the month and will the school be seemingly paid for each re-enrollment? If so that's ridiculous and they're stealing!

    ReplyDelete
  38. If I fail a class using the GI Bill, do I HAVE to retake the class if, for example, I stop going to school entirely after failing the class?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm not an expert at all, but it's my understanding that the VA doesn't require you retake the course. But if it's in your degree plan, you'll have to complete it at some point.

      Delete
  39. I have a question. I took an advanced college algebra class last year and failed it. I'm taking it again and I'm afraid of what may happen if I fail this class again. What would happen to my 911 Bill and benefits?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you are taking a class for the second time and do not successfully complete it, then your school is required to report it to the VA, and you may be required to repay tuition and a portion of your BAH for the failed class. You can take it again a third time if you still need the class, but you need to successfully complete it or you'll have to repay benefits.

      You might want to check into tutoring services. Most colleges offer tutoring for free, but if yours doesn't, or if you want to hire someone else, your Post-9/11 benefits will reimburse you for tutoring. Discuss this with your school certifying official for more information.

      Delete
  40. Hi, my question is I'm a full time student at a University and I was enrolled with 15 credits and recently had to drop a class I was having a real hard time with. This brought me to 12 credits which is still considered full time. Will I have to pay back money even if the full tuition is the same whether it's 12 or up to 18 credits? Will my bah or book stipend be affected? Also I will retake this class in the summer. Does this make a difference? Thanks for any insight.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, you're actually in a good situation here. Since you're still a full time student, and your school charges a flat-rate tuition, you won't have to pay back anything and your housing won't be affected. Be sure to check, though - there may be course fees or other per-credit fees besides the tuition, and you may have to pay back those fees. You typically don't have to repay the book stipend when you drop a class after the drop period, since you normally can't return the books at that point. A retake is fine, whenever it fits your schedule.

      Delete
  41. AnonymousMay 08, 2016

    I am currently taking 12credit hours. I am possibly facing failure in all of my classes. I have been in good academic standing until now. There have been many things that have affected my performance in school this semester, especially the end of the semester. Will I have to pay back all of my BAH and tuition that has been payed this semester?

    ReplyDelete
  42. Hi Anonymous, you probably won't have to repay everything if you're already taking the hit academically, but you should discuss the specifics of your situation with your school certifying official. I'm sorry that you've been struggling this quarter, and I hope that you can take some time off to get things squared away. Besides your friends and family, I'm sure there are several people on your campus that want to help you and see you succeed, so be sure to reach out if you need it. Take care and good luck.

    ReplyDelete
  43. AnonymousMay 28, 2016

    Hi Chryssa,
    I just transferred last year in the fall to a state university in California. I went to class for about 3 months doing great but then I started drinking again and spiraled out of control. I ended up getting 3 Fs and a D plus. The unversity put me on probation and said I may return in the fall. Will I owe tuition and BAH for that semester? If so, do those months still count as months used in my remaining entitlement? Lastly, will certification for this fall be an issue? I just want to finally finish college. Thank you so much for your time and help. -Jay

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    Replies
    1. Hi Jay,

      As long as you completed the spring semester (went to class, took the final, etc.), you won't have to repay spring benefits. And, if you are allowed to continue at your school, then you'll still be able to use your benefits this fall, even while you are on probation. But, be sure to discuss your status with your academic advisor and your school certifying official, so that you know what you need to do to restore your academic standing with your university, complete your degree, and graduate. You can only get benefits for two terms on academic probation, so you'll need a plan to get back in good standing. I'd also strongly suggest that you reach out to your local AA or vet center for help and support. Your campus probably has some resources that can help you, too. You're not alone. Call the Veterans Crisis line at 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1, or check out this link for more help: http://maketheconnection.net/conditions/problems-with-alcohol. Good luck! I know you can do it - check back in here after you graduate to let us know you made it!

      Here's two more links that might help:
      http://troops2college.blogspot.com/2015/04/understanding-grades-and-academic.html
      and
      http://troops2college.blogspot.com/2014/05/dealing-with-academic-difficulties-due.html

      Delete

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    ReplyDelete
  45. AnonymousJuly 13, 2016

    this saved me so much stress thank you. I went against my better judgement and took accounting for my summer term (financial and managerial) when I'm the kind of guy that completely despises any form of math with a pure passion. I failed the first one and managerial isnt looking to be in my favor.

    Its still early from the start of classes (like 2 days) so tomorrow im going to see if i can drop the class and pick up another in its place if theres anything open that match my audit. I was doing fine in my classes until I took finance and it caused me to put so much focus on it I almost failed my other class.

    Yet again thank you for making this, took so much weight off of my shoulders

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad that it helped. Summer classes can get overwhelming quickly, but don't let one bad grade set you back. Switching classes to something less stressful is a good plan, and you'll be back on track in no time. Good luck in your academic pursuits!

      Delete
  46. I'm a chapter 30 benefits recipient. I have been taking online courses. Unfortunately, I was dropped from my 3-hour, 8-week course (considered full time for online courses) for 30 days of inactivity. I was dropped with a "W". I lost my jobs about 4 weeks ago, so I've been so completely obsessed with attempting to find viable employment, that I simply forgot to post my first assignment. My school's registrar let me know that they were filing a Form 22-1999b and stating that the course had been terminated because I had been dropped from the course. I plan to re-enroll in another course immediately. I know that the loss of my job qualifies as a "mitigating circumstance." Does the 6-hour exclusion automatically take place, or do I need to send in paperwork/proof of the job loss. Thanks in advance for your response. Can you give me more information on how the 6-hour exclusion works, also.

    ReplyDelete
  47. I want to drop two 4 credit classes. Will the 6 credit hour be applied to one of the classes at least

    ReplyDelete