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Frequently Asked Questions

What happens if I change my enrollment?

If you withdraw from one or more of your courses after the end of the school's drop period, VA may reduce or stop your benefits on the date of reduction or withdrawal. If you withdraw from a course after the end of the drop period, you may have to repay all benefits for the course unless you can show that the change was due to mitigating circumstances. VA defines "mitigating circumstances" as unavoidable and unexpected events that directly interfere with your pursuit of a course and are beyond your control.

Examples of reasons VA may accept are:
- Extended illness;
- Severe illness or death in your immediate family;
- Unscheduled changes in your employment; and
- Lack of child care.

Examples of reasons VA may not accept are:
- Withdrawal to avoid a failing grade;
- Dislike of the instructor; and
- Too many courses attempted.

Note: VA may ask you to furnish evidence to support your reason for a change.
If a serious injury or illness caused the change, obtain a statement from your doctor.
If a change in employment caused the change, obtain a statement from your employer.
The first time you withdraw from up to six credit hours, VA will "excuse" the withdrawal and pay benefits for the period attended. Remember, this only applies to your first withdrawal. If you receive a grade that does not count toward graduation, you may have to repay all benefits for the course.

Non-Punitive Grades: You should check your school's grading policy with the registrar or the office handling VA paperwork. The school may have "non-punitive grades." VA defines "non-punitive grades" as those not used to compute graduation requirements. Common examples are:

  • An "I" grade for an incomplete which is not made up during the time period required by the school or within one year from receipt;
  • A "W" grade for withdrawing;
  • An "AU" grade for auditing; or
  • Any grade the school does not use to compute the GPA (grade point average) or its equivalent.

If you receive a non-punitive grade, the school will notify VA. Upon receipt of the notice, VA may reduce or stop benefits. You may not have to repay the benefits if you show that the grades were due to mitigating circumstances.

How will I know if I owe the Department of Veterans Affairs money?

In most cases the VA will send you a letter to inform you that you owe money. In some cases you will receive a letter from the University informing you of a VA debt.

How often do I need to submit the Veterans Clearance Form?

Students using G.I. Bill benefits must complete a Veterans Clearance Form when you first use the benefit at ODU, after a break in enrollment, or after a change in academic status (e.g., change of major, level change), or a change in benefit used. This is a change from previous submission policy.

Active duty military, MEM Ashore, and certificate students using G.I. Bill benefits must submit a Veterans Clearance Form EACH semester AFTER registering for ODU classes.

Where can I find information on the Post 9/11 GI Bill?

Go to www.gibill.va.gov and use the link to "The Post 9/11 GI Bill." You can also sign up to receive e-mail alerts as new information is added there.

How does Tuition Assistance affect the tuition rate?

Tuition Assistance does not affect the tuition rate. Active duty military who wish to qualify for the instate tuition rate must apply each semester using the Active Duty Military Tuition Benefit Form.

Does the VA pay benefits for non-degree students?

The VA will not continue to pay benefits to students enrolled in a non-degree status beyond the second semester.

Is it possible to receive retroactive VA benefits?

Retroactive VA benefits can be claimed up to one year from the beginning of a semester.

What is "Top Up"?

Active duty GI Bill recipients can file for reimbursement of the remaining percentage of tuition that Tuition Assistance (TA) does not cover through the VA. This is known as "Top Up."

Does the VA pay benefits for certificate programs?

The VA pays partial benefits for the following non-degree (certificate) programs at Old Dominion University:

  • Paralegal Certificate
  • Professional Financial Planning Certificate
  • Executive Development Certificate
  • Government Contracting Certificate
  • Professional Human Resources Certificate
  • Career Switchers Certificate
  • Professional Human Resource Management Certificate
  • Women's Health Nurse Practitioner Certificate