VA Benefits

Emergency Short-Term Loans

Procedures for Awarding Southland Loans to Eligible Veteran Benefits Claiming Students

NOTE: The term Veterans is used in this document to describe students who are eligible for and/or claiming veteran benefits for the term. This includes veterans, spouses and dependents.

To bridge the gap for students waiting at the start of a semester for their first VA payment, two types of short-term, no interest loans are available. 

The White Loan is managed through the Dean of Student Affairs’ office and offers up to $1,000 in assistance.  The Bursar’s Office processes these loans upon approval from Student Affairs.

The Southland Loan is available through the Financial Aid Office for situations where the total needed amount exceeds $1,000.  Veterans are eligible to apply for Southland loans if the Registrar’s Office is in the process of certifying (or completed) the use of their VA benefits for the semester.  The loans are only available at the start of the fall and spring semesters while veterans are waiting for their first payment of the semester from the VA.  The loans must be repaid to SMU no later than the first day of continuing student enrollment for the following semester.

The procedure for applying for and receiving a Southland loan are as follows:

  • Veterans needing temporary funds where the total need exceeds $1,000 are referred to Gordon Brannon in the Financial Aid Office to apply for a Southland loan. Veterans need to be aware that the loan application through check issuance process will take approximately 4 days. It is not possible for a check to be issued the same day a request is initiated.
  • The Financial Aid Office confirms with the VA Certifying Official in the Registrar’s Office that the veteran is (or has been) being certified for use of benefits for the current semester.
  • If the veteran is (or has) undergoing certification, the Financial Aid Office reviews the student’s request, projected expenses, and anticipated VA payments, and determines a loan amount. The veteran is referred to the Bursar’s Office for processing of a Southland promissory note and issuance of a check for the loan amount. 
  • The Bursar's Office issues a promissory note to the veteran and requests a check be immediately issued for the loan amount. NOTE: The check issuance process will take approximately 2 days.
  • The Bursar's Office places a hold on the veteran’s future enrollment.  The loan must be repaid no later than the day before continuing enrollment begins for the following semester.
  • Once the loan is repaid, the Bursar's Office removes the enrollment hold.

Contact Information:

Gordon Brannon, Financial Aid Counselor
Laura Lee Blanton Bldg., 1st Floor


Deanie Kepler, Director of Parent and Family Programs

Hughes-Trigg Student Center, Suite 302