VA Education Benefits

The University Registrar’s Office certifies veterans each term for their benefits under federal programs, including the Yellow Ribbon Program. Most academic programs at SMU qualify for U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs benefits, making an SMU education accessible and affordable. Veterans are required to provide specific documents before they can be certified with the VA’s Veterans Benefits Administration.

Certifying Official

Meghan Budig
University Registrar’s Office
PO Box 750181
Dallas, TX 75275-0181
 
Phone 214-768-4348
Fax 214-768-2507            
Laura Lee Blanton Building, University Registrar’s Office, Room 101

VA Education Benefits Contact Telephone

1-888-GIBILL1 (442-4551)
http://www.gibill.va.gov/

VA Education Benefits Updates

COVID-19

Post-9/11 GI Bill® students who pursue resident courses converted to an online modality solely due to COVID-19 will continue to receive the MHA rate for resident training through July 1, 2022.

Monthly Enrollment Verification

Beginning with terms starting on or after December 17, 2021, if you are using your Post-9/11 GI Bill® benefit (including Yellow Ribbon), you are required to verify your enrollment at the end of each month to receive your Monthly Housing Allowance (MHA) and/or kicker payments as part of the Isakson and Roe Act of 2020.

How to Verify Your Enrollment:
VA encourages students to opt into text messaging, which is a simple, quick, and secure option for verifying monthly enrollment and ensuring you receive your MHA/kicker payments uninterrupted. All impacted students with a US mobile phone number on file with VA should receive an opt-in text message after being certified for your Jan Term or Spring 2022 courses. Reply "Yes" to opt-in. You must respond to that text within 14 days. Please keep an eye out for this text message from VA over the next few weeks and into January as we will begin the certification process very soon. If you need to update the phone number you have on file with VA, please log into va.gov and make the updated under the 'Profile' section.

After opting in, you can simply reply "Yes" to a VA text message each month to verify your enrollment. You must respond to the text within 6 days. If the 6 days pass without a response, you will need to call the VA Education Call Center at 1-888-442-4551 to verify your enrollment. As long as you verify each month, your MHA/kicker payments will not be interrupted. If you reply "No," VA will follow up with our office for an updated enrollment certification.

If you opt-out of text message verification or do not respond to the opt-in text, you will be automatically enrolled in email verification with the email address on file with VA. If you later change your mind and want to verify via text, you will need to call the VA Education Call Center. You can also call the VA Education Call Center to verify your enrollment, but VA dissuades you from this option as wait times on the phone will drastically increase.

If you are enrolled half-time or less or and/or if you are on active duty, you will not be affected at this time.

What Happens if you Don't Verify Your Enrollment?
If you fail to certify your enrollment to VA for 2 consecutive months, your MHA/kicker payments will be placed on hold. You will then need to call the VA Education Call Center to verify your enrollment in order to release your payments.

Please let us know if you have any questions about this new requirement. You can also refer to the enrollment verification webpage where many helpful resources are highlighted, including Frequently Asked Questions.

Edith Nourse Rogers STEM Scholarship

The Rogers STEM Scholarship application is now available online. Recipients will receive up to nine months of additional Post-9/11 GI Bill® entitlement or a maximum of $30,000. Eligible Post-9/11 GI Bill students must have either exhausted their entitlement or will exhaust their entitlement within 180 days. Eligibility for the scholarship has two paths:

  • A student enrolled in a STEM program leading to an undergraduate degree who has completed 60 credit hours of their program and requires at least 120 semester credit hours to graduate.
  • A student who has earned a STEM undergraduate degree and has enrolled in a teaching program.
Please note: VA makes all decisions regarding the Rogers STEM Scholarship. School Certifying Officials do not have any input in the decision.

For additional information, please visit the Rogers STEM Scholarship website or contact VA’s Education Call Center by phone at 1-888-442-4551.

GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government Web site at https://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill.