Frequently Asked Questions


Who do I see on my campus about resources for students who are veterans?

Each CUNY college has appointed a veterans affairs representative to address the needs of veterans on campus. For additional information regarding your college's veterans liaison or certifying official, please contact the University Office of Veterans' Affairs at (646) 664-8839.

How do I know if I am eligible for U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) educational assistance?

See Financing Your Education . Your college’s veterans affairs representative can help determine eligibility.

How do I start my VA educational assistance benefits at the college?

Read How to Apply for Benefits section.

Do I have to reapply for benefits if I am transferring into CUNY?

No, you do not have to reapply. Once you have applied and have received benefits at another institution, you need only complete a VA Form 22-1995 to change your place of training and a brief personal data form. This can be done through your campus's veterans affairs representative.

Will the benefit check be sent to CUNY?

For those receiving benefits under the Post-9/11 GI Bill (Chapter 33) tuition and fees are sent to the College and Housing Allowance and Books and Supplies Stipend directly to the veteran or dependent. Under the Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB – Chapter 30) benefits are sent directly to the veteran. Direct deposit is available for all programs except for Chapter 35 educational assistance.

How long will it take to receive my benefits?

First-time applicants should expect to have to wait at least 6 to 8 weeks from the time the enrollment certification is sent before payment is received. Continuing students will be processed quicker provided there have not been any changes in program or address. Keep in mind that Chapter 35 and Chapter 1606 (MGIB- Selected Reserves) certifications are not processed until the first day of the enrollment period even though the certification may have been received by the VA Regional Office earlier. Also, for MGIB-AD (Chapter 30) or MGIB-SR (Chapter 1606) you will generally receive payment within 2 weeks of verifying your enrollment at the end of the month, or I week if direct deposit.

Are VA educational benefits taxable?

No, veteran's benefits, paid under any law and administered by the VA should not be reported as income to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS)

I receive Chapter 30 or Chapter 1606 educational benefits and have to verify my enrollment each month. How do I do that?

Anyone receiving Chapter 30 benefits (MGIB- Active Duty) or Chapter 1606 benefits (MGIB- Selected Reserves) must verify their enrollment each month to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs in order to receive payment for that month. Your enrollment can be verified on the last calendar day of the month by using the Web Automated Verification of Enrollment (WAVE) system or by calling the toll free, Interactive Voice Response (IVR) telephone line, at 1-877-823-2378.
Paper verification forms (VA Forms 22-8979) will no longer be issued for students receiving Chapter 30 benefits.

Do students receiving Chapter 35 educational assistance need to verify their enrollment each month?

No, dependents or spouses receiving educational assistance under Chapter 35 do not have to verify their enrollment to the VA each month.

Can I arrange for direct deposit at any time?

Yes, you may request Direct Deposit by completing VA Form 24-0296. Direct Deposit is available for Post-9/11, MGIB-AD, MGIB-SR and REAP benefits. To enroll Login to WAVE (or create an account if a new user). On the WAVE main page click on “Direct Deposit Enrollment Form” or call 1-877-838-2778, or TDD 1-800-829-4833 (Telephone Device for the Hearing Impaired)

How can I update my address or financial institution information for direct deposit?

If you are currently receiving benefits, or have received benefits in the last year, you can use the WAVE system to update your address or your financial institution information. Visit the G.I. Bill WAVE page, and follow the instructions to log-on to WAVE. Follow the links to change your address and your direct deposit information on the "Main Menu" page of WAVE.

What happens if I drop a course during the semester?

If you drop a course and the adjustment changes your training time you must notify your college's veterans affairs representative so that this official can then inform the VA of a change in training time. This must be done even if you have already notified the VA on the WAVE system. A change in training time will affect your rate of payment, and failure to notify your college's veterans affairs representative in a timely manner could result in an overpayment.

What happens if I am activated during the semester?

If you are activated during a semester, you have a number of options open to you depending upon the length of the deployment. You should first discuss this situation with your advisor and instructors to help you decide upon a course of action. The options available to you would range from special arrangements for make-up work, to an incomplete grade, to withdrawal from a course or semester. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs would pay you educational assistance benefits up to the date you withdraw or resign from a course or semester. For more information see Returning or Leaving for Active Duty.

If I am a member of the New York State Air/Army National Guard or New York State Naval Militia and wish to participate in the Educational Incentive Plan that pays for my tuition at any CUNY college, do I apply at a college office?

No, you must apply through your unit for the New York State Educational Incentive Plan using DMNA Form 96-1. You can then obtain a Tuition Deferment, and must inform the bursar that the NYS Department of Military & Naval Affairs will be making payments.

Is it possible to attain college credit for military service?

Veterans who are matriculating students may earn up to 18 credits in United States Armed Forces Institute courses, in which they have passed final exams, and for other military education and training. The decision regarding the granting of credit for these courses reside with the individual colleges. Students proposing unique or interdisciplinary majors through CUNY's individualized degree program, CUNY Baccalaureate, may be eligible to receive up to 30 credits for documented military course work or training.

Are there any academic support services available to students who are veterans?

Some veterans are eligible for tutorial benefits. In order to be eligible for tutorial benefits, veterans must be receiving monthly veteran's benefits on at least a half-time basis. Such veteran students are entitled to a total of 12 months of tutorial benefits to a maximum of $100.00 per month. Contact your veterans affairs representative for additional information.

In addition to college work-study, are there any work-study programs designed to assist veterans?

Students may be eligible for Veteran's Work-Study benefits. In order to be eligible, students must be receiving full-time veterans benefits. Such students can work up to 750 hours per year at a rate of at least the federal minimum wage. Your veterans affairs representative will arrange your work-study if you are eligible.

Are all dependents of veterans eligible to receive educational benefits?

No. See Financing Your Education for information on eligibility for applicable Federal and State programs.

Are any services available to veterans with Service Connected Disabilities?

Vocational Rehabilitation services are available through the VA for veterans with disabilities. Vocational Rehabilitation Services are available to full- and part-time students who have at least a 20% disability rating from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. These services include payment for tuition, fees and a monthly stipend. In addition, reasonable accommodations and support services are available to veterans with disabilities through your college's Office of Disability Services.

Are any benefits or services available to the dependents of disabled veterans?

There are several federal and state programs available to dependents of disabled veterans. See Financing Your Education for information.