Veterans Educational Benefits

Tuition and Financial Aid

Military Students

Meridian University welcomes veterans, dependents and members of the U.S. Armed Forces. All eligible veterans, service members and dependents can apply for benefits online at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. For more information, contact Meridian’s Financial Services Team at financialaid@meridianuniversity.edu

How do I apply for VA Benefits?

https://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill/apply.asp

Students seeking to use Veterans’ Educational Benefits must submit a Certification of Eligibility (COE) letter to the University. If you do not have an updated COE, contact the VA directly.

If you do not know which benefits you are eligible for, or believe you are eligible for more than one educational benefit and are unsure of which is best for you to use, contact the VA directly at: 1-888-GIBILL-1.

If you have not used your VA education benefits or would like to determine if you have any benefits available, we encourage you to call the VA to get started. The VA’s phone number is 1-888-442-4551.

Veteran Educational Benefit Chapters

You can access information about your Veterans’ Benefits, or Title 38 by visiting the WEAMS (Web Enabled Approval Management System) and doing a search by state and school.

When Will Meridian Process my VA Benefits?

Your VA benefits are processed after you submit your complete VA paperwork and submit your Certification of Eligibility (COE) letter to Meridian University’s Financial Services Team. Your certification is processed within 30 days of receiving the Certification of Eligibility (COE) letter. Please send the letter to financialaid@meridianuniversity.edu.

The VA does not generally let schools know that you have applied to use your benefits. It is important that you notify the Financial Aid Office in writing if you plan on using VA Benefits to pay for your tuition.

After you have been accepted as a student, please be sure to complete your VA Paperwork, Certification of Eligibility (COE) letter. Please note, if you are using Ch. 35, you will need to provide the Vet File Number of your sponsor.

Need more information? Contact financialaid@meridianuniversity.edu.

How Much Will I Get Paid for VA Benefits?

Please see the VA’s payment rates here.

What Happens to My VA Benefits if I do Not Pass a Course

For Coursework students, evaluation of Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) occurs on an annual basis, once grades have been published for the summer quarter, marking the end of an academic year. SAP is also evaluated any time a student applies for Federal Student Aid.

Satisfactory Academic Progress for coursework students has three standards - quantitative, qualitative, and maximum timeframe.

Meridian University does not use the traditional GPA (grade point average) as a method of evaluation. Rather, the ratio of successfully completed credits to total attempted credits is examined for both qualitative and quantitative purposes, on a cumulative basis.

If you fail to pass a course due to lack of participation, or are not in good standing with Meridian University Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) policy, you may have to repay the VA all or a portion of your benefits for that course. If you participate until the end of your course and do not pass, there is no financial repercussion from the VA.

You must make every effort to pass your course. If you do not participate until the end of the term, your certification will be reported to the VA and there will be an obligation to repay the VA some or all of the funding. For additional information regarding failing grades and repayment, please contact the VA directly at 1-888-442-4551 options 1, 0.

We encourage you to review our SAP Policy and guidelines, as non- passing grades will impact your Financial Aid and your status as a student.

What Happens to My VA Benefits if I Drop or Withdraw From a Course?

Any changes in registration may impact your enrollment status for VA benefits.

Please notify the Financial Services Team of any changes in your registration status. Please note, if payment has already been received by the University or student, you may receive a debt notice from the VA.

As the VA will determine payments, questions regarding whether or not you will incur a debt are to be addressed via the VA’s Student Inquiry Line: 1-888-442-4551 (option 1, option 0).

When Will I Get Payment for My VA Benefits for Tuition?

If you are a recipient of Chapter 33 Benefits, tuition and fee payments are disbursed to Meridian by the VA no sooner than 14 days from each class start date. Within two weeks from the date of disbursement, payments will be processed to students’ accounts and issued as a credit balance if over the amount owed. For CH 30 MGIB, CH 1606 MGIB-SR, or CH 1607 REAP, your funding will be sent to you after you verify your registration status at the end of the month via the VA’s W.A.V.E. website or by calling the automated system #1-877-823-2378.

If you are using Chapter 33 or Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment program (CH 31), the VA will send your tuition and fees directly to the institution to be applied to your account.

For the CH 35 DEA Program, the funds are sent directly to you at the end of each month of attending class; however, you do not need to log into the W.A.V.E. system.

Will My Military Education Benefit Cover My Residency Fees?

Yes, your military education benefit can be applied toward a required residency.

Residencies are certified in clock hours. In order to be considered full-time, you will need to register for a minimum of 7 credit hours.

If you have additional questions about BHA (Basic Housing Allowance) please visit WEAMS.

The VA will not reimburse any travel, food, lodging or other fees associated with the residency.

Financial Aid and Additional Resources

Students may be eligible to apply for the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) at www.fafsa.gov. Please visit our Financial Aid Overview page for more information.

Students using Chapter 33 Training: https://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill/navigatinggib.asp. Please note that if you are receiving an outside Scholarship and/or grant, your VA Benefits may be impacted.

Meridian University does not offer specific military or veterans’ scholarships. However, there are many outside scholarships available. To assist you with your search for military scholarships, we’ve included a handful of resources below.

Notify the Financial Aid Office in writing if you will be receiving a scholarship or grant at financialaid@meridianuniversity.edu.

Department of Defense Programs

Tuition Assistance (TA): State

Outside Military Resources

California State Veterans Benefits

California Department of Military Affairs

California National Guard Education Assistance Program

Veterans Scholarships and Grants

U.S. Veterans Magazine

Veteran Benefits of Sonoma County (Sonoma County Residents)

Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment program, also known as Chapter 31

The Department of Defense has created a MILITARY ONE SOURCE, ONE STOP place for family members or service members who need assistance with a problem. The MILITARY ONE SOURCE is also available to National Guard and Reservists being called for Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom:

US Dept. Of Veteran Affairs One Stop Shop (WAVE)

Spouse of a Service Member

The Army Study Guide National Military Family Association (NMFA)

Most frequently used Veteran Affairs (VA) forms for Meridian students:

Application for Education Benefits (22-1990) Chapters 30/34. 1606 & 1607

Change of Program of Place of Training (22-1995) Chapters 30/34, 1606 & 1607

Application for Survivors & Dependents Educational Assistant Form (22-5490)

Change of Program or Place of Training (22-5495) For Survivors & Dependents

Chapter 33 applications (online)

CSAVVE Shopping Sheet

Meridian University is a participating institution in the Johnny Isakson and David P. Roe, MD Veterans Health Care and Benefits Improvement Act of 2020 and provides students with a consumer information tool called the Financial Aid Shopping Sheet to notify students about their financial aid offers. The tool was created to inform prospective students about the institution’s cost of attendance and financial aid so that they can make informed decisions.

What is an Estimated Cost of Attendance? The estimated Cost of Attendance (COA) provides students with an idea of the anticipated costs to attend Meridian University as a full-time student registered (standard 8 registration credits) in coursework for the Academic Year (Fall, Winter, Spring and Summer quarters). The Cost of Attendance includes an estimated budget amount for direct charges like tuition and indirect charges like room and board, books, transportation and miscellaneous cost of living expenses.

The Shopping Sheet does not reflect any VA benefits since the amount received is dependent upon the benefit being used. Amounts cannot be determined until Meridian receives a Certificate of Eligibility and processes your certification with the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Where Can I Find My Shopping Sheet? Students applying for VA Benefits will receive their Shopping sheet as part of their Financial Aid Offer Notification Letter once they have been admitted and registered for coursework.

Estimate your Benefits at Meridian University with the GI Bill Comparison Tool College Comparison Tool *Please note that this tool is used to research and compare across institutions and is not considered a ‘VA Stamp of Approval.’

“What Happens to My VA Benefits if I Drop or Withdraw From a Course?”

Reason for Withdrawing from a Class affects your VA debt: https://www.va.gov/resources/how-your-reason-for-withdrawing-from-a-class-affects-your-va-debt/

“If you withdraw from (or “drop”) a class, you may need to pay us back for the cost of any housing or books and supplies that we gave you money for. Your school may need to pay us back for tuition, fees, and Yellow Ribbon benefits paid on your behalf. But if we recognize that situations or events beyond your control (mitigating circumstances) caused your withdrawal, we may decide that you don’t need to pay us back in full. Keep reading to find out what situations and events we recognize and how to report them.”

Withdrawals, Leave of Absences, Mitigating Circumstances and the 6-Hour Inclusion Rule

VA Handbook for Certifying Officials

"Mitigating circumstances are situations or events beyond your control that cause you to withdraw from (or “drop”) a class. We consider your reason for withdrawing from a class when we decide if you and your school need to pay us back the benefits already received.

Mitigating circumstances include:

  • An illness or death in your immediate family
  • An injury or illness you had while you were enrolled
  • A change in your conditions of employment that you couldn’t avoid
  • A job transfer to a new location while you were enrolled that you couldn’t avoid
  • Immediate family or financial demands that you had no control over
  • Active military service that you didn’t know about ahead of time
  • A sudden end to (or cancellation of) the course you were taking
  • A sudden end to child care coverage that you didn’t know about ahead of time

If we recognize that you had mitigating circumstances, we may decide that you can keep a portion of any benefits you received up to the day you stopped attending the class."

Six-Credit Hour Exclusion

This automatic grant is called the 6-Credit Hour Exclusion. The exclusion is a one-time grant made the first-time mitigating circumstances must be considered for the student. Up to 6 credits can be excluded if the student has been awarded benefits for the credit. The 6-Credit Hour Exclusion cannot be granted if the student completes the term and receives non-punitive grades.

  • If the student withdraws from 3 credits, the exclusion will be granted for 3 credits and the student’s one-time exclusion is used.
  • If the student withdraws from 12 credits, the exclusion will be granted for 6 credits, the student’s one-time exclusion is used, and the student must provide mitigating circumstances for the other 6 credits.

Overpayments and Debt

"If you decrease your training time (i.e. drop classes, leave school, etc.) and we have already processed a payment for tuition and fees, an overpayment will occur. When the School Certifying Official (SCO) notifies us of a change, a debt is created against your account. The school will issue any refunds in accordance with their internal policy, which may not fully cover the debt with the VA. If the amount refunded by the school does not satisfy the debt, you are responsible for the remainder."

"Why do I have a debt with the VA over tuition & fees paid to my school?

When you enroll in school and take classes, you enter into an agreement with the school to pay for your classes and the associated fees. VA pays the tuition and fees to the school on your behalf when the School Certifying Official (SCO) certifies that you are enrolled in classes. By law, you are responsible for any debt incurred while receiving benefits under the Post-9/11 GI Bill. VA is required by law to recoup any debt.

You are responsible for keeping track of your tuition and fee account balance. Visit your school's financial office regularly to review your account, ensure the charges are correct and that payments and refunds are processed correctly. Contact your SCO to make sure the certification sent to the VA matches your schedule. Please contact the Debt Management Center (DMC) when you receive a debt letter in order to make arrangements to pay the debt or discuss options if repaying the debt will cause a financial hardship."

Meridian University maintains policies that:

  • Prohibit automatic renewal of a VA benefits covered individual in a course and/or programs.
  • Ensure each covered individual approves of the enrollment in a course. During the course registration process, students click through a series of approvals.
  • Allow enrolled members of the Armed Forces, including reserve components and National Guard to be readmitted if such members are temporarily unavailable or must suspend enrollment by reason of serving in the Armed Forces.
  • Accommodate short absences for such services in the Armed Forces. Meridian University could accommodated absences with a Leave of Absence.
  • Assign you a point of contact who will give you ongoing academic and financial advice (including access to disability counseling). The Financial Services Team and their VA certified member Tania Urbinati serve in this capacity.
  • Allow for you to be gone for both long and short periods of time due to service obligations (service you must fulfill) for active-duty service members and Reservists. - Short and long periods of time could be accommodated with a Leave of Absence.