Benefits Request Overview

Frequently Asked Questions

***2021 UPDATES***

The VA has announced the “Rounding Out” rule will be phased out for terms beginning ON OR AFTER August 1, 2021. This means that: starting in the Fall 2021 semester, ALL courses in EVERY semester (including graduating semesters) MUST be REQUIRED for a students’ degree plan in order to be certified by OVS and paid for by the VA.

The VA’s “Round Out” rule for students using VA education benefits in their graduating semester previously stated that:

 “A VA student can round out a schedule with non-required courses to bring his/her course load up to a full-time schedule in his/her last term only. This allows students to continue to receive benefits at the full-time rate in their last term of enrollment, even though fewer credits are required to complete the program. This procedure can be done only once per program. In rounding out a full-time schedule, VA students may use any credit hour unit subject, including a subject that has previously been successfully completed (received a passing grade).”

For example: A student needs to complete 120 credit hours to obtain a B.A. degree. After passing 117 credit hours, the student only needs one last 3-credit-hour course in their graduating semester. Without the Round Out rule, the student would only be able to be certified for that 3 credit hour course in their last semester. The Round Out rule ensured that the student would be able to be certified as full time with additional courses even if their other classes (besides their last required course) were not required for their degree.

If you are nearing graduation using your VA education benefits and are concerned about how to stay full time in your final graduating semester, please make an appointment with Shaina Gonzalez through MyUSF’s eScheduler (MyUSF > Learning and Teaching Tools > Advisor Appointments > Campus: Tampa > Veteran Success).

*Chapter 33 Post 9/11 GI Bill students ONLY* The stipulations in the Student Veteran Coronavirus Response Act of 2020 have been EXTENDED TO DECEMBER 21st, 2021.

This means that students using VA education benefits for the Spring, Summer, and Fall 2021 semesters will have ALL of their classes certified as "in-person", regardless if they are now being offered as hybrid, primarily distanced learning, or all on-line UNLESS they are enrolled in an ALL-ONLINE graduate certificate or doctoral program. 

   FAQ's:

Who should I call if I have questions about my education benefit eligibility, remaining entitlement, or payments (AFTER I have been certified by OVS)?

  • The VA Education Department at 1-888-442-4551

*Chapter 33 Post 9/11 GI Bill students ONLY* What if the Post 9/11 GI Bill doesn’t pay my tuition before the end of Add/Drop Week? How will I be able to receive my financial aid on time?

  • If you submit your Clockworks application BEFORE 5:00 p.m. on the first Friday of the semester, the Office of Veteran Success will place a 90 day veteran tuition deferment onto your account to ensure you don’t accrue late fees or get dropped from classes during that time.
  • All Post 9/11 GI Bill students who (1) complete a Clockwork application and (2) submit their COE to OVS prior to the first Friday of the each semester will have:

1. a  90 day veteran tuition deferment placed onto their account

2. their financial aid and grants released to them during the second week of classes even if the GI Bill has not paid USF tuition yet

How long can it take for payments to be processed to either myself, USF, or both?

  • Starting on the date you complete step 5 of your Clockwork application, our office has UP TO 30 DAYS to certify your classes and the VA generally takes APPROXIMATELY 6-8 WEEKS to begin issuing payments to either you, USF, or both

My VA education benefits expire in the middle of the semester. Am I eligible to receive benefits for the remainder of the semester?

  • Veterans: Veteran students who enter a semester with at least ONE day of entitlement remaining MAY be eligible to have their full tuition, books, and housing stipend paid for the ENTIRE semester. If a veteran has used education benefits PRIOR TO their GI Bill, there is a chance they have utilized the maximum 48 months of total entitlement and would NOT be eligible to have their entire last semester paid for in that case. ***Contact the VA Education Department for verification***
  • Veteran dependents: Veteran dependent students are ONLY eligible to receive educational benefit payments up until the final day of their entitlement. If this day falls in the middle of a semester, the student is responsible to pay the remainder of their tuition and fees.

What if I make changes to my schedule AFTER I am certified by the Office of Veteran Success?

  • Complete a Change in Benefits Request application with OVS (this application can be found on the top left hand corner of the Clockworks application in the semester you are changing). If you have NOT yet been certified by OVS, you do NOT need to complete a Change in Benefits Request.

*Chapter 33 Post 9/11 GI Bill students in Fall semesters ONLY* I was certified for this past Fall semester, but I called the VA and they said they have not received tuition and fee amounts yet from OVS. Why were my classes reported by OVS, but not my tuition and fees?

  • Since USF does not release tuition and fee amounts until a few weeks prior to the beginning of the Fall semester, OVS only reports credit hour amounts with $0 tuition and fees to the VA so that students are able to begin receiving housing and book stipends on time. Once USF releases Fall tuition and fees, OVS then goes back to students’ Fall certifications and adds in tuition and fee amounts so they can be paid to USF.