This website is not affiliated with the U.S. government or military.

If I Have to Pay for My First Semester, Will I Get Reimbursed from the VA?

Q: Hi, I was recently honorably discharged from the Air Force 2 months ago and I’ve been scrambling to get my GI benefits for Fall Semester 2011 in order. I’ve read into some of the older posts about how it can take 8-10 weeks for just a claim for education benefits to be processed, but I was curious about how the payment will work. Specifically, if I’m to front the money for tuition for my fall semester this year, and the GI Bill benefits don’t kick in until say a month afterwards, am I reimbursed with a check? It was my understanding that the VA benefits office only cuts a check directly to the school for tuition, so I didn’t know if I’d get the money back that I had provided myself. Thanks for any feedback!

A: As long as you qualified for the Post 9/11 GI Bill educational benefit during the period you had to pay for, the VA will reimburse you for those expenses. As a matter of fact, they will go back up to one year and pay back benefits.

What they won’t do is pay for back benefits if you were not eligible for them yet. For example, if you had made a transfer request to a family member, but it had not been approved yet, they would not pay that family member for the money they had to pay out to start school. If the transfer request had been approved before school started, but the student did not have a Certificate of Eligibility yet, then the VA would reimburse the student. It all comes down to if you own the benefit or not at the time you use it.

You would have to claim reimbursement by contacting the VA and submitting the information they request. Your school’s VA Certifying Official could help you with the letter and supporting documentation you would need.

Hopefully, you will get your Certificate of Eligibility in time and not have to go through that headache. If you don’t get your certificate and your school start date is drawing near, contact your Certifying Official. Many times they can certify you on the spot and then your certificate can catch up later.

Privacy Policy | About Us | FAQ | Terms of Service | Disclaimers | Do Not Sell My Personal Information (CA and NV residents)

Copyright © 2023 EducationDynamics. All Rights Reserved.

This is a private website that is not affiliated with the U.S. government, U.S. Armed Forces or Department of Veteran Affairs. U.S. government agencies have not reviewed this information. This site is not connected with any government agency. If you would like to find more information about benefits offered by the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, please visit the official U.S. government web site for veterans’ benefits at

The sponsored schools featured on this site do not include all schools that accept GI Bill® funding or VA Benefits. To contact ArmyStudyGuide, email us.

Disclosure: EducationDynamics receives compensation for the featured schools on our websites (see “Sponsored Schools” or “Sponsored Listings” or “Sponsored Results”). So what does this mean for you? Compensation may impact where the Sponsored Schools appear on our websites, including whether they appear as a match through our education matching services tool, the order in which they appear in a listing, and/or their ranking. Our websites do not provide, nor are they intended to provide, a comprehensive list of all schools (a) in the United States (b) located in a specific geographic area or (c) that offer a particular program of study. By providing information or agreeing to be contacted by a Sponsored School, you are in no way obligated to apply to or enroll with the school.

This is an offer for educational opportunities that may lead to employment and not an offer for nor a guarantee of employment. Students should consult with a representative from the school they select to learn more about career opportunities in that field. Program outcomes vary according to each institution’s specific program curriculum. Financial aid may be available to those who qualify. The financial aid information on this site is for informational and research purposes only and is not an assurance of financial aid.

VFW $30,000 Scholarship!
Write an essay on the annual patriotic theme. This year’s theme is, “Why Is The Veteran Important?”