Avoid creating debt when using the Post-9/11 GI Bill

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Avoid creating debt when using the Post-9/11 GI Bill

by: Stars and Stripes | .
Special Publications | .
published: September 26, 2013

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.

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

If the school refunds money directly to VA, then VA will credit your account any amount the school refunds. If they refund money directly to you, you must clear the debt with VA. You are responsible for keeping track of your tuition and fee account balance and payments.

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 ensure the certification information they send to VA matches your schedule.

Contact the Debt Management Center if you receive a debt notification from the VA. The Debt Management Center (DMC) is the authoritative source of debt collection information with VA. The DMC contact information is: 1(800) 827-0648 or dmc.ops@va.gov

— Sources: Department of Defense Transition GPS Accessing Higher Education For Transitioning Service Members Track