BACKGROUND: The Department of Defense (DoD) recently updated its instructions regarding
the utilization of Tuition Assistance. In these updated instructions, DoD announced
that they will no longer authorize Tuition Assistance for classes for which a member
is also receiving benefits under:
- Montgomery GI Bill – Selected Reserve program (chapter 1606 of title 10, United States
- Reserve Educational Assistance Program (chapter 1607 of title 10, United States Code)
- Active Duty program (chapter 30 of title 38, United States Code)
- Post-9/11 GI Bill program (chapter 33 of title 38, United States Code)
To implement this policy change, DoD required all schools participating in the Tuition
Assistance program to sign updated memoranda of understanding stating that the schools
will not certify the same class for both Tuition Assistance and chapter 1606 or 1607.
As of September 4, 2014, all participating schools have signed such memoranda.
These limitations on the concurrent receipt of both Tuition Assistance and chapter
1606 or 1607 benefits have not yet been replicated in the DoD instructions regarding
the administration of chapters 1606 and 1607. Therefore, the Department of Veterans
Affairs (VA), which administers the chapter 1606 and 1607 programs based on DoD’s
instructions, is not technically prohibited from processing claims for 1606 or 1607
even though Tuition Assistance has already been used for the same classes. However,
the practical effect of DoD’s changes to the Tuition Assistance instructions, and
the newly signed memoranda, is that schools should no longer be providing VA with
certifications for classes under chapter 1606 or 1607 if the member is also using
Tuition Assistance to pay for all or part of the class.
WCU School Certifying Officials, Student Veteran Members, and Military Members
Email Mrs. Morrison
at the Greg and Sandra Weisenstein Veterans Center, or call (610)-436-2862
for questions regarding these changes.
- From this point forward, WCU School Certifying Officials should not certify any class
to VA for benefits under chapter 1606 or 1607 if the member is receiving Tuition Assistance
for the class. Since this is a point forward requirement, there is no need to take
any action on current or past classes.
- If any future terms have already been certified for both Tuition Assistance and chapter
1606 or 1607, then the WCU School Certifying Official should decertify (terminate)
those terms for GI Bill benefits.
- The member should be contacted and advised of the limitation on concurrent receipt
and be given the opportunity to choose which benefit he or she would prefer to use.
- If the member chooses to continue to use Tuition Assistance, then no further action
- If the member chooses to receive chapter 1606 or 1607, then the member needs to contact
DoD to discontinue his or her use of Tuition Assistance. Once decertified for Tuition
Assistance, the School Certifying Official should recertify these classes for chapter
1606 or 1607 benefits.
- In the future, if a school, through the actions of the WCU Tuition Assistance Administrator
and the WCU School Certifying Official (whether those are two separate individuals
or one person functioning in both capacities), does certify a class for both Tuition
Assistance and chapter 1606 or 1607 benefits, then the school and the Service member
may be subject to the following DoD actions:
- Censure and possible suspension from the Tuition Assistance program for violations
of the memorandum of understanding.
- Debt collection on the Service member for the amount of Tuition Assistance paid.
- VA will not establish or collect any debts for the amounts paid under 1606 or 1607
due to concurrent receipt.