Veteran Enrollment


Using VA Benefits

Interested in attending Bowie State University? Make sure you apply for admission by the deadline.

To learn more visit:

Undergraduate Admissions  Graduate Admissions

For all newly admitted students, on behalf of Veteran Certifications Services, Bowie State University School Certifying Officials, we welcome you to Bowie State University! Please follow these steps to understand how to use your VA Education Benefit to support your educational goals at BSU.

  1. Apply to attend Bowie State University
  2. Complete the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) online application for education benefits.
    • If you've never used VA benefits, you must first apply using the link above.
    • Check the VA for average processing times.
  3. Complete the FAFSA. Bowie State University strongly encourages all eligible students, regardless of financial circumstance, to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) which can be done before being admitted or enrolling at the university. VA benefits may be used in conjunction with other types of aid, contact the Office of Student Financial Aid for assistance.
  4. Attend an orientation program. Undergraduate students should register for a New Student Orientation, graduate students should contact their program for information about orientation. Students will register for classes during their orientation.
  5. Review your residency status. This information is available on your admission letter or in the Bulldog Connection (Drop/Add) application. You may be eligible for in-state residency at Bowie State University. Please review Military and BSU Employees for more information.
  6. Request to be certified to the VA. As soon as you have registered for classes, submit a signed BSU VA Enrollment Certification Request (pdf) to Veteran Certification Services. Once you receive your Certificate of Eligibility (COE), submit the document to Veteran Certification Services. Students using Chapter 35 benefits must submit a copy of the DD214 from the qualifying veteran. Ensure the document is included to avoid delays in processing. These documents do not have to be submitted at the same time. 

    Please submit these documents to

  7. Wait for your benefits to pay out. You will receive a confirmation email from VA when you have been certified by the university. To ensure timely processing, submit your BSU VA Enrollment Certification Request form to our office as soon as you register for a term. 
    • For Post 9/11 GI Bill® Students, the VA requires a two-step certification process. The first certification includes information to activate any monthly funding disbursements from the VA (e.g., housing and book stipend). The second certification includes tuition and mandatory fee totals which cannot be finalized until the end of the Schedule Adjustment Period. VA tuition will be released to the university approximately two weeks after the student is certified.
    • For students using Chapter 31 or Chapter 33 Post 9/11 GI Bill® benefits who have provided a written request to be certified for a term, late fees and financial penalties will not be assessed for the portion of the account that is covered by VA. See GI Bill Delayed Payment Policy for more information.
  8. Get engaged on campus. To learn more about activities and opportunities on campus, including scholarships and other financial aid options for veterans visit On-Campus Resources.

Residency Classification

For information regarding residency reclassification and military exemptions, please go to Residency Information | Bowie State or email us at

Temporary Qualification of Non-Resident for In-State Status

Military Call-up

It is the intent of Bowie State University, to facilitate the withdrawal or change in registration and the reenrollment of students who are called to active duty in the U.S. armed forces. The university policy governing military call-ups Withdrawal From BSU | Bowie State allows for a variety of unique solutions not covered by standard academic policies (such as receiving Incompletes in some classes while retro-withdrawing from others leading to a partial refund; or receiving a total refund of tuition and fees) which minimize the effects of time and financial investment put into a semester in-progress once called to active military service.

Steps for Students Called to Active Military Service
  1. Students (or their representative) will need a copy of the military orders.
  2. Students should meet with their college's advising office. Based on the specific course(s) in which the student is enrolled and the point in the semester when the call-up occurs, students may be advised to discuss Incomplete Contracts with individual instructors, or to process a withdrawal with the Office of the University Registrar, Suite 1200 William Henry Administration Building.
  3. The Office of the University Registrar will make determinations as to appropriate withdrawal procedures and refunds and explain the process for reenrollment after completing active duty. They will also assist with quick referrals related to financial aid issues, cancellation of any campus housing contracts, and allowable refunds.

Withdrawal for active military service will have no effect on any subsequent request to withdraw from the university. Students may reenroll upon completion of their tour of duty.

Temporary Qualification of Non-Resident for In-State Status

Overview: Anyone who lives in Maryland, and:

  1. Is using transferred Post‐9/11 G.I. Bill® benefits (38 U.S.C. § 3319) and enrolls after the transferor’s discharge or release from a period of at least 90 days of service in the active military, naval or air service; or
  2. Is using transferred Post‐9/11 G.I. Bill® benefits (38 U.S.C. § 3319) and the transferor is a member of the uniformed services who is serving on active duty;
  3. Is using benefits under the Marine Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry Scholarship (38 U.S.C. § 3311(b)(9));
  4. Is using benefits through the Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance Program (DEA), (38 U.S.C. chapter 35) or
  5. Is entitled to rehabilitation under 38 U.S.C. § 3102(a). An individual as described in this Section IV.F will continue to retain in‐state status if the individual is using educational benefits under chapter 30, 31, 33, or 35 of title 38, United States Code, and remains continuously enrolled (other than during regularly scheduled breaks between courses, semesters, or terms) at the same school. The student must meet the requirements of residency for tuition purposes specified in VIII-2.70-Policy on Student Classification for Admission and Tuition Purposes

Student Responsibilities

Applications for Benefits

VA students can submit applications online at If students don’t have access to apply online, they can call 1-888-442-4551 and ask that an application be mailed to them.

All VA students must file an application when they first start school before they can receive benefits. Students who have never received VA benefits must file an original application. There are multiple applications from which to choose.

Initial application to VA for Education benefits:

  • Veterans or Service members applying for chapters 30, 32, 33, and 1606 use VA Form 22-1990;
  • Dependents applying for chapter 35 or chapter 33 (Fry Scholarship) use VA Form 22-5490 (pdf);
  • Dependents requesting Transferred Post-9/11 GI Bill (chapter 33) use VA-Form 22-1990e (pdf);

Application to VA for Education benefits at a new school or training facility:

  • Veterans or Service members who have received VA benefits previously st file a “Request for Change of Program or Place of Training” VA Form 22-1995 (pdf)
  • Dependents using Transferred Post-9/11 GI Bill (chapter 33) who have received VA benefits previously must file a “Request for Change of Program or Place of Training” VA Form 22-1995 (pdf)
  • Dependents using chapter 35 or chapter 33 (Fry Scholarship) who have received VA benefits previously must file a “Request for Change of Program or Place of Training” VA Form 22-5495 (pdf)

Change of Address and Direct Deposit

Address and direct deposit information must be kept current. Chapter 30 and 1606 students can use the WAVE system to update address and financial institution information. Links are on the “Main Menu” available after they log onto WAVE.

In order for a student to either start or change direct deposit information, the student should have his or her account information handy. The following information is needed to set up direct deposit and can be found on checks and bank statements:

  • Account number
  • 9-digit bank routing number
  • Type of account (checking or savings)

If a student has chosen direct deposit, the student still needs to keep his or her address current because all other correspondence including award letters are mailed to the student's address.

Students who cannot add their account information through WAVE should contact call 1-877-838-2778 to begin and change direct deposit.


Students are strongly encouraged to register and utilize eBenefits to assist them in the following:

  • Obtaining up to date information on their educational entitlement
  • Updating their Direct Deposit and personal contact information
  • Downloading VA letters and personal documents
  • Viewing the current status of their payments (both education and disability)

Students can register for either a Basic or Premium account but must be enrolled in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS) to obtain either account type.

Student Verification of Enrollment

Chapter 33 students must verify their enrollment status each month for enrollment periods which begin on or after August 1, 2021, to continue to receive their monthly housing allowance (MHA) and/or kicker payments. If a beneficiary fails to verify for two consecutive months, VA will withhold any additional MHA payments until verified by the student. The requirement for the student to verify their enrollment status means VA cannot accept statements from the school to verify the enrollment, as the current process for monthly certification for other education benefits allows.

This law will be implemented in phases. The first phase is for students enrolled at Non-College Degree (NCD) facilities who are in terms or programs beginning August 1, 2021 or later. Additional phases will include those enrolled in training at an Institutions of Higher Learning (IHL).

Non-chapter 33 verification of enrollment

The preferred verification method is WAVE, which includes features not in IVR. When students are awarded benefits, the award letter they receive describes WAVE and IVR. The earliest date students can verify their enrollment is the last calendar day of each month.

WAVE allows students to verify their enrollment on the Internet. WAVE is on the Education Service website at W.A.V.E. Web Automated Verification of Enrollment .

Students must be currently enrolled in an approved educational program and must have a current benefit award to use WAVE. The WAVE system permits students to perform a multitude of functions. For instance, students may:

  • Verify that enrollment has not changed.
  • Report a change in enrollment.
  • Change mailing address.
  • Initiate or change direct deposit information.
  • View the enrollment period and monthly benefit amount.
  • View the remaining entitlement.
  • Sign up for a monthly e-mail reminder.

IVR allows students to “phone in” (1-877-823-2378) their monthly verification if there are no changes to the enrollment during the previous month. If there were changes in the enrollment the student must contact the VA Certifying Official to submit a change in status and the payment may be delayed until the reduction is processed.

Student Responsibilities

In order to comply with VA regulations, students are responsible for the following:

  • Verifying all information related to VA education benefits gained from other sources with the VA Certification Officers to ensure accuracy as it relates to their specific benefits package. All Bowie State VA-related communication will come from the VA Certification Officer team.
  • Obtaining official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended, whether VA benefits were used or not.
  • Reporting any changes in enrollment status to the VA Certification Officer at
  • Reporting any changes that are made to a degree plan to the VA Certification Officer at
  • General overpayments of VA benefits are the responsibility of the student, even if the payment was submitted directly to the school on your behalf.
  • Confirming with your academic advisor or department that the courses on your study list each quarter meet graduation requirements within your specific degree program. Bowie State University is required to certify only those courses that meet minimum graduation requirements. Courses not directly related to a student's degree program or courses beyond those required for a specific degree program are not certified.
  • If concurrently enrolled with another college/university, notify both Bowie State and the host institution.
  • Undergraduates only: VA regulations require undergraduate students to declare their major by the end of their sophomore year. Bowie State cannot certify enrollment to the VA beyond sophomore year unless a major has been declared. Please note that students may change their major at any time by following standard university processes.

Veterans Benefits and Transition Act of 2018 (Section 103)

Bowie State University is a participant in the Veterans Benefits and Transition Act of 2018 signed into law on December 31, 2018, by the President of the United States. This provision was effective August 1, 2019, for any students that are considered " a covered individual" using Chapter 33: Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits or any participants in Chapter 31: Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Program benefits at a public, private for-profit or not for profit institution regarding unpaid tuition and fees.

The policy states that the university WILL NOT:

  1. Assess late penalty fees/charges due to delayed disbursements from the Department of Veterans Affairs under Chapter 31 or Chapter 33.
  2. Prevent students from enrolling in classes.
  3. Require the student to secure alternative or additional funding to cover the applicable tuition and fee expenses.
  4. Deny the student access to any school resources to include (access to classes, libraries or other institutional facilities) that are available to other paid students.
The school WILL require that each student provides the following:
  1. An official Department of Veterans Affairs "Certificate of Eligibility" or "Statement of Benefits" from the VA website or (eBenefits, VAF 28-1905) on or before the first day of class for the semester
  2. Complete a written certification request to be certified for benefits, and
  3. Provide additional information required to ensure proper certification of benefits.
  4. If there is a difference in the amount of the student's financial obligation to the university and the amount that the student is eligible to receive from the Department of Veterans Affairs, the student may incur an additional fee or payment may be required to make an additional payment to make up the difference.
With all contingencies met the Department of Veterans Affairs will provide the university with payment either ending on the earlier of the dates following:
  • the date in which the payment from the VA is made to the institution.
  • 90 days after the date that the institution has certified tuition and fees following the receipt of the "Certificate of Eligibility".
What is a "Covered Individual?"

Any individual who is entitled to receive educational assistance under either Chapter 33: Post 9/11 GI Bill, or Chapter 31: Veteran Readiness & Employment Program.

Tuition and Fees

Tuition and fees are paid directly to the school on behalf of the student when the school’s enrollment certification is processed. Tuition and fees are prorated by the student’s benefit level.

Effective August 1, 2009, this was limited to the highest per credit hour tuition and the maximum fees charged by a public institution for undergraduate training in the state where the student was enrolled. State caps for tuition and fees are located at:

Students on active duty received the total amount of tuition and fees, not limited to the state maximum, or the amount of charges that exceeded the amount paid by the military’s federal tuition assistance.

Effective August 1, 2011, the amount of tuition and fees payable for programs offered by IHLs changed. The in-state, undergraduate state maximum amounts for tuition and fees no longer apply.

  • S. Public Schools: The actual net cost for in-state tuition and fees after the application of any waiver, scholarship, aid, or assistance [other than loans and funds provided under section 401(b) of the Higher Education Act of 1965], provided directly to the institution and specifically designated for the sole purpose of defraying tuition and fees
  • Private and Foreign Schools: The lesser of the actual net cost for tuition and fees after the application of any waiver, scholarship, aid, or assistance [other than loans and funds provided under section 401(b) of the Higher Education Act of 1965], provided directly to the institution and specifically designated for the sole purpose of defraying tuition and fees, or up to the academic year cap.

The amount of the yearly cap will be adjusted each year based upon a Cost of Living Allowance (COLA) and is subject to proration based upon benefit level. Fees That Are Permissible to be Certified as part of “Tuition and Fees.”

Only fees that are both mandatory and assessed before a student can attend a program are certifiable by schools. The only exceptions are tuition, or room and board fees which are never certifiable. See 38 CFR § 21.9505.

Permissible mandatory charges are those assessed by a school (other than tuition, or room and board) that are necessary for the pursuit of an approved program of education and are the same amount for all students (GI Bill and non-GI Bill alike).  Mandatory fees may be for items, such as books, that could possibly be obtained from a source other than the school as long as the fee is assessed to all students.

Examples of mandatory fees include, but are not limited to, health premiums, freshman fees, graduation fees, and lab fees, kit charges, supplies, equipment, or certain study materials.

Fees do not include study abroad course(s) unless the course(s) is a mandatory requirement for completion of the approved program of education.

Fees do not include application fees.

Fees, and whether they are pre or post enrollment fees should be noted in the school’s catalog or supplement and listed on the school’s billing statement or invoice. 

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.

What are mitigating circumstances?

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.

How do I report mitigating circumstances?

You’ll need to tell your School Certifying Official (SCO) about any mitigating circumstances if you reduce your credit hours. When the SCO notifies us about changes to the credit hours you’re taking, they’ll report any mitigating circumstances.

If your SCO doesn’t tell us why you dropped credit hours, we’ll send you a letter asking you to submit any mitigating circumstances you experienced while you were enrolled. You’ll need to explain to us in writing why you dropped credit hours. Send your explanation to your Regional Processing Office or submit it online through Ask VA.

Find the address for your Regional Processing Office
Contact us online through Ask VA

We’ll notify you by mail about whether we accept your mitigating circumstances. If we don’t accept your reason for dropping credit hours, we’ll explain why and note your repayment amount for housing, books, and supplies. We’ll contact your school directly about repayment of tuition, fees, and Yellow Ribbon benefits.

What’s the 6-credit-hour exclusion?

The 6-credit-hour exclusion is a 1-time exception that lets you drop up to 6 credit hours and still keep the benefits you received up to the day you stopped attending classes. You don’t have to show mitigating circumstances to keep those benefits.

You can use the 6-credit-hour exclusion only once, even if you drop fewer than 6 credits. So you can’t use it to drop 3 credits, then use it a second time to drop 3 more credits.

FAQ: Benefits, Enrollment, and Getting Paid

Q: How do I certify my enrollment at Bowie State?

The school certifying official (SCO) certifies enrollment. Each semester an Enrollment Certification request must be submitted to and the Military Resource Center by each student. Additionally, If you are chapter 30, 1606, and 1607 you must continue with the online monthly enrollment verification (WAVE) or 1-877-823-2378.

 Students using chapter 33 VA education benefits must also opt in with the VA to certify enrollment.

Q: How long does it take to receive VA benefits?

First time recipients should start receiving their benefits in 6-8 weeks. Please note it can take up to 12 weeks in some cases. Continuing students should receive their benefits in about 4 weeks. To expedite this process, enrollment forms and other paperwork should be turned in as soon as possible during the previous semester. Don’t wait until the last minute! This could delay your processing time.

Q: How do I get paid?

If you are Chapter 33, the VA pays your tuition and fees directly to the university. Your basic housing allowance (BAH) and book stipend will be paid directly to you. All other chapter payments are made directly to the student.

 What are approved programs?

Currently, all degrees listed in the undergraduate and graduate catalogs are approved programs.

Q:  What happens if I am called to Active Duty and I have already paid registration fees and/or enrolled in classes?

A copy of your military orders must be submitted to the certifying official as soon as possible so the VA may be notified of your status. You will need to also contact each of your instructors and let them know. You will need to do a total withdraw from Bowie State. Official withdrawal from the University after classes begin and before the end of the semester requires that the student complete an Application for Withdrawal and file it with the Office of the Registrar.

If you are receiving any other financial aid then you will also need to contact financial aid regarding your deployment. Our office will report your drop to VA and report that you are being deployed. VA should have all that information in the system. After your deployment is over and you have decided to return to Bowie State you will need to re-apply with the admissions office.

If you have student loans please visit the following links to see if you qualify for loan forgiveness, loan deferment, or other loan waiver.

Sallie Mae student loan repayment and military benefits if called to active duty.

Q: Does the post chapter 33 benefit cover room and board or meal plans?

The chapter 33 is tuition and fee specific. Only the cost of tuition and eligible fees is covered. Students residing on campus will still receive the Basic Housing Allowance and Book Stipend, but are responsible for paying room and board expenses remaining on their Student Account.

Q: Will the chapter 33 benefit cover all of my tuition?

It depends on your entitlement. If you are at 100% entitlement VA will pay 100% of your in-state tuition and fees. The chapter 33 education benefit does not cover out of state tuition.

Q: If I received a book stipend in the fall and spring semesters, will I still get book money in the summer?

It depends. The book stipend caps at $1,000 per academic year. The academic year runs from August to July. If you have received $1,000 between the fall and spring semesters, you have exhausted your stipend for the academic year. The book stipend is paid by credit hour. Generally the VA will pay $41.67 per credit hour ($41.67 x12= $500.04).

Q: I failed a class, but I need it to graduate. Will the VA pay for me to retake it?

Students receiving grades of W, NC, or F the first time taking a course are allowed to repeat the course if it is required for their degree program. If a student receives a D in a course where the course catalog specifically requires a C or better, the student may repeat the course. Any student receiving an F will be checked for class attendance. Non attendance F’s are reported to VA and could cause you to be in overpayment with VA.

Q: The semester is about to start, but I haven’t received my book money and I can’t afford to pay for all these expensive textbooks out-of-pocket. What do I do?

Many professors are lenient about textbooks in the first week of class. Email them in advance to ask whether not having the textbook immediately will adversely affect your class performance. Also check with the library, many books are on reserve.

Q: How many hours do I need to be enrolled in to receive my chapter 33 BAH?

The full time BAH is payable at 12 hours of undergraduate enrollment and 6 hours of graduate credit. The BAH is reduced if you are enrolled in less than full time.

Q: I don’t know what I want to register for this term. Can I register for any course?

If you have declared a major you must take courses that will be applied to your degree program. Most programs allow for a certain number of elective hours. Any course that does not fit into your program will be an elective. Once you have used up the allowed number of electives for your particular major, if you register for any more elective courses they cannot be certified by VA. You may also register for courses to be applied towards a declared second degree, or declared minor. If a course requires a prerequisite within your degree program the prerequisite can be certified for enrollment.

Q: Will VA cover out of state tuition?

No. VA will only pay the amount of in-state tuition and fees. Out of state tuition must be covered by out of pocket or by external funds. In some instances chapter 31 (voc rehab) will pay out of state tuition. However, you could qualify for temporary qualification of non-residents for in-state status. Please visit link for more information here Residency Information | Bowie State or contact the Military Resource Center for more information.

Q: How do I update my payment/direct deposit information?

Chapter 30, 1606, 1607 students who verify their attendance online can change their address and direct deposit information on the WAVE site. All other chapter students can call the VA education benefits line at 1-888-442-4551.

Q: Does the VA pay me or Bowie State?

Chapters 30, 35, 1606, and 1607: VA will make payment directly to the student. It is your responsibility to see that your tuition and fees are paid on time by the fee deferment date each term. Your benefits are paid a month behind. For example, payment for August would occur around Sept 1.  For chapter 33 students your fees are paid directly to Bowie State. It is still your responsibility to pay your balance by the fee deferment date if VA has not paid your balance.

Q: I receive chapter 33 education benefits and I have not received my BAH stipend or my book stipend. What do I do?

Please make sure you have turned in your enrollment form on time. If you have turned the form in on time you will need to call VA at 1-888-442-4551 to find out information about BAH payments and book money.


GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government Web site at