Welcome, Veterans and Dependents!
Here at Seattle Pacific University we help eligible student veterans, reservists and dependents obtain educational benefits in compliance with the procedures and regulations of the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
Contacts at SPU:
- Veterans Certifying Official: Kelli Knapp in the Registration & Records Office (DH 151) is responsible for certifying and monitoring your enrollment, academic process, and other academic-related information. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Student Financial Services Coordinator: Kevin McKinney in Student Financial Services (DH 10) can help calculate your SPU costs including VA benefits, receive VA checks and other financial-related information. Email: email@example.com
- Vet Corps Navigator: Will Jonsson in the Center for Learning can help introduce you to the variety resources available at SPU to veterans and their dependents, and help you navigate the range of services available through the WDVA and other public and private organizations who focus on helping veterans. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; Phone: 206-378-5044
- Military and Veterans Support Club (MVSC): The SPU Military & Veteran Support community exists to create awareness and support for past, present, and future soldiers who sacrifice for the country. The MVSC hosts Memorial Day and Veterans Day events each year, open to the community. The club also participates in many volunteer opportunities, including an annual care package program for units overseas and community outreach projects. To find upcoming events and more information about the MVSC, visit: https://www.facebook.com/spumvsc.
Veteran Specific Events:
Vet Corps at Seattle Pacific University and the Military and Veterans Support Club have Facebook pages that are updated with upcoming events and opportunities for Veterans. There is also a shared Google calendar at the bottom of this page. Additionally, a newsletter and event invitations are emailed to the student Veterans and Cadre by the Vet Corps Navigator. If you are not currently receiving these emails, and you would like to, send an email to the Vet Corps Navigator and you will be added to the mailing list.
Seattle Pacific University acknowledges these educational benefit programs:
Chapter 1606 (MGIB-SR): This program provides education benefits to Veterans of the Selected Reserve:
- Army Reserve
- Navy Reserve
- Marine Corps Reserve
- Air Force Reserve
- Army National Guard
- Air National Guard
Eligibility is conditional on current drilling status and a minimum 6 year obligation. Eligibility for the program generally ends the day you leave the Selected Reserve, but exceptions exist. See the VA MGIB-SR website for specific details. Complete DD Form 2384-1 (available from your unit) and have your unit code your eligibility into the DoD system, complete VA Form 22-1990 and submit it to the regional VA benefits office.
Chapter 33 (Post-9/11 GI Bill): Specific eligibility requirements for this program can be found within the VA Post-9/11 GI Bill pamphlet. This program pays for up to 36 months of continuous full-time education. Benefits may include up to – but not necessarily all of – the following:
- Tuition paid directly to the educational institution
- Monthly housing allowance
This allowance is calculated based on the zip code of the institution. Use this website to calculate the current BAH. Enter 98119 for the zip code and E-5 for pay grade.
- Annual books stipend
The VA pays up to $1000 per year for books and supplies. The stipend is paid proportionately over the year according to enrolment.
- A one-time rural benefit payment
Seattle Pacific University is also pleased and honored to participate in the Yellow Ribbon program. This program is a voluntary agreement with Veterans Affairs (VA) to fund tuition and fee expenses that exceed the VA's set reimbursement rate. This program is a supplement to the Post 9/11 GI Bill that helps veterans bridge the gap at private universities between the Post 9/11 tuition benefits and the actual cost of tuition and fees. See the VA GI Bill website for details regarding your eligibility to the program.
Veterans who have been discharged from the military and qualify for Chapter 33 with 100% entitlement are eligible to participate in the Yellow Ribbon Program. At SPU, the Yellow Ribbon Program provides undergraduate students up to $15,000 additional tuition dollars per year ($7,500 from SPU and $7,500 matching funds from the VA). All SPU-funded sources of gift assistance (such as merit scholarships) awarded to each eligible undergraduate recipient count toward meeting the University's Yellow Ribbon program commitment.
Once the Post 9/11 GI Bill reimbursement rate has been exhausted for the academic year, SPU and the VA will split the remaining balance of tuition and fees (each contributing 50% of the remaining amount as a match up to a maximum of $7,500).
Participating colleges and universities review their Yellow-Ribbon commitment each year. Therefore, SPU's participation level may vary in future years.
Chapter 31 (Vocational Rehabilitation): Eligibility and entitlement requirements for this program are dependent on approval from the department of Veterans Affairs. Eligibility criteria include:
- Both a VA disability rating and an employment handicap
- A discharge from the service other than dishonorable
- VA Disability rating >10%, or a memorandum rating of >20% from the VA
- A completed and approved VR&E application (available online at VONAPP)
Eligibility for this program does not necessarily mean entitlement. See the VA Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment website for details.
Chapter 35 (DEA): This GI Bill chapter is exclusively available to children or spouses of Veterans whom are either rated by the VA as permanently and completely disabled due to a service-connected condition, or who died on either active duty or due to a service-related condition. Details regarding eligibility can be found in the DEA Pamphlet or on the VA’s Chapter 35 (DEA) website.
Chapter 30 (MGIB-AD): The Montgomery GI-Bill provides education benefits to Veterans with at least 2 years of active duty service. With few exceptions, Veterans have 10 years to use these benefits after honorable discharge. Benefits cover up to 36 months of continuous, full-time education, and distribute a monthly stipend directly to the student based on a number of criteria, including: length of service, type of training/education being pursued, amount contributed to the fund during service, eligibility category, and optional participation in the $600 Buy-Up Program (“Kicker”). The student is responsible for ensuring tuition is paid.
- Apply to Seattle Pacific University’s Admissions office and be accepted!
- Undergraduate: http://spu.edu/depts/ugadm/.
- Graduate: http://spu.edu/acad/GRCatalog/20123/admission.asp.
- Apply for your benefits through the Department of Veterans Affairs website: http://www.gibill.va.gov/.
- Once your application has been approved with the VA, they should send you a Certificate of Eligibility. This document describes the benefits that you are eligible to receive, the duration of those benefits, and whether you may participate in the Yellow-Ribbon program.
- A copy of this Certificate of Eligibility should be submitted to your Certifying Official, Kelli Knapp, in the Student Academic Services (DH 151) or faxed to 206.281.2669.
- Once received, your Certifying Official will begin sending your enrollment certifications to the VA each quarter you are registered.
- Any schedule changes must be submitted to the VA. It is your responsibility to contact your Certifying Official if you make any schedule changes within a given quarter.
SPU can only certify current, admitted students who are pursuing a full undergraduate, post-baccalaureate, or graduate degree program. Students who are attending SPU as a non-matriculated student may need special permission to receive education benefits.
- If you make any schedule changes (course adds, course withdrawals) or major/minor updates, you must notify your Certifying Official, Kelli Knapp, email@example.com, so that she may update the VA of your changes.
- If you or your VA advisor needs your academic plan, please request one from your Undergraduate Academic Counselor (http://spu.edu/depts/sas/staff/index.asp) or your Graduate Program Coordinator.
Transferring Credits to SPU and receiving VA benefits
Students are able to take courses at more than one school that apply to his/her degree. VA students who are interested in transferring courses back to SPU should first consult with their Undergraduate Academic Counselor or Graduate Program Coordinator. If the course(s) is approved to be transferred, the certifying official will write a “parent letter” to that institution so that the student may receive benefits. The VA student will send the following information to the SPU Certifying Official:
- Student’s name, SSN, chapter of VA benefits
- State and Institution that the student will be attending
- Course Subject, Number and Title and how the course will transfer back to SPU
- Contact Information (i.e. name, school, address, phone number, fax number) for the VA Certifying Official at the secondary school
Your SPU Certifying Official will write the letter for the secondary school. Once the secondary school receives the letter, the student should be able to receive benefits as per usual processes.
Credit for Military Training
College credit for military training is evaluated on a case-by-case basis. In order to receive credit for training, an official transcript should be sent to the university. Currently, the university evaluates Initial Entry Training (e.g. Basic Combat Training in the Army) with 3 credits of elective physical education (PE). More advanced training is evaluated based on its congruence to courses offered at Seattle Pacific University. For more specific details, contact the Student Academic Services office to make an appointment to speak with an Academic Counselor.
Where to request an official transcript:
- Joint Services Transcript (JST):
- Coast Guard
- National Guard
- The Air University:
- Air Force
Q: I am transferring to SPU from another institution. How do I transfer my benefits?
A: Students who have already used their benefits at another institution may have their certifying official fax a copy of the Certificate of Eligibility to the new school’s certifying official. SPU’s Certifying Official Fax: 206.281.2669. Otherwise, a copy of the Certificate of Eligibility may be sent directly from the student.
Q: Am I able to be certified for partial credit instead of the full quarter?
A: Students who choose to be partially certified within a given quarter may receive a lower housing allowance (if applicable) and lower rate for tuition/fees. It’s best to check with the VA directly.
Q: Does SPU offer a tuition discount for veterans?
A: No. In Washington State some publicly funded state colleges and universities offer a tuition discount to veterans. While SPU, as a private university, does not offer this discount, the Office of Student Financial Services is happy to assist veterans in utilizing any VA educational benefits they may be eligible to receive.
Q: Will the VA cover costs for study abroad programs?
A: Yes, the VA will help with costs for most study abroad programs. Please contact Certifying Official and Financial Services Representative for information about this process.
Q: Does SPU waive tuition for dependents and spouses of fallen veterans and National Guard members according to WA State allowances from Senate Bill 5002?
A: The State of Washington in Senate Bill 5002 requires public universities and colleges to waive tuition for dependents or spouses of a permanently disabled, killed-in-action, MIA or POW veterans (VET) and encourages private institutions to do likewise. The State of Washington has not allocated any funding to private institutions to assist these students. Therefore, SPU cannot participate in the unfunded encouragement for a tuition waiver for dependents or spouses of a VET. Instead, if a first-time undergraduate dependent or spouse is a recipient of Chapter 35 Veteran Benefits (assistance offered to dependents or spouses of a veteran who meets the definition of SB 5002), SPU will award institutional gift funds, after all institutional scholarships, government grants, and benefits are considered, up to the highest cost of tuition at Washington State major research universities (e.g. full-time 12 credits at University of Washington), provided that total gift aid is awarded according to regulations regarding financial need. This aid provision may be discontinued at any time.
Q: Once I’ve been accepted at SPU, what do I need to do to transfer my GI Bill benefits?
A: The VA requires students to file a Request for Change of Program of Place of Training: VA Form 22-1995.
Veterans Event Calendar
Upcoming events, such as volunteer opportunities, guest speakers, job fairs, training opportunities, networking events, internship application deadlines, event registration deadlines, and links to the relevant websites will be listed on the SPU Vet Corps public calendar. If you are unable to view the calendar here, follow this link.
VA Website: www.gibill.com
VA Education Benefits Hotline: 888.442.4551
Transferring eligibility to dependents: http://www.defense.gov/home/features/2009/0409_gibill/