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
Seattle Pacific acknowledges these educational benefit programs:
- Montgomery GI Bill: this bill is available for those who enlist in the U.S. Armed Forces.
- Chapter 30: Active Duty
- Chapter 1606: Selected Reserve
- A reservist must be actively drilling and have a 6-year obligation in the Selected Reserve to be eligible
- Post 9/11 GI Bill:
- Chapter 33
- Provides financial support for education and housing to individuals with at least 90 days of aggregate service on or after September 11, 2001, or individuals discharged with a service-connected disability after 30 days. You must have received an honorable discharge to be eligible for the Post 9/11 GI Bill. Dependents of these Veterans may also receive benefits.
- Yellow-Ribbon Program (see section on YR specifics)
- Reserve Educational Assistance (REAP)
- Chapter 1607
- Department of Defense education benefit program designed to provide educational assistance to members of the reserve components called or ordered to active duty in response to a war or national emergency. This program makes certain reservists who were activated for at least 90 days after September 11, 2001 either eligible for education benefits or eligible for increased benefits.
- Vocational Rehabilitation Program
- Chapter 31
- These students will need authorization from a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor in their respective districts. For contact information, please contact the VA.
- Survivors & Dependents Assistance (DEA)
- Chapter 35
- Dependents’ Educational Assistance provides education and training opportunities to eligible dependents of certain veterans. The program offers up to 45 months of education benefits. These benefits may be used for degree and certificate programs, apprenticeship, and on-the-job training.
- Apply to Seattle Pacific University’s Admissions office and be accepted!
- 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, firstname.lastname@example.org, 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.
Yellow-Ribbon Program: Eligibility and Processes
SPU is pleased and honored to participate in the Yellow-Ribbon program, 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 benefit and the actual cost of tuition and fees.
Chapter 33 undergraduate students 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.
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.
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/