Financing Your Education
There are programs, financial aid, and scholarships that help veterans, active duty service members, and eligible dependents foot the bill for a higher education. In one of the largest programs, many people who served in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere will be heading to universities under the terms of the new Post-9/11 GI Bill.
Apply for VA education benefits
If you've enrolled at Rutgers and are eligible for VA education benefits, your next step is to get needed paperwork completed and submit it to the VA.
The first form, VA Form 22-1990, is your application for VA education benefits. You can complete it online through the Veterans Online Application website or print and mail it in.
On this form, you select the benefit program you are applying for.
The GI Bill
You may be eligible for VA education benefits under more than one program, including the new Post-9/11 GI Bill. The VA started accepting applications for benefits under the new Post-9/11 GI Bill program on May 1, 2009. If you elect to receive benefits under this program, you have to give up your eligibility for the other programs, and you can't revoke that decision.
These videos from the Department of Veterans Affairs explain the terms of the new G.I. Bill
Â Which program is right for you? That depends on your personal circumstance, so it's up to you to get information to weigh your decision carefully.
There are some tools to help you compare.
Check out the VA website, which has put together a comparison chart on the Post-9/11 GI Billwhich is also referred to as Chapter 33and other programs such as the Montgomery GI Bill.
Read up on the bill at newgibill.org. This informative site was put together by the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America and features a benefits calculator and an FAQ.
Call the VA at 1-888-GIBILL-1 (1-888-442-4551) and speak to a benefits counselor to get more information on programs.
Visit the website Desktop Reference for Education Benefits to research options.
New Jersey National Guard programs
New Jersey is one of the few states to provide free college credits to National Guard members. Under the New Jersey Free Tuition Bill, you may be able to receive up to 15 undergraduate or graduate college credits per semester while serving as a member of the New Jersey National Guard.
New Jersey Army National Guard Tuition Program
New Jersey Air National Guard Educational Benefits
If you're a New Jersey National Guard member seeking education benefits, you'll need to have a commander's certification from your educational services officer. The certification must have that officer's signature and must state the term for the certification. You also must submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each academic year.
The Post-9/11 GI Bill changes the formula for education benefits for National Guard personnel: benefits are based on cumulative active-duty time. To apply for GI Bill benefits, whether under the new Post-9/11 GI Bill, or another program, reservists and active duty personnel should fill out VA Form 22-1990. You can complete it online through the Veterans Online Application website or print and mail it in.
The Veterans Affairs website explains the terms of the Survivors' and Dependents' Educational Assistance Program. A dependant would fill out VA Form 22-5490. You can complete it online through the Veterans Online Application website or print and mail it in.
To get your benefit money flowing, you need to visit the VA certifying officials in the Rutgers Office of the Registrar at the campus you will be attending. The service coordinator on your campus can also help guide you through the registration and certifying process.
Certifying Officials: Dora Perez Stephen Roberts Office of the Registrar 311 North 5th Street Camden, NJ 08102-1499 856-225-6053 Fax 856-225-6453 MondayThursday 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Certifying official: Marie Diaz-Torres Newark Office of the Registrar Blumenthal Hall, 3rd floor 249 University Avenue Newark, NJ 07102 973-353-5372 Fax 973-353-1357 MondayFriday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., except Wednesday 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Administrative Services Building Rooms 200-F, L 65 Davidson Road Busch Campus Piscataway, NJ 08854-8096 732-445-1109 (undergraduate) 732-445-3536 (graduate) Fax 732 445-5948 MondayFriday 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Certifying officials: Richard Bird (graduate) Monica Licourt (undergraduate)
For questions concerning Financial Aid (Federal, State and University), please contact: Elizabeth J. Rollins, New Brunswick Office of Financial Aid Manager of Compliance 848-932-2611
These people are responsible for reporting to the VA your enrollment and any changes in your enrollment status.
The VA certifying official will send an enrollment certification, VA Form 22-1999, and your VA application for education benefitsif you haven't filled one out alreadyto the VA. The VA bases your benefit payment on that enrollment certification, and it takes the VA about four to six weeks to confirm your certification and eligibility for aid.
Using your veterans education benefits doesn't preclude you from receiving other types of financial aid to fund your education.
You can start the process for financial aid by filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The Rutgers student aid webpage can help you get started.
There are also scholarships available to veterans as well as general scholarships that you might be eligible for based on other aspects of your life and situation.
Some of these scholarships include:
UCC Scholarship for nontraditional New Brunswick students
Higher Education Student Assistance Authority
To make sure your account has been billed properly, get in touch with Student Accounting Financial Services.