Frequently Asked Questions

Q.  Am I able to receive financial aid if I receive military student's benefits?
A.  You can receive financial aid in addition to your military student's benefits.  Military students are encouraged to apply for student financial aid to help off-set the cost of education, because federal and state veterans benefits sometimes do not cover the entire cost of a college education.

When completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), veterans need to be aware of some special circumstances:

  1. Federal veteran education benefits do not affect financial aid eligibility and are not considered income for federal student aid purposes.
  2. State veteran education benefits are treated as a resource, not an income, for federal student aid purposes.
  3. Non-educational veteran benefits must be included on the FAFSA as untaxed income.
  4. Veteran status for student aid purposes is not necessarily the same as veteran status for VA purposes. National Guard and Reservists may not qualify automatically as independent students. Refer to the FAFSA instructions to determine if you qualify as a veteran for financial aid purposes.

Q.  How often do I need to complete the NIU Enrollment Certification Request?
A. 
The NIU Enrollment Certification Request  must be completed each semester of enrollment.  Please submit your upcoming enrollment certification directly to the Military Student Services office. 

Q.  I have applied for VA benefits, why haven't I been paid?
A.  
In order to receive your VA benefits you must:

Submit a copy of your Certification of Eligibility to Military Student Services.

Submit an NIU Enrollment Certification Request online each semester after you have registered for classes.

Submit the Change of Program/Place of Training form to Military Student Services if you have changed your major or program of study.

You must verify your attendance each month you are enrolled in school.  This will trigger your monthly payment.  You can verify by phone - 877-823-2378 or online at the VA WAVE. (Chapter 31, 33, and 35 students are exempt.)

Q.  If my G.I. bill runs out before the end of the semester, will it cover the rest of the semester?
A. 
Yes, if you are eligible for the G.I. bill at the start of a semester, you will receive benefits for the entire semester.

Q.  I have changed my class schedule after I submitted the NIU Enrollment Certification Request form. What do I need to do?
A. 
You must notify Military Student Services if you change your enrollment.  Changes of enrollment include adding, dropping, or withdrawing from classes.

Q.  If I change my major or program of study, what do I need to do?
A. 
If you change your major or program of study, you must complete and submit the Change of Program/Place of Training form to Military Student Services.

Q.  How can I get a copy of my DD-214 if I need it?
A.  The Department of Veterans Affairs does not maintain records of veterans' military service, except as necessary for providing benefits from the VA.

To obtain or amend a copy of your military service record and/or your Official Military Personnel File (DD-214, OMPFs), please visit the website for the Military Personnel Records Center (MPRC) in St. Louis, which is part of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). If you have been discharged from military service, your personnel files are stored at NARA, which is the official repository for records of military personnel who have been discharged from the U.S. Air Force, Army, Marine Corps, Navy, and Coast Guard.

Visit the NARA website at: http://www.archives.gov/veterans/military-service-records/

Q. How do I ensure that my Illinois Veteran Grant, Illinois National Guard Grant, or MIA/POW scholarship is applied to my account?
A. At the beginning of each semester, please stop by, call, or e-mail Military Student Services to ensure that your Illinois Veteran Grant has been applied to your account.  

Q.  How do I know what VA Education Benefits I qualify for?
A.  There are many different benefits. Please go to the VA Education Benefits website for details on these benefits and links to the appropriate sources.  

Q. How long will my claim with the Department of Veterans Affairs take?
A. Properly submitted forms can be processed in as few as 90 days.

Q. How do I file a claim for compensation or pension with the VA?
A.
You can apply online or at http://vabenefits.vba.va.gov/vonapp/main.asp Please visit the DeKalb County Veterans Assistance Commission for information or help with the process.

Q.  What is the Veteran Affairs website?
A. www.va.gov

Q. What is the Illinois Department of Veteran Affairs website?
A. http://www.veterans.illinois.gov/  

Q.  Are there private scholarships available for veterans?
A. Yes; please refer to Grants and Scholarships information.

Q.  Am I required to live in the residence halls as a freshman?
A.  If you are over the age of 21, you are not required to live in the residence halls.

Q. Can I use my IVG or ING for non-credit programs? 
A.
  No. Charges for non-credit programs offered by NIU-Outreach are not based on university-wide tuition and fee calculations determined by the university and approved by its governing board.  The Illinois Veterans Grant and Illinois National Guard Grant do not cover these charges.

For non-credit programming, contact NIU Outreach: 815-753-5008
For credit programming, contact Student Financial Aid