Frequently Asked Questions
- 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:
- Federal veteran education benefits do not affect financial aid eligibility and are not considered income for federal student aid purposes.
- State veteran education benefits are treated as a resource, not an income, for federal student aid purposes.
- Non-educational veteran benefits must be included on the FAFSA as untaxed income.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.)
- Yes, if you are eligible for the G.I. bill at the start of a semester, you will receive benefits for the entire semester.
- You must notify Military Student Services if you change your enrollment. Changes of enrollment include adding, dropping, or withdrawing from classes.
- 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.
- 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: archives.gov/veterans/military-service-records
- 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.
- There are many different benefits. Please go to the VA Education Benefits website for details on these benefits and links to the appropriate sources.
- Properly submitted forms can be processed in as few as 90 days.
- You can apply online. Please visit the DeKalb County Veterans Assistance Commission for information or help with the process.
- Yes; please refer to Grants and Scholarships information.
- Yes! Due to a recent Illinois state law, any person using the Post 9/11 GIBILL will be granted in-state tuition rates.
- If you are over the age of 21, you are not required to live in the residence halls.
- 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.
- Any NIU student that wishes to take courses outside the school using military benefits may do so after obtaining a parent letter. In order to receive the parent letter from the Military and Post-Traditional Student Service (MPTSS) the following steps must be completed:
- Contact the NIU Records and Registration office.
- Ask for a Transferability Request Form.
- Present the Transferability Request Form to the MPTSS office.
- MPTSS will then draft the parent letter.
- The signed parent letter is given to the student and can be to present to the appropriate school.
- Note: Always check in with the financial and veterans office of the school the parent letter is addressed to insuring the benefits are applied.
- The parent letter itself does not guarantee certification.