Veteran Affairs Benefits

The Registrar’s Office houses a VA school certifying official (SCO) who is available to assist VA students in using their veteran affairs benefits at Lander University. The SCO provides assistance in matters relating to applying for benefits, certification of enrollment, and transmitting necessary enrollment information to the proper VA regional office.

The SCO is not part of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Veteran Benefits Administration, or employed by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Application for Veteran's Benefits

VA applications are designed to obtain the necessary information to determine your eligibility for educational assistance. Students may apply for educational benefits after being accepted to the University. Information regarding eligibility, applications, and certification may be obtained from the Veterans Affairs GI Bill web site, www.gibill.va.gov

Students should apply using VONAPP located on the VA GI Bill web site.

Types of Education Assistance Programs

Chapter 33: The Post-9/11 GI Bill is for 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. This program will pay eligible individuals:
  • Tuition & fees paid directly to the school
  • Monthly housing allowance based on the location of the school
  • Annual books & supplies stipend of up to $1,000
Chapter 30: The MGIB program provides up to 36 months of education benefits. Recipients are paid a monthly stipend while enrolled in education classes. Generally, benefits are payable for 10 years following your release from active duty.

Chapter 1606: The MGIB-SR program may be available to you if you are a member of the Selected Reserve. The Selected Reserve includes the Army Reserve, Nay Reserve, Air Force Reserve, Marine Corps Reserve and Coast Guard Reserves, and the Army National Guard and the Air National Guard.

Chapter 1607: REAP provides 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.

Chapter 35: This program provides education and training opportunities to eligible dependents of veterans who are permanently and totally disabled due to a service-related condition, or who died while on active duty or as a result of a service-related condition. The program offers up to 45 months of education benefits.

Receiving Benefits

Certificate of Eligibility
Once the Department of Veteran's Affairs has received your application and all the necessary documentation, the claim will be processed. Veterans and eligible dependents will receive notification of this action in the form of a Certificate of Eligibility. This certificate will indicate the type of benefit you are entitled to, the number of months you have to use your benefit and the date your benefit will expire. A copy of the Certificate of Eligibility should be sent to the University’s SCO in the Registrar’s Office.

Enrollment Certification
Each term, upon registering for classes, students must complete and submit the VA Enrollment Certification Request form to the Registrar’s Office confirming their desire to receive benefits. No paperwork will automatically be prepared and forwarded to the Veterans Administration for processing and payment without the student's request. The University SCO reports all the information regarding your enrollment to the Department of Veterans Affairs. Any change in enrollment is electronically submitted to the DVA. Students receiving benefits under Chapter 30, 1606 & 1607 are required to confirm their enrollment status to the VA at the end of each month.

Audits, Withdrawals, Non-required Courses & Repeating a Course

The VA prohibits payment for any course that is not required for graduation. This includes but not limited to repeats of a grade 'D' or better (unless a higher grade is required), withdrawals and excessive electives. This does not apply for courses that you failed and must have for graduation. If you are unsure if a class can be certified, please contact the certifying official at 388-8948.

Changes in Student Status
Students using education benefits from the VA are required by law to keep the University Certifying Official informed of all of the following:
  • Periods of enrollment
  • Audits & withdrawals
  • Change of major
  • Curriculum year changes
  • Course substitutions
  • Address change
Dropping the enrolled credit load below the minimums may result in a retroactive reduction in benefits and a debt to the VA. Several different methods are used to collect over-payments. A statement of mitigating circumstances and supportive documentation may need to be submitted to the Veterans Administration.

Satisfactory Academic Progress
Students receiving education benefits from the VA are required to maintain academic progress according to the standards established by Lander University. Students who do not maintain satisfactory progress will have their benefits discounted and the Certifying Official will inform the VA of this action. The VA will determine the conditions for reinstatement of benefits.

General Information
  • For those Chapters that are paid on a monthly basis. Students are required to pay the usual fees to the University at the time of registration. The first benefit check will be received approximately six to eight weeks after the first day of class.
  • Veterans Administration programs and policies and University services and procedures frequently change. Students should maintain contact with the certifying official's office. 
  • Students' enrollment will be certified by semester or session. Payment should be continuous (including intervals between terms) if the students' request is received at least 40 days before the next enrollment period and there is not a break of 30 days or more between the semesters or sessions.
  • If a student withdraws from the University, drops a course that changes their training time (see chart below), or changes their major, they should notify the VA certifying official immediately..
On-campus Contact
Helen Lewis, Certifying Official
Phone: 864-388-8948
Fax: 864-388-8028
Email: hlewis@lander.edu
Location and Mailing Address:
Lander University
Registrar’s Office, Veterans Affairs
320 Stanley Avenue
Greenwood, SC 29646

Veterans Administration Regional Office
Phone: 1-800-827-1000
Mailing Address:
VARO
1801 Assembly Street
Columbia, SC 29201
Atlanta Regional Processing Office
Phone: 1-888-442-4551 (1-888-GIBILL-1)
Mailing Address:
Department of Veterans Affairs
RPO P. O. Box 100022
Decatur, GA 30031-7022