Apply for GI Benefits

PennWest welcomes veterans and their families.

Our goal is to make it as easy as possible for you to apply for the GI benefits that you deserve. But before you do, apply to PennWest. Then find out exactly what military education benefits apply to you.  

Visit the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs website GI Bill® website and see which one of these programs fit your circumstances:

Ready to apply? Follow these steps and timelines.

1. If you’ve never applied for military education benefits before, you must apply for GI Bill benefits through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.


  • If you are a veteran who has never used benefits, use VA Form 22-1990.
  • If you are a spouse or child who has never used benefits, use VA Form 22-1990E.
  • If you are a spouse or child applying for FRY Scholarship, use VA Form 22-5490.
  • If you are a veteran, spouse or child who have previously used benefits, use VA Form 22-1995 or 22-5495 (Fry or DEA).

You must complete your VA application and send in any necessary documentation at least 8-12 weeks before PennWest’s academic term starts. If you’re applying for the first time, attach a copy of the confirmation page you received from your online application.

The VA will send you a Certificate of Eligibility in the mail. It takes between 6-8 weeks to receive this form. You will need to take the Certificate of Eligibility and your DD 214 (Member 4) or NOBE to the veterans center on campus.

2. Complete the PennWest VA Enrollment Form. Remember to submit PennWest’s in-house GI Bill form every semester that you plan to attend.

3. Complete a FAFSA form for the 2023-24 academic year.

4. Order your Joint Service Transcript or your Air Force transcript through the College of the Air Force.

"GI Bill®” is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).  More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government website at

Are you Eligible for Federal Tuition Assistance?

Learn how to apply

Are you eligible for the PA National Guard Educational Assistance Program (EAP)?
Find out here and apply online.
Members of the National Guard and Reservists may be eligible for Federal Tuition Assistance through the following military branches:
NOTE: The VA will send most GI Bill® payments directly to you, either electronically or by check. Benefit checks will not be sent to the University.

How to check your status

It is your responsibility to verify your enrollment with the VA on the last day of every month of the academic term.

We encourage all students to create an account with the VA to access current benefit information. Visit to report changes to your enrollment status, set up or change direct-deposit, and more.

If you receive benefits under Chapter 33, you may verify enrollment in the following ways:

  • Opt in to text verification from the VA
  • Opt in to email verification from the VA
  • Call 1-888-442-4551 to verify by speaking to a VA representative

If you receive benefits from Chapter 30 or Chapter 1606, you may:

  • Call 1-877-823-2378 and relay your enrollment information through an Interactive Voice Response line, or
  • Submit your enrollment information through the WAVE on the GI Bill website.

Important details for students

You must notify the School Certifying official of ANY changes in credits or enrollment (drop/add courses, withdrawal, etc).  If you fail to do so, you may be responsible for additional student debt.

Your benefits require you to be registered for at least 12 undergraduate credits or 9 graduate credits to be considered full-time.  Online courses and those that do not run for the entire length of the term may affect your full-time status and your BAH payment rate.

The University’s Office of Veterans Benefits will certify your credits with the VA prior to the beginning of the semester. This will ensure that the book stipend and housing allowance are paid on time.  Tuition & Fees are not reported to the VA until the end of the drop/add period once the semester begins.  Expect those payments to be posted by PennWest Student Accounts approximately 4-6 weeks after the semester begins.

Are you a scholarship recipient? Those funds may be deducted from the amount of Tuition & Fees submitted to the VA, depending on the terms of the award. Ask the Office of Veterans Benefits for clarification about your award.

If you are using Chapter 35 benefits, please note:

The University’s full-time tuition rate is $1,298.00/month.  Partial months will be prorated based on the number of days classes are in session.  Since the VA pays a month in arrears, you will receive a payment at the beginning of the month for the previous month.

If you are a Pennsylvania resident using Chapter 35 benefits, you may also qualify for the Educational Gratuity Program. Visit the Educational Gratuity Program webpage on the Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veteran Affairs website for program details and how to apply.