Appendix L: Certification Instructions for the Veterans Tuition Award Program

Veterans Tuition Awards (VTA) may be awarded to eligible veterans who are attending full-time or part-time and who are matriculated at an undergraduate or graduate degree-granting institution or in an approved vocational training program in New York State.

Establishing Eligibility

Students must complete the New York State Veterans Tuition Award Supplement on HescWeb or contact the HESC Scholarship Unit at 1-888-697-4372 to establish eligibility. Students must print the Web Supplement Confirmation, sign and return it along with the required documentation according to the instructions. The requirement for establishing eligibility needs to be met once, at the onset of the student’s application for the VTA. Students previously approved for this award must apply for payment each year. 

Applying for Payment

Undergraduate and Graduate Full-time & Part-time Study – Once VTA eligibility has been established, students are required to apply for the New York State Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) each academic year they seek payment of a VTA award. The VTA award will be processed through the TAP system and sent to the school indicated on the TAP application. Eligible students may apply for TAP by doing one of the following:

  • Apply online by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) — the form used by most colleges, universities and vocational schools for awarding federal student aid and most state and college aid , and then linking to the TAP on the Web application.
  • For veterans who do not anticipate filing a FAFSA, complete a Scholarship Grant Payment Application. For a copy of the application call the HESC Scholarship unit at 1-888-697-4372.


Vocational Training Program – Students must complete only the Veterans Tuition Award Supplement each year. 

All applications must be completed by June 30 of the academic year for which an award is sought.

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible a student must do one of the following:

  • Be taking at least twelve (12) credits per semester (eight credits per trimester) or the equivalent for full-time attendance at a degree granting institution.
  • Be taking at least three (3), but fewer than twelve (12) credits per semester (at least two, but fewer than eight per trimester), or the equivalent, for part-time attendance at a degree granting institution.
  • Be enrolled in a non-credit vocational training program of at least 320 clock hours specifically approved by the New York State Division of Veteran's Affairs' Bureau of Veterans Education.


In addition, the student must meet other eligibility requirements. To view the requirements, select the Veterans Tuition Awards Quick Reference

Duration

Undergraduate Degree-Granting Programs - Awards are available for up to the equivalent of eight semesters (four years) of full-time undergraduate study. Awards can be made available for up to the equivalent of ten semesters (five years) of full-time study for enrollment in an approved five-year undergraduate program. 

Graduate Degree-Granting Programs - Awards are available for up to the equivalent of six semesters (three years) of full-time graduate study. 

Vocational Training Programs - Awards are available for up to a maximum of four semesters (two years) of full-time study or eight semesters (four years) of part-time study in an approved vocational training program. 

Note: The VTA is not limited to 36 points at a two year school.

Award Amount

Full-time Study - A recipient shall receive an award of up to the full cost of undergraduate tuition for New York State residents at the State University of New York, or actual tuition charged, whichever is less. (If a Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) award is also received, the combined academic year award cannot exceed tuition. The TAP award may be reduced accordingly).

Part-time Study - Awards will be prorated by credit hour. (If a Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) award is also received, the combined academic year award cannot exceed tuition. Thus, the TAP award may be reduced accordingly).

Fall & Spring 2014-15 Semester - Awards are set at tuition or $3,097.50, whichever is less. 

2014-15 Trimester - Awards will be set at tuition or $2,065.00, whichever is less.

2014-15 Vocational Veteran – Awards can be up to $3,097.50, however, this amount cannot be determined until the total Clock Hours the student is completing is reported. 

 

Roster Placement

Veterans Tuition Awards appear on a TAP Payment Roster and are initially calculated with a full-time VTA and, if eligible, a full-time TAP award. The VTA should be certified in the same manner as a TAP roster. For detailed eligibility and certification instructions refer to Chapter 5: Certification Procedures

Certification

Effective with the 2008-09 academic year, the Veterans Tuition Award for part-time study will be prorated by credit hour. Part-time study for veterans is defined as at least three but fewer than twelve credits per semester (at least two, but fewer than eight per trimester) or the equivalent at a degree-granting institution. As with Part-time TAP, Part-time VTA (PT-VTA) awards are recalculated after a school identifies part-time students when certifying the roster. The full-time tuition on the roster must be changed to reflect the student’s actual term tuition liability when certifying PT-VTA or when recertifying a student previously certified as part-time. The PT-VTA is calculated using the student's actual part-time tuition charge and the number of credits. As with a full-time VTA the PT-VTA cannot exceed tuition charges. 

Prior to the 2008-09 academic year, certifying a designation of HT or PT would indicate the VTA award was half-time. Beginning with the 2008-09 academic year the certification process no longer allows HT or PT for this purpose; the Enrollment Status Field now requires the certifying officer to indicate the number of credits a part-time student is taking. 

Accelerated Study
Requirements for accelerated study apply to all full-time study scholarships that do not allow for part-time study. The Veteran's Tuition Award is not affected by the accelerated study requirements.

Certification via HescWeb 
The HescWeb screens for STUDENT RECORD MAINTENANCE, VIEW/SUBMIT PENDING CERTIFICATION, and VIEW/ CORRECT STUDENT CERTIFICATION may be used to certify both full-time and part-time students. The screens have been modified to allow the reporting of the number of credits for part-time study. The Enrollment Status field drop down list provides valid credits. The Web screens are intuitive, allowing only eligible schools to certify PT-VTA students. 

Note: When using the HescWeb screens to certify PT-VTA:

  • The actual term tuition liability must be reported in the TUITION field.
  • The number of credits for part-time study must be reported in the ENROLLMENT STATUS field. Half credits should be rounded down.


Certification via File Transfer (use HESC’s EFAN layout available on HescWeb in the Transaction Processing center in Forms & Bulletins, TAP School EFAN layouts/Message Codes):

  • Enter the actual term tuition liability in the Tuition field (35/6,2)
  • Enter the number of credits in the Enrollment Status field (33/2). Valid entries for semester schools: 03, 04, 05, 06, 07, 08, 09, 10, and 11. Valid entries for trimester/quarter schools: 03, 04, 05, 06, and 07.


Certification Codes
Certification codes 1 through 3 are valid codes used when certifying a part-time award. Do not use certification code 5 (Not full-time), as it is a decertification code and will not result in an award. 

Duplicative Benefits

Tuition payments received by a veteran under the Chapter 33 Program and Yellow Ribbon component will be considered duplicative of any VTA and/or TAP award the student may have received. However, payments received under the Montgomery GI bill do not duplicate the purpose of the VTA and/or TAP. 

The combined tuition benefits available to a student cannot exceed the student’s actual tuition liability. Students attending high tuition schools may be eligible to receive both the Federal and State benefits. Additionally, a student whose “Percentage of Maximum Benefit Payable” under the Chapter 33 Program is less than 100% and students continuing to receive benefits under the Montgomery GI Bill may also receive both Federal and State benefits.

Select Post-911 GI Bill (Chapter 33) Federal Guidelines, to view the 2014-15 maximum in-state tuition and fees for New York State. Certain students may be eligible for increased benefits ("grandfathered students") while attending private NYS institutions. Click here for more information.

Roster Certification of State Programs for Chapter 33 Recipients:

  • If the student's Chapter 33 "Percentage of Maximum Benefit Payable" is at the 100% level and completely covers the student's tuition, a certification code of "9" (decertified for miscellaneous reason) should be entered on the certification transaction.
  • If the student's Chapter 33 "Percentage of Maximum Benefit Payable" is at less than the 100% level and only partially covers the student's tuition, a certification code of "1" (eligible) should be entered on the certification transaction and the amount of the duplicative federal benefit should be entered in the "Other Benefits" field.


To determine the amount of the duplicative federal benefit, multiply the actual term tuition by the student’s "Percentage of Maximum Benefit Payable" under the chapter 33 program. 

Example: the actual term tuition is $3,097.50 and the student's "percentage of maximum benefit payable" is 70%.

Calculate Duplicative Federal Benefit
FormulaExample
Actual term tuition multiplied by student's federal "Percentage of Maximum Benefit Payable" = duplicative federal benefit$3,097.50 x 70% = $2,168.25


In this example $2,168.25 is the amount that should be entered in the "Other Benefits" field on the certification transaction.

Eliminating a TAP Award While Paying VTA


For example, a student has a TAP award and a VTA but wishes to decline the TAP award
or the student meets the eligibility criteria for a part-time VTA but does not meet the eligibility criteria for a part-time TAP award. 

To Certify No TAP/VTA only for a student with a TAP award, who is not receiving Chapter 33 federal benefits: enter an amount equal to the difference between the tuition and the VTA award in the “Other Benefits” field. 
To Certify No TAP/VTA only for a student with a TAP award who is receiving Chapter 33 federal benefits: Enter an amount in the “Other Benefits” field as determined below:

Determine an adjusted tuition amount by subtracting the amount of the federal benefit from the actual term tuition. 

A) If the combination of the VTA award and federal benefit equals or is greater than the adjusted tuition amount, enter the federal benefit amount in the "Other Benefits" field.

B) If the combination of the VTA award and federal benefit is less than the actual term tuition amount, take the difference between the adjusted tuition amount and the VTA award and add to the federal benefit and enter the result in the "Other Benefits" field.


Example for B:

Step One: Calculate Adjusted Tuition
FormulaExample
Actual term tuition minus federal benefit = adjusted tuition$10,000.00 - $6,000.00 = $4,000.00

 

Step Two: Calculate Difference Between Veterans Tuition Award (VTA) 
and Adjusted Tuition
FormulaExample
Adjusted tuition (from step 1) minus- VTA = difference$4,000.00 - $3,097.50 = $902.50

 

Step Three: Calculate The Amount to Be Entered in the "Other Benefits" Field
FormulaExample
Federal benefit plus the difference (from step 2) = "Other Benefits"$6,000.00 + $902.50 = $6,902.50

 

Payment Award Determination for PT-VTA:

Once certification is submitted, HESC will calculate the PT-VTA based on the reported credits and actual tuition liability. The Remittance Advice and Student Status List will reflect the new award. 

Part-Time Credits

Semester Schools
Partial VTA payment will be made for students taking 3-11 credits as shown below:

Points Accrual for Part-time VTA Payments - Semester Schools
Credits
Percent of Full Award
Points Accrued
3
25.00%
1.5
4
33.34%
2
5
41.67%
2.5
6
50.00%
3
7
58.34%
3.5
8
66.67%
4
9
75.00%
4.5
10
83.34%
5
11
91.67%
5.5


Trimester Schools
Partial VTA payment will be made for students taking 3-7 credits as shown below:

Points Accrual for Part-time VTA Payments - Trimester Schools
Credits
Percent of Full Award
Points Accrued
3
37.50%
1.5
4
50.00%
2
5
62.50%
2.5
6
75.00%
3
7
87.50%
3.5


Note: VTA recipients who meet all other certification requirements, but are taking only two credits in a term at a trimester-based school, will require special processing. Contact the HESC Scholarship Unit for instructions regarding the certification of these students.