APU Student Handbook
In this section

Last Revision: January 30, 2024

VA Enrollment Information

Enrollment verification cannot be submitted until the APUS Military Assistance Office receives a copy of your completed VA paperwork and you have successfully enrolled in a class. Once your paperwork is processed and you have started classes, the VA Certifying Official will electronically submit your Certification of Enrollment (22-1999). All VA enrollment verifications will be submitted after the session drop period, beginning the second week of your course. Once your enrollment has been submitted, you will receive an email from the VA as verification.

WAVE Enrollment Verification

The VA requires that students using GI Bill ® benefits (excluding Ch. 33) verify their enrollment monthly. Verification begins the last day of the month of the courses you are enrolled in. Students will not receive VA benefits if they do not verify through WAVE. Please note, it may take up to 6 weeks for your enrollment information to be available in WAVE. Verify attendance through WAVE online or call the VA at 1-877-823-2378.

Using Tuition Assistance and GI Bill ®

Federal law prohibits Active Duty servicemembers from receiving VA benefits for the same course tuition that is being paid by Military Tuition Assistance. Effective November 2014, the Department of Defense announced that they will no longer authorize Tuition Assistance for classes for which a member is also receiving benefits under the Montgomery GI Bill ® – Selected Reserve program (Ch. 1606), Reserve Educational Assistance Program (Ch. 1607), or any other GI Bill ® program other than the Montgomery GI Bill ® – Active Duty program (Ch. 30) or the Post-9/11 GI Bill ® program (Ch. 33).Active Duty servicemembers who are eligible for Ch. 30 benefits can use non Active-Duty TA in conjunction with VA benefits. For students using Ch. 33 benefits, TA must be applied to the registration first, and any remaining tuition can be certified under the Ch. 33 benefit.

VA Top-Up Information

The Top-Up benefit may be used when a student is using Active Duty federal tuition assistance and the course cost will not be completely funded by TA. TA Top-Up may be used for Chapter 30 & 33 only. Students who wish to apply for TA Top-Up should contact [email protected] to request a TA Top-Up Request Form. APUS will submit an enrollment to the VA to include the amount of tuition and fees’ remaining after all TA funding has been reduced. Please note, the use of Top-Up will exhaust a portion of your GI Bill ® benefits. The amount exhausted depends on the chapter benefit being used and the time length of the courses.

VA Payments

Students participating in Montgomery GI Bill® benefits (Chapters 30, 32, 35, 1606, and 1607) will receive monthly payments from the VA based on their enrollment status each month enrolled in courses. The VA makes payments based on your monthly attendance and not semester attendance. Payments are sent from the VA by direct deposit or check after you have verified your monthly attendance through WAVE. APUS requires students using Chapters 30, 32, 35, 1606, and 1607 to make payment arrangements with the university prior to the start of courses. A 22-1999 Enrollment Verification will not be submitted until payment arrangements have been finalized.

Tuition and Fees for Chapter 33 are paid directly to APUS. If students are not receiving the 100% benefit rate, payment arrangements will need to be made to the university prior to course access.

Current VA payment rates are viewable online.

If the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has not made payment within 90 days of APUS submitting an enrollment certification, APUS will not impose any penalties on students to include assessment of late fees, denial of access to courses, library resources, or other student services. Additionally, there is no requirement that a covered individual borrows additional funds due to delayed VA payment. This information pertains to students with a primary payment type of Post 9/11 GI Bill®  or Vocational Rehabilitation. Additionally, if APUS is notified by the VA that the student has exhausted VA entitlements or is not eligible for Veterans Benefits, students will be responsible for tuition and fees and APUS collection policies will apply. 

Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH)

Beginning for courses starting on or after 1 October 2011, students (other than those on Active Duty) will receive a housing allowance for courses solely in distance learning with the Chapter 33 benefit. The housing allowance payable is equal to ½ the national average BAH for an E-5 with dependents. A student must be enrolled at a rate of pursuit greater than half time (.51%) to receive this benefit. Please remember, the housing allowance is pro-rated based off your enrollment status, percentage of eligibility, and dates of course enrollments.

Using VA Benefits at Multiple Institutions

The VA requires students to declare an institution in which they will receive a degree or certification. VA benefits cannot be used at multiple institutions without declaration of a primary school and subsequent secondary school. For more information regarding using benefits at APUS and another institution, please contact [email protected]

VA Consent to Enrollments Submitted

When a student selects a VA payment option (Ex. Ch. 33 payment) at the time of registration, you are consenting that you wish to have your enrollment for that particular course(s) submitted to the VA on your behalf. Students who register selecting a payment other than VA will be prompted for consent at the time of registration to have the course(s) submitted to the VA on your behalf. Students who register prior to submitting VA documents to APUS may be required to complete a VA Consent Form to identify courses or terms students would like to have submitted to the VA.

Submitting Enrollments to the VA (VA 22-1999)

APUS will submit all enrollments to the VA electronically, beginning after the course drop period (second week of courses). Once your enrollment has been submitted to the VA, you will receive an automated email from the VA notifying you that the enrollment has been received.

Post 9/11 GI Bill® Monthly Enrollment Verification

Starting in the 2021-2022 school year, Post-9/11 GI Bill® students who receive Monthly Housing Allowance (MHA) and/or kicker payments are required to verify their enrollment to continue receiving their payments. Enrollment verification is a new requirement for Post-9/11 GI Bill® students to verify that they have remained enrolled in the same courses or training every month. Students who receive MHA/kicker payments will have their payments withheld if they fail to verify or report that they are no longer enrolled in their courses or training. To streamline the process, VA is providing the option to verify enrollment easily and securely via text message. For more information regarding this process, please click here .

Change of Academic Program

When a VA Student changes their academic program with APUS, the VA will be updated electronically of the change in academic pursuit. A credit evaluation will be completed by APUS for the new program and any credits that are applicable towards the new program of study will be applied. When registering for courses within the new program, students must continue to consent to APUS submitting the new program enrollments to the VA on your behalf.

Yellow Ribbon Program

The Yellow Ribbon Program is an agreement between the VA and participating institutions to cover all or a portion of tuition and fees charged after a student has exceeded the maximum benefit rate. APUS is a Yellow Ribbon participating institution. View more information online about Yellow Ribbon. Contact us for questions about this program at [email protected] .

Course Drops/Withdrawals

APUS is required to report changes in enrollment to the VA. If you drop or withdraw from a course(s), a 22-1999 enrollment verification will be sent to the VA within 30 days of the change of enrollment. A reduction or termination of enrolled credit hours could result in a student debt with the VA for BAH and books/supplies.

Tuition and fee debts will be issued to the school if students withdraw from a course(s) after the start date. The VA will request repayment of tuition/fees and will send a debt letter to APUS. If the VA debt letter requests school repayment that exceeds the institutional refund policy, students may be assigned a debt to the school. For more information regarding VA school debts, please click here. For more information regarding GI Bill® debts, to include ways to prevent a debt from occurring, please click here.

Mitigating Circumstances

Mitigating circumstances are circumstances beyond the student's control that prevent the student from continuing in school or that cause the student to reduce credits. The VA requires schools to document potential mitigating circumstances. Any withdrawal with a mitigating circumstance selected will require additional documentation of the mitigating circumstance to be submitted to APUS prior to the mitigating circumstance being reported. View more information on mitigating circumstances. If mitigating circumstances cannot be validated, the VA may request repayment of BAH, Books/Supplies, or tuition from the student, as of the first date of the term.

Rounding Out

The practice of “rounding out” provides eligible GI Bill® students in their last term with the option to take additional classes to bring their course load to full-time and receive a full-time monthly housing allowance. VA is only authorized to pay GI Bill® benefits for classes that are part of an approved program of education and count toward completion of that approved program of education. Classes approved for a program of education means those that can be used to satisfy the graduation requirements of the program as specified in the curriculum. Classes that have been previously completed cannot be used to round out the student’s course load.


When a VA Student has successfully completed the requirements for the program of study and has officially conferred the program of study, APUS will report the student’s graduation to the VA via electronic certification. All Chapter 33 students will have the graduation fee accessed by APUS added to the last VA enrollment submitted for the program being conferred.

Master's Capstone/Practicum Courses

University policy states Capstone and Practicum Courses must be the last course of your degree program and may be taken only after the completion of all course work. Additionally, no concurrent coursework is permitted. Accordingly, as a program advisory notice, Capstone/Practicum courses are only offered in 16-week sessions. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) regulations state students must have a rate of pursuit greater than 50% in order to be eligible to receive BAH. The VA will cover course tuition and fees up to the percentage for which you are eligible. Many of our Capstone/Practicum courses have been classified as a research course due to the intensive coursework in class and out of the classroom. Accordingly, research classified Capstone/Practicum courses will qualify for full-time BAH. If your Capstone/Practicum course is not a research-intensive course, your course load will not qualify you for BAH. Please contact [email protected] for a complete list of programs approved for full-time Capstone/Practicum requirements.

Course Extensions

Please note that if you are granted a course extension from your professor, you will not receive VA benefits during the extension period. The VA will automatically discontinue benefits on the day after your original term ending date. Benefits will not start until a new course has been enrolled and the verification has been sent to the VA. Submission of a course extension for VA benefits will likely result in an overpayment to the student and will require future repayment.

Academic Probation /Unsatisfactory Academic Progress

VA requires institutions to report veteran students who are not meeting an institution’s academic standards. When APUS is made aware of a VA Student no longer meeting academic standards, notification will be electronically submitted to the VA on the student’s VA record.

Excessive Credits

Students who are using VA benefits for courses may not register for courses that are not applicable to the current program of study. Any courses that are deemed not applicable to the current degree program will be considered excessive credits and an enrollment for the courses will not be submitted.

Prior Credits

The VA requires that all prior credit must be evaluated by APUS prior to a student’s initial enrollment. Students must identify any prior credit that has been earned. Additionally, a Joint Services Transcript or Community College of the Air Force transcript must be received by APUS for all students who will be using VA benefits for any courses with APUS. Students who are currently having prior credits evaluated are strongly encouraged to register only for courses in which they know they will not receive prior credit. If prior credit is later given for a course a student is currently taking, APUS must terminate the enrollment, as this would constitute excessive credits. Terminations of enrollment will likely result in a reduction in BAH and/or books and supplies payment for the course/term a prior credit was awarded.

Courses for Transfer Programs

Students who are enrolled in an Undergraduate Courses for Transfer program at APUS are restricted by VA policy on which courses APUS can submit for VA benefits. A student must be below a junior in academic standing. Please note, the junior status also includes any credits previously taken at other institutions. Only General Education courses can be submitted to the VA while a student has an undeclared program, unless a valid Parent School Letter is on file stating the course taken at APUS will transfer to the students Primary School.

Graduate Courses for Transfer courses are not eligible for certification to the VA unless a valid Parent School Letter is on file stating the course taken at APUS will transfer to the students Primary School.

Student VA Tuition & Fees Debts

On January 5, 2021, the Johnny Isakson and David P. Roe, M.D. Veterans Health Care and Benefits Improvement Act of 2020 was signed into law.

This new law has changed the way education overpayments and debts are handled by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The new law requires schools to be financially responsible, instead of the student, for benefits paid directly to an educational institution for Post-9/11 GI Bill® and other VA education programs. This applies to tuition and fee payments and Yellow Ribbon program payments under the Post-9/11 GI Bill® (including under the Rogers STEM Scholarship). It should also be noted that debts created by VA follow the laws governing GI Bill® programs, and they may be more than, less than, or equal to the amount the school would refund under its refund policy.

What does this mean for APUS?

Previously, VA payment systems for the Post-9/11 GI Bill® established debts against students or schools. A school debt was established when a student terminates enrollment on or before the first day of the term and the VA has paid the institution tuition and fees. A student debt was created after the first day of the term when the student reduces or terminates during the term. When a debt is established, either the student or the school is notified of the debt and the next steps to address the overpayment. This law modifies the way overpayments associated with benefits paid directly to the school are treated. The law now treats overpayments of tuition and fees or Yellow Ribbon payments made directly to the school as debts against the educational institution and not the student.

What is APUS doing?

American Public University System will not refund any payments sent directly to APUS for GI Bill® beneficiaries regardless of APUS’s refund policy to students. VA will notify APUS of these tuition/fee debts at a future date and APUS will return the tuition/fee payments to the VA. Effective immediately, APUS will hold all tuition and fee refund amounts on a student’s account. Refunds for tuition and fees paid by the VA will remain on a student account until APUS is notified by the VA to return the funds. Please note, it may take the VA several weeks to issue a debt letter to an institution after a change in enrollment for dropping/withdrawing from a course.

How are students impacted?

Students who were anticipating a refund of VA tuition and fee money will not receive this refund. Students will be able to see the funds that will be returned to the VA on their student ledger. This change absolves students from incurring a tuition and fee debt with the VA, but students who receive Basic Housing Allowance payments from the VA may still be required to repay a portion or all of the funds received to the VA. Students may also owe a debt to APUS if the tuition/fee requested to be returned to the VA exceeds the school’s refund policy. (Example: The tuition/fee for a term is equal to $1000.00. A student withdrawals during the 4th week of an 8 week course, resulting in a 50% ($500.00) institutional refund. The Department of VA Debt Management issues a debt to the institution of $600.00, which APUS will send back to the VA. The difference between the tuition debt due to the VA vs. the refund schedule is equal to $100.00 and will result in students owing this balance to the school.) Students who have questions regarding the change may reach out to the VA Education Call Center at 1-888-442-4551.

“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 Web site at http://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill.