Veterans' Benefits

The Financial Aid Office would like to thank all veterans for their service and welcome you and your eligible dependents and spouses to Simmons University. Students eligible for VA benefits should apply through the United States Department of Veterans Affairs in order to obtain a Certificate of Eligibility. Applications can be completed online. A copy of the Certificate of Eligibility must be provided to Student Financial Services by mail, fax or emailed to sfs@simmons.edu.

Information about educational benefits is provided through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. There are several different education programs available, each with a unique set of criteria that must be met.

Post-9/11 GI Bill - Chapter 33

The Post-9/11 GI Bill® provides financial support for education and housing to individuals with at least 90 days of aggregate service after September 10, 2001, or individuals discharged with a service-connected disability after 30 days. You must have received an honorable discharge to be eligible for the Post-9/11 GI Bill®. This benefit provides up to 36 months of education benefits, generally payable within the 15 years following release from active duty.

Tuition and related fees are paid directly to Simmons and credited to a student's account. This year, students can receive up to $23,671.94 for these costs (depending on their eligibility percentage and Simmons scholarship/grant aid). A monthly housing stipend is paid directly to a student, arriving at the end of each month the student is enrolled in any given semester (e.g., if the term starts September 4, the student will receive a housing stipend in the mail at the end of September). Students may view the Basic Allowance for Housing rates online at defensetravel.dod.mil, which are based on those classified as E-5 with dependents for the ZIP code of the school (02115) for those attending the main campus.  The housing rate for exclusively online students at full-time is $825/month.  Online students in field placements or clinicals will receive housing payments based on the zip code of the facility in which they are placed. The stipend for books is mailed to the student at the beginning of the semester and may be up to $1,000 annually.

For parents who would like to transfer their Post-9/11 benefits to their dependent student(s), please visit the benefits.va.gov Transfer Instructions to determine if the student is eligible.

Yellow Ribbon

Simmons University participates in the Yellow Ribbon program. This program was launched as a provision of the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Act of 2008. Simmons University has committed to this program as a means of assistance for qualified undergraduate and graduate students. The Yellow Ribbon program allows degree-granting private colleges and universities in the United States to voluntarily enter into an agreement with the VA to fund tuition expenses that exceed the annual maximum cap for the resident tuition and fees at public institutions. Veterans who are utilizing Post-9/11 GI Benefits and who are entitled to 100% of their benefit may be eligible. To participate in the Yellow Ribbon program, you must be using Post-9/11 GI benefits at 100% eligibility, not on active duty, and not a military spouse. There are a limited number of Yellow Ribbon awards available at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Please contact Student Financial Services for more information about this program.

Other Types of Veterans' Benefits

Students eligible to receive educational benefits through programs not specifically mentioned here should review the VA's GI Bill® website for more information on how to receive those benefits.

Persons eligible for Chapters 30 (Montgomery GI Bill®) or REAP benefits may qualify and elect to receive benefits under the Post-9/11 GI Bill®. For more information, please visit benefits.va.gov Education and Training.

FAQ: Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment – VR&E (Chapter 31)

The process for VA Benefits at Simmons varies depending on the type of benefits that you receive. This FAQ applies to the following VA Education Benefit program:

  • Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment – VR&E (Chapter 31)

Q: How does Student Financial Services (SFS) at Simmons know that I am a Vocational Rehabilitation (Voc Rehab) recipient?

A: If you are a recipient of Chapter 31 Benefits, you must contact Mark Thomas in SFS to self-report your VA status. Mark can be reached by email at Mark.Thomas@simmons.edu or by phone at 617-521-2028.

In order to avoid delays in certification it is essential that you provide SFS with your valid Form 1905 as early on in the application process as possible. If the VA is to pay your tuition deposit, you must provide SFS with your 1905 Form before the deposit is due. SFS will then notify admissions that your deposit will be paid via your Chapter 31 Benefit.


Q: Will I be required to provide any documentation to secure my Voc Rehab Benefit?

A: Yes, Simmons requires Form 1905 in order to certify your enrollment. To avoid incorrect billing and to ensure timely stipend payments, Form 1905 should be submitted before or at the time of course registration. The VA will authorize the enrollment dates for which you are eligible to receive the benefits on the Form. Simmons cannot proceed with awarding your benefits until Form 1905 is received.

Please note that some Forms authorize multiple terms while others authorize one term at a time. Student Financial Services will notify you and your VA Representative directly if we do not have a valid Form 1905 on file for an upcoming semester. You can obtain a copy of Form 1905 by contacting your VA Representative directly. Completed Forms can be emailed or faxed directly to Mark by you or your VA Representative (Fax: 617-521-3195 or Email: Mark.Thomas@simmons.edu).


Q: Is there a limit to how much funding I can receive each academic year through the Voc Rehab program?

A: No, the Chapter 31 Benefit covers full tuition and fees, less any institutional scholarship funds that have been awarded, as well as books. There is a limit on supplies, other than books, and the VA will notify you about this. Laptops/computers require additional approval.


Q: When will the Voc Rehab Benefit appear on my financial aid award?

A: After you have submitted Form 1905 and completed registration for the term, Financial Aid will be notified and the VR&E Benefit will be added to your financial aid award. Your enrollment information will be submitted to the Registrar during the 1st week of the academic term for certification with the VA. It is very important that you notify Mark directly if there are any changes to the enrollment plans indicated on Form 1905.


Q: When will the Voc Rehab Benefit funds post to my student account and when will I receive the housing stipend?

A: The Registrar will certify your enrollment with the VA during the 1st week of each term. Once certified, the VA will send payment directly to Simmons for tuition, fees and books. The VA will send the housing stipend directly to you. The stipend amount is calculated off the term start date that Simmons provides to the VA. Simmons will provide certifications to the VA prior to the end of the 1st month of the term to ensure timely processing of stipends.


Q: Does the Voc Rehab Benefit cover books and supplies?

A: Yes. In order to request a Book Voucher you must first be in possession of your Simmons ID card. Please price out the cost of required course materials and contact SFS to request a Book Voucher (SFS@simmons.edu or 617-521-2001). Be sure to account for any shipping or sales tax when requesting a book voucher. Funding will be added to your Simmons ID card for use in the Simmons Bookstore only and the amount of the Book Voucher will be charged to your student account. Please save all of your receipts so that SFS can invoice the VA for your books/supplies directly.

Please provide Mark with a copy of your receipts from the Simmons Bookstore. Student Financial Services can only invoice the VA for the dollar amount of the receipts received. The VA will then send the reimbursement for your books directly to Simmons to be applied to your student account against the Book Voucher charge. If the dollar amount spent in the Simmons Bookstore is less than the Book Voucher amount given, you will be responsible for any remaining balance on your tuition account. The Book Voucher funds will remain on your Fenway Card and will roll forward for use in a subsequent term.

Please note that there is a limit on supplies other than books. Laptops/computers require additional approval.


Q: What happens to my VA benefit if I increase the number of credits I am taking during the semester?

A: If registration is increased you should notify Mark immediately upon making the change. Student Financial Services will work with the Registrar to adjust the certification and will send an updated invoice to the VA for any charges generated by the new registration change. Mark can be reach via email at Mark.Thomas@simmons.edu.


Q: What happens to my VA benefit if I decrease the number of credits I am taking during the semester, take a leave of absence for the term or withdraw completely?

A: If you decrease your credit load after Simmons has reported your enrollment to the VA, Simmons will submit an amended certification to the VA to reflect your actual enrollment. If the registration change causes an overpayment of the tuition and fee benefit received from the VA, Simmons will return the overpayment amount to the VA. You will be held responsible for any balance created at Simmons when the VA funds are returned. Please note that course withdrawals that occur after the start of the term are subject to partial charges. Please refer to www.simmons.edu/SFS for our institutional course refund policy.

FAQ: Post-9/11 GI Bill® (Chapter 33)

The process for VA Benefits at Simmons varies depending on the type of benefit that you receive. This FAQ applies to the following VA Education Benefit programs:

  • Post-9/11 GI Bill® (Chapter 33)
  • Montgomery GI Bill – Active Duty (MGIB-AD/Chapter 30)
  • Montgomery GI Bill – Selected Reserve (MGIB-SR/Chapter 1606)
  • Reserve Educational Assistance Program (REAP/Chapter 1607)
  • Survivors' and Dependents' Educational Assistance Program (DEA/Chapter 35)

Q: How does Student Financial Services (SFS) at Simmons know that I am a VA Benefit recipient?

A: If you are the recipient of Chapter 30, 33, 35, 1606 or 1607 benefits, you must contact Stephen Pusateri in SFS to self-report your VA status. Stephen can be reached by email at stephen.pusateri@simmons.edu or by phone at 617-521-2885.

Please let Stephen know about your VA Education Benefit as early on in the application process as possible. It can take a while for the VA to issue your Certificate of Eligibility (COE). If SFS is not aware of your VA status until after the term starts, your enrollment at Simmons can be certified retroactively however this may cause a delay in the receipt of your benefits.


Q: How often do I need to submit the Certificate of Eligibility (COE)?

A: Students are required to submit a COE prior to the start of their enrollment at Simmons or as early as possible. Simmons cannot proceed with awarding your initial benefits until the COE is received. Additionally, you will also need to submit a screenshot of your Education Enrollment Status when you register for the upcoming term. The VA will confirm the type of benefit (i.e. Chapter, duration and percentage of benefit).

To obtain a copy of your COE you can first apply for your benefits at https://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill/apply.asp and it will be mailed to you.


Q: Is there a limit to how much VA funding I can receive each academic year?

A: Yes, the annual private school cap for 2018-2019 is $23,671.94 for Chapter 33 Benefits. The academic year includes terms that begin in fall, spring and summer. This dollar amount is reviewed and determined by the VA each year.

Student Financial Services requires that you fill out a Student Information Form (SIF) every year. The purpose of the SIF is to inform SFS of your anticipated enrollment plans for the academic year. SFS will then use this information to map out the cost of registered credits versus the annual cap for your benefit. Our goal is to build your VA Benefit plan for the entire year so you can see where and when you might have an out-of-pocket expense. When you hit the cap for the year, no additional VA tuition payments can be received until the start of the new award year (the subsequent fall term). Since the VA year beings in the fall and runs through spring and then summer, the cap is most often hit during the summer term. You will receive a bill from SFS detailing any out-of-pocket expenses shortly after you register for the term in which you exhaust your annual benefit.


Q: When will my VA Benefits appear on my financial aid award?

A: After you have completed the SIF and indicated your enrollment plans for the academic year, Stephen will verify your enrollment and the benefits will be added to your financial aid award. The benefits typically cover full tuition and fees less any institutional aid that you might have received. It is very important that you notify Stephen directly if there are any changes to the enrollment plans that you indicated on the SIF for the academic year.


Q: When will my VA Benefit funds post to my student account and when will I receive the housing allowance?

A: The Registrar will certify your enrollment with the VA during the first week of the term. Once certified, the VA will send payment to Simmons for tuition and fees. The VA will send any housing allowance for which you qualify directly to you. Certain benefits do not pay to the institution but rather directly to you (Ch. 30, Ch. 35, Ch. 1606, Ch. 1607).

The VA pays your housing allowance in arrears (i.e. the payment for March will arrive on April 1st). The VA will pro-rate your housing allowance, based on a 30-day calendar, for terms that begin mid-month. Due to the influx of enrollment certifications during the first month of a term, the initial housing allowance payment often comes later than the first of the following month.

You can find more information on housing allowance payments particular to your specific benefit type as well as how it is calculated by visiting the VA's website: https://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill/education_programs.asp


Q: Does my VA benefit cover the cost of books and supplies?

A: It depends on the type of benefit you are receiving. Chapter 33 Benefit recipients will receive a separate payment from the VA based on a $1,000 maximum book payment depending on your level of enrollment and the level of your benefit. If you attend half-time, the maximum book payment you could receive from the VA is $500, etc.


Q: What happens to my VA benefit if I increase the number of credits I am taking during the semester?

A: If registration is increased you should notify Stephen immediately upon making the change so that your VA benefit can be reviewed and updated accordingly. Stephen can be reached via email at stephen.pusateri@simmons.edu


Q: What happens to my VA benefit if I decrease the number of credits I am taking during the semester, take a leave of absence for the term or withdraw completely?

A: If you decrease your credit load after Simmons has reported your enrollment to the VA this will cause an overpayment. Simmons will submit an amended certification to the VA and will return a portion of your tuition and fee benefit to the VA. The VA will issue a debt notice to you for a portion of the housing and book monies that you have received. Please note that course withdrawals that occur after the start of the term are subject to partial charges. Please refer to www.simmons.edu/SFS for our institutional course refund policy.